The winners of the 2016 WeScreenplay Feature Contest are the pair of novice screenwriters whose script scored highest after multiple rounds of blind judging. But there will be no moment in the sun for Kenlon Clark and William Rubio. They have been overshadowed by the second prize winner – Orson Scott Card. WeScreenplay clearly understands he’s the main story (or major distraction), too, because they simultaneously published one post announcing the winners and another justifying the way they handled the outcome — “When Orson Scott Card Entered the WeScreenplay Feature Contest”.
The WeScreenplay process and the prizes, in a nutshell, are —
After 5 rounds of reads we’ve determined the top 5 winners for the contest. The Grand Prize Winner will have amazing mentorships with the Director of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the VP of Development for Morgan Freeman, and a Director of Development for Brookstreet Pictures. Not only that, but we’re giving away over $20,000 in cash, prizes, coverage, and more to all the winners.
Card’s entry finished second in blind judging and he satisfied contest’s financial requirements:
Last week, we sent out an email to our 26 finalists in the competition asking for written confirmation that they are, in fact, eligible to win the contest. That means that the writer cannot have earned more than $35,000 from professional screenwriting in the past 18 months. While sending out the emails, we noticed one submitter in particular under the name of Orson Scott Card. Sound familiar? Yep, that Orson Scott Card, the acclaimed novelist and author of the beloved and award-winning novel Ender’s Game.
This presented us with a bit of a predicament. On one hand, Mr. Card is technically eligible, according to the rules, to win the competition, as he is a novelist and he has not earned more than $35,000 in the past 18 months as a screenwriter. Furthermore, his script’s finalist ranking was fair and square, per our judging process.
…Mr. Card’s script MESA 1966, through five rounds of reads, and completely anonymous to judges, received the second highest overall score in the entire competition, just behind the grand-prize winning script FORGED by Kenlon Clark and William Rubio.
We contacted Mr. Card and he clarified that he entered the contest because he considered himself a novice screenwriter and that he valued the two sets of notes that he got back from the anonymous judges, however he expressed that he did not want to detract from attention to other talented finalists. We’re excited to discover Mr. Card’s excellent screenplay as the 2nd place winner in this contest, and because of Mr. Card’s previous accomplishments as a professional writer, we’ve added a sixth winner to the (previously 5) winners….
Most people would agree that Orson Scott Card is one of the most successful writers ever in the sf field, which raises the question of what would attract him to enter any kind of contest for novices. The simple truth may be what he said – that he feels he is a novice screenwriter. Perhaps there also is satisfaction in letting his work stand for itself, in a blind judging process where there can be no politically-tinged backlash against his expressed views, something that prevented him from writing a Superman comic several years ago, and relegated him to the sidelines of the Ender’s Game film publicity tour.
[Thanks to Jack Lint for the story.]