How to Sell Your Screenplay (in a nutshell)

by Ashley Scott Meyers on May 25, 2012

I believe that most screenwriting books, seminars, blogs and other screenwriting resources don’t spend nearly enough time on teaching people how to market their screenplays. SellingYourScreenplay.com tries to bridge that gap.

When I started out in the industry I didn’t know anyone. I was just a guy with a few ideas and a dream. With a lot of hard work and persistence I have been able to sell several screenplays (click here to view my credits on IMDB) by applying the exact lessons I’m going to teach you on this blog. It’s not quick or easy and it’s going to take a lot of hard work. But if you’re willing to do the work I believe that you too can have some success as a screenwriter.

There are no shortcuts and neither I, nor anyone else, can sell your screenplay for you. Ultimately you’ve got to decide if it’s worth the effort to make a go at screenwriting. You’re reading this blog, so that’s a good first step. But that’s all it is, a first step. Now you’ve got to really dig in and start doing the hard work.
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In this episode of the SYS Podcast I talk with screenwriter and producer Alan Trezza about how he got his new film, Burying The Ex, produced. He talks us through the process of writing the screenplay, getting rejected, and ultimately producing the film himself. It’s a great demonstration of screenwriting persistence.

The podcast is available in iTunes, YouTube, Stitcher (for Android users), the Windows Marketplace, and the Blackberry store or you can simply listen to it or watch it right from my blog.

You can also read a transcript of this episode.

Links mentioned in the show:

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This is a transcript of SYS Podcast Episode 083: Screenwriter / Producer Alan Trezza Talks About His New Film Burying The Ex.

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In this episode of the podcast I talk with writer and producer Erik Bork. He talks us through his entire career, starting out as a temp worker and eventually winning an Emmy Award on the hit HBO show Band of Brothers.

The podcast is available in iTunes, YouTube, Stitcher (for Android users), the Windows Marketplace, and the Blackberry store or you can simply listen to it or watch it right from my blog.

You can also read a transcript of this episode.

Links mentioned in the show:

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This is a transcript of SYS Podcast Episode 082: Erik Bork (Band of Brothers) Talks About His Career As Screenwriter And Producer.

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In this episode of the podcast I interview screenwriter (and lawyer) David Garrett. We talk through exactly how he sold several of his scripts without the benefit of an agent. We also talk in depth about relationship building and how important relationships are to a screenwriter.

The podcast is available in iTunes, YouTube, Stitcher (for Android users), the Windows Marketplace, and the Blackberry store or you can simply listen to it or watch it right from my blog.

You can also read a transcript of this episode.

Links mentioned in the show:

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This is a transcript of SYS Podcast Episode 081: David Garrett Talks About The Importance Of Relationships To A Screenwriter And How To Make Those Relationships.

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Screenwriting Contests

by Ashley Scott Meyers on July 9, 2015

Sundance Screenwriters Lab:

The Sundance Institute – the Holy Grail of indie cinema – holds its career-launching Screenwriters Lab for 5 days every January. 12 winners are guided through rigorous rewriting by “Creative Advisors.” Sundance provides long-term commitment through its ongoing mentorship program, affiliated grants, and Directing lab.

Only 1st and 2nd time feature filmmakers can apply.

Deadline: May 1st, 2016.

http://www.sundance.org/programs/feature-film

Nicholl Fellowship:

Nicholl (“nickel”) is a big fish in terms of prestige and prizes: each year up to 5 fellowships of $35,000 each are awarded. This is more than a contest; winners commit to completing at least 1 new screenplay in the following year.

Open only to those who’ve earned less than $25,000 screenwriting.

Final Deadline: May 1st, 2016. Fee: $40-$75 depending on when you enter.

http://www.oscars.org/nicholl/about

BlueCat:

BlueCat accepts unproduced short and feature-length screenplays. For features, top prizewinners get $15,000 and 4 runners-up get $2500 each. There are separate prizes for best scripts from the U.K, a non-US/Canadian/UK writer, and India. Every screenplay submitted receives written feedback.

