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Posts Tagged ‘Donna Newton’

You’ve been itching to begin writing, and are so nearly there. But, what is a story without characters? Not a very good one, I can tell you in an instant.

Now, you could be forgiven if you believe a good idea is all that’s needed to write a successful novel. After all, you may be writing an action story. What do you need character’s for? Aren’t they just well toned guys flexing their muscles while shooting up the place? Well, without believable and interesting characters, you’ll have nothing but a lifeless story. Although, if muscles are you’re thing, you may not care if there’s not story 🙂

Okay. For those that aren’t quite sure, I’ll quickly explain the difference between a plot driven story and a character driven story.

Character vs Plot

Plot Driven Story: Usually action-based. The action is what’s classed as driving the story forward. For example, Transporter, Star Wars, Jurassic Park.

Character Driven Story: Character based. The characters drive the story forward. For instance, Rocky, Cast Away, It’s a Wonderful Life.

Now, you may be a little confused. After all, the Rocky films have a lot of action in them. Well, if you look at the original ‘Rocky’ film, the story is about a fighter and his struggle to become a world-class boxer. That is character-driven.

Why do we need to know our characters?

Imagine Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’. I think we can all relax in the comfort of knowing this is a character-driven love story. But, if Austen hadn’t ‘known’ Mr Darcy inside out when writing him, would we, as love-struck, female fans, still be romancing over him today?

We like and love him (some even dream of him), because we feel we know him. And that is what makes a good character. Someone your reader can identify with and relate to.

So, how do we get character’s like this?

First, you need to create them.

Antagonists, Protagonists, and Supporting Cast (aka Minions)

NOTE: Let me just make this little snippet clear. The antagonist doesn’t necessarily have to be a person. The antagonist is whatever hampers the protagonist (hero) from reaching his or her goal. 

However, as this post is about creating characters, our antagonist is going to be human.

So, where do I start?

Always with the antagonist, aka the baddie. They are the reason you have a story. Without one, your protagonist will easily reach their goal – leaving you with a dreary story and no plot.

First you have to decide the kind of character you want to create and make sure they get the correct label. A what? A Label. I made a mistake with the first story I wrote. My antag was a hitman who worked for the mob. But, as it was pointed out to me, the Mob Boss was the real antag. He was the guy giving the orders for the hit. Without him, my hitman would have been out of work. Thus, although my hitman was the main baddie, he was in fact a Minion. Confused? Good. Then, I wasn’t alone 🙂

To explain this a little better, I am going to use a well-know subject.

Jason Bourne. Girls love him and boys want to be him.

In the Bourne films, Jason is a killer. A hitman. Does that make him the antag? No. He is the hero. And this is because he’s trying to reach a goal, which is to remember who the hell he is.

Although it’s a variety of assassins who try to kill Bourne, it’s a CIA group called ‘Treadstone’ who initially orders the hits. This makes ‘Treadstone’ the antagonist. The assassins are mere minions.

And let’s not forget Marie, Jason’s love interest and the girl who helps him attain his goal.

Creating Your Characters

If I were to ask you to tell me about yourself, where would you start?

Five years ago? Ten? How about from the moment you were born?

That is where I want you to start with your characters… From the moment they were born. Write down who their parents were. What kind of upbringing did they have. Create family and loved ones they may have lost along the way. This exercise will run into pages if you do it right. It will round your

characters’ journey and define how they got to be the person in your story. Their likes and dislikes. Their flaws.

Use props – for instance, do they have a limp, or a squint? If so, how did they get it? Remember, Indiana Jones had a fear of snakes. We found out through a (long) flash back in the third film because he fell into a circus snake pit. Makes you wonder if George Lucas had already written it into his background, doesn’t it?

Research your character. If they attended boarding school. Research it. If they were in the army. Research it.

Basically, you are writing a biography. It has to be accurate.

Giving a Character Qualities and Flaws

If you are like me, they you would have rooted for Jason Bourne. Why? Because we liked him. But why would we feel like this? Remember, Jason Bourne is a killer. Does that now make us a hitman loving sociopath?

No. It means the writer has done their job. You want your audience to love your protagonist and cheer them on every inch of the way. If you make your characters too nice, your reader will tire of them and become bored. Likewise, if you make your characters hard-nosed and arrogant. They become unlikable because your readers cannot get close enough to start caring.

Jason Bourne is a man on a mission. He is a killer. And yet every now and then, a slither of emotion escapes and we see a man who cares about right and wrong. That is a character quality. He cares about the well-being of Marie, and this shows Jason’s softer side. Again, another quality, if not also a flaw. His ability to kill so easily, although it constantly saves his life, is a flaw. Having to suppress emotion in order to survive is a flaw. And flaws are what make us human. It’s these flaws that allow your readers to relate to your characters.

Steer clear of stereotypes. Make your character unique. A skin head with pink spiked hair and wearing Doc Martins is stereo-typical. Give him a unique quality that makes him stand out from the rest of the skin heads.

I’ll tell you a quick story I know my co-writer, Natalie Duggan, won’t mind. When I first paired up with Natalie to write the TV pilot ‘Legend’, I mentioned character backgrounds. Natalie thought I was nuts and that it was all a waste of time. She wanted to get to the story. So, I banged my head against the desk, argued until I was blue in the face, then just went ahead and wrote out the backgrounds anyway. I emailed them across and Natalie loved them. Her exact words? “Oh, wow. These are awesome. I really feel I know Roman and Nate (two of the MC’s).” Natalie now writes backgrounds on ALL her characters.  🙂

Okay, that should be enough to start you off.

So, do you create characters before you begin writing? What kind of techniques do you use when creating your characters? Do you make your characters too perfect? Are you plot-driven or character-driven?

If you want more of me, try checking out FacebookTwitterGoogle+GoodreadsKloutBranchOut and Linkedin

Upcoming classes: via Webinar, where we can interact and you ask questions.

14th July: Getting To Know Your Characters

21st July: From Idea To Story

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In May, I wrote a post  giving you guys two pictures and asked you to write me a scary short story.

Well, you didn’t disappoint. I’ve picked out the ones I liked and without further ado, (and in no particular order), I give you the first one by brilliant writer, Nigel Blackwell.

The Eye of Death

I watched her walk in the mist, up the hill from the pub, light steps, tight clothes, curves that screamed for testosterone’s attention, and her whole body lithe with life. If fair was fair in this world, it would have been a life that were mine, because well I knew her, but life ain’t fair.

It was the hook that did it. One minute I was watching it swing, maneuvering giant buckets for it to collect, ducking as it came by, covering my ears as it crashed into the lifting ring, and watching as it vaulted a ton of scrap metal high into the air, as easy as birds lift worms, winching it away to smelt in the furnace in that place of fire and iron and darkness, a place where men spoke in grunts and spit.

It weren’t a place for girls, especially ones with long, coal dark hair and skin paler than lime, not ones with skirts black, all tighter than tight and shorter than short on legs that were longer than long. No, it weren’t a place for them, but she were there. Radiant, dazzling, and winking at me. And I winked back. I took me eye off the hook, I did, an’ the hook took me eye off o’ me.

