I am working on my first feature screenplay, a gay high school rom-com, while taking screenwriting classes at UCLA Extension. I think one of the most useful things I've learned as a new writer is to constantly jot down notes, lines, ideas that pop into your head. I stop whatever I'm doing dozens of times of day to jot things down on my iPhone, most times just a few words.
Freeson Wang
Short Script Winner
I write high-octane horror/thriller/action screenplays. I take much inspiration from my experience in gaming. The subjects of my screenplays are as varied as that list, but all tip towards having relatable, grounded protagonists in extraordinary circumstances. I allow my characters to tell me their stories. Currently, I have several projects ongoing in different genres, such as TV/anime as well as movies and stageplays. I would encourage writers to enjoy their writing and to listen to their characters.
Sam Smith
Feature Script Winner
Since winning the LA Screenplay Awards I've been concentrating on getting my feature writing game to the same level as my pilot writing. I'm currently working on a bank robbery script and a smaller indie-type script that's been in my head for a decade. The best advice I can give any writer is outline thoroughly before you start writing - it's much easier, and less soul crushing, to edit a ten page beat sheet that isn't working than a 120 page screenplay. Also, consider all feedback, but know that you can't take every note.
Matt Thomas
Best TV Script