ScreenCraft just announced the 39 semifinalists in its 2022 Cinematic Short Story Competition, and both of my stories were among the semifinalists! As I mentioned before, this is a special kind of exciting for me.
So many great films started out as short fiction. Stand by Me was adapted from Stephen King’s novella The Body. Everything Must Go was adapted from Raymond Carver’s short story “Why Don’t You Dance.” 3:10 to Yuma was adapted from Elmore Leonard’s short story “Three-Ten to Yuma.” Rear Window was adapted from Cornell Woolrich’s short story “It Had to Be Murder.” Brokeback Mountain was based on Annie Proulx’s short story of the same name. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story of the same name. One of the best and most haunting short stories I’ve ever read, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates, was adapted into a feature-length film called Smooth Talk, starring Laura Dern and Treat Williams.
As a prose fiction writer, I don’t expect this screenwriting contest to open doors for me. And it’s a rather pricey contest to enter, especially if you request written feedback, which I did. But for me, the feedback was the point. It’s been a great experience and worth it for me. I’ve learned so much about what it takes to make a story more adaptable to film. And yes, I’d love to see one of my short stories or novels adapted to film someday–it’s a bucket list thing.
The finalists will be announced March 16th.