It swung back, lazy and smooth. Right into my eye. A hundred pounds of iron, twisted to a point and cast, fishing for my eye, its tip squeezing easy through the jelly, spearing my skull, stabbing out the back, cracking open my eye socket, sweeping me backwards, upwards, hanging me by me skull. I grabbed and pulled and yanked at the chain, lifting myself by pathetic inches from that godless scythe. I balled my lungs, ripping at my throat, near tearing out my voice box.

The hook arced me down, back to where I had stood; only not standing but legs thrashing crazy, hands clenching the hook, and concrete unmoving. My left foot snapped clean off, my right leg speared straight up, bones ripping soft organs, tearing open my lungs, leaving me wet rasps or nothing. My flesh and bones were tossed to the furnace’s pig iron river. I were naught bar a flame and a flash, and gone, but they buried me proper. Not there were much left to put in the ground.

That were then, see, and now’s now, and now she were not in that place, she were in mine, my yard, my graveyard.

Through she walked, crashing the gate, kicking the gravel, singing loud. Bad singing. The tonelessness of alcohol and pub songs half remembered. But that were good, not the singing of course, I ain’t stupid, but the alcohol, that were good. Good for her.

She staggered to the stones that ringed the yard and passed for a wall. Over she went, legs in the air and tight skirt tightening before she took pity on the heartbeats of men unseen, an’ smoothed it back into place.

Her heels sank in the cloying grass and suckling ground. Her head picked up, hearing the noise, same as I heard, a roaring of exhaust and a crashing of gears, a lorry straining up the hill. Not just any lorry, the big one from old Sawbuck’s yard, the one for towing, towing with a hook, a heavy hook. He was late from a job, like always. He’d be fast, like always. He’d have one headlight out, like always. And he’d turn at the corner of my yard, turn by the lane to her home.

She made it to the road, her singing forgotten and her arms out to keep from falling. The tarmac was firm to her heel and she swept across its glistening blackness, its white line, its potent danger, and over to the other side.

Sawbuck’s headlight clawed up the hill, close now, splashing left and right, drunk like she. It took a bend with a squeal of tire, the old man pushing to get home, just like she.

Her arms went out again and her toes poked forward, testing her shoes and her weight and her balance on the mud of her lane beyond the road.

The roaring came upon us, tarmac shining in myopic light, and glittering cats-eyes welcoming weary travelers. And her eyes glittered, too. Her skin reveled in fifty watts of headlight, her arms waving to keep herself upright. She lifted one foot to step back, away from the road, away from the thundering lorry, away from its danger.

It weren’t right and it weren’t fair, and neither were I, so I winked. Six feet of moldy flesh and bones, and a single eye for a single wink.

Her eyes bulged, her lips puckered round, and her cheeks lost their muscle. Her arms dangled, and her one leg kept still in the air. I held her rapt, like she’d held me.

The exhaust thundered and the wheels squealed. The single light swept past, taking the corner, marking the path of its curvature the tangent to its momentum.

But momentum weren’t for the hook. It swung free, slashing wide, snapping its wire taught, whipping back, following Sarbuck’s homeward and ignorant dash.

She weren’t ignorant, though, she saw it all, the swinging, the snapping, and the whipping. She felt its pain, too. The blunt hammer of sixty mile an hour iron crushing her ribs, folding her in two, lifting her up, spinning her careless. She felt the wait of moments before the smooth tarmac rose up to meet her, wrenching her head back, snapping her neck, splashing her limp on the ground.

And the light were away, with Sawbuck on home.

I waited for her to spread upon the road, and she to bid adieu to warm blood. Perhaps they would bury her near me, the same yard and within a yard, perchance.

It weren’t fair, but I ain’t a man of fair, because I ain’t a man, I’m dead.

And all’s fair in the eye of death.

THE END

Next week, I’ll post another one.

If you want more of me, try checking out FacebookTwitterGoogle+GoodreadsKloutBranchOut and Linkedin

Upcoming classes:

14th July: Getting To Know Your Characters

21st July: From Idea To Story

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No matter what age you are, everyone is doing it.

Er,… texting, that is.

So, yesterday it was brought to my attention that us ‘oldies’ have our own text chat abbreviations.

None of this ‘LOL laughing out loud’, or BRB ‘be right back’ rubbish. Ours is more sophisticated.

So, without further ado, I give you:

TEXT CHAT FOR THE OLDIES

ATD – At The doctors

BFF – Best Friends Funeral

BTW – Bring The Wheelchair

FWIW – Forget Where I Was

GGPBL – Gotta Go, Pacemaker Battery Low

GHA – Got Heartburn Again

HGBM – Had Good Bowel Movement

IMHO – Is My Hearing Aid On?

WAITT – Who Am I Talking To?

GGLKI – Gotta Go, Laxatives Kicking In

IPMSA – I’ve Pissed Myself Again.

So, now it’s your turn. Have I missed any out?

If you want more of me, try checking out FacebookTwitterGoogle+GoodreadsKlout, BranchOut and Linkedin

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For those of you who don’t already know, I am starting something very special at the end of this month.

Teaching.

Yep, in between an already over-subscribed schedule, I’ve joined the team at WANA International and slipped in a few classes on fiction writing.

In the past I have helped writers via email, but find this method extremely limiting and time consuming.

So What’s different about the WANA method?

I’m really excited about WANA teaching. Mainly because of the awesome team on hand, but also because everything is done on-line via Webinar. This means distance between student and instructor isn’t an issue, plus the WANA method enables a much more personal approach. It gives me the opportunity to interact with you guys, verbally. For you, it’s like being in a classroom – only in the comfort of your own home. Perfect!

There will be opportunities to speak to each other and ask questions. Plus, the class is recorded so you don’t have to worry about scribbling down any notes. You can just sit back, relax, drink a cup of coffee, and absorb. And, I may even throw in the odd competition 🙂

On 30th June I’ll be holding a class on ‘Dialogue Only Your Characters Would Say. This will cover common mistakes, basic do’s and dont’s, and all the tools you’ll need to give your character their own ‘voice’.

On 14th July, you’ll have the opportunity to learn how to create your characters. The class, ‘Getting To Know Your Characters‘, will take you through the stages of character creation and show you how to inject them with life. Your readers will love them!

And last but not least, ‘From Idea to Storywill be held on 21st July I’ll be explaining how to take your idea and turn it into the full length fiction novel you’ve always dreamed of writing, with

I am so excited about WANA.

As well as my classes, there are many more subjects available from the crème de la crème of instructors.

So, what are you waiting for? Get over to WANA and book a class.

