Tips for Joining Comedy Writing Competitions
Do you think you have what it takes to be a hilarious comedy writer? Put yourself to the test by entering comedy writing competitions.
The key to doing well is to stop worrying about becoming a laughingstock (or not, as the case may be) among your peers.
You just have to find out the rules and guidelines of comedy writing competitions before you head out to battle.
What to Expect from Comedy Writing Competitions
All comedy writing competitions are created for the same purpose: to make 'em laugh. Creating comedy characters is no walk in the park. But since most people are intimidated by this formidable task, less people are likely to enter. Conquer your fear!
Successful comedy writing is equal parts content and quality. It is okay to be obsessed about how effective your storyline will be, but don't forget to proofread your material. More often than not, lazy entrants skip this basic yet essential aspect of writing so if you do your homework, you will give yourself an edge over them.
Focus on the expectations of the audience (i.e. the judges) so they will know that you are really giving them something worth their time and attention. If you put yourself in their shoes, you will have a firm grasp of what kind of comedy material you have to produce. It can be tempting to offer material that mirrors your unique personality but if you want to win, try to see things from their perspective and give them what they want.
Dos and Donts of Writing for Humour
DO write in the format asked for. Judges don't have the patience to deal with minor glitches such as files that cannot be opened instantly or a script littered with grammar mistakes.
DO make the most of your page limit. If you know you have a powerful storyline, don’t let it all out at once. Let people crave more, beg for it, ask you to show them what will happen next.
DON’T forget to prove your point. Funny conversations need to combine with an interesting plot to become the foolproof combination of a winning comedy writing piece. Witty dialogues are only as useful as a brilliant storyline.
DON’T say that it is still a work in progress. It shows lack of confidence in your material, as well as your own insecurities as a comedy writer. Face the judges with your head held high and graciously accept any criticisms they have about your work.
DO win their hearts with unpretentious humour. This is a comedy writing competition, after all. Stay on target and make sure they will laugh their heads off at your script.
If you’ve got some good comedy-writing material, don’t let it rot in the basement waiting for someone to finally unearth it. Even if you have no control over the final decision, think of it as a learning experience. Because you will never know if they would let you taste the sweet savour of success until you have finally submitted your piece.