When I teach writing workshops, I talk about "networking," and "goal setting." I encourage writers to know what their goals are, and to be open to any opportunities that may help them reach their goals faster or more readily.
I specifically talk about how contests can be useful in helping writers meet their goals. Many contests have prizes that are more than just money (although that's nice, too...). Some of them can offer invaluable opportunities for networking and continuing one's writing education.
Back in the beginning of March, Sheila Gallien (my friend, screenwriting guru, and story consultant extraordinaire), told me about "Killer Screenwriting," a week-long screenplay workshop with the exceptional Jim Mercurio.
(For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Mr. Mercurio, when Nancy Hendrickson reviewed the services of 24 of the top analysts in the business for Creative Screenwriting Magazine, Jim was in the Top 5, and was Highly Recommended.
According to Nancy, Jim is "The best example I've seen of how an analyst can give concrete help...")
I was intrigued and wanted to sign up on the spot, but because of the time frame (June 23 - 27 in LA, and July 7 - 11 in NYC), the demands of work and the realities of my bank account made that impractical at best.
Then I discovered a contest that offered, among other things, the chance to win a slot in Jim's Killer Screenwriting workshop. Figuring "what have I got to lose?" I entered...
So, I've been making frantic last-minute plans to get Robert and Cassandra taken care of (thanks, Mom and Dad for agreeing to drive up from PA), to find hotel accommodations, and book my flight.
I'm also trying to find the time to do a final polish on the VERY ROUGH first draft of the script I finished in March. I'd love to use that one for the workshop. Heaven knows, it's the one that needs the most work.
I'm so looking forward to this. An entire week focusing on what makes a screenplay tick. Sounds like a great way to spend the day to me.
If you're interested in joining me and a few other screenwriters on this Killer Screenwriting adventure, I understand that (as of today) there are a few spots still open. Go to the website, get in touch with Jim, and reserve your spot. Tell him Ami sent you. Then get ready to get to work in just... 9 days!