Research all of the submission opportunities on your list. Go on ahead and print out all of the guidelines and store them in a file for quick reference. Now look at the part of the guidelines that state the deadline. With a big red colored pen start marking down the submission guidelines. Make sure you're writing it out on a calendar that you use all the time so that they're always fresh in your mind when you're working. Here are some pointers I've found that help.
- Mark your calendars when submissions open and 10 days before: You still have to mail these things out most of the time and the snail mail only goes so fast. You want to go by when you need to be mailing off the play. You definitely don't want to be late to the game.
- Submit to as many as you like but if it's more than twenty it can get pretty confusing.
- Follow all of their guidelines specifically: If your script doesn't follow the proper format or if you don't include a bio or a headshot you've just become easier to throw away. If your script is easier to throw away then it's not going to get accepted.
- Look over your first ten pages: Most readers in a literary office will read the first ten pages of your play before making a quick judgement that your play is worth producing or not. Make sure that your first ten pages keep their interest.
- Also mark on the calendar when they say in the guidelines that they will be making their decision. It helps you know what needs to happen in the long run. More about that in later posts.
So now you have a lead list that keeps you up to date on what submissions and contacts are out there and a calendar to keep the submissions on track. What else do you need to be a great businessman and keep a great network? More on the way!