Since winning last year’s WIFVNE Screenwriting Competition, I have been contacted by Pixar, Steven Spielberg and JJ Abrams. Three of my screenplays have been put into production with A-list actors attached. My TV Pilot has been considered by Shonda Rhimes, and Oprah has called about a possible original series for her network. Yeah, right! Not that I expected these things to happen, but if I had to dream, well, here’s my list. Last year’s win gave me a much-needed boost to keep moving forward, while showing me there are people who believe in the stories I’m passionate about telling. And let’s face it, who doesn’t like winning something? But after the congratulations, feedback and notes are put aside, you are left with the fact that a writer writes, and folks, it ain’t an easy gig.
I write because I have stories and characters that won’t stop nagging to be set free, to be given a voice. For the past year, I’ve been submitting to literary journals and screenwriting contest, and have received rejection after rejection. Before winning last year’s WIFVNE Screenwriting Competition, the winning script had gone through years of rejections and revisions. For every win, it feels like there are hundreds of losses. While the wins validate, it’s the losses that strengthen my resolve. This past year, I’ve learned to accept rejection and allowed it to fuel my writing. I wish I could report back about a major writing assignment or agent signing, but I can’t (not yet). I did, however, have my essay Shameless Shame accepted for publication in The Southampton Review (Summer 2013). So, baby steps.