A lovely feeling when you win – ‘Don’t Go Outside’ wins ‘Best Screenplay’ award

‘Don’t Go Outside’ was my first horror screenplay.  Learning how to write the standard horror tropes whilst trying to come up with something diverse, original and aimed at a low-budget was a new experience. 

Writing horror is such a skill – unlike a normal screenplay, you need to write in the clues for the cast and crew to work out where the moments of horror are (i.e. not just gory, but genuinely jump out of your chair exciting).

I love horror films – the first one I ever saw was ‘Silver Bullet’ when I was 11.  It scared me so much, that I slept with a toy gun under my pillow for a couple of years afterwards.  I still get dreams where Freddy Krueger chases me through a multi-story carpark. 

Horror is visceral and primal when well done – and often gory – albeit horror films that play only to gore-porn are not my thing.  I want to be scared, challenged…  I want to scream ‘Don’t go there’ to the teenage simpleton, who is clearly and very stupidly walking towards the mad axe-murderer.

I’m proud of ‘Don’t Go Outside’ – it’s not a perfect screenplay by any means, but it has given enough enjoyment to win the Peephole International Film Festival Best Screenplay award.  It was my first attempt at the horror genre and is a great screenplay for any low-budget horror filmmaker, wanting to make something a little different to the usual gore-fayre.

Winning awards is a special feeling – it really does help you feel that even though the film may never get made, someone, somewhere really liked your work.  It’s like screaming into a dark cave and hearing another person’s voice other than your own echo – and who knows, may lead to someone reading it who may not have before?  We have to keep planting those seeds in the dark, right?

Keep writing!


  1. Jo