Scott_laughing1-e1338317507230Speaking of Scott Myers and the Go Into The Story blog, Scott (writer of K-9, Alaska, and Trojan War) is doing something that I've never really seen done before at this scale, and with no entry fee. Starting today, he's going to give four screenwriters the chance to write a screenplay and be mentored by him for a total of 24 weeks. I've been following this for the past week, but Scott has been writing posts describing the foundations of screenwriting and what he expects from those who submit -- and they are very important to increase your odds of being picked. So what is the contest, that Scott is calling "The Quest"? I'll let him explain in his own words below:

From the Go Into The Story blog:

What is “The Quest”? It is my attempt at creating a new pathway into Hollywood for aspiring screenwriters: A 24-week online screenwriting workshop which I will offer for free to as many as 4 writers. In “The Quest,” I will mentor you through 8 weeks of intensive screenwriting theory, 6 weeks of story prep, and 10 weeks of writing a first draft with the possibility that if I deem your script to be a strong, commercially viable story, I will take it on as producer and try to get it set up and you representation.

Here's all the relevant information you'll need:

Cost: Free

How many participants: Up to 4.

Who may apply: Any aspiring screenwriter who is not a member of the WGA or equivalent professional writing organization. Writers do not have to live in Los Angeles, and may be located in the United States or internationally based. Writers may be any age, gender, race, etc.

When will the workshop run: July 2-December 16, 2012.

How will I determine who gets accepted: There are three key standards. (1) Story concept: I am looking for strong story concepts that I believe when executed as a script can get set up as projects in Hollywood. In other words, I am almost exclusively interested in commercial high concepts. I will make exceptions if the story elements make me think the project is a marketable one, but the concept has to be extremely strong if it is not high concept. (2) Writing ability: I will ask applicants who make it past the first cut to send me a sample of their writing, as well as a detailed description of their background as a writer and a statement about why they want to be a screenwriter. (3) Personal interview: I will have a one-on-one conversation with applicants who make it past the next cut in order to assemble a group I feel will be compatible with each other.

How do you apply: A simple email with the word “Quest” in the subject line, then a logline of your story in the text. That is all I want, nothing else. “Quest”. Logline.

When may you apply: I will be accepting loglines beginning Tuesday, May 29, 2012. You may send them to me at: GITSblog at gmail dot com.

What is the submission deadline:Friday, June 8.

It's rare for professionals at this level to give out free information on a daily basis like Scott does at GITS, but it's quite another to give four writers the chance to produce a Hollywood quality script over the course of 6 months. Now, just because it's free, doesn't mean you should just submit hundreds of loglines and hope that he likes one of them. While that's not going to disqualify you, it's certainly taking advantage of the fact that he's doing this completely in his spare time. If you want to submit, you should work hard on your story concept, and submit something that you'd like to see on the big screen yourself.

To submit, here are the exact guidelines you must follow:

* Email address: GITSblog at gmail dot com.
* In the subject heading, type “QUEST”.
* Present your story as a logline. If you need guidance on what a logline is or how to write a logline, go here.
* If you have a title for your project, please include it.
* If the genre of your story is not clearly indicated in the logline, please note that in your email. If you need guidance about genres, go here.

So what happens if you don't win:

For everyone else, I will send you an email thanking your for your time and reminding you that by submitting a logline for consideration for “The Quest,” you have won a free 1-week course with me at Screenwriting Master Class. You can choose any of the eight Core classes or any of the Craft classes. For information about those courses, the private version of The Quest, the 6-week Prep workshop, the 10-week Pages I: The First Draft workshop or the 10-week Pages II: Rewriting Your Script workshop, you can visit the SMC website here. Availability in your free SMC course is on a first come, first serve basis and I can take on 3-5 people per class depending upon official enrollment.

It is highly recommended that you read the other posts that Scott has done on "The Quest" before you submit, as it will give you insight into what he's looking for and what really makes a good story. The links to those posts are below.