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As we embark on a new season, we asked our previous winners what it takes to become a successful screenwriter. Winning Shore Scripts has marked the turning point in many of their careers as they have gained representation, optioned, sold, and been staffed directly through our connections. As they continue to write, their reputations and industry networks have soared.
We hope that by sharing their advice it will give you the inspiration to keep writing, develop your craft, and believe that you too can make it! There has never been a better time to pursue a career in screenwriting, so let’s read what they have to say.
1. Write every day
“Everyone’s journey is different. The only thing that we can control in this crazy-ass business is how consistent we are with our writing. Sit down every day, if you can, and write. Sit down and write what is in your heart. Because no one can tell that story better than YOU can.” Beth Curry
Beth was our 2017 Feature Winner. We introduced Beth to a number of managers, one of which was Elevate Entertainment who she has now signed with. Her winning feature, MOONFLOWER, has been picked up by Oscar Nominated producer, Todd Black.
2. Enjoy the process
“Writing is so damned hard. Coming up with an idea is easy, coming up with a good idea is tough, and following through and developing that good idea is even tougher. My favorite part is those rare moments when you lose yourself in a scene and start really having fun and you can see the images and hear the voices clearly in your head as you write, then you look up and hours have gone by.” Claire Fowler
Claire was our 2014 Feature Winner. Since then she has gone onto develop projects through UK funding schemes, such as Film Wales, and in 2016 she became the inaugural winner of our Short Film Fund. The winning script was produced as SALAM and went on to premiere at Tribeca. She is now represented by Curtis Brown.
3. Be bold
“You have to put yourself up for everything and anything, and try and remember that the Nos don’t matter, only the Yeses do.” Alice Seabright
Alice was a 2016 2nd Place Feature Winner. She has had offers of representation from two Agents and Managers on our Industry Roster. She’s also received an offer for her winning screenplay OUT OF MIND from an LA-based production company.
4. Look after yourself
“Be patient yet still be assertive. By doing this you learn how to enjoy the process, rather than focusing only on the desired outcome.” Nicole Jones
Nicole recently completed her first feature-length documentary called THE THIRD STRIKE about the criminal justice system and the work of Attorney MiAngel Cody. Nicole was a runner up in our 2018 Feature contest with SHRIMP.
5. Go out and mingle
“My advice would be to attend as many networking events as you can and strike up conversations with people. Tell them how much you enjoyed their work and focus on the people that produce/direct something similar to your own work. Writing is very solitary, so it can be tough to approach your peers, but people often go to these things alone and are happy to chat with someone.” Aisling Corristine
Aisling was a winner in our inaugural TV Pilot contest in 2016 and her work has since been showcased at the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum twice. She is currently working on a range of feature & TV projects and is represented by roster company Collective Talent.
6. Stay up to date
“Watch an embarrassing amount of television. And don’t give up.” Lauriel Marger
After taking 4th Place in the 2016 TV Pilot contest Lauriel signed with Shore Industry Roster Manager, David Katsman of Link Entertainment. Last year she wrote an episode of Warner Bros. PRODIGAL SON, a crime thriller starring Tom Payne (The Walking Dead.)
7. Believe in yourself
“Don’t be afraid to make it yourself.” Cat Dale
2017 TV Pilot Winner Cat Dale recently signed her first screenwriting assignment with Eleven Arts Studios and is currently producing her first feature film, BEASTS UNDISCOVERED.
Whether you win or not the act of participating in a contest is important. What was a private document sitting on your computer, can suddenly become a public statement of intent; an announcement of a new creative voice and the recognition from your peers that you have created a new way to tell stories.
More details about our annual Feature, TV Pilot and Short Film Fund contests can be found on our website.