I got this question recently:
“Do you think it’s worth mentioning in my query letter that my script was a quarter finalist in a well known script competition?”
Absolutely. Even a quarter final finish is noteworthy, especially in a big contest that most people have heard of. In my opinion getting these sort of accolades are what you’re really looking for when entering a screenplay competition. Sure, winning first place and banking some cash is nice, but really you want some recognition which will be ammunition for your query letter, and quarter final finish is exactly what you’re looking for. Most people in the industry know that there may not be a lot of difference in the quality of the winners and the quarter finalists other than one or two people’s opinions. The winners are usually picked over pretty well, so an agent, manager, or producer might be quite interested in reading your script because they know it hasn’t had a spotlight shined on it yet and might be a real diamond in the rough.
Check out my other posts on screenplay competitions.