The money comes in handy.
The prestige is great.
And when your resume includes an RTDNF scholarship win, news managers take notice. It proves you have done excellent work, judged by their peers.
Here are a few things the judges look for:
What To Enter: The first tip is to make sure you enter. Students often underestimate the quality of their work. Enter the work you produced over the past year that you are most proud of.
Respect Time Limits: Respect the rules. If your entry is over 30 minutes, edit it down.
Longer is not always Better: Some of the best pieces are the ones that are short, focused and leave the judge wanting more.
Start Strong: Submit something that will grab them and not let go. Your entry should make them want to watch, read or listen.
Use Lots of Sound: If there is one constant among the winners, whether it is a student submission or a submission for a network award, look for opportunities to use natural sound. It is the difference between a good piece and a great piece.
Background: Submit a short-written background piece, answering who did what, why you did this work, how you went about it, and the end results. Tell us what you put into it and the challenges you faced. This helps us to know you.
Technical Guidelines: Finally, make sure your entry meets the technical guidelines, and that it is properly uploaded. Review the file to make sure it's there. Every year, judges are frustrated by pieces that were not submitted properly and won't play. There are some good stories that could have won scholarships but didn't get to the judge's eyes and ears.
Gerry Phelan is a former President of RTDNA Canada, has served on the board of the RTDNF since 1997 and is the winner multiple RTDNA awards.