Monday, October 3, 2011

“TV ME!” contest submissions now being accepted

The Sarasota County Film & Entertainment Office (SCFEO) just announced a call for entries for the 2012 "TV ME!" contest. It's a nationwide innovative writers’ competition seeking fresh, creative content ideas for television programming. Entries may be submitted now through Dec 30. Submission instructions and prize information are available online at

“Last year’s inaugural TV ME! Contest surpassed all of our expectations,” said Jeanne Corcoran, director of the SCFEO, which is a division of the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County, in a statement. “Our goal was to receive 100 entries from across an estimated 10 states to infuse the competition with a broad cross-section of creativity and content. We were excited and delighted to receive more than 250 entries from a total of 28 states.”

Contest prizes for the first place winner in each of three specific categories include trophies, cash awards and gifts from sponsors, and the SCFEO will submit those first-place winning concepts electronically to executives and decision-makers in the television industry for consideration.

One grand prize winner is chosen for the best entry across all categories, who receives all of the prizes won by the three category first place winners, plus the grand prize of an escorted trip to Los Angeles California to “pitch” in person to a select group of industry professionals. All of these winners are invited to be present at a press conference announcing their achievements followed by an awards luncheon.

The grand prize winner of the 2011 "TV ME!" contest was Austin McKinley of Sarasota. McKinley was escorted to one-on-one meetings in Los Angeles to pitch and promote his concepts and talent, and met with executives from SYFY Channel, ABC Television, USA Networks, CBS, Disney, Sony Pictures Television, and other notable industry executives.

“The trip was fantastic,” McKinley said in a statement. “I was floored by how many meetings we eventually got, and the quality of the people. It was really a best-case scenario. I look forward to sending everyone we met there a link to my short film as soon as it's ready!”

Unlike ordinary competitions that require submission of full-length screenplays for movies, scripts for television, or manuscripts for novels, which can range from 90 pages to 350 pages, the "TV ME!" contest requires only 5-to-15-page pitches of a concept for television programming.

“It’s a variation on the idea of a fast and forceful ‘elevator pitch’ where you give the strongest and most concise summary possible,” Corcoran said. “This contest seeks condensed knock-their-socks-off impact. Powerful brevity is key.”

“The 'TV ME!' contest is the only one of its kind I've ever heard of, which is why the minute I heard about it, I wanted to win!” said McKinley. “The entry format lends itself to entering several ideas, and the price point is low enough it's affordable to do so.”

"'TV ME! 2012' promises to be an equally dynamic experience for creative contestants who believe they have the next new, bold, bright or off-beat idea for television," Corcoran said. "This opens up a world of opportunity to great ideas without the necessity of voluminous scripts."

Individuals and creative teams can compete for awards and prizes in three different categories:

• scripted series (from comedy to drama, animated to children’s programs, science fiction to hybrids and other genres of recurring and/or series television);

• unscripted/partially scripted (reality programs, game shows, demonstration/training programs such as cooking, crafts, skills, documentary, interview and expose programs, etc.); and

• one-offs (single standalone programs such as a mini-series , a movie-of-the-week, an award or sporting event, a special televised gala, benefit, tribute, fundraiser, concert, staged performance, etc.).

To enter or obtain more details, visit or send email to request information: .

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