Screenwriting Blog
Posted on by Courtney Meznarich

Announcing 25 Semi-Finalists for SoCreate's "So, Write Your Bills Away" Sweepstakes

DRUMROLL Please … We received nearly 5,000 entries from writers who are ready to write their bills away! Here are the top 25 semi-finalists, drawn randomly from all the entries and bonus entries. These top 25 now must submit a cover letter, letter of recommendation, and screenwriting sample for consideration.

We’ll select ONE winner on August 30, who will receive $3,000 per month for 3 months to pay their bills so they can finish a 90-120 page screenplay while the writing community follows along!

Announcing the So Write Your Bills Away Sweepstakes top 25 semi-finalists!

To enter, we asked you to tell us in one sentence why SoCreate should pay your bills, and your answers were so inspiring. The 25 people below had answers ranging from needing supplemental income to support their disabled dependents, to having the chance to write about underdogs, to writing from a more diverse perspective, including an Air Force veteran and a Filipino trans man. 

We can’t wait to see what the winner does with this grand prize. Congrats to everyone below for making it this far!

  • SoCreate is not only creating opportunity for writers like myself, the're also building a foundation for the next generation of screenwriters. A networking tool, an educational platform, a screenwriter's life-coach; SoCreate does it all, and I could not be more grateful or excited for such an opportunity!
    Braden Barton
    Set Lighting Technician

    Braden Barton

    Set Lighting Technician

    "SoCreate is not only creating opportunity for writers like myself, the're also building a foundation for the next generation of screenwriters. A networking tool, an educational platform, a screenwriter's life-coach; SoCreate does it all, and I could not be more grateful or excited for such an opportunity!"

  • Candee... Eek! Her squeal is pure delight, part pride and massive gratitude.
    Candee Kramer
    Writer & Actress

    Candee Kramer

    Writer & Actress

    "Candee... Eek! Her squeal is pure delight, part pride and massive gratitude."

  • Whether it's a chance to be free of your day job or, say... your children... for a few months, can you imagine how much writing you could get done?
    Ed Robinson
    Stay-at-Home-Dad

    Ed Robinson

    Stay-at-Home-Dad

    "Whether it's a chance to be free of your day job or, say... your children... for a few months, can you imagine how much writing you could get done?"

  • As a drama writer, it's difficult to find ways to showcase your work. You can't bring your 90-page script to a comedy club or an open mic night. This is a rare opportunity for one of us to rise from our lonely writing desks, brush the moss off our shoulders, and offer this raw, beating vulnerability to an audience.
    Kathrine Henner
    Writer

    Kathrine Henner

    Writer

    "As a drama writer, it's difficult to find ways to showcase your work. You can't bring your 90-page script to a comedy club or an open mic night. This is a rare opportunity for one of us to rise from our lonely writing desks, brush the moss off our shoulders, and offer this raw, beating vulnerability to an audience."

  • I can't believe that one luck writer will have this amazing opportunity. I am ready to work hard and flesh out my creative vision. Above all, I am thankful to be a part of the SoCreate community!
    Katie Collins
    Student/Multimedia Producer & Live Stream Technical Director

    Katie Collins

    Student/Multimedia Producer & Live Stream Technical Director

    "I can't believe that one luck writer will have this amazing opportunity. I am ready to work hard and flesh out my creative vision. Above all, I am thankful to be a part of the SoCreate community!"

  • Bodybuilders hit the gym. Writers hit the page. For me it's all about sharpening your voice, developing your craft, and being disciplined to endure your routine, & SoCreate has given us the opportunity to have the TIME to do it all. I'm pumped. #Gameon
    Kaylord Hill
    MFA - Screenwriter at UNCSA

    Kaylord Hill

    MFA - Screenwriter at UNCSA

    "Bodybuilders hit the gym. Writers hit the page. For me it's all about sharpening your voice, developing your craft, and being disciplined to endure your routine, & SoCreate has given us the opportunity to have the TIME to do it all. I'm pumped. #Gameon"