Early Deadline: June 15, 2015 ($35 for shorts, $55 for features)

Late Deadline: November 15 ($60 for shorts, $70 for features)

http://www.bluecatscreenplay.com/rules-guidelines/

Screencraft.org:

Screencraft.org offers separate contests based on genre: Short, Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi, Action/Thriller, Family, TV Pilot, and Residency and Fellowship programs. 1st prize is $2000 and phone calls with handpicked industry execs and agents. Screencraft is committed to helping winners network in Hollywood and market their scripts.

Deadlines vary, see site for details. Fee: $49

http://screencraft.org/screenwriting-contests/

Scriptapalooza:

Scriptapalooza winners get cash prizes – $10,000 for 1st place – and numerous other awards, including networking resources, a Robert McKee seminar, and industry phone calls. Scriptapalooza commits to “promoting, pitching, and pushing” semifinalists and finalists for a year.

Deadlines run from January 6 (early) and April 29 (final). Fee: $45-$65.

http://www.scriptapalooza.com/competition/faq.php

Austin Screenwriting Competition:

Sponsored by the Austin Film Festival, this contest offers a range of prizes: $5000 each for Drama and Comedy winners, $2500 each for Horror and Sci-Fi, and a slew of awards for teleplays of all lengths and genres. Winners also get round-trip airfare and hotel allotments for attending the Festival.

Deadline: May 20. Fee: $40.

http://www.austinfilmfestival.com/submit/screenplayandteleplay/

PAGE International Screenwriting Awards:

Held by Hollywood producers, agents, and development execs, PAGE awards prizes in 7 feature genres, as well as shorts and TV pilots. Grand Prize is $25,000 and a host of promotional services and gifts, and there are additional smaller cash prizes. This contest is not limited to amateur screenwriters.

Deadline: January 15 (early), May 15 (final). Fee: $39-$79.

http://pageawards.com/

Script Pipeline:

With robust industry connections, Script Pipeline aims to market winning scripts. Top prize is $20,000 plus $250 toward airfare to L.A., and industry consultations. The top prizewinner, runner-up, and 18 finalists get seats at the “Secret Door Pitchfest,” held in August. Open only to those who’ve earned less than $25,000 screenwriting.

Contest opens September 1st, 2015. See site for fees.

https://scriptpipeline.com/shop/screenwriting-contest

Tracking Board: Launch Pad Competition:

Launch Pad wants to give writers careers in Hollywood. Grand prizewinners get a trip to L.A. packed with industry meetings, and submission of their scripts to thousands of industry insiders. Launch Pad is committed to getting writers repped and getting scripts optioned.

Deadline for Features: June 30 (early) – August 31 (late); Deadline for Pilots: March 31 (early) – May 31 (late). Fee: minimum $75

http://launchpad.tracking-board.com/features-competition-2015/

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In this episode of the podcast I interview Writer Director Antonia Bogdanovich about her new film, Phantom Halo. We talk through her early career as an actress, journalist, theater director, and filmmaker and the process of how she got this film produced.

The podcast is available in iTunes, YouTube, Stitcher (for Android users), the Windows Marketplace, and the Blackberry store or you can simply listen to it or watch it right from my blog.

You can also read a transcript of this episode.

Links mentioned in the show:

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This is a transcript of SYS Podcast Episode 080: Writer Director Antonia Bogdanovich Talks About Her New Film Phantom Halo.
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SYS Podcast Episode 079: Screenwriter Jan Arado Ask Questions About Screenplay Options

June 29, 2015

In this week’s episode I talk with screenwriter Jan Arado. Jan recently used my email and fax blast service and found interest from a producer who presented an option agreement to her. She emailed me with a bunch of questions about option agreements and I thought it might be interesting to have her ask me […]

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