by Ann Marie Williams
The critique you purchase in conjunction with your screenwriting competition entry will not necessarily be written by your script’s judge/s in the competition.
Instead, you may be purchasing one of the critique services offered by the organization that runs the competition (usually there’s a discount on the critique as incentive to purchase in conjunction with your entry).
This isn’t to say critiques written by competition judges are better or worse than other critiques (I’ve received helpful and not-so-helpful critiques from both). However, I do think it’s important to know what you’re getting.
So, if you want critiques written by your script’s competition judge/s, look for words like, “You’ll receive 3 to 5 pages of feedback from your script’s first-round judge.” Or, “Included with your entry, you’ll receive brief Judge’s Comments from each judge who reads your script in the competition.”
However, just because a competition doesn’t call out that your critique will be written by your script’s judge/s doesn’t automatically mean it’s written by someone else. So, if you ever need clarification, you can try contacting the competition to ask.
Screenplay Competitions has received endorsements from Dave Trottier (author, The Screenwriter’s Bible, www.keepwriting.com), professor Richard Walter (former Screenwriting Area Head, Associate and Interim Dean UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television), Matt Dy (former Director of Script Competitions at Austin Film Festival), professor Harry M. Cheney (Chapman University Dodge College of Film and Media Arts), script editor Lucy V. Hay (www.bang2write.com) and Emmy-wining writer Ken Levine (Hollywood and Levine).
Screenplay Competitions is recommended reading for students at Stanford University, Loyola Marymount University, Boston University, and Columbia College.