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Posts Tagged ‘DFW writers convention’

I’ve been away from my blog for what seems ages. But I do have good reason. I’ve been in Texas, working.

Honest, I have. And here are the pictures to prove it.

First, you find an awesome group of friends. Above, I’m with the adorable, Jenny Hansen, best room-mate ever, Piper Bayard, my gorgeous twin, Ingrid Schaffenburg, and the Godmother of us all, Kristen Lamb. This picture was taken after a long and stressful dinner with NYT Bestseller, James Rollins,  and a ton of other people. (I think Nigel Blackwell is taking the picture and bitching at the amount of time we took to say goodbye to each other).

Then, we invaded Lamb Ranch to do a little character R and R. Originally, my antagonist was a mild mannered gal whose only crime was to return her library books back two days late. Kristen ripped her apart and turned her into the Terminator’s ‘Sarah Connor’. Can you spot the difference?

  

Piper and I became so obsessed by our characters, we shot up the place.

We thought I’d missed the tin can….then on closer inspection found I’d hit it with every shot. 🙂

Afterwards, we went riding on the ATV’s at night across snake infested land…. just ’cause we’re hard as nails.

Unfortunately, it was all too much for Spawn. He may need a few more years training…..

So, back to business. How to hook an agent the ‘SOO’ Publishing way.

N.B. For those who haven’t been following my Facebook page, and I will shoot you later, ‘SOO’ stands for ‘Squeeze One Out’ – a term I used while stormchasing when wanting a wee or tinkle as the Americans like to put it. Unfortunately, to the Americans it means ‘No.2’ and I was saying it every time we stopped for gas – which averaged ten times a day five days of the week. No wonder they looked at me a little weird. ‘SOO’ Publishing will publish any novel…… as long as it’s c**p.

Right, the tried and tested way on how to snag that all important literary agent.

1. Gate-crash a writing conference party. The DFW Writers Convention is excellent!

2. Along with a friend (I recommend Jillian Dodd), find a likely male candidate. The more vulnerable he looks, the better. For the purpose of this blog and because I don’t relish a law suit, our agents name will be kept a secret 🙂

3. Start a conversation to break the ice. We began with the very boring, “so, what genre do your represent?”

4. Then make it more personal. We used questions like, “what are the names of your mum and dad?” and “what is your inside leg measurement?”

5. You’re almost best friends at this point so go for broke. Ask about his Abs and whether you can take a picture. If their face begins to redden, offer to do this in a secluded corner of the room.

6. Then, lure him back to a hotel room and ply him with drink.

You will have an agent for your novel by the end of the night – Guaranteed! If not, don’t untie him just yet. Take further pictures, if you know what I mean. It will help your cause immensely and he will cave in to your demands by morning.

If you’d prefer to take a more serious route, (you boring lot), then check out these posts:

Ingrid Schaffenburg’s Top Five Lessons from DFWCon,

Jess Witkins Celebrating her Writing Slump,

David Walker’s take on the DFW Convention

Julie Glover’s Ten Things to do at a Writing Conference

Tiffany A White’s What Writers Really Do at Conferences (apart from the above)

Jenny Hansen’s DFW Con and the Flu…Oh My!

And, Julie Glover’s Vlog – you can see us in the background, plotting.

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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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Does our success as writers have more to do with luck than talent? Or do you think talent prevails over luck every time?

Well, speaking on behalf of my own experiences, I know it has a little to do with both; talent cannot function without luck and vice versa.

Recently, I co-wrote a Supernatural TV pilot, called ‘The Legend’. I had never written a script before, knew nothing about layout and formatting, but dug in, worked hard, and voila, a pilot was born.

At the end of February, my co-writer friend and I were attending the DFW Writer’s Conference in Texas. Now, I class myself as a thrill seeker, but my co-writer went a step further and thought it would be an excellent opportunity to stop by L.A. and ‘pitch’ the TV idea to some Hollywood bodies. Laughingly, and if not just to humour her, I agreed.

We queried everyone we could think of and arranged some meetings. One meeting in particular surprised me. It was with an entertainment lawyer. I asked my friend why she had contacted an entertainment lawyer, to which she simply replied, “why not?”

That entertainment lawyer read our script and loved it. At around the same time a manager contacted this lawyer, and at the end of their telephone conversation asked if he knew of any ‘new’ writers. He looked at our script and emailed it over to her. She read it, loved it, and promptly contacted us.

Two new script-writers left her office a week later with several projects and ideas to write; she wanted to see anything and everything we wrote.

In essence – we had a manager.

All that came from querying a lawyer. Now I’m not telling you email every lawyer you can think of; we also met with an actor and a producer – both of which have attached to the project. But with each person we met, we were recommended to someone else, and each contact is now a person we have met with personally and can email ideas and projects without the need of a query letter. Hence we have a VIP backdoor where only solicited work is allowed to enter.

So yes, I believe your career is made with a mixture of luck and talent:

Luck – Maybe we didn’t go about querying in the correct manner, but we did it politely and professionally…..and we got the face to face meetings we wanted.

Luck – We happened to be liked, and first impressions seem to be everything in this business.

Talent – That all important synopsis were our hook, and led our readers into wanting the script.

Talent – The script is why wanted people to meet us.

Without these key ingredients, I would not be sitting here now, blogging about my experiences. I walked away from L.A. a very busy girl, but having my writing described as very well written and with strong voice was a boost to an area of writing I am very new at, and being praised as audacious was fun – I mean, me, audacious? Honestly 😀

So, tell me if a mixture of luck and talent has led to any of your successes.

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