 

 

If you want more of me, try checking out FacebookTwitterGoogle+,GoodreadsKloutand Linkedin

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This weeks competitions that have caught my eye:

FICTIONVia First Writer

Annual Gival Press Short Story Award
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   8th August 2012
Fees:   $25 for one entry.
Prizes:   $1,000 for first place. Also web and anthology publication.
Details:   For short stories between 5,000 and 15,000 words.
Contact:   Robert L. Giron, Editor, Gival Press Short Stroy Award, Gival Press, LLC, PO Box 3812, Arlington, VA 22203
Country:   United States
Website:   http://www.givalpress.com/index.cfm?rsn=209&mn=Contests

British Fantasy Society Short Story Competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   30th June 2012
Fees:   £5 for one entry. Members get one entry free.
Prizes:  £100 for first place. £50; £20. Also society membership and magazine publichation.
Details:  For fantastical stories up to 5,000 words, e.g. fantasy, science, science fiction, horror, supernatural, fabulation, magic realism, slipstream, etc.
Country:    United Kingdom
Email:    shortsorycomp@britishfantasysociety.org
Website:   http://www.britishfantasysociety.co.uk/the-bfs-short-story-competition-2012

Tony Hillerman Mystery Short Story Competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   15th August 2012
Fees:   $20 for one entry
Prizes:   Magazine publication and two tickets to the awards ceremony.
Details:   For short stories up to 2,500 words, set at least in part in New Mexico.
Contact:   Mystery Short Story Contest. New Mexico Magazine, 495 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501
Country:    United States
Website:  http://www.wordharvest.com/contest.php

Fiction Contest, Tennessee Williams Fest
Category:   Fiction
Closes:  15th November 2012
Fees:   $25 for one entry
Prizes:   $1,500 for first place
Details:   Grand prize: $1,5000; domestic airfare (up to £500) and accommodations to attend the 2013 Festival; VIP Festival Pass; Public reading at the 2013 Festival; Publication in Louisiana Literature. Submit unpublished shot stories up to 7,000 words. For eligibility and full guidelines see website.
Contact:   Fiction Contest TennesseeWilliams/New Orleans Literary Festival 938 Lafayette Street, Suite 514, New Orleans, LA 70113
Country:    United States
Website:  http://www.tennesseewilliams.net/contests

100 Words or Fewer Writing Contest
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   18th July 2012
Fees:   $15 for one entry
Prizes:   $250 for first Place
Details:   For Flash fiction up to 100 words following the prompts on the website
Country:   United States
Website:   http://www.100wordsorfewerwritingcontest.com
SCRIPTS Via First WriterOne Act Contest – Tennessee Williams Fest
Category:   Scripts
Closes:   1st November 2012
Fees:   $25 for one entry.
Prizes:  $1,500 for first place.
Details:   Grand Prize: $1,500; Staged reading at the 2013 Festival (March 20-24); Full production at the 2014 Festival; VIP All-Access Festival pass for 2013 and 2014 ($1,000 value); Publication. Submit unpublished, never publicly performed one-act plays up to one hour in length. For eligibility and full guidelines see our contest page.
Contact:   One-Act Contest Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival 938 Lafayette Street, Suite 514 New Orleans, LA 70113
Country:   United States
Website:   http://www.tennesseewilliams.net/contests

Trinity College London International Pla
Category:   Scripts
Closes:   7th September 2012
Fees:   Ł10 for one entry. Ł20 entry fee for written feedback.
Prizes:  Ł1,000 for first place. Ł500 prizes will be awarded to up to six Highly Commended entrants.
Details:   Write a one act play for young performers or audiences in English (20-40 minutes duration) and be in with a chance to win a range of prizes including a trip to London to see your play performed and cash prizes of Ł1,000. Categories: Plays for Young Performers; Plays for Teenage Audiences. Entry fee of Ł10 or Ł20 for written feedback. Closing date 7th September 2012. Find out more and enter online on our website.
Country:   United Kingdom
Website:   http://www.trinitycollege.co.uk/playwriting

ROMANCE WRITERS OF AMERICA Via RWA

 *Open to published authors
**Open to published and unpublished authors

*2012 Aspen Gold Readers Choice Contest

Sponsor: Heart of Denver Romance Writers
Fee: HODRW members $20, RWA members $25, others $30.
Deadline: June 15, 2012
Eligibility: Participation is open to all published authors of novel- or novella-length romance fiction with an original copyright or first printing date of January 2011 through December 2011.
Entry: 3 copies of book, with an additional 2 copies for finalists. E-pubbed books are eligible, but must submit 3 printed, bound copies.
Categories: Young Adult, Contemporary, Single Title, Historical, Romantic Suspense, Erotica, Paranormal/Time-Travel/Futuristic, and Novella.
Judges: First round judges are romance readers.
Final Judges: Booksellers and Librarians.
Top Prize: The first place winner in each category will receive the Aspen Gold Award. All other finalists will receive suitable recognition. Results will be published in the RWR.
FMI, email Kathy or Grace at AG@hodrw.com with questions or see the website athttp://www.hodrw.com/contests.

*Heart of Excellence Readers’ Choice Award

Sponsor: Ancient City Romance Authors (ACRA)
Fee: $20.00 per entry. Make checks payable to ACRA.
Deadline: Entries must be postmarked by June 15, 2012
Eligibility: Open to RWA members with books having an original copyright date of 2011 or First US Printing date of 2011 from January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2011.
Entry: Include 3 signed copies of each entry. (Book length, at least 50K. E-mail books are accepted in bound, hard copy.)
Categories: Contemporary Single Title Romance, Erotic Romance, Historical (includes Regency) Romance, Inspirational/Traditional Romance, Paranormal Romance (includes fantasy, time-travel, futuristic), Romantic Suspense, Short & Long Series Contemporary Romance, and Strong Romantic Elements.
Judges: Judges will be romance readers, including non-RWA members and RWA members.
Final Judges: Booksellers and former editors.
Top Prize: 1st Place winners in each category will receive a trophy, certificate, and a winner’s graphic for their website.
FMI, contact ACRARWA.com. E-mail reallychristy@gmail.comVLWKing@aol.com, orDJWilson77@aol.com for additional questions not found on the website.

19th Annual Ignite the Flame Contest

Sponsor: Central Ohio Fictional Writers (COFW)
Fee: $25–30.00
Deadline: June 15, 2012 *deadline extended!*
Entry: Hero and heroine’s first meeting (15 pgs. max): a one-page optional setup is not judged.
Eligibility: Authors unpublished in book-length fiction.
Judges: Published authors and RWA-PRO.
Categories and Final Judges: Romantic Suspense – Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency; Historical Romance – Deb Werksman, Sourcebooks; Category-Length Contemporary – Rhonda Penders, Wild Rose Press; Young Adult – Andrea Somberg, Harvey Klinger, Inc.; Single Title – Katherine Pelz, Berkley Publishing Group; Erotic Romance – Alicia Rasley, Red Sage; Paranormal Romance – Lindsey Faber, Samhain Publishing.
Top Prize: $30 to first place in each category.
FMI, ITFcontest@gmail.com.

**Minuet of Love Romance Novella Contest

Sponsor: Music City Romance Writers
Fee: $15.00
Deadline: June 15, 2012 *deadline extended!*
Eligibility: Open to both unpublished and published authors, but novella entered must be unpublished.
Entry: Romance novellas (15-40K) with HEA or HFN ending. All electronic. First 10 pages, 250 word query/synopsis OPTIONAL (unjudged) in .doc format; all heat levels accepted.
Categories: Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal.
Judges: Published/trained unpublished authors.
Final Judges: Contemporary, Deborah Nemeth (Carina Press); Historical, Linda Ingmanson (Samhain Publishing); Paranormal, Adrien Luc-Sanders (Entangled Publishing).
Top Prize: $25 in each category, certificate, announcement in RWR.
FMI, visit www.mcrw.com or email contest coordinators at novella@mcrw.com.

