With the excessive heat I’m in the dog days of summer with everyone else, but I also get the bonus round– screenwriting competition results season. It starts in July for me this year, with the Page Awards. They roll out advancement announcements starting with the entriries moving to the Second Round, then a step per month until the winners are announced at the end of a nailbiting summer.

It can always go any way, for any writer. My first Page year was 2010. The drama I entered advanced to the Second Round and that was as far as it got. Last year I entered two. That same drama advanced to the Second Round again. It stopped there again. It’s done much, much better in other competitions, but that’s the way it can go. And often does.

The second entry? That one went all the way to Semi-final. It had only previously made it to the top 15% of the Nicholls. The one that stopped at Page Second Round twice? It had previously made the top 10% of the Nicholls and did well in other competitions.

This time I’ve entered two screenplays in the Page Awards. I also have an entry in the Moondance International Screenwriting Competition this year. They’ve been announcing all levels at once around the end of summer. A long wait that can be worth it. Two of my screenplays have been Moondance Finalists.

Yes, I have several completed feature length specs. It’s a good idea to in general, and I also really enjoy writing them.

Sure, even being a finalist in a prestigious competition isn’t as good as winning and all the almosts in the world don’t get you a fistful of dollars, but every triumph, every small step forward provides enough encouragement to help keep me going. For another day, another year, another competition that just might be the one. I’ll never know if I don’t take those chances, roll those dice, gamble that one more entry fee may take home the prize.

Is it always easy? Of course not. Will believing in yourself that much always make you happy? No. Some days it will make you cry. But should you give up if the answer seems too often “almost”. Absolutely not. I’ve read that a lot of people who win had several Semis and Finalists under their belt first. Does that make me believe I will win to the point of delusion? ‘Fraid not. It does convince me it’s darned well possible. And “possible” is the stuff hopes and dreams and, for the truly lucky ones, success are built on.