Two out of three ain't bad.
I was elated when I heard I placed in Red Inkworks. It takes a lot of work to write a feature-length screenplay, and I can't think of a better way to gage one's writing ability than becoming a finalist in a contest (other than an option deal, I guess). Plus, the feedback they offered was excellent.
And today Screenplay Festival announced their semi-finalists, and there I was in the Horror/Thriller category. Boy, that felt good. Of course there are about fifty screenplays in each genre, so the competition is pretty stiff, but I'm hopeful.
My plan is to enter one more contest with this script before possibly starting to query production companies and/or agents. Placing in two out of three contests has given me some confidence, and I feel the changes I've been making to the script have greatly improved it. So it seems the time is approaching (after the strike, of course) when I need to get out there and build some interest. I do, however, plan to research the dos and don'ts of querying before navigating those treacherous waters.
By the way, the final contest I plan to enter is the Bluecat Screenplay Competition. Its early deadline is Jan 1, and I should be finished tweaking by then. Bluecat is not only high profile, it offers coverage to all entrants, and a hefty cash prize.
Three out of four would be awesome!