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This weeks competitions that have caught my eye:

FICTION: Via First Writer

Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   2nd April 2012
Fees:  $20 for one entry.
Prizes:   $1,000 for first place.
Details:   For fiction up to 5,000 words.
Country:   United States
Website:   https://www.pshares.org/submit/Emerging-Writers-Contest.cfm

Write Place Open Writing Competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   31st March 2012
Fees:   £5 for one entry.
Prizes:   £100 for first place. £75; £50.
Details:   For short stories up to 1,500 words on the theme of A Modern Fairy Story.
Contact:   Elaine Everest, 8a Oliver Road, Swanley, Kent BR8 7DY
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   elaineeverest@aol.com
Website:   http://www.thewriteplace.org.uk/page9.htm

Du Maurier Short Story Competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   31st March 2012
Fees:   £5 for one entry.
Prizes:   £100 for first place. 2nd prize £75.
Details:   Short Story. No minimum count – maximum 1500 words. Any genre. The theme is based on The Rondezvous. Postal entries as printed typescripts. Online entries welcome. Fee payable by posting a cheque.
Contact:   11 Pentreath Close Fowey Cornwall PL23 1EP
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   lesleymccartney@btinternet.com
Website:   http://www.dumaurierfestival.co.uk

Writer Advice Flash Prose Contest
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   18th April 2012
Fees:   $12 for one entry.
Prizes:   $200 for first place. $100; $50.
Details:   For flash fiction, memoirs, and creative nonfiction up to 750 words.
Country:   United States
Email:   Lgood67334@comcast.net
Website:   http://www.writeradvice.com

Fantays Short Story
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   20th March 2012
Fees:   $0 for one entry.
Prizes:   $20 for first place. Publication in our magazine with a bio and link to your work.
Details:   We are looking for strong fantasy/medieval fiction short stories up to 6000 words. Entertaining stories that leave the reader asking for more is a must, but strong grammar and spelling is just as important.
Country:   United States
Email:   adam@tavernsvault.com
Website:   http://www.tavernsvault.com

Cheshire Prize for Literature
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   1st September 2012
Fees:   Ł0 for one entry.
Prizes:   Ł2,000 for first place. Ł750 additional prize money and chance to be published in an anthology.
Details:   Awarded for an original short story not exceeding 1,000 words. The writer must have been born, live or have lived, study or have studied, work or have worked in Cheshire, Wirral, Warrington or Halton. Entrants must be over 18. Three typed non returnable copies should be entered. A cover letter with name, address and telephone number should be submitted with the entries.
Contact:   The Cheshire Prize for Literature, University of Chester, Parkgate Road, Chester, CH1 4BJ
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   cheshireprize@chester.ac.uk
Website:   http://www.chester.ac.uk/literatureprize

CONTEST num.1 by Caligae Travel Files
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   30th April 2012
Fees:   $0 for one entry.
Prizes:   $500 for first place. $300 and $200 for the second and third winner respectively and publishing.
Details:   Topic: Friendly and humorous typology of modern society in your country. Describe and illustrate the most representative, emerging or curious social groups and strata. Material: 1 article (up to 500 chars.) plus at least 1 illustration (of any style) per social type. Number of articles and illustrations is unlimited. Submit only original texts and author’s artworks of your own creation.
Country:   Spain
Email:   editor@caligae.info
Website:   http://www.caligae.info

Toulmin Prize 2012
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   31st March 2012
Fees:   £0 for one entry.
Prizes:   £500 for first place.
Details:   For short stories up to 4,000 words, concerned with some aspect of life in North-East Scotland, and written in Scots (including Doric) or English or a mixture of the two.
Contact:   Professor Ian Russell, Director, The Elphinstone Institute, University of Aberdeen, MacRobert Building, King’s College, Aberdeen AB24 5UA
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   elphinstone@abdn.ac.uk
Website:   http://www.abdn.ac.uk/elphinstone/events/toulmin/toulmin-prize2012.shtml

ROMANCE WRITERS OF AMERICA Via RWA

29th Annual Orange Rose Contest
Sponsor: Orange County Chapter
Fee: $25–35.00
Deadline: April 14, 2012
Eligibility: RWA members in good standing, not contracted/published in book-length fiction in last 5 years.
Entry: 50 pages including synopsis – electronic entry only to save printing and postage costs!
Categories: Contemporary Category Romance, Erotic Romance, Historical Romance, Inspirational Romance, Mainstream w/Romantic Elements, Paranormal/Time Travel/Fantasy Romance, Romantic Suspense, Single Title Romance, Young Adult Romance.
First Round Judges: Published authors.
Final Judges: Acquiring editors and agents.
Top Prize: $100.00
FMI, www.occrwa.org/contest.

