Faculty Member, Student Honored with Scriptwriting Awards

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

March 13, 2006 – A faculty member and a student at Southeast Missouri State University have been honored with national scriptwriting awards by the Broadcast Education Association (BEA).

Jennifer Hotop, a senior mass communication major from Jackson, Mo., won the “Best of Festival Award” in the BEA’s Student Scriptwriting Competition. She also won first place in the “Feature Film” category. In the “Best of Festival” category, Hotop, a video production student, competed against writers in four categories: “Feature Film,” “Original TV Series Pilot,” “TV Spec” and “Short Subject.”

Hotop will be honored at the BEA Festival of Media Arts Awards Ceremony April 28 in Las Vegas.

“I was really surprised to win this award.  I was hoping to maybe place, but to win was a pleasant surprise,” Hotop said. “From winning this award, I hope that it will open up opportunities for me to go into scriptwriting in some way.  I love the creative aspect of it.  It is a difficult field to get into, especially in southeast Missouri where there are not many opportunities. 

I guess what means the most to me from this whole experience is that someone else likes my work besides my mom.”

“This is the most prestigious student screenwriting competition in the country,” said Fred Jones, assistant professor of mass communication at Southeast.

Jones was also honored at the competition. He won the “Best of Festival Award” in the BEA Faculty Scriptwriting Competition. He won first place for the script “Cornskin” in the “Feature Film” category and first place for the script “The Temptation Stone” in the “Themed Short Script” category of the faculty competition.

“It’s encouraging to have someone recognize your work, especially at a competition like the BEA Festival,” Jones said. “I always write about small-town characters from southeast Missouri because that’s what interests me.  It’s nice to know that someone else thinks they’re interesting too.”

The Broadcast Education Association is the professional association for professors, industry professionals and students who are interested in teaching and research related to electronic media and multimedia enterprises.