Tuesday, September 01, 2009

It's hard out there for a zombie

Dear Emily,

Thank you for entering Not Dead Yet into the 16th Annual Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition. I want to thank you for sharing your work with us. I know there are a myriad competitions out there and I value your decision to submit to ours.

The competition received nearly 4,000 entries this year. The quality of the entries was remarkable. Every year we strive to maintain a level playing field which is why we make sure each and every script is read more than once. However, judging art at this level is a very difficult process and one that is, by nature, subjective.

Regretfully, I must inform you that your screenplay did not advance to the Second Round in the Drama category. Don't let this discourage you. Your writing talent and the viability of your script in the marketplace are not subject to the outcome of a competition. I encourage you to continue working to get your script recognized. Competitions are a good start, but don't stop there. This is an industry that demands persistence.

The Austin Film Festival and I wish you all the best in your continued efforts, and we hope that we can continue to be a resource for you in the future.

Thank you,
Alex McPhail
Screenplay and Teleplay Competition Director
Austin Film Festival


  1. *sigh*

    so, have you thought about entering a horror screenplay contest? You would have a better shot there, dontcha think?

  2. Welcome to the Club. I have several of those under my belt.

    I'm getting to understand why UNK HATES contests.

  3. We entered two pilots and two specs into a variety of contests this year. So far, it's been an epic fail except for one minor contest where our Pushing Daisies is in the semis... supposedly. The email said so, but we're not listed on the site as semifinalists, so... weird.

    Le sigh.

  4. Deaf Indian: This is an action script so there's no way it would win as a horror film.

    Christian and Josh: Yeah it's so annoying when other screenwriters give you such positive feedback but the people with the money don't give you the time of day. I came in the top 1500 in the Nicholl, but even though there were fewer scripts in this contest, I still didn't advance.

  5. Hey Emily,

    Out of curiosity, did they notify you via email or did they mail a letter? I submitted three TV spec scripts to the Austin Film Festival.

    Sorry things didn't go better for you...


  6. his name is mcphail? that is amazing.

  7. Lee:

    Snail Mail. I think they're supposed to notify everybody by the 3rd.

    And Ben: I know, right?

  8. Top 1500 in the Nicholl is damn good, IMO, and this was a good 2nd check, wish they would at least give some sort of coverage or notes if someone actually took the time to read it.

  9. Anonymous4:29 PM

    Fail - Alex "McPhail" - hahaha

    Keep your chin up and keep at it!

  10. I got hit with the McPhail whale too. Oh well, I'll always have Moondance.



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