Mr. Barkey (sort of) Wins Some Screenwriting Contests!!!

This year's round of screenwriting contest results are starting to roll in, and it's lookin' pretty decent for the Barkmeister (which is to say: me).

First off, there was that thing I told you about back in November, when my sick and twisted contest entry on the Black List website won me fifty dollars' worth of free script-hosting.

Then, this past Saturday I found out that my script POUNDERS has made the first cut for the Bluecat Screenwriting competition. This was both surprising and not surprising. Not surprising because the Bluecat is the one screenwriting contest that gives everybody coverage (a.k.a. "notes"), and the coverage for POUNDERS was fairly glowing, so I figured I had a pretty good shot at making the first round.

On the other hand... 

Whereas I've had the opportunity to develop most of my scripts with the help of copious notes from my longtime collaborator, Austin Herring, in the case of POUNDER the only note I got from him was:

"This script is boring. I stopped reading after the first few pages."

So it's nice to hear from an outside voice that if I dig in and really work at a thing, I can make something worth some validation... even without Poppa Herring to catch all my mistakes and make everything all better.

But wait... there's more!

You might be saying (as I certainly would) that making the top ten percent in one dumb screenwriting competition doesn't mean all that much. Top ten percent of four thousand is still a pretty large pool, and it's all very arbitrary, isn't it? It could just be that I happened to hit some reader-for-hire-graduate-student on a day she was hopped up on amphetamines, right?

Except that I just got another email, telling me that POUNDERS is a finalist for the Atlanta Film Festival Screenwriting Competition as well, which puts me in the top sixteen contestants. They're conducting phone interviews over the next few days, and if I'm chosen as one of the top three, I win an all-expenses-paid trip to the Atlanta Film Festival, where I'll get to stay in a snazzy retreat center and workshop my stuff with some significant Hollywood directors and producers.

How's that for boring, Mr. Austin-Pants?!?

To be fair, Austin has played a tremendous role in my screenwriting education, and will likely be over-the-frickin-moon about all this. Still, it's nice to feel a little less attached to his apron-strings.

Two years ago, I started entering contests and was thrilled when my second screenplay, KILLING HARPER, was a quarterfinalist in the Biggest Screenwriting Competition there is. What I didn't tell you is that I entered a bunch of other contests back then and came up with zilch for all of them - so it was easy to feel like the moderate success of KILLING HARPER had been a fluke.

It's great, then, that on this round of contest entries I've been coming up roses.

I'll be sure to let you know what happens with the Bluecat and the AFF thing as I go along, and with the other competitions when I hear from them.

It's All Happening!!

One, Final Note: If you're interested in reading the first few pages of POUNDERS, you can find them on my screenplay website, HERE.


  1. Nice to hear, mate. Love that feedback: "This script is boring. I stopped reading after the first few pages." Faithful are the wounds of a friend.

    1. Thank you, good sir - encouragement's always an extra pleasure from a man whose writing I highly respect.

      I quite enjoyed the bit you just posted about writing routines. The internet's been KILLING me, lately. I had to adjourn to my son's tree house to get any real writing done.

    2. Oh, yeah. She's DELUXE: carpeted, insulated, with electric power for the space heater, lamp, and small stereo. The children climb up and call her blessed.


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