21st Annual Duel on the Delta
Sponsor: River City Romance Writers
Fee: $25.00
Deadline: April 15, 2012 *extended*
Entry: electronic entries only; first twenty pages.
Judges: trained, published and unpublished.
Final Judges: Historical – Deborah Nemeth, Carina Press; Inspirational – Sarah Long, Bethenay House; Erotic – Angela James, Carina Press; Young Adult – Liz Pelletier, Entangled Publishing; Contemporary – Aubrey Pope, Sourcebooks; Romantic Suspense – Liz Bass, Carina Press; and Paranormal – Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.
FMI, www.rivercityromancewriters.org; duelonthedelta@yahoo.com.

SCRIPT WRITING OPPORTUNITIES Via ISA:

WANTED TWO COPYWRITERS IN ENGLISH AND HINDI 
Wanted 2 copywriters in English and Hindi with excellent command in their respective languages for writing scripts for various corporate films, TV shows, documentaries, and TVCs. Send in your detailed resume with a sample writeup and a passport size still photograph to Amber at contact@qedcommunications.com. Only for residents of New Delhi & NCR. FREELANCER CANDIDATES NEED NOT APPLY. THIS POST IS FOR PERMANENT JOB.

WRITING PARTNER WANTED 
I’m a writer with contacts in Los Angeles looking to break into TV. I’m currently developing TV pilots to pitch to friends from my AFI days, who have lately become executives in the industry. I have several pilot ideas that need development, and need a partner to speed the process. If you have pilot ideas of your own, all the better (but not essential). We could pool our efforts and attack it as a team. My sensibilties are comedic but not broadly so, and satirical. Influences include Alexander Payne, Mike Judge, and shows like Enlightened, All In The Family, Downton Abbey. Please send me (Charlie MacNamara) a writing sample and resume at charliemcnamara@mac.com if you’re interested, and I’ll send you some of my work.

SCREENWRITER SEEKS PARTNER TO HELP FINISH SCRIPT
I have a screenpay based on a true life story that has caught the interest of an established actor, he’s been in mulitple movies and had his own tv show. He likes my concept, writing and main characters but still feels the script needs more work. This is the first script I’ve ever written and could use a 50/50 partner to help me bring it to completion. Email me (Jarrod Miller) at jarrod.miller03@gmail.com for more information.

SEEKING SCREENPLAYS BY CANADIANS FOR LOW BUDGET FEATURE 
New production company seeking screenplays by Canadians that can be made for under $1M. Writer-director submissions ok. All genres welcome. Please email a full outline to us at adamdwyer1@gmail.com. If we like it, then the script will be requested. Pay will be 2% of total budget.Thank you.

SEEKING EXPERIENCED SCREENWRITER IN NYC AREA FOR COLLABORATION 
I have written a wonderful story for a full-length movie that features many different sub-plots. I’ve been able to blend all these plots into an easily understood story by using a unique and different concept. I need a proven and experienced screenwriter that can work with me in re-writing my story into a screenplay. I am especially looking for someone with experience in the terrorist/espionage genres. I will share appropriately whatever is to be made from our work. If interested, please email your bio and contact info to me (Anthony Diffley) at mondiff@aol.com. Thank you.

SEEKING WRITER FOR SCI-FI FILM PROJECT 
I really need to find my partner in crime. You don’t need experience as much as enthusiasm and willingness to work on an awesome film project. Specifically, I need a writer (ideally a sci-fi/independent film lover) for development of a truly unique and new sci-fi film project that I am currently developing. I have the story outlined and have the first half of the film (approx 25 scenes) visualised and storyboarded. I have experience editing and have been learning to composite various SFX that might be needed including the development of various rigs and electronic props. If this sounds like its for you and you think you can help feel free to contact me via my email at zombiesatepurplenick@yahoo.com.

LOOKING FOR FEATURE LENGTH ROMANTIC DRAMA OR COMEDY 
I am searching for a feature-length romantic drama (in the vein of “Cairo Time” or “The Eclipse”-Irish film 2011) or romantic comedy (ala “A Touch of Class”) for two amazing actors in their 50s. The piece must be set (or be adaptable to) in a remote and isolated area (preferably a hotel). Adaptations of plays are welcome. Please send logline (in the body of the email, please) to sarah@jofilms.com. Many thanks.

LOOKING FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER SHORT FILM SCRIPT 
We are looking for short film script in the pyschological thriller genre. The story should be set in just one flat or room. The film will be made by us and it will be self-funded. Due credit will be given to writer along with some pay. However, as the project will is self-funded, the money will not be great. Contact us at bharichinmay@hotmail.com.

WRITING CLASSES AND CONFERENCES Via ScreenwritingU

Advanced Dialogue Screenwriting Class
ADVANCED DIALOGUE is about taking the best dialogue you’ve ever written and making it irrestible to actors, agents and readers.  
In the course, we’ll cover:
Day 1:  What Makes Great Dialogue Great?
Day 2:  Expressing Character Fully
Day 3:  More Character in My Dialogue, Please
Day 4:  Colorful Language that Entertains
Day 5:  Dialogue Contrast and Twists
Day 6:  Dialogue Structures that Match Real Conversation
Day 7:  Suspenseful Dialogue
Day 8:  Subtext in Dialogue, Part 1
Day 9:  Subtext in Dialogue, Part 2
Day 10:  Applying “Advanced Dialogue” to Your Scripts.
PRICE:  $90
DATES: March 13 – April 13, 2012
WHERE:  Online.
MORE INFO
To register, go to http://www.screenwritingu.com/enroll2.htm.

