Here is a guest post from a good friend and wonderful writer, Lisanne Sartor. She is also on the Board of Directors of CineStory, an organization that runs one of the most worthwhile writing competitions in the industry. Here is her post:
I’m a UCLA MFA Screenwriting alumna and screenwriter and I’ve been involved with the screenwriting non-profit organization CineStory for the past ten years. I went to my first CineStory retreat after I was a semi-finalist in the CineStory Screenwriting Competition. I’d entered the competition because its prize sounded amazing – an all expenses-paid, four day retreat during which all retreat attendees get three hour and a half meetings with industry professionals and the competition winner gets a year-long-mentorship with two industry professionals. Though I didn’t win that year, I was invited to the retreat, an experience that was worth its weight in gold. I got great notes and met industry professionals who I’m still in contact with today. Most importantly, the notes I received helped me develop my screenplay into a viable project that eventually became a Lifetime movie of the week – my first produced credit! I loved that retreat so much that I went to a second and eventually got involved in CineStory as a staffer. I’m now the CineStory Board Vice President. I encourage all writers, from novices who’ve just written their first scripts, to screenwriters who may have a produced credit or two under their belts, to enter the competition. You won’t regret it.