*2012 Golden Leaf Contest

Sponsor: New Jersey Romance Writers
Fee: $15–25.00
Deadline: June 20, 2012
Entry: Four new autographed books with a first copyright date or first North American printing date between July 2011 and June 2012. Open to RWA Region 1 and NJRW members published in novel-length romance.
Judges: Booksellers, librarians, readers groups, romance readers.
FMI, visit http://www.njromancewriters.org/ or email contest coordinators atGoldenLeaf@njromancewriters.org.

*The 2012 Published Beacon Contest

Sponsor: First Coast Romance Writers
Fee: $25.00
Deadline: Entries must be postmarked by June 30, 2011.
Entry: Books with a 2011 copyright date.
Judges: Readers.
FMI, www.firstcoastromancewriters.com or Beaconpub@firstcoastromancewriters.com.

**The Rebecca, for unpublished manuscripts

Sponsor: Land of Enchantment Romance Authors
Fee: $20 (LERA members) or $25 (non-members)
Deadline: June 30, 2012
Eligibility: Manuscripts not accepted for publication at the time of submission.
Entry: Opening five thousand (5,000) words of romance works, electronic or hard copy.
Categories and Final Judges: Contemporary Romance – Deb Nemeth, Carina Press; Young Adult Romance – Holly Blanck, St. Martin’s; Category Romance – Allison Lyons, Harlequin; Historical Romance – Suzie Townsend, Nancy Coffee Literary; Paranormal/Science Fiction/Urban Fantasy – Adam Wilson, Pocket Books.
FMI, http://leranm.com/.

SCRIPT WRITING OPPORTUNITIES Via ISA:

(N.B. Only contact the companies listed below between 11th June – 25th June 2012)

SEEKING COLLABORATOR FOR SCI-FI BOOK-TO-SCREENPLAY ADAPTATION
I am interested in finding a screenwriter who would be willing to collaborate with me on writing a screenplay for my sci-fi story “Spaceship Earth.” Published by Reagent Press it is now available in ebook form (Amazon, Kindle.) I wrote this story for middle school/high school students and young adults to address, in part, the concepts of evolution and creationism. This story deals with the creation of the universe and the cyclic “Big Bang” theory. It takes readers through one cycle, covering a period of approximately 70 billion years. I would like to send interested/qualified writers a complimentary ebook copy for consideration. Send inquiries to me, Tom Schwartz, at thomasschwartz@bellsouth.net

SEEKING SHORT ON THEMES OF FREEDOM AND LIBERTY
Assembly Line Entertainment is close with a grant that promotes freedom and liberty. The grant ranges from $5,000 – $20,000 and we plan on working with a short film. We’re looking for a short screenplay that has these themes. The screenplay should be no more than 20 pages. Please send an email with the following guidelines. SUBJECT: TITLE OF YOUR SCREENPLAY. BODY: LOGLINE OF YOUR SCREENPLAY. A little bit about yourself. ATTACHMENTS: Attach your resume and screenplay in a PDF format. Send to : jambros@assemblylineentertainment.com

FILM CO SEEKS SCREENWRITER FOR REWRITES/FINAL POLISH
Award-winning film company Judith Studios is currently looking for a professional screenwriter to assist with rewrites/finalizing the screenplay on our next full length feature film. Need to start ASAP as we have already begun production. Salary negotiable. Please contact cpanton@judithstudios.com or christopher.panton@yahoo.com

PROD CO SEEKS SCREENWRITER
Here at Gorilla Productions, we’re looking to meet a talented scriptwriter to collaborate with our team of dynamic young filmmakers on a film project. We strongly encourage young talented writers to apply. While experience is desirable, what we’re really looking for is talent and enthusiasm. If you’re interested, please get in touch with a sample of your work. Apply to: Makez Rikweda thru info@gorilla-productions.com

The ArtHouse Theatre Company
We are looking for writers who have a script ready to have a staged read-through for our week-long artists event in July. We are looking for a diversity of styles, and specifically something that can be done in 15-90mins. If you have a couple of short scripts, we are open to doing a series. We have lights, sound, a stage, and (if need be) we can even get you a read-through cast. All we need is you and your art.
Just email your name, contact email, and samples to artists@arthousetheatre.org, or follow our link to fill out the form:
http://www.arthousetheatre.org/Artist~App.html
Please indicate in your message if you have performers to read your work, number of characters, and estimated time length.
There is no pay, but every artist who shares their work will be granted access to the entire week, including ticketed shows. We are a 501(c)3 and donation of service is available.

TWO TO THREE LOCATION NO BUDGET SHORT OR FEATURE SCRIPT NEEDED
I currently have access to about 3 two-bedroom family apartments, small park, and a few exterior spots and am looking for a script for two to three apartment location shoot. This could also include some exteriors like an alley, street, small park et al as long it wouldn’t require permit to acquire. Short or feature are welcome. Genre: High Drama, Suspense, Thriller, Action. No horror or sci-fi. “Holistic” approach is a plus. It’s a non paying gig but writing and AP credit will be received. This will be an independent, no-budget production. It should be an original story with unexpected twists, and an important message, No cliche! no period pieces, no pets, no kids, no SFX or elaborate makeup jobs, no elaborate props or set pieces, no stunts or dangerous actions, 4-7 cast, no script that requires a lot of background, no car chases, no elaborate gore effects. It should have witty, snappy, awesome dialogue and intriguing story line. Contact theatrexm@gmail.com

SEEKING SEASONED WRITER FOR COLLABORATION ON TV SERIES
Looking for seasoned writer for a possibile television series entitled, “Texas Heat”. Think of Friday Night Lights, but with baseball. Send inquiries to me at davidkouri@gmail.com

SCREENWRITER NEEDED FOR ACTION WEB SERIES
I am looking for a screenwriter for an action web series pilot. It’s an international action concept with lots of stunts. We will probably shoot internationally. It’s a very exciting concept. If interested please send a clear, short bio to me at christianray@hollywoodworld.org If invited to talk in more detail you need to be willing to sign an NDA. This is a paid gig, but you would need to be willing to submit an unpaid spec of how you would approach the story. Thank you for your consideration. Christian Ray Flores, Executive Producer, Hollywood World Studios.

CONFERENCES AND CLASSES:

 WANA International Classes:

Demystifying Triberr

Instructor: Jenny Hansen
When: Yahoo loop opens June 13th, 1 hour webinar on June 14th, 12:30-1:30 pm EST, course runs 1 week
Where: Online Webinar + Coaching via email and within Triberr
Description: Is Triberr a mystery to you? This class is for people who would like to harness the power of Triberr and just feel like they’re missing the boat. Triberr is a powerful tool to help you manage social media in a meaningful way. We don’t need to resort to automation or spamming people to create connections in a time-effective way and Triberr is the best tool for the job! Take back your creative space!

