All Good Things…

Script Frenzy is ceasing operations.  For those of you who’ve never heard of it before, it’s a yearly writing event that took place ever April.  Participants were challenged to write a 100-page screenplay during the month of April.  It’s a spin-off of NaNoWriMo, where participants try to write a 50,000-word novel during the month of November.  The Script Frenzy website is still online for now if you want to look at what it was all about.  The reason for ending Script Frenzy is apparently rooted in finances.  The program just never gained the kind of participation that the other programs, including NaNoWriMo, achieved and was operating in the red.  Here’s the email that the Script Frenzy director, Grant Faulkner, sent out today:

Dear Scriptwriters,

One thing that has made us proud over the years is how many people can call themselves scriptwriters because of Script Frenzy. Since 2007, the year Script Frenzy began, you and 85,000 other total participants have taken on the audacious challenge of writing a 100-page script—churning out nearly 1.4 million pages of original plays, TV shows, movies, and graphic novels.

While those numbers are impressive, we’ve struggled in other ways to put on Script Frenzy. Script Frenzy’s participant numbers haven’t grown along with our other writing programs’, and that has affected our ability to raise enough funds to put on the event because we rely on donations from participants to host them. Approximately 16,500 writers took part in Script Frenzy this year compared to the more than 350,000 writers who participated in NaNoWriMo, Camp NaNoWriMo, and the Young Writers Program.

As much as we wish we could continue hosting Script Frenzy, the OLL board recently voted to end Script Frenzy because it was operating at a loss that was unsustainable. I want you to know that this was an incredibly difficult decision, and one that was carefully considered for several years, but we have to do it for the overall health of the organization.

Even though we can’t continue hosting Script Frenzy, we want to keep its spirit alive as we focus on our mission of helping “children and adults find the inspiration, encouragement, and structure they need to achieve their creative potential.” We believe that everyone has a story to tell—and there’s no other organization as passionate about helping people tell their stories as we are.

Just as the impact of Script Frenzy will live on after the end of the program, we want to find ways to keep the community going as well. A Script Frenzy forum will be created on the NaNoWriMo site to host all things scripty, and help participants to stay in touch. We are also working on a way to archive the Script Frenzy resources so they remain accessible to participants.

On behalf of the entire OLL staff and board, I thank you for everything you’ve done for the organization. Your writerly spunk and derring-do has inspired us in so many ways. We’re so honored that we get to work with people like you who take such brave creative risks and embrace the challenge of making—diving into your imagination, following your whimsy, chasing fantastical creatures, or capturing the life around you.

Kudos also to the heroic team who made Script Frenzy such a creative adventure these many years: Chris Baty; Program Director Sandra Salas; past Directors Jen Arzt and Kristina Malsberger; the OLL board and staff; and our heroic Script Frenzy Municipal Liaisons.

Thank you, again, for everything. We look forward to more creative frenzies with you—because I know we all have more stories to tell!

With gratitude,
Grant Faulkner

Executive Director

While I understand the reasoning behind it, I’m still sad to see the program go.  I was never able to ‘win’ the contest by completing my screenplay in time, but I loved knowing that thousands of others were in the trenches with me trying to accomplish the insane feat of pounding out a screenplay in 30 days.  The end of the program, by no stretch of the imagination, means that I’m going to cease my screenplay writing activity, and I’m sure that’s true for most of the other Script Frenzy participants as well.  It’s just that we’ll have fewer people to share the experience with from now on.  But…you never know – Script Frenzy may pop up again at some point in the future, and I’m sure there will be plenty of writers ready to take up the challenge again.

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