I am about to sign up for my second script contest this summer. I have been doing the research, and while many contests promise big rewards, I'm more interested in the ones that seem to care about helping unknown writers make the connections that will help them with their careers.
Austin Film Festival is the first script contest I've ever entered, and I felt like I really rushed to get the script ready by the deadline. I have made some changes since entering it, but I am about to make more because I am entering The Script-a-thon this month.
The Script-a-thon runs for the month of July. Similar to Script Frenzy, writers are encouraged to use the month to write a new script or refine an existing one. Finalized works are submitted by August 7th, and judges from different parts of the movie industry will review the submissions. There is a community of writers who will be encouraging and supportive along the way. One other reason that I chose Script-a-thon is that they don't have a separate product they are selling; I don't feel like they are trying to get me to sign up so they can sell me other script services after the contest. They do have a long list of prizes, but again, I'm more interested in the potential career opportunities like agency meetings and script consultations.
I'm looking forward to having a deadline again. I don't always need a deadline to write, but it certainly helps get me moving on days when I get distracted. I hope to have Between Souls in really great shape by the end of July - just in time for the next contest by American Zoetrope. That will be the last contest I enter -- for now.