And The Winner Is…

by limebirdlaura

If there’s one thing I love in this world more than anything else, it’s a good writing competition. OK, maybe that’s not true. I love my husband, and my family, and Harry Potter of course. But I certainly do fancy writing competitions!

I’m by no means an expert on all the competitions out there, and there certainly are a lot! Some of them pay, and some of them just give you bragging rights. Here are just a few that I know a bit about. I’m honestly not sure if they are specific to USA or if they are worldwide. At any rate, if they aren’t worldwide I say do a Google search and find some competitions in your area!

NYC Midnight

I’ve entered competitions with them twice. It does cost money to enter, and that is definitely a con. However the first competition my husband and I entered, we ended in 3rd overall and won a little bit of money back! So that made up for it. The second time we entered we didn’t even make it to the final round though so we were out the money. Oh well, you win some and you lose some, right? The competitions we entered were screenwriting competitions, but they hold different competitions throughout the year – short stories, flash fiction, screenwriting, even tweet story competitions. Most of them charge to enter, but some of them, like the Twitter contest, are free. The thing that I find fun about these competitions is that everyone starts on an even playing field. The minute the competition starts they break everyone into groups and each group is assigned something to write, with an assigned subject, character and genre for instance. You only have a few days to write during the first two rounds, and the final round was just 24 hours to write a short script. It was a lot of fun working under pressure! I think that’s when my best work comes out.

Scripped

Scripped is a screenwriting software site. I actually won a free lifetime membership to the site from placing 3rd in that NYC Midnight competition. Scripped runs some competitions throughout the year, which I have honestly never entered. But, I’m thinking about entering the May contest. You can scroll through the site and see some of the past contests they have held, and they all sound like a lot of fun.

Nickelodeon Writing Fellowship

I’m not sure if Nickelodeon is worldwide, so in case it’s not – Nickelodeon is a children’s and tween network that runs cartoons and children’s programming. They hold a writing fellowship each year where they accept a maximum of 4 people to work there at Nickelodeon studios with the writers. I did check the site and it says as long as you have eligibility to work in the USA you are golden to enter. I did enter this with my husband for the 2011 year, but as you can guess we didn’t make it. I was still really excited to get a rejection letter from Nickelodeon Studios though, it made me feel like I was actually trying. It would be a great opportunity though, to work in the industry with some of the most successful television writers there are in the country. If you do enter, you have to write a spec script, which is a script for a show that is currently in production. They prefer comedies, and they don’t have to be shows that are on Nickelodeon. Those who go through the fellowship end up being placed with jobs at Nick, or other studios.

Speaking of fellowships, many networks in the country run fellowships similar to the one at Nickelodeon, though Nick is the only one I have experience entering. And again, not sure about outside the US, but I say do a search with my best friend Google to see if networks in your country run programs like this.

Here are some of the fellowship programs for the bigger networks in America:

NBC

CBS

ABC – They actually hold fellowships for directors, actors, and producers for anyone interested in that as well!

WB

Of course, this is far from an extensive list, but definitely some good places to start!

Does anyone else enjoy entering writing contests?  

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25 Comments to “And The Winner Is…”

  1. Ohh awesome post Laura! I’ve always wanted to enter some writing competitions, but I’ve never had the balls. Obviously most of these links are for the US, but I might have a bit of a look around and see what’s on offer.

    PS – We have Nickelodeon here! I used to watch Kenan and Kel and Sister Sister and umm Ren and Stimpy and Sponge Bob… etc etc 😀

    • Oh I’m glad you have Nick there! Since I’m still a kid at heart I love watching some of the Nick shows still. Spongebob is what I sent to Nickelodeon when I applied for the fellowship.
      You should enter contests! The NYC one might be open worldwide, I’m not sure. The thing I like about that one is that they offer feedback on every story submitted to them (I should have added that to my blurb about them in the article…. whoops!)

  2. Great post Laura, competitions certainly are exciting! I think it’s fine that a lot of writing competitions charge a fee to enter – it’s often the only way they can fund themselves and the prize. I’m sure some are a con, but it’s easy enough to find out which are the reputable ones. I always intend to enter lots of writing competitions, but hardly ever do. I have won and been shortlisted in a few though. To add a couple of big reputable ones to your list:

    Writers Digest run regular different themed ones over the year: http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions/writing-competitions

    The Bridport Prize is a major one in the UK (but I think accepts worldwide entries) – deadline is 31st May though, so not much time if you want to enter this year! http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions/writing-competitions

  3. Great post, Laura. I like competitions too, and I try to enter a couple of times a year. But unless I have something that’s already good to go and fits the specs, then most of the time I miss the deadlines. I haven’t tried any of the ones you listed. I’ll have to jot those down. Thanks!

    • Thanks Kate 😀 I haven’t entered any since the last time my husband and I did the NYC Midnight and didn’t make it. But, I think that might have been the last screenwriting comp they had. The thing I like about that contest is that they give you a prompt and you have to write within the prompts perameters.

  4. Terrific links, Laura! I didn’t know about most of these associated with the networks over here. I will be certain to share with my writing friends…and my students! 😀 Thanks!

  5. Enjoyed this. It has got me thinking now as I have never entered any competition.

    • Are you going to look some up to enter?

      • I’m thinking about it 🙂 I really don’t know. I’ve been struggling with the idea all year and your post got me thinking again. My poems are probably too obscure and short stories is not something I’m confident in. We’ll see.

      • I’m sure there is a fit for them out there somewhere!

  6. Ace LBL, as per. I’ve entered competitions with my poetry in the past. I entered a few regional ones for my area as I recall and won some, came a runner up in others. All my work was published in an anthology as a ‘reward’, which was fine. I haven’t entered my work for many years, but that’s mainly because I have not written any new poetry in five years. Great idea in putting the links and info in here – get people going. Sometimes just the nudge is enough to send people on their merry way with most things – competitions included 😀

    • Oh that’s great! In high school I had a poem published in an anthology of middle and high school kids. I still have that book floating around here somewhere and read from it from time to time.

  7. I’ve actually entered one recently, and am afraid to jinx myself so I just can’t talk about it. Wish me luck!

  8. I’ve not entered any competitions yet, but you make me want to try. It may also help me get even more used to rejection. 😉

  9. It was scary, but I did enter two short story competitions with Writer’s Digest and Glimmer Train. The stories were not chosen, but, oh, how my fear of rejection has settled down with those entries. Now it’s starting to be enjoyable because I’ve learned that there’s really nothing to fear.

    • That’s a great sentiment that there is nothing to fear. I feel the same way too, like with my Nickelodeon rejection. I’m glad I at least tried, even though I didn’t make it. Good luck to you on future contests!

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