Saturday, April 3, 2010

An update on the pen

There haven't been any blog updates mainly because I had pneumonia. I've never had it before, didn't particularly enjoy it, and I would prefer never to have it again. You heard it here first kids: Just don't do pneumonia.

The two further screenplay competitions just closed out their submission periods, so now everyone is just waiting to hear back if they get to move on or not. For obvious reasons, this is a long process. I wouldn't be surprised if each of the contests got in the neighborhood of 1500 to 4000 submissions each. I can only imagine how brutal it is reading through all of those. Usually, the first cut is the top 10% of submissions. If I don't make that, I'll be pretty depressed. Usually, if you have decent writing ability, good formatting, and a capable story, you'll make the quarter-finals.

To me, that fact is scary. That means 90% of submissions are absolute and utter crap, to the point where the story isn't even cohesive. Then again, it never ceases to amaze me how many people THINK they are amazing writers -- I mean, they have deep-held beliefs that they are the next Faulkner or King, depending on whatever genre they're focusing on. Yet, they just plain suck. Why doesn't anyone ever tell them this? I mean, I don't want to hear that my stuff sucks -- but, I'd rather know than live in some dream world and waste my time.

I expect the first announcements will be made in June -- so, I have several months to stew. The winners will probably be announced closer to October/November. One of the contests, I don't have any reasonable chance of winning - I entered it because you get a screenplay analysis, which was very useful. My goal there is to make the semi-finals. The other has genre breakdowns -- however, the genres are much more broad than the competition I won. Still, my goal there is to finish in the top 3 of my genre. Hey, if I make the finals in the Thriller/Horror category, I'll be pleased -- but, I'd be lying if I didn't say I wanted to place in the top.

I still haven't heard back regarding the two stories I submitted for consideration for a couple anthologies. I'm not surprised. My experience with these things is that they always tend to run behind -- selection and editing is a lot of work, especially when people submit so much garbage. I have to admit, I do favor one of the stories over the other ... I kind of hope that one sells.

I'm still weighing my options about applying for a low-residency MFA program. At some point in the next few years, I'll have to start gearing up for what I guess they call your second career. I've taught before, and I'd like to do it again. I'm hoping that if I sell a few works and get my MFA, I'd be able to start prepping for that in some manner. One of the programs actually has a teaching practicum, so ... well, we'll see. I'm not really that anxious to get further into debt.

Anyway, that's my complete update on the status of my writing projects ... except, of course, for what I'm working on next. I hate equivocating, but I just don't know what it is going to be. It's a mix of procrastination, fear, and literally having too many subjects I want to work on. Wish me luck.

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