The most common action item for my writer consult clients is . . .

More than half my consulting clients are writers.

At each of our sessions, I give them all three action items to help them get their show to the next “stage” of development. And several have gone on to get their shows to actual stages. And big ones! (Including Clinton The Musical, which just started performances Off Broadway at New World Stages!)

The most common action item I give to first time consult clients is to submit their shows to festivals or contests . . . NYMF, NAMT, Fringe, whatever and whenever. Sometimes they’ll say, “But I’m not sure I want to do that festival!”

And I’ll respond with . . . “I don’t care!”

I recommend submitting to festivals and contests for three reasons.

1 – Contests and festivals have deadlines. That gives YOU a deadline. Deadlines are good. As one of my mentors said to me, “You want a show to happen? Book a theater.” You want a script to get finished? Give yourself a submission deadline.

2 – If you’re accepted into a festival, you have options! And when you’re developing a new product, whether that’s a script or a new line of kitchenware, you want as many options as possible. And if you get in, you don’t have to do it. I know, I know, they are going to want you to commit to doing it before submitting. Something tells me that there’s a way around that. 🙂

3 – If you win a contest, you get a badge of honor that you can show to the world . . . and by “world” I mean agents, theater companies, and more. And those badges can open doors. Everybody loves a winner. But you can’t win a contest unless you enter one.

So if you’ve got a script and you’re looking to give it a kick in the Act II, then don’t just sit on it. Submit it!

(If you need help on where to find contests, festivals, etc. check out  It’s got all of ’em, in one place.)


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–  Win a Free Pass to the Commercial Theater Institute’s Three Day Intensive, worth $460!  Click here.

– Listen to Podcast Episode #13 with Tom Kirdahy, Producer of The Visit and It’s Only A Play!  Click here.

– Want to learn the dollars and “sense” of a Broadway budget? Click here!


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