Wednesday, September 16, 2015


by Janet J. Lawler

Recently, I received one of the best phone calls of my life from the 2015 Austin Film Festival, telling me my original screenplay THE TENANT made the semifinals in Screenwriting.

My cell phone rang while I was working on my new screenplay "Absolution".  I glanced at the caller ID -- AUSTIN, TX.   I don't know anyone in Austin, Texas.  Figured it was just a telemarketer.  So, I ignored it.  Until, I remembered I had entered the Austin Film Festival screenplay competition months ago.  I picked up and glad I did!

Matt Dy, Director of the Screenplay and Teleplay Competition at AFF, introduced himself and said my screenplay THE TENANT was a semifinalist in the Drama Category.

Say what?!

AFF received 8,627 individual scripts in 2015.   As a semifinalist, my script now had a 1 in 30 chance of becoming a finalist in Drama.

No way!

I hung up the phone and cried tears of joy.   That was a dream call.  I've been pounding the keys for years.  This was the call writers wait for, but rarely comes.  That ONE call to say  keep at it -- keep writing -- you're on the right path.

Great to be invited to participate.  I booked my flight and hotel to Austin for the Festival and Writer's Conference.  Hope to see some of you there!  Message me if you're going to be there and we can meet up!

Moral of the story -- keep writing, submit your scripts and always answer your phone!  Congratulations to ALL the semifinalists and second rounders and to the AFF Team!
See y'all in Texas!

Here is the link to the semifinalists and second rounders for AFF.   

Be sure to follow The NY Screenwriting Life on Facebook.  Janet J. Lawler is a screenwriter, playwright and novelist.  Her debut novel From the Ground Up is available in Amazon and Kindle

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