Ok, first things first. I know other people disagree, but I quite like screenwriting competitions. I'm just a hobbyist, so it gives me a deadline to work towards. As long as the competition doesn't pretend that they will turn me into the next Steven Spielberg, then I figure I'm probably getting my money's worth.
But this one smells badly.
www.thescreenwriterdig.com & www.xraymedia.com
For a start, this is how the company describes to the competition in their press release to the stock market :
The new [income] projection includes ... $1.6 million from 'The Screenwriter Dig' ... Revenue is expected to be generated by submission fees ranging from $10 up to $29 per submission
Let's do some maths. $1.6 million divided by about $30 gives over 53,000 entries.
Edited to add:
Another press release is even more specific:
Designed to generate significant revenues for XRAYMEDIA, the Company is very excited about the launch of this exciting, high profile competition. Projected contest submissions are over 150,000 for the first year of the competition
They claim that their team of 'professional reviewers' will evaluate all 150,000 entries in the one month between entries closing and them announcing the final 100 entries ! (Experience shows that about 90% of the submissions will arrive in the last week)
I mentioned this on another board, and someone who runs their own screenwriting competition observed that it takes a couple of months to properly evaluate about 500 scripts that their competition garners.
They are either misleading the stockmarket, or misleading us. An alternative is that they are simply naive, and since they have never run a screenwriting competition before, have no idea about the amount of work required to market it or judge it effectively. (As a comparison, Project Greenlight had a LOT of publicity. In the first year it got about 7,000 entries) I appreciate that their company is cash negative at the moment, but is this the way to change it ???
To make it worse, they aren't even telling us what the prize is - simply that it's a package 'worth' $30k. That could be 100 copies of Final Draft! And when they award you the prize package - that is the entire payment for your script! Apart from the fact that this is (perhaps) grossly undervalued, it means that since it clearly isn't a WGA approved deal, that the producers who eventually make the film can not be involved with any reasonable studio etc.
So not only do you lose the rights to the script, but no reasonable studio can ever make it either !? (I may be misreading the T&Cs here, but that's what it seems to say...)
Bizarrely, also, the competition is open to residents of Iceland, Brazil, Cuba, Russia - basically anywhere in the world apart from the State of Vermont and the province of Quebec !
Why won't a Vermont company allow residents of Vermont to enter ?