In an industry that can often feel impersonal and intimidating, the BlueCat Screenwriting Competition is a beacon of humanism. This contest, started in 1998 by Love Liza and A Coat of Snow scribe Gordy Hoffman, places emphasis in all the right places.
For starters, the contest is dedicated to discovering untapped talent. All of BlueCat’s winners are first-time screenwriting contest victors, and this is no coincidence. “Our mission is to find and support the undiscovered writer,” remarks Hoffman. “We don’t need to reward the writer who has sold and produced their work, as they don’t need our help in bringing their work to the attention of the industry. They already have it!”
Secondly, and most impressive, BlueCat provides each entrant with a detailed analysis of his or her script. The feedback comes from the talented group of readers personally selected by Hoffman. “I strive every year to hire the best readers,” comments Hoffman, “rejecting way more applicants than we hire. We do not have 80 companies reading our material. We have one person who has one team of hand-picked readers, and this keeps us authentic. Writers can feel confident their script has been read when they enter BlueCat.”
So with a staff dedicated to finding new talent and a guarantee that your script will be read and thoroughly scrutinized, BlueCat seems like a no-brainer for up-and-coming screenwriters. The $10,000 grand prize might serve as some incentive as well.
Take Hoffman’s advice, though, and be confident in your script before you send it out. “Don’t send your script to us if you don’t think it’s ready! Some writers enter BlueCat to get our written analysis, but I encourage everyone to write until they need to get a different perspective than their own. Readers want to care about what they’re reading. The best way to write something people care about is to care about it yourself.”
BlueCat’s regular submission deadline is March 3, 2008, with a $50 entry fee; the late deadline is April 1, with a $60 entry fee.
Visit www.bluecatscreenplay.com for more information and full contest rules.