Session 1: Join Jenny for an hour-long webinar to learn how to navigate quickly in Triberr and become comfortable with the basic functionality. Settings, Tribal Stream and getting help will be covered.

Session 2: Join Jenny in a Triberr group and on a Yahoo loop for a week of hands-on coaching and training. This real world practice gives you the advantage of a ready-made tribe, plus the ground rules for how to use Triberr responsibly. Increase your blog traffic and have a great time doing it.

Note: A second 1-hour webinar may be held for class participants at the end of this week if there is a need for more live coaching.

Dialogue Only Your Character Would Say

Instructor: Donna Newton
When: 1 session, Saturday June 30, 3-5 pm GMT
Where: Online Webinar
Description: Dialogue can be tricky. After all, not everything we say in “real life” works on a page. In fact, does it need to be said at all? Doesn’t our body language speak for us? During this course we will cover the common mistakes writers make when using dialogue, and how to effectively propel our characters into the hearts of the reader.

In this class we will discuss the six functions of dialogue, the rules when writing dialogue, when to use interior monologues, how to avoid obvious dialogue, dialogue do’s and don’ts, dashes vs ellipses…. and much more.

Writing for Television for the YouTube Generation

Instructor: Rachel Funk Heller
When: June 27, 8-9 pm EST
Where: Online Webinar
Description:

Why do news anchor people speak the way they do? Want to know how to write voice-over copy like the pros, but don’t have time to get a degree in Journalism? Not to worry. In this class, you’ll learn all the tricks of the trade. This class will teach you how to produce a professional-grade video (to promote your book or your business), and also how to add new content to your blog or webpage. You’ll learn the difference between “writing for the eye” and “writing for the ear” as well as how the proper script format to use for your project. After the session, you’re invited to submit samples of your scripts for feedback and helpful suggestions to take your career to the next level.

Free 30 minute consult on your video script idea for the first 15 students who sign up!

Where Do I Begin?

Instructor: Shirley Jump
When: June 25, 7-8 pm CST
Where: Online Webinar
Description: How do you know if you have enough of an idea for a whole book? Where do you start your story? Join Shirley Jump for an interactive workshop that teaches you how to take a germ of an idea and turn it into a story, covering the basics of goal, motivation and conflict. By the end of this class, you’ll have started Once Upon a Time and be on your way to The End!
Please remember to check out legitimacy of all contests, classes, and conferences before you enter, and to copyright all your work before you submit.

Good luck and let me know how you get on.

If you want more of me, you can also find me on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, Goodreads, Kloutand Linkedin

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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.

If you want more of me, try checking out: FacebookTwitterGoogle+InstagramYou Tube, and Linkedin.

Join my email list and be first to hear about upcoming releases and offers.

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This weeks competitions that have caught my eye:

FICTION: Via First Writer

Playingbingo Short Story Competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   28th February 2013
Fees:   £0 for one entry.
Prizes:   £300 for first place. Second prize £100, and two runner’s up prizes of £50.
Details:   A short story competition on the theme of bingo, 1,500-3,000 words.
Country:   United Kingdom
Website:   http://playingbingo.co.uk/competitions-prizes/short-story/index.php

Winchester Writers’ Conf. Short Story
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   25th May 2012
Fees:   £9 for one entry. £7 if attending conference.
Prizes:   £100 for first place. Also £150 fiction workshop voucher.
Details:   For short stories on any theme or subject, between 1,500 and 3,000 words. No children’s stories.
Contact:   Writing Competitions, c/o Barbara Large, Winchester Writers’ Conference, The University of Winchester, Winchester, Hants SO22 4NR
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   Sara.Gangai@winchester.ac.uk
Website:   http://www.writersconference.co.uk/competition.htm

Two Ways Contest
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   31st May 2012
Fees:   $0 for one entry.
Prizes:   $50 for first place. $25 for second place.
Details:   To enter, write a piece of prose and poetry on any theme. The pieces can be integrated or separate, but must present the same essential story. Entries must be 2500 words or fewer. Contest deadline May 31, 2012. E-mail entries will not be accepted. For full rules, see attached URL.
Country:   United States
Website:   http://www.scribophile.com/contests/two-ways-contest/

Wordstock Ten Short Fiction Competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   1st July 2012
Fees:   $30 for one entry.
Prizes:   $1,000 for first place.
Details:   For short stories and comics of any genre, between 1,500 and 3,000 words. Enter online.
Country:   United States
Website:   http://www.wordstockfestival.com/get-involved/short-fiction-competition/

Reflection
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   30th May 2012
Fees:   €0 for one entry. No fees
Prizes:   €0 for first place. All successful applicants will receive a free copy of the printed magazine.
Details:   Submit your work to be featured on the blog with a chance to be published in our monthly magazine. We are looking for creative people with a vision and voice to share their opinions, work and stories not for a pay check but for the love of creating. This months issue theme is REFLECTION – PEILIKUVA Deadline is Midnight Finnish Time, May 30th 2012.
Contact:   submission@hesainprint.com
Country:   Finland
Email:   info@hesainprint.com
Website:   http://www.hesainprint.com

Katherine Paterson Prize
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   30th June 2012
Fees:   $20 for one entry.
Prizes:   $1,000 for first place. $100 x 3. Also publication.
Details:   For Young Adult and Children’s Literature up to 10,000 words. May be a novel excerpt, but if so should stand alone.
Contact:  KPP, Hunger Mountain, Vermont College of Fine Arts, 36 College Street, Montpelier, VT 05602
Country:   United States
Email:   hungermtn@vcfa.edu
Website:   http://www.hungermtn.org/katherine-paterson-prize-for-young-adult-and-childrens-writing/

Short Story of the Month Competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   25th May 2012
Fees:   £0 for one entry.
Prizes:   £0 for first place. Publication in The New Short Story Annual 2013
Details:   Submissions are welcome on any subject (up to 2,000 words). The winning entry will be displayed on the website. The winning entry and strongest contenders will be published in The New Short Story Annual 2013 at the end of the year.
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   hayleysherman.editor@gmail.com
Website:   http://www.hayley-sherman.co.uk

The Flaneur short story contest
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   31st May 2012
Fees:   $20 for one entry.
Prizes:   Ł0 for first place. Half of the entry fees will be given as a prize.
Details:   Short stories of up to 6000 words on the theme of Urban Shorts. Selected stories will be published in our ebook anthology and the winner will receive a cash prize.
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   contest@flaneur.me.uk
Website:   http://flaneur.me.uk/04/call-for-urban-short-stories-for-flaneur-ebook/

Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   30th June 2012
Fees:   $20 for one entry.
Prizes:   $1,000 for first place. $100 x 2. Also publication.
Details:   For original, unpublished stories under 10,000 words.
Contact:   HFMSFP, Hunger Mountain, Vermont College of Fine Arts, 36 College Street, Montpelier, VT 05602
Country:   United States
Website:   http://www.hungermtn.org/short-fiction-prize/

