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Big contests, little contests, which contest is best for you? Nicholls and Chesterfield receive thousands of entries. Maybe you want to start out small and with better odds. Scriptrep.com limits their entries to 200 scripts per submission cycle. I spoke with Brian Hennessy about what scriptrep.com is and what it offers screenwriters.

Q: How did the contest start?
A: My partner, Derek Gillespie, approached me about starting a website for writers, which began running in June 2001. We both worked at a literary agency and we know that writers without representation have trouble breaking in. It's a chicken and the egg thing. We want to be a resource for them.

Q: Why limit the entries to 200?
A: We want to have several contests a year that end on a three month cycle. We're still accepting submissions for this cycle.

Q: What's the selection process?
A: Each script is covered by two readers. They rate on marketability, premise, dialog, structure, format, and grammar. Derek and I read most of them, though we also have independent readers. The top twenty percent (about forty scripts) are the semi-finalists and then the top ten (five scripts) are the finalists. Derek and I have the final decision on who is the winner.

Q: What kind of scripts become finalists?
A: It really is the story. Is it riveting? Does this script seduce you?

Q: You offer a pitch meeting as a prize. Does the writer get to choose who with?
A: Writers don't necessarily know what production companies are looking for, so we go to agents first and discuss what's marketable and then approach production companies.

Q: Who are you success stories?
A: Kimberly Laux's winning script has gotten her a meeting with an agent and it's being read at several production companies. We're also hoping to manager her, though we don't necessarily solicit writers from the contest.

Q: What are your plans for the contest next time?
A: We're looking to get a stronger Internet presence.

Scriptrep.com's deadline is January 15, and you can check out their website at www.scriptrep.com for complete rules.

For those of you who may have sent me an email with a suggestion, the merger at excite.com did not go well. In fact, I lost all emails that were sent from mid-December to January 8. If you do have a suggestion, I'd be glad to read it. It's kind of like a contest. If at first you don't succeed, send it again.

Monica Zepeda

UPDATE: Scriptrep.com has extended their deadline until March 31, 2002.


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