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Blog: The Sitcom Lives

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As I was sat in the bath on Sunday evening, feeling finally On The Mend after a weekend of being Proper Poorly, I pondered my OUVRE, as one so often does in the bath.

The reason for this specific pondering was a whole bunch of script competitions that I'd entered were releasing their results later that evening. As I pondered I realised that the script I was holding out MOST hope for was the 'Big Bang Theory' script I wrote last year for the Nickelodeon Writing Program. When I didn't get through to the final final of that I'd thought "Curses! I spent AGES working on that spec script and now it's useless!" but actually it has done me PROUD in competitions since, and I wondered if maybe I should think about doing something similar again.

"Right," I thought, "I tell you what, ME, if any of the scripts I've entered gets anywhere tonight then I WILL write another Spec". My BRANE replied "OK then, here's some IDEAS for you!" and reeled off a whole HEAP of THORTS - it turns out that while it had been showing my fevered conscious mind really bad versions of Doctor Who it had secretly been out the back cooking up sitcom plots. Oh mighty BRANE! So sneaky!

I spent much of the rest of the day clicking "Refresh" on official twitter feeds, waiting for announcements. I knew that one of the competitions was being announced at 2pm PST which, after a bit of googling turned out to be 10pm here, so after a while decided to leave it and make the tea, returning at 10pm again to keep refreshing. It was a weird feeling - I had FIVE different scripts in the mix and was quite excited to see if any would come up good, but what if they didn't? At least it would mean I didn't have to spend the next few weeks writing a spec script!

The first to come in was Scriptalooza TV, for which I'd entered my 'Big Bang Theory' script AND the one for 'New Girl' that I did as follow-up. 'New Girl' didn't get anywhere but BLOW ME 'Big Bang Theory' got into the Quarter-Finals! ZANG!

Just as I was saying "Wahey!" to The Awards On My Mantelpiece two emails popped into my inbox, one from Scriptalooza saying they'd just released their results and another from Bluecat saying they'd released the Top Ten Percent for their screenplay competition. This was the one I knew was announcing at 10pm, so I looked and HOLY HECK there was 'Storm House', the script I did for my final submission for school, in the running! There was much HALLOOING around the Olympic Village at that i can tell you. I was even more pleased about this one because I love 'Storm House', it is MINE and I've had so many people say "But this is too ridiculously expensive to ever MAKE, you twit!" that I'd really really like SOMETHING to happen with it. I mean, getting into the top ten percent is pretty much them saying "This was properly formatted, spell-checked, and is not immediately obviously the work of a MADMAN" but still, we'll see in a couple of weeks if it gets any further. Hoorah!

The final announcement of the evening was the semi-final stage of the Stage 32 Happy Writers TV Writing Contest (no, I don't know why they were all announcing on the same day, especially a Sunday). I'd entered 'Big Bang Theory' and 'New Girl' for this one too, and already knew that poor old 'New Girl' had fallen by the wayside as they'd announced the quarter-finalists a couple of weeks ago. 'Big Bang Theory' however HAD got through to the Quarter Finals, which was MORE than enough for me. I wasn't expecting any more but BUGGER ME SIDEWAYS it had got through to the semi-finals stage too!!!

It was around this point that my PUNY BRAIN went "POP" and I had to go and have a sit down. To be honest the whole Writing Thing has been a little bit stressful over the past few weeks - I'm offically A Professional Writer in the eyes of the tax office but my BANK probably has its doubts as I've now spent all my redundancy money and have thus had to dip into my savings. I really really REALLY didn't like having to do that PLUS there's been a string of Rejections Various for other projects this week and then to top it all off I was too poorly to go and see my Actual Play being staged on Saturday, so I was having a bit of a LOW NOTE about the whole thing. Thus having all these NICE things all happen within the space of ten minutes was RATHER a shock!

Still, it was a jolly NICE shock, and now a few days later it's become a delightful BUZZ in the back of my BRANE. I know this may be as far as any of the scripts get and I'm VERY aware that there's no actual CA$H in any of it, but at least it's something that says "You are not ENTIRELY idiotic to be having a go at this, LO! keep at it for a bit if you like!" which is very much appreciated!

posted 18/2/2015 by MJ Hibbett

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