Yes My Screenplay Is Ready To Submit

No, my screenplay is not ready to submit. But I will anyway. That is not a lie, not really. As a screenwriter I never feel ready to submit my work {and I suspect I am not the only one}. Not completely. Half the time I am not ready for people to read my work. Not even a few scenes. Not even my closest friends. That does not mean I don’t like people I know reading what I have written. You need an audience of some kind as a writer long before it has any chance of becoming a motion picture. That does not mean, to me, that it is ready. Being one hundred percent happy and comfortable with a screenplay, whether the first draft, or the fifth rewrite, is not the same as it being ready to submit it to a competition.


The submission on topic here is the screenplay American Sinners which, if all goes the way it should, will be my entry to the BlueCat Screenplay competition. Submitting your work to a competition like this is exciting, and motivating, and allows you to join the big beautiful world of movies. Of course, I also find it stressful and alarming. I love my screenplays, generally, but when it comes to submitting them to the world they are suddenly Showgirls or The Room. I mean, there are 13,000 newsletter subscribers according to the website. I am assuming they are all screenwriters. So is that my competition? I am not looking at all the thousands that don’t even subscribe at BlueCat, but 13,000 is enough to be going on with.

American Sinners is a movie I have redrafted several times, but, unlike many of the other movies I have written, I feel I got this one right the first time. Screenplays always need a little fine-tuning. You think it’s perfect, put it on a shelf, live eight smug months of your life. Then take the screenplay down for a read, and stare wide-eyed at some awful writing. Why did I keep this in? I am obviously being a little extreme. Sometimes that scene you looked at with wide eyes turns out to be great again another year down the line. American Sinners did not have this problem really, and am confident it is one of the closet to ready for submission screenplays I have written.

I got the email from BlueCat to say there are only 10 days left before the deadline. Never mind why I left it so late, I have to go do a bit more work on the first ten pages. The importance of those is for another discussion. So I really need to get my act together now. Focus and make sure the screenplay is ready to submit. Converting it to PDF is kind of the final stage. I usually panic then too. The payment part, that’s easy. What’s the importance of money when you are about to be judged on your hard work.
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