Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Nicholl Letters Due Out

This is the week.

Nicholl Fellowship entrants hold their breaths and call in sick so they can camp out at the mailbox and wait on that much anticipated Greg Beal letter in the envelope with a little gold Oscar on it.

Sadly, most of us 4800 or so writers will rip open the envelopes, exhale with the expulsion power of a rapid fire balloon fart and clutch the daggers of bitter reality that plunge into our chests, burst our bubbles and deflate our egos.

We'll pout, cry, swear off competitions and walk around with big L's on our foreheads, avoiding eye contact with everyone we boasted to that we were SURE this was the year we'd advance.


My self imparted advice? Well, if you happen to get a "regrettably" letter, mourn sufficiently and get over it. That's right, Self. It's not a crap meter. You're a good writer. You didn't lose. You can't lose what you never had. You just didn't advance.

Besides, Self, you have a hundred readers and just as many friends who will most likely shower you with sympathy gifts -- jigsaw puzzles, comic books, Captain & Tenille CD's, cheese, clothes pins and honey mustard.

Okay, Self, so some of your friends are kind of odd.

Ah! Here's an idea, Self. Make a list of consolation gifts just in case. You know, kind of like a bridal registry only more like a pity party registry of your favorite things -- Smurfs, crystal door knobs, cantaloupe, rubber duckies and purple Play Dough (it tastes the best).

What? What's that you say, Self? You don't need consolation gifts? Oh, yeah, you now have Pinky and the Brain on DVD to help you shake off the bummer of it all.

Life is good.

Nicholl Fellows 1986 - 2005


Anonymous said...

so they send them out to all entrants? are the envelopes colour coded or stamped so I know in advance I didn't make it, or do I have to take two shots of tequila, brace myself and tear into it with one eye open? Good luck MaryAn!

MaryAn Batchellor said...

Alas, no codes.

Last year, the reject letters went out first so if you were one of the first to get yours, it was bad news. But since not all rejects went out at the same time and because of mail delays, etc, late letter arrival was not necessarily a good sign either.

But I gotta tell ya, opening a #10 envelope with a gold Oscar on it was very cool although I resisted the urge to give my mailbox an acceptance speech -- especially since I didn't advance.

But this year? I'm going getting my hair and nails done and going to the mailbox wearing a black formal and lots of sparkly things --- you know, just in case.

Anonymous said...

I want to be your mailman... just sayin (smiles)

Lucy said...

A pity party! That's a freaking great idea. I'm gonna have one tonight cos I've been rejected 43 times this year and it's only freaking july (though I didn't enter Nicholl).

The best thing to do I find when rejected is to enter something else IMMEDIATELY. I got rejected this morning by one company and entered a script comp and got another producer to read my script within the hour. Keep yourself in the running, non-stop. Only way I think to keep pessimism at bay.

MaryAn Batchellor said...

43 times? Yikes, Lucy, if I had been rejected that many times, I don't think a pity party would be enough. I am in awe of your fortitude and persistence.

Lucy said...

Thanks, but I'm also including not winning competitions and producers simply saying "no I won't read it!" or ignoring emails in that figure.

MontiLee said...

I'm throwing a pity party with bourbon and maybe Guinness Brownies. Shall I save you a place?

Then I'm getting to work on the other stuff I've got going on.

Believe me, I've done Project Greenlight in the past. This is more important, but not making the cut (especially after making the first one) cuts so damn deep.

But you know what really hurts - finding out a screenplay that you read that had a horrible and contrived plot made it to the next round.

I'm grateful that this isn't peer-edited. Some of the nastiest things ever said to me came from peer-editing.

Sorry for the ramble.

MaryAn Batchellor said...

NO! Do NOT save me a defeatest seat at your pity party table. I'd rather not have a reservation. If I show up and the table is full, I'll just pull up a chair.

Think positive!

Dylan Petley said...

Hi MaryAn

Nice to get some moral support from a fellow-contestant! Last year, My screenplay 'LUCIDITY' finished top ten percent. Because I feel my current entry, 'DYNAMO' is so much better, it's difficult not to keep my hopes dangerously high. That being said, I'll keep the vodka handy! Keep me posted on your progress and good luck!


PS: I've added your site to my links