Think wrongly, if you please, but in all cases think for yourself. – Doris Lessing

Go forth into the unknown, explore the caves of your unconscious, fear not your “dark side,” find the gold.

— Robin Hoffman (@AuthorAlchemy)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Tears of Elation

YESTERDAY I RECEIVED an email from the PAGE Awards, one of the three screenplay competitions where I’ve entered my script. As far as competitions go, this was my #1 pick, and it was also the one I used as my deadline to get the script finished.
Dear Milli,

2009 marks the sixth anniversary of The PAGE International Screenwriting Awards contest, and it has been a record-breaking event! We received 4,394 scripts this year, submitted by writers from all across the United States and around the world. Most importantly, our Judges are telling us that the overall quality of this year's entries is the best they’ve ever seen, and we're hearing some great "buzz" about many of your screenplays. So the next few months promise to be very exciting!

Today, we're officially kicking off The 2009 PAGE Awards announcement season and we have some very good news for you…

The First Round of competition has now been completed, and the Judges have selected the top 25% of all entries. Based on your First Round scores, we're very happy to inform you that your work was selected to compete in the Second Round:

Ghost Train

Congratulations!! Given the level of competition you faced, this is a real achievement.

When I opened the email I was only half-inclined to read it. After placing *nowhere* in a much smaller competition (one that was judged within 30 days of the close of entries), I was not nurturing any hopes—and especially not after seeing an earlier report from PAGE about how many entries they’ve received. The number was staggering. (See the 2009 Map of Contestants.)

As I lethargically skimmed the email and saw the word “Congratulations” my primal reactions took over. A flood of goose bumps roared through my body, even while my mind could not accept the news. I just could not believe it on a logical level.

It sank in slowly. I began excitedly emailing the news to friends while still in mental disbelief. When my husband came home I ran to the kitchen and told him, with tears of elation spurting.

Wow. This was an exceptional feeling. It was worth all the hard work of completing my screenplay just to experience that feeling. The feeling that I actually made it out of the slush pile and scored well enough to move up one notch.

The PAGE email went on to explain that “the top 25% of all entries are now being given an additional round of judging. (Because some scripts were entered and evaluated in more than one category, a total of 1,400 scripts have advanced to the Second Round.)”

1,400 scripts is still pretty formidable. This coming Wednesday, July 1 is when they’ll announce the quarter-finalists.

I’m kind of torn. On the one hand, if my script does not advance any further, I'll still consider that email to be validation for finishing my first script.

On the other hand, those PAGE people sure do know how to arouse your hopes!


MILLI THORNTON is the author of Fear of Writing: for writers & closet writers. She blogs about writing and creativity at


Saundra_M said...

Absolutely awesome! I believed in you and knew it has real potential, as do you as a screenwriter. Go Girl!

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