Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Times, they are a changin'. Farewell, Script Frenzy

5 years. 1.4 MILLION pages. Over 85,000 scriptwriters served!  Script Frenzy has been an amazing experience for everyone involved!  For those who have participated in Script Frenzy, it’s been nothing short of magical, and the event has helped introduce the art of scripting to writers who otherwise never would have thought of trying.  

It is with great sadness that we must announce that in spite of this, we have experienced steadily declining participation for the past two years. From a peak of 21,000 writers in 2010, we have dropped each year to just 16,500 in 2012, and have never quite made our fundraising goals since the event’s inception.  Because of this, we have been running Script Frenzy at a loss, and it is no longer sustainable as a standalone event. As a result, the Office of Letters and Light’s board of directors has voted to retire the event.

We have decided to refocus our efforts on the NaNoWriMo and Young Writer’s Program events, to make them the absolute pinnacle of what we can achieve in providing motivation for writers worldwide! We served more than 350,000 writers in 2011, and the number of participants grows every year.

Script Frenzy is a labor of love, and one we are desperately sad to see retired. To that end, we are committed to preserving the community and resources we have amassed over the years. We will be creating a Script Frenzy forum on the NaNoWriMo website for those who have hung out here, so that you will continue to be able to gather and meet with your fellow scriptwriters year-round.  

We plan to use the time and resources this decision frees up to continue to improve and build the NaNoWriMo and YWP events. Our community grows significantly every year, so we feel that focusing our resources on these programs is the best way to carry out our mission to help children and adults find the inspiration, encouragement, and structure they need to achieve their creative potential. What does this mean for NaNoWriMo?

First, have no fear: this does not mean that NaNoWriMo is in any way at risk. Quite the contrary! We plan to pour all of our hearts, souls, and time into making it more amazing, more spectacular, and more... everything!  We want to continue to bring you the best events we possibly can.  We want to focus on motivating writers world-wide year-round!

Script Frenzy has been wildly successful; thousands of winners (9,455, to be exact) is testament to the impact this amazing event has had on you, your communities, and writers all over the world.  This is not a defeat, rather the next step in the evolution of OLL and the mission we have to bring the joy of writing to everyone who wants to tap into their creative potential!

I hope that you will join me in my heartfelt thanks for all of those who have made Script Frenzy possible.  From Chris Baty, who made the whole thing possible with his crazy idea, to the MLs who worked themselves to the bone to bring Script Frenzy to their communities, to Jennifer Arzt and Sandra Salas, along with their support staff and volunteers who have put everything they had into bringing the event to you.  

But most importantly, our greatest thanks go to you, the writers and artists of the Script Frenzy community. Without you, we wouldn’t have had the most exciting 5 years of scripting we’ve ever experienced!

If you'd like to leave a comment for the staff, you can do so on the SF forums, here.


June Clarence said...

Whew - I just spent several weeks reading my way through your blog. All of it.
Of course I got distracted along the way because you just kept posting links to all these interesting sites that were just begging me to procrastinate. And it worked!

Anyways, I like your blog and I wanted to tell you I`m cheering you on for your goals.

I`m also participating in the WIP500 (though I`m doing it independently) and I can proudly say that I am totally kicking your ass. Of the 183,000 words I should reach by December 31, I am at 319,979 words and going strong. Yes, this is me challenging you to keep going!

Cheerio from a German Wrimo!

Unknown said...

Oh No!

I have a couple of questions. Is there anything preventing people from organizing Script Frenzies on their own? I assume that you own the name Script Frenzy, would people have to call their event something else? Lastly, have you considered making your backend software for Script Frenzy open source?

Thank you for many years of inspiration.

Heather Dudley said...

Hi Unknown! No, there's nothing at all preventing people from doing their own Script Frenzy event. We do have a trademark on the name, but I don't know what's going to happen with that.

If you check out the Script Frenzy forum on NaNoWriMo main, you will find a thread for people planning to do just that.

As for making the backend open source, that we can't do; It's a Drupal platform, and we're still using it on YWP. :) I'll mention making the page counter available to tech, though I can't say if they'll take us up on that.