"We are pleased to inform you that your entry to this contest, entitled Shift, has been adjudged as one of the top finalists.No winners?
"As one of the 115 entries submitted to the contest, your script went through the three-panel judging system. Panel 1 screened all the entries and recommended 26 scripts for evaluation by the second panel. Panel 2 further trimmed down the entries to 15, which is the requisite number to compose the finalists as stipulated in the contest rules. Your script was one of the 15 submitted to the third panel. Panel 3 then evaluated the scripts to choose which among the 15 finalists shall be announced as top three winners.
"After a thorough and astute evaluation during deliberations, the 3rd Panel, judiciously adhering to the judging criteria for the contest, has decided to declare "no winners" for the top three prizes. The 15 entries in consideration required further refinements from their present form to satisfy the criteria for the top prizes.
Nonetheless, we believe that your achievement as a finalist blah blah blah is very much worthy of recognition and appreciation."
Now I am convinced that my script was definitely not the best of the lot. I wrote it piecemeal within the span of two weeks, in between work assignments. I finished the first draft hours before the extended deadline.* It was a fun thing to write, and it was the first full-length screenplay that I actually started and finished. It was my first time to enter a contest. So far my little fun project to reach that far out into the contest already is fine by me.
However, I am almost sure that there must be better writers than me, who spent more time and effort in polishing their drafts, who deserve to win. Somebody out there must have come up with a brilliant script. Or the judges could be right: not one of the 115 screenplays they received are good enough, brilliant enough. Nobody's script cut it. Those who cared to join all turned in lousy scripts. Possible. But I find that really weird.
Anyhow, I will still attend the awarding ceremonies this coming Friday, to meet more of my fellow, er, non-winners. I have a busy week ahead of me.
*Btw, just to give you about how close to the deadline I was, Shift was entry # 113. I was almost that close to being Cinderella. Hehe.