Multi-Story Short Story Competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   30th June 2012
Fees:   £5 for one entry. £8 for two entries.
Prizes:   £500 for first place. 2nd prize £100 3rd prize £50.
Details:   Open-themed story of no more than 2500 words.
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   info@multi-story.co.uk
Website:   http://www.multi-story.co.uk

SCRIPTS Via First Writer

Screenwriting Goldmine
Category:   Scripts
Closes:   12th July 2012
Fees:   Ł24 for one entry. Deadlines: 7th June, 5th Jul, 12th Jul.
Prizes:   Ł500 for first place. Many prizes, including meetings with industry judges.
Details:   This is a major new British screenwriting contest, with a serious ambition to find good new writers. Highly influential judging panel of industry leaders. The entry fees have been kept as low as possible, and there is an excellent selection of prizes, including script meetings with some of those judges. Early bird submission date: Thurs 7th June, final submissions by Thurs 12th July.
Contact:   Screenwriting Goldmine Competition, Tradejammer Ltd, 63 Lansdowne Place, Hove, BN3 1FL
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   info@screenwritinggoldmine.com
Website:   http://awards.screenwritinggoldmine.com

ROMANCE WRITERS OF AMERICA Via RWA

 *Open to published authors
**Open to published and unpublished authors

**2012 Molly and Unsinkable Heroine Contest
Sponsor: Heart of Denver Romance Writers
Fee: HODRW member $25, RWA member $30, others $40.
Deadline: Early bird deadline May 1, 2012; final deadline May 25, 2012
Eligibility: Participation is open to all unpublished authors of novel-length romance fiction and those who have not published within three years prior to contest deadline. Non-winning entries are eligible for reentry.
Entry: Electronic entries only; see website for instructions.
Categories: Young Adult, Contemporary, Single Title, Historical, Romantic Suspense, Paranormal/Time-Travel/Futuristic
Judges: First round judges are romance writers. Second round judges are published authors.
Final Judges: See website for final judge editors and agents.
Top Prize: The first place winner in each category will receive the Molly Award. All other finalists will receive suitable recognition. Results will be published in the RWR.
FMI: email Mollycoordinator@hodrw.com with questions or see the website at http://www.hodrw.com/contests.

2012 Emerald City Opener
Sponsor: Greater Seattle Romance Writers of America
Fee: $12 for members, $20 for nonmembers
Deadline: May 31, 2012
Eligibility: Unpublished writers.
Entry: Your novel’s opening hook – The Opener – is what attracts an editor or agent. Polish the first seven pages of your manuscript and enter the Emerald City Opener Contest, sponsored by the Greater Seattle Chapter of RWA. Electronic submittal.
Categories and Final Judges: Category (Series) Romance – Kelli Martin, Amazon/Montlake; Contemporary – Liz Pelletier, Entangled Publishing; Historical – Amanda Bergeron, Avon Books; Paranormal – Carrie Jackson, Ellora’s Cave; Romantic Elements – Holly Root, Waxman Agency; Romantic Suspense – Alexandra Machinist, Janklow & Nesbit Associates; Young Adult – Nicole Resciniti, The Seymour Agency.
First Round Judges: PROs, Published Authors.
Top Prize: Finalists receive a private pitch with their editor or agent of choice if attending Emerald City Writer’s Conference on October 26–28. Top prize in each category is $25.
FMI, www.gsrwa.org.

SCRIPT WRITING OPPORTUNITIES Via ISA:
(N.B. Only contact the companies listed below between 10th May– 25th May 2012)

LOOKING FOR STORY-ORIENTED SHORT SCRIPTS
We are looking for good, story-oriented short film scripts that we can make into actual film(s). Please note: we are not capable yet of making any lavish fantasy or historical/period productions, our resources are privately funded and limited, therefore we are only interested in scripts that are set in more-less modern times and don’t call for much of CGI use (preferably no CGIs at all.) Please submit your actual scripts instead of pitches and loglines and use any common text-searchable format. Send to scripts@888productions.org Thank you.

SEEKING WRITER(S) FOR VARIOUS PROJECTS
Films4Net is an independent production company based in London. We are currently looking for writers, or even a writer, for the following: 1.) A completed short film script, to be filmed in June, willing to consider any genre. 2.) A science fiction short film competition in July, this will be a collaborative work between the writer, director and producer over a 48 hour period of pretty frantic filming. 3.) Submissions for music video ideas for various rock, hip hop and club acts. We are ideally looking for someone London-based, or someone who has the means and will to travel to London for production meetings and shoot days. Apply to: Johnny Michaels at info@films4net.co.uk

SEEKING COMEDY WRITERS TO WORK ON SERIES
Production company looking for comedy writers to work on a series. The series, House of Blue, is in production. It is about a family that love each other, but have many issues still to resolve. Please submit spec scripts or any other writing. Include resume detailing previous work. You will be contacted for further information after your scripts are reviewed. Email: wrcproductions@gmail.com Miguel Cedillo, Weras Entertainment.

SEEKING WRITER FOR DOC/NON-FICTION TELEVISION PROGRAMMING
Local production company responsible for nationally televised network documentary/non-fiction programming looking for talented, passionate writers. Experience working in television industry (television, not “video production”) a plus; experience writing long format segments even better. Most important is a desire to tell a great story, understanding of how to put one together, and the willingness to learn our style. General work habits must include attention to detail, ability to meet deadlines, easy to work with in a team setting, and passionate about the craft of writing film/television. Please email, including short cover letter (in the body of the email) and resume (as attached DOC/PDF). Emails not submitted correctly or with grammatical errors will not be considered. Examples of work are encouraged, just not too many please! PLEASE NOTE: You MUST be local to the greater Seattle area. Apply to: Hiring Manager, schuyler@psgfilms.com

WINE SAVVY COMIC SHORT SCRIPT WRITER NEEDED
Looking for three or four 7-10min scripts for a webisode. Must be wine savvy and/or be a wine trivia geek. Shooting will begin asap. Please email me for details if you are interested. This is an eposodic comedy mainly for entertainment with a flair of wine knowledge. Please email me at gibsonnyc@gmail.com for more details if you are interested. This is a no pay gig for now. We welcome you to join us and see where we can pitch it later.

SCREENWRITER/SCRIPT WANTED
An upcoming director looking for screenwriters who have great no budget scripts which they intend to see on screen produced. Please submit resumes, synopsis and sample scenes of the script to Sam at worleex@gmail.com

ANIMATION STUDIO SEEKS WRITER FOR KIDS TV SHOW
We are producing 4 short episodes (est. 11-minutes) for Spanish television; it’s a kids TV show. We already have the characters. We do great CG work, we’d just like someone who has a knack for writing children’s television, and preferably who has some experience writing for a Spanish audience. Bilingual is a huge plus. These few will be done on spec but once the show goes to series there are huge opportunities for growth with the show. Apply to: Stephen Steelman. Salary: DOE.

