Rachel Bublitz


2014 Submission Mission #365submissionchallenge


Happy New Year!

And I hope your holidays were merry and bright, I’ve been on another planet because of crazy deadlines, finals, my obscene submission challenge, and of course the holidays themselves. Whatever happened to opening toys and playing in boxes on Christmas? Now I help with all the cooking and cleaning, and have less box-play-time. Sigh. But I guess that’s what getting older is all about.

Anyway, I made my goal by +1! I submitted 366 scripts/proposals last year, and let me tell you, it was NO easy task. Towards the end I wasn’t sure I was going to make it, and then I spent a few days in December email blasting my scripts out to anyone who would take them.

So, let’s check out my numbers!

Of the 366 scripts submitted in 2014 I have gotten 174 rejections, I’m waiting to hear about 165 scripts, and 25 of my projects have been selected. Of the 25 that got a yes, here’s how they broke down:

  • 8 readings
  • 10 productions
  • 2 publications
  • 3 workshops
  • 1 conference
  • 1 writers group

Considering that my success rate just based on the numbers is only 6% you might think that the challenge was a big fat failure, but I have to disagree. First off, I haven’t heard back from everyone, but also, and more importantly, I’m putting myself out there. When you put yourself out there you’re not going to get what you want every time, or even most of the time, at least not if you’re a playwright. And sure I got turned down a lot, but I also got some personal rejections that make me feel so good I consider them a win. My O’Neill rejection included a personal line on the bottom of their form letter! And yes, it is on my wall. For those of you who are curious it said:

“While your work did not move forward to the next round, we wanted to let you know that our readers expressed great admiration for UNDER THE GODS’ GOLDEN CLEATS. Thank you for sharing such quality work with us. We wish you the best!”

And there were others too. Rejections from dramaturges requesting additional scripts, and/or invitations to submit full scripts to a few conferences/companies that normally only take samples if you’re without an agent.

I also had some rough lessons. Twice I was notified of my acceptance days before the reading or production, and one of those productions cast a man dressed in drag instead of a woman as the script stipulated. Probably won’t be sending scripts out to those folks anymore.

And I had to reject a production myself this year, which was a little heartbreaking for me. We work so hard to get anyone to pay attention, and then when they do it still might not be the best timing or fit, and sometimes we have be the ones saying, “No thank you.” Oy, that is hard. But for me and the script it was for the best, and I think I left things with the company on a good note, and they’re excited to get more from me in the future.

Another hard lesson for me was realizing that even when I have a crazy goal of submitting 365 plays, I have to be selective in my submissions. Believe it or not, I don’t have time to do ALL The things, and realizing that I wouldn’t have time for certain prospects before I sent things in was helpful so I didn’t have to turn down even more things.

But now it’s a whole new year, with a whole set of new prospects. I will be submitting a lot, because I just don’t see a good reason why not to, but I will not be submitting 365 (or if I do it will be by accident!).

No, this year I want to keep up with all my projects and meet those deadlines. 2014 nearly gave me a heart attack, so I’m hoping to ease up on the stress without having a submission goal. I’ll post my tally throughout the year, and update my 2014 stats as I hear back from more of those 165 question mark submissions.

Tomorrow I’m posting about all the writing I did last year, so be sure to check back for that! And again, HAPPY NEW YEAR!