Teleconference: “How To Get An Agent “
Sign Up for the Conference! t’s FREE! If you want an agent or manager,
you need to know the rules of that business relationship. You need to know the rules, the reality, and the roadmap that will get you in the door and to the point of being a represented writer. “This call changed my whole vision, plan, and focus.” –  Audrey Jacobs
In this 90 minute teleconference, you’ll learn…
REALITY:
*Strategies that came from over 100 interviews with agents and managers.
*The fundamentals of landing an Agent or Manager.
*The four mistakes everyone advises writers to make with agents!
RULES:
*The Rules of Engagement with Agents
*How to be a Great Client
ROADMAP:
*8 Strategies for Landing a Manager or Agent.
Sign Up! 

DFW Writers’ Conference 2012
Registration is now open for agent/editor consultations.

You can find out which agents are coming here, and which genres the agents are interested in here. Each agent will have a finite number of slots available so register now!
May 19, 2012 at 8:00 AM
Hurst Conference Centre, 1601 Campus Drive, Hurst, TX 76054  –  Register Now!

 

Please remember to check out legitimacy of all contests before you enter, and to copyright all your work.

Good luck and let me know how you get on.

If you want more of me, you can also find me on FacebookTwitter, Google+ and Linkedin

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A while ago, we talked about how a novelist should write a log line (see: What is a Log Line). Well, today I thought we could talk about how a screenwriter should write a log line.

Wouldn’t the log lines be the same? Well, kind of, I suppose.

A literary agent wants to know what your novel is about. Here’s mine for my current novel.

A vengeful Reaper, hell-bent on finding the key to unlocking Heaven’s Gateway, must choose between good and evil before the town mayor sacrifices the girl he loves and overturns God himself.”

But, a producer wants to be hooked from the outset. Hook them and you’re on your way.

So, how can we do that?

Basically, a log line consists of three things. Seems simple doesn’t it?  Nothing in life worth having is simple. *Cheesey grin*.

So, lets take a closer look at what these three things are.

1.     A main character, who
2.     Has a mission or a goal, but
3.     Faces a major problem or some kind of opposition.

First, our protagonist is our main character . The goal is what he/she wants and the obstacle is what is stopping he/she from reaching it. 

Two things to remember,

1.     The main conflict MUST be clear.
2.     Main logline is 25 words or less.

Remember, a log line is usually one sentence, 2 at the very most.

For example:

In the movie, ‘The Crazies’, the protagonist is the town Sheriff.
His goal is to find out why some towns folk are going ‘crazy’.
His obstacle is he must fight off hundreds of ‘infected’ people to do it.

This can also be turned around and looked at like this:

In Wrong Turn, the protagonist is a newly graduated doctor.
The problem is he’s crashed his car in the middle of the wilderness and is being hunted by the local inbreeds.
His goal is to find a way out of the woods so he can get help.

In my story, The Legend, the protagonist is a Reaper.
His goal is to open the gateway to heaven and exact revenge on the entities that imprisoned him.
The problem is, to do this, he will have to kill the girl he has come to love.

Now we have that down, is there anything else we need to create that great log line? Hell, Yes!

First, we must be perfectly clear. We may understand what is going on, but the agent/producer is reading our log line for the first time. They have absolutely no idea what our story is about.

And, we must reveal our biggest hook. What is the most exciting or compelling thing about our screenplay? The log line is your time to reveal it.

Last but not least, we want our reader to picture our movie the moment they read the log line.

Here’s an example from the movie Law Abiding Citizen:

The protagonist and the goal:

A family man killed the member of a gang who murdered his wife and child. 

The hook is:

Once jailed, he escapes to kill off the rest of the gang, one by one, before returning to his jail cell and thus having the perfect alibi.

So my log line would be: “After centuries of searching, a vengeful Reaper finally uncovers the secret that will open the Gateway to Heaven, only to find that in doing so he has to sacrifice the woman he loves.”

The hook is what will have your reader wanting more. It’s what will make it stand out from everybody else’s.

So, how do you start to write a log line?

Write the hook first. Then you will be able to write the log line so it’s delivery is clear and precise.

Remember, an agent or producer will only request our script if our log line is good. Only then do we have a chance at selling it.

There is a really cool video via ScreenWritingU which will tell you all about this in a super fast three minutes.

Well, what are you waiting for?  Start writing those log lines in the comment section.

Have you had a script requested of the back of a log line? Do you find writing log lines hard or easy? Come on, don’t be shy….you know how I love talking to you guys.

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