Let's say you're an unrepped writer and that you've written what you believe to be the next hot property. To whom would you submit it first?
With an abundance of contests, producers and web-hosting venues creating an atmosphere in which a potential hit could easily be labeled a dog, how would you ensure that your material gets objective attention?
Well, if it was me, my first recourse would be to submit to people I directly know in the business. (And this usually comes after I've vetted the script through many, many readers whom I trust.) I'd work every direct connection possible in search of finding someone willing to pass it on, take on the script, or otherwise work to advance the project.
Failing that, my next stop would be The Black List 3.0, for many of the reasons that we've discussed time and again. I think the "do no harm" policy is a great way to test the waters. If you're worried that your script will get some bad reactions on the site, you can always pull the script and the listing, so it won't impede any further queries that you do.
Step three would be targeted queries. Notice the use of the word "targeted." It's gotten very easy to dig up a bunch of email addresses for agents and managers. The bitch of this is that if it's easy for you, it's easy for everyone else. In the old days, if you wanted to query an agent, you usually had to do your research, track down addresses and pay for postage to send your query. With all those obstacles in place, there were fewer people submitting blindly. They took the time to research their targets and the expense of sending snail-mail kept them somewhat in check.
That's not the case in the electronic age. Today a simple Google search will probably locate an archive of email address. The lazy submitter will havest those and blindly blast out the same query to several hundred people. (The really lazy types will do it all at once as a bcc.) On the other end of the internet, those emails will be treated like the spam they are and summarily deleted.
So when you go the query route, really take some time to research the reps who are most likely to respond to your material and craft your query accordingly
Then after that, that's when I'd turn to contests and fellowships. But be smart about which competitions you chose to enter.