  • I have to be honest ... when this cam across my page I thought 'yeah right!' But for some reason I was hopeful I wrote my true feelings in the box provided. Then one day I was going through my email, and there it was, possibility and hope! The thought of being 1 of 25 out of almost 4,900, that alone almost snatched a tear out of my eyes! This is an opportunity to manifest a lifelong dream of having the peace to freely write because finances are being taken care of in the background and I believe not one of the finalists will take that chance lightly. I know I won't!
    Kevin Taylor
    Chess Instructor

    Kevin Taylor

    Chess Instructor

    "I have to be honest ... when this cam across my page I thought 'yeah right!' But for some reason I was hopeful I wrote my true feelings in the box provided. Then one day I was going through my email, and there it was, possibility and hope! The thought of being 1 of 25 out of almost 4,900, that alone almost snatched a tear out of my eyes! This is an opportunity to manifest a lifelong dream of having the peace to freely write because finances are being taken care of in the background and I believe not one of the finalists will take that chance lightly. I know I won't!"

  • Cool, even more excuse to ignore everything else in my life and keep writing screenplays because I invest too many emotions into fictional characters.
    Lian Lansang
    Flower Shop Helper at a cemetary (yes, it's totally haunted)

    Lian Lansang

    Flower Shop Helper at a cemetary (yes, it's totally haunted)

    "Cool, even more excuse to ignore everything else in my life and keep writing screenplays because I invest too many emotions into fictional characters."

  • Out of almost 5,000 entries, even to be a top 25 contender is really such an honor. For one person this money could not only allow them to pay their bills, but to create content that the world has been waiting to see. For 13 years I've been on an industry path to get my work in front of the right people, and anytime opportunity like this comes into light, I count my blessings and give it to the universe. Thank you for the nomination.
    Liz Rowley
    Freelance Writer, Producer, Director

    Liz Rowley

    Freelance Writer, Producer, Director

    "Out of almost 5,000 entries, even to be a top 25 contender is really such an honor. For one person this money could not only allow them to pay their bills, but to create content that the world has been waiting to see. For 13 years I've been on an industry path to get my work in front of the right people, and anytime opportunity like this comes into light, I count my blessings and give it to the universe. Thank you for the nomination."

  • After the initial shock of being chosen as one of the top 25 finalists, I picked myself up off the floor and thought...THIS IS IT! This could finally be MY TIME to write my own story! I'm thrilled for the opportunity.
    Mavis Lamb
    Speaker/Ghostwriter

    Mavis Lamb

    Speaker/Ghostwriter

    "After the initial shock of being chosen as one of the top 25 finalists, I picked myself up off the floor and thought...THIS IS IT! This could finally be MY TIME to write my own story! I'm thrilled for the opportunity."

  • This is such a brilliant opportunity for any writer not just because SoCreate is offering to pay your bills for three months but also because of the accountability and community it will foster and create.
    Morgan Lariah
    Filmmaker

    Morgan Lariah

    Filmmaker

    This is such a brilliant opportunity for any writer not just because SoCreate is offering to pay your bills for three months but also because of the accountability and community it will foster and create.

  • It's a rare privilege to have someone willing to trust creative minds and support their dreams as SoCreate does. I feel lucky to be involved with this community. And even luckier to have a stage to share the solitary writing process with writers around the world. Writers need each other.
    Nani Li Yang
    Writer, Director

    Nani Li Yang

    Writer, Director

    "It's a rare privilege to have someone willing to trust creative minds and support their dreams as SoCreate does. I feel lucky to be involved with this community. And even luckier to have a stage to share the solitary writing process with writers around the world. Writers need each other."

  • I'm floored that the random gods chose my entry to this wonderful SoCreate contest. I'm honored to be a semi-finalist, and if chosen, besides paying rent and getting a haircut, I plan on relishing every minute to FINALLY get my story idea cleaned up and a draft completed. I hope I'm the one, but if not, just know I take this contest as a sign from the gods to KEEP WRITING. Thanks you.
    Nora B. Anderson
    Bookseller and Caregiver

    Nora B. Anderson

    Bookseller and Caregiver

    "I'm floored that the random gods chose my entry to this wonderful SoCreate contest. I'm honored to be a semi-finalist, and if chosen, besides paying rent and getting a haircut, I plan on relishing every minute to FINALLY get my story idea cleaned up and a draft completed. I hope I'm the one, but if not, just know I take this contest as a sign from the gods to KEEP WRITING. Thanks you."

