Today I learned that my coming-of-age feature drama TILLIE placed as a finalist in the PITCH NOW Screenplay Competition. Many people I know dismiss a lot of these competitions unless they are on a shortlist of “recognized” ones. But why? Weren’t those “recognized” competitions also newcomers at some point? Did they automatically become “the one” to enter?

Competitions are a blessing and a curse. Yes, probably some of them are not worthwhile, while others do make valiant efforts to maintain visibility and professionalism. This is not going to be a blog about how to “find the best competitions.” To me, getting this acknowledgment from a competition is a tip of the hat to “keep going.” TILLIE is my third feature to place as a finalist. TILLIE is a complete labor of love. My co-writer Blake Pinter and I decided for the first time to adapt a book, in this case, “TILLIE: A MENNONITE MAID.” We felt this 1904 story was still compelling and demanded to be retold. So, this finalist nod was an affirmation that our decision to do this was the right one.

I don’t blog here as often as I like, but I hope to check in more, especially next month on my self-imposed writer’s retreat, where I hope to give any readers that drop by updates on the projects I have decided to take on.

Writing the screenplay is only one small part of the puzzle. It’s now up to us to find some good people who can understand our vision for this project. I know they’re out there, and that’s part of what this year is going to be about: connecting with them and convincing them that TILLIE is a project that deserves their time and attention and commitment.

I’ll touch base again soon.