SEEKING LIMITED-LOCATIONS COMEDY OR DRAMA SHORT
Seeking a script, preferably comedic, that is 3-6 minutes long and won’t require a bunch of expensive locations. This is technically for film school, but can also be used for festival submissions as well as shown online on sites like vimeo, Funny or Die, etc. Comedy or drama only. No horror, no action. I want great dialogue, and funny would be best. You will get a copy of the film (which will be shot on a Canon 5D) and credited but NO PAY. I’m opening this up to writers who want their content produced as I am still learning screenwriting and would prefer to polish my scripts vs rush shooting them. So if you have a short sketch you want produced, great! The film must stand alone and again be 3-6 minutes in length. Obviously the less actors needed the better as far as keeping my craft services budget low. To submit, please send your script to Joanna deMoyer at joannademoyer@gmail.com It MUST be properly formatted as a screenplay. I have Celtx but not final draft on my computer so please send as a PDF or Celtx file. If you don’t hear from me, you may assume I am NOT using your script. I will contact the top 3 submissions to meet for coffee and discuss your vision as a writer as well as send you a link to my previous film so you can see the production values already established with this creative team. If you wish to do more on this project besides the script (such as crew, editing, acting, etc) please say so in your submission. This will be produced as a SAG new media short film. Casting Producer: Joanna de Moyer. Directed by: Deborah Rombaut. DP: Ira Edelman

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

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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As of late, I’ve been totally rushed off my feet while I strive to make a writing deadline. Don’t get me wrong, I love working under pressure. It helps me kill more easily. But, while I’ve been busy focusing on mutilation and blood splatter, my blog has been neglected. I know, I know, I’m a wicked, wicked person. So, what I thought would be fun is to hand over the reigns to you guys. No – I’m not dishing out passwords and secret pin numbers so you can actually access my blog…. Intead, I want you budding writers out there to send me your stories.

Okay, the rules.

1.   The theme is anything creepy. That means it has to scare me 🙂
2.   Look at the image above. This is where your story STARTS.
3.   Now look at the background image on my twitter page (by brilliant photographer, Rosie Hardy). This is where your story has to END.
4.   There are to be absolutely NO VAMPIRES.
5.   As I like my posts short and sweet, your stories are to be no more than 1,000 words long.
6.   Email all stories to pointwelldonna@gmail.com by 15th May. The best three will be posted.

I will pick some of the best ones and publish them on this blog.

Good Luck xxx

 

If you want more of me, try checking out: FacebookTwitterGoogle+InstagramYou Tube, and Linkedin.

Join my email list and be first to hear about upcoming releases and offers.

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It’s been a while since I wrote a totally random post, but today seemed as good a day than ever – so here goes.

Yesterday, a friend on Facebook (Donna Beckley Galanti for those who want to check out her page), posted a status asking what our addiction for the day was. Naturally, as my mind is always on men (purely for character research you understand), I commented ‘Paul Walker’.

This then had me thinking. Yes, I do think. Why does a certain type of man stand out to me? What is it about these particular individuals that hold my interest?

So, without further ado, and with the help of Paul Walker, Jensen Ackles, Daniel Craig, Jason Statham, and Timmy Olyphant, here’s my Top Ten of what makes my perfect man.

1. BODY

Oh come on. Did you really think I was going to say ‘personality’? This body is awesome! I’d be the biggest liar on the planet if I put this anywhere other than first on my list.

2. HEIGHT

Timmy Olyphant is well over 6 feet. I think he is something yummy like 6.4. I have shoe heels taller than this so I need a man with height to hold on too.

3. EYES

Blue, brown, green, or Hazel. They must have that ‘sparkle’. Eyes are the window to your soul and what draw me in. I want to get lost in dreamy eyes.
 

4. HAIR

Ask my hubby…I absolutely hate long hair on a man. The back of a mans neck is a sexy thing…. hair should be cut every week, well-shaped, and defined. Long or messy haircuts are a big turn-off!
 

 5. ROUGH AND READY

I don’t mean I need him to be a biker hooligan. But, a man needs to be able to take care of himself….. and me! A strong, gun totting, fast thinking, martial artist  hunk isn’t too much to ask for – is it?

6. LITTLE BOY LOST

Strong and fearless is good, but a man still needs to show he is human.

7. EXCITING

Isn’t excitement and mystery the secret of really keeps a girl interested? The exhilaration of stepping outside our comfort bubble and trying something completely different is an adrenaline buzz. No? Oh well, it’s just me then.

8. PROTECTIVE SOFTER SIDE

Oh My God! This scene makes me melt. Enough said.


9. SENSE OF HUMOUR

Boy, do I like to laugh. A lot. I’ve been told I have a laugh like Harriet Potter from Carry On Camping. My hubby even has it as my caller ring tone on his phone. If a guy doesn’t have a sense of humour (and he needs one with my laugh), then I don’t care how many abs he has. He’s gone.

10. PERSONALITY

This is a null and void question. If the man has all of the above then he will have a personality I will love. So, lets talk cars and money instead 🙂

 

Just what we all want to see when being picked up by our date. Come on, it is a fantasy after all. 🙂

I’d like to thank Donna Beckley Galanti for pulling me away from my novel deadline so I could spend the morning lusting over these men.

Now, I want you lot out there to let me know what you think makes the perfect man. If you can’t sum it up, them let me know what TV character does it for you. Men, you can have a go – but let me know what attributes make the perfect woman. 🙂

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This weeks competitions that have caught my eye:

FICTION: Via First Writer

Machigonne Fiction Contest
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   18th June 2012
Fees:   $15 for one entry.
Prizes:   $1,000 for first place.
Details:   For fiction up to 7,500 words.
Contact:   THE NEW GUARD, P.O. Box 10612, Portland, ME 04104
Country:   United States
Website:   http://newguardreview.com

HGWells Short Story Competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   22nd July 2012
Fees:   Donation of £5 per adult entry. Free for under 26 year olds.
Prizes:   £1,000 for first place. The shortlisted stories will be published on an anthology.
Details:   Junior Prize £1000 winner entry for authors under 26 y.o. Senior Prize £250 winner entry for authors aged 26 y.o. and over. Theme The Sea. Min 2000 Max 5000 words. Handwriting is not compulsory but the judges will award 10% of the marks for good handwriting. UK residents only.
Contact:   HGWells Short Story Competition on 01303264749, 2 Pelham Gardens Folkestone CT20 2LE
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   rose.unsworth@gmail.com
Website:   http://www.wellsfestival.com

Prolitzer Prize 2012
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   1st October 2012
Fees:   £4 for one entry. £3 per subsequent entry
Prizes:   £130 for first place. Publication in magazine. 2 x runner up prizes, £30
Details:   We are looking for prose writing, fiction or creative nonfiction, that epitomises the editorial aims of the magazine: to publish quality, accessible writing that challenges, engages and entertains. Word length up to 2000 words. The magazien is an international competition. Full details on our website.
Contact:   Prolebook 15 Maes-y-Dre Abergele Conwy LL22 7HW
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   prosecompetition@prolebooks.co.uk
Website:   http://www.prolebooks.co.uk/page8.html

Meridian Writing Summer Competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   30th June 2012
Fees:   £5 for one entry. £3 for a basic critique
Prizes:   £100 for first place. 2nd Place – £50, 3rd Place – £25, plus firstwriter.com voucher
Details:   Summer Short Story Competiton Story: Open Theme/Genre, 3000 words max. Eligibility: Open to new and published authors, see website for full details. Non-competition Critique service available
Contact:   19 Juniper Drive, Weston Turville, Aylesbury, Bucks HP22 5WW
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   info@meridian-writing.co.uk
Website:   http://www.meridian-writing.co.uk

Swanwick Writing for Children Contest
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   30th April 2012
Fees:   £5 for one entry.
Prizes:   £0 for first place. Week at writers’ summer school plus publication; critique; magazine subscription.
Details:For short stories up to 1,000 words or the first 1,000 words of a novel aimed at children, on the theme: A sense of duty.
Contact:Elizabeth Kay, Warners Group Publications, Fifth Floor, 31-32 Park Row, Leeds, LS1 5JD
Country:   United Kingdom
Website:   http://www.swanwickwritersschool.co.uk/dynamic/documents/2012%20competition%20details.pdf

Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition 
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   31st July 2012
Fees:   €15 for one entry.
Prizes:   €2,000 for first place. Also, a week in Writers’ Retreat, plus publication in Journal.
Details:   This annual competition is open to original, unpublished and unbroadcast short stories in the English language of 3,000 words or fewer. The story can be on any subject, in any style, by a writer of any nationality, living anywhere in the world.
Contact:   Munster Literature Centre, 84 Douglas Street, Cork
Country:   Ireland
Email:   info@munsterlit.ie
Website:   http://www.munsterlit.ie/SOF%20Page.html

100 Euro to spend on your summer hols
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   15th June 2012
Fees:   €5 for one entry.
Prizes:   €100 for first place.
Details:   And all you have to do is win our next short story competition. Entry is just EUR5 and the closing date is midnight on June 15th. Maximum story length is 1500 words. Theme – anything you like, so long as it makes us laugh. Visit our website for the full list of rules and regs, and to read the winning entries and runners-up from the first five competitions.
Country:   Portugal
Email:   enquiries@cheerreader.co.uk
Website:   http://www.cheerreader.co.uk

Salamander Fiction Prize 2012
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   15th June 2012
Fees:   $15 for one entry.
Prizes:   $1,500 for first place. Also publication.
Details:   For short stories up to 35 double spaced pages.
Contact:   Salamander, Suffolk University, English Department, 41 Temple Street, Boston, MA 02114
Country:   United States
Website:   http://salamandermag.org/contests/

PrintExpress.co.uk are running a competition for kids aged 13 and under. If you’re a keen short story writer, we want to hear from you – and you could win £150 in Amazon vouchers!

To enter, email us at shortstory@printexpress.co.uk with your short story (maximum of 500 words) on any topic that you’d like. The more creative, interesting, exciting & fun your story – the better!
– No entry fee
– Open to those aged 13 or under
– Maximum of 500 words
– Deadline to enter is 30th June, 2012
– Only one entry per person
– When applying, include your age
– We’d like to publish the winner’s story on our blog, but you keep the rights to it.
The full details are here: http://www.printexpress.co.uk/blog/2012/04/16/print-express-childrens-story-competition

SCRIPTS

The Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest

Think you can turn this logline from Randall Wallace, Oscar-Nominated Screenwriter for Braveheart, and Writer/Director of The Man in the Iron Mask and We Were Soldiers into a killer script?

A soldier returns from an 18-month deployment and finds that the family home is missing – even the address no longer exists.

Working from this A-list logline, you’re challenged to create up to the first 15 pages of an original script based on the given concept. Make it your own – drama, action, sci-fi… anywhere your imagination takes you.

But it doesn’t stop there. The Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest goes much further than your average competition, by providing the top 10 finalists with mentors to guide them through the entire script creation process, with the goal of completing a spec screenplay to be judged by a panel of Hollywood power players.

Here’s how it works:

  • Entrants write up to the first 15 pages of a script based on the logline above, provided by Randall Wallace
  • The top 10 finalists are chosen from the submissions, and receive a personalized letter of congratulations from Randall Wallace
  • Each of the 10 finalists receives a copy of Movie Magic Screenwriter to professionally format their work as they enter into a 12-week Story Specialists mentoring program, consisting of feedback for every 10 pages submitted, with the goal of completing a spec screenplay based on the given logline
  • After the mentoring, the finalists submit their rough drafts to our professional script readers for comprehensive Development Notes, and then have two weeks to work with their mentor and notes to complete the final draft of their screenplay for judging.
  • Randall Wallace and production company Benderspink judge the completed screenplays and choose a winner

The lucky winner of this scriptwriting contest receives a classic Industry experience, including transportation to Los Angeles and:

Lush Accommodations at the Chateau Marmont

Chateau Marmont

The chic Chateau, conveniently nestled right off the Sunset Strip, will serve as the home base for the Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest winner. Thinking of the many opportunities to network and hobnob with the Hollywood elite that frequent this hotspot is mind-boggling!

The IvyOne-on-One with Randall Wallace at The Ivy
First on the agenda? Lunch with screenwriter Randall Wallace at Robertson Blvd.’s uber-popular bistro, known for its steady stream of celebs and location near power-agency ICM. The winner will take in some serious knowledge and know-how from Wallace, while filling up on the Ivy’s famous nouvelle American cuisine.

Benderspink

Meeting with Benderspink
The Hollywood treatment continues through a conference with Benderspink, a diversified management/production company with credits including The Hangover, American Pie, and The Ring. Aspiring screenwriters dream of this kind of opportunity to meet with such an influential group, a fantasy that will come true for the lucky winner!

Movie Magic Screenwriter – Professional Formatting Software
Format your script and outline it, too, with the newly redesigned Movie Magic Screenwriter 6! This award-winning screenwriting software formats movies, television, novels, stage plays and even comic book scripts, making it the only program for all types of creative writing.

The Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest can give you the tools and the resources you need to complete a saleable screenplay. But besides the experience and the mentoring you could receive, placing in this competition shows that you can take another’s idea and turn it into a winning script – a trait that’s truly valued in Hollywood, and serves as a priceless addition to your screenwriting resume.

Fees, Dates and Deadlines:

  • Contest Begins: February 2012
  • Early Submission Fee and Deadline: $40 to enter before March 31, 2012
  • Standard Submission Fee and Deadline: $50 to enter between April 1 – May 15, 2012
  • Contest Deadline: May 15, 2012
  • Finalists Announced: Early June 2012
  • Mentor Program Begins: June 2012
  • Mentor Program Completes: Early September 2012
  • Winner Announced: Late September 2012
  • Lunch with Randall Wallace & Meetings: October 2012

Looking for the regulations and answers to specific questions? Check out the Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest’s Rules and FAQs

ROMANCE WRITERS OF AMERICA Via RWA

 *Open to published authors
**Open to published and unpublished authors

Charter Oak in Excellence in Writing Award
Sponsor: Charter Oak Romance Writers, Connecticut
Fee: $20 CORW/CTRWA/CoLoNY; Others $25
Deadline: May 20, 2012
Eligibility: for unpublished and non-PAN eligible authors.
Entry: First 20 pages; may also include 3 pages synopsis not to be judged.
Categories