Archives for posts with tag: 2016 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in screenwriting competition

This year the Nicholl initial results weren’t quite as early as last year, but the timing was both good and bad for me. The emails came four hours after I got home from my mom’s funeral, which made the fact that my science fiction entry got absolutely nowhere not be as upsetting as it would have been at another time. After the initial shock of disappointment, I really didn’t care too much. Beyond the timing, it was the first time any of my screenplays hadn’t received at least one positive score since I started entering the Nicholl again a few years ago and the sf one has been a Page Awards Semi-Finalist once and Quarter Finalist twice, so it’s not like I don’t have plenty of proof that it’s good. It’s just the capricious nature of subjectivity and individual reader’s taste. Not that I’m happy to have had it bomb out, but other things have taken precedent over such concerns this year.

My other two entries made up for it, for the most part. In keeping with that capricious thing, the drama that got one positive score last year got two this year and the one that got two last year got one this year. This kind of thing can drive you bonkers, if you let it. Not letting it can be a struggle, but if you can remember the bits about subjectivity and individual taste it gets easier. With the Nicholl in particular, it helps profoundly to keep always at the front of your mind that out of the 2016 competition’s 6,915 entries, only 357 made QF. With those kind of odds in the most prestigious competition of them all, I’m really, really pleased with the positive scores I got again this year.

This year the Nicholl early entry deadline loomed on my personal horizon, daring me to hit it in time. With so much going on in my nonwriting life, as my mom’s health started to decline at a rapid rate, I was afraid I’d miss all the deadlines entirely.

So of course I took advantage of an unusually quiet night to make sure I got my requisite three entries in and confirmed well before the early deadline. That turned out to be just ahead of the point where we reached real crises mode, so it worked out the best it could have.

I’m still happy to be a part of the Nicholl experience. The waiting. The fun of reading the anonymous reader comments on their Facebook, imagining too many of them could be about my scripts. The waiting. The breathless anticipation of announcement season. Um, did I mention the waiting?

There’s also the wishing I’d had a new script ready to go in time. Maybe next year.

I think I have too much on my mind this time to be as devoted a waiter, wisher, and maybe–er as I usually am. That could be a good thing, because all of those other things come with an extra dose of stress I don’t need right now. Anticipation a little less coated in stress is a welcome bright spot.

Three dramas.

Three virtually hole punched dreams, bound with two shiny imaginary brads, all PDFed and waiting for their closeup…scrutiny.