  • No matter what else I do, I'm a writer first. I spend most of my day doing the work of a behavioral intake counselor. When I got the email about being a semi-finalist, I literally dropped everything I was doing and read it over again to make sure I was reading it correctly and it wasn't some cruel joke haha. It was real!!!! I'm glad to be here!!!!
    Rhonda R. Johnson

    Rhonda R. Johnson

    No matter what else I do, I'm a writer first. I spend most of my day doing the work of a behavioral intake counselor. When I got the email about being a semi-finalist, I literally dropped everything I was doing and read it over again to make sure I was reading it correctly and it wasn't some cruel joke haha. It was real!!!! I'm glad to be here!!!!

  • One of the best gifts a writer can receive is time to create free from distraction. This opportunity removes obstacles - as well as excuses! I'm thrilled at the chance to really test my mettle.
    Shannon Corbeil
    Writer, Actor

    Shannon Corbeil

    Writer, Actor

    One of the best gifts a writer can receive is time to create free from distraction. This opportunity removes obstacles - as well as excuses! I'm thrilled at the chance to really test my mettle.

  • At first I was in shock, kept reading and re-reading the email. I am absolutely thrilled at being given such a fantastic opportunity. I'm incredibly grateful and thankful to make it this far. I have my degree in Theatre so I have familiarity with writing plays and I am currently working on my screenplay which I will be using to direct my first feature length film.
    She'Ra Hagans
    K-5th School Group Leader

    She'Ra Hagans

    K-5th School Group Leader

    "At first I was in shock, kept reading and re-reading the email. I am absolutely thrilled at being given such a fantastic opportunity. I'm incredibly grateful and thankful to make it this far. I have my degree in Theatre so I have familiarity with writing plays and I am currently working on my screenplay which I will be using to direct my first feature length film."

  • After years of writing on scraps of paper squeezed between teaching and parenting, I am ecstatic at the thought of having days upon days to simply write and follow my dreams!
    Tharen Koelsch
    Preschool Teacher

    Tharen Koelsch

    Preschool Teacher

    "After years of writing on scraps of paper squeezed between teaching and parenting, I am ecstatic at the thought of having days upon days to simply write and follow my dreams!"

  • Comedy's about taking risks, and film production's a magnet for the Murphy's Law cult. Improvisation is your greatest weapon. So if the stuff hits the fan, just smile confidently and call it splatter art.
    Thomas F. Byrne
    Coordinating Producer and Editor

    Thomas F. Byrne

    Coordinating Producer and Editor

    "Comedy's about taking risks, and film production's a magnet for the Murphy's Law cult. Improvisation is your greatest weapon. So if the stuff hits the fan, just smile confidently and call it splatter art."

  • I'm bursting at the seams excited to be selected as a semifinalist for such a one of a kind opportunity! It's so challenging to be a screenwriter who's just starting out and trying to figure out a way to pay the bills and still find time to write. It's even more challenging when you're a freelance teacher who's not receiving a steady paycheck. I have a story just itching to be told, and I'd love to be able to write it with SoCreate's help!
    Victoria Lucia
    Teaching Artist

    Victoria Lucia

    Teaching Artist

    "I'm bursting at the seams excited to be selected as a semifinalist for such a one of a kind opportunity! It's so challenging to be a screenwriter who's just starting out and trying to figure out a way to pay the bills and still find time to write. It's even more challenging when you're a freelance teacher who's not receiving a steady paycheck. I have a story just itching to be told, and I'd love to be able to write it with SoCreate's help!"

  • I truly appreciate the opportunity. you could change someone's life with this!
    Zachary Rowell
    Freelance Writer, Postmates Driver

    Zachary Rowell

    Freelance Writer, Postmates Driver

    I truly appreciate the opportunity. you could change someone's life with this!

Plus five more semi-finalists:

  • Harmony Owens

  • James Goodson

  • Rhonda Lancaster

  • Tracey Baker-Simmons

  • Tyler Axam

Happy writing,

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