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Script Frenzy – NaNoWriMo for Screenwriters & Playwrights

I can’t believe I had to hear about this from a newspaper clipping mother instead of via broadband or word of mouth. Chris Baty, founder of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, aka November), the man who coined my nickname, ‘Sairy’, when we were in high school together, has now launched Script Frenzy, a month-long scriptwriting ‘contest’ where writers hash out scripts for full length screenplays or stage plays. Looks like fun.

I was one of the first people to participate in NaNoWriMo but I bailed because of my carpal tunnel syndrome… it was pretty fierce at the time. But back in college, I recall writing a one-act play in 2 weeks while studying British Film & Theatre over the summer in London, so I figure if I could do that then, certainly I could do it again now. I’ve written a hand full of other plays and screenplays and directed/co-produced one of them, but that was all in college and they weren’t particularly good. I probably write over 2000 words a day professionally now not to mention email, so if their requirement is 20,000 words in a month, no sweat. (Famous last words.) For point of reference, this post is 375 words. The 4 posts I’ve written today add up to 2400 words. Dialogue is easy. Just talk to yourself for several hours and voila!

Looking at the Script Frenzy site, they have tips for script writing, an insightful blog, a forum for participants, and of course a call for action. One of my favorite parts is the donation package incentives. As someone who’s worked with a lot of nonprofits, these perks are some of the most amusing I’ve seen. For $5000, their team will make a 5 minute movie about you and enact it with anything from finger puppets to A-List actors. And these guys are smart – it would probably be damn good and definitely it would be funny. In any case, they need money to keep the contest going and to launch it again in future years. They also support young writers in a variety of ways.

They operate NaNoWriMo and Script Frenzy both through their nonprofit, The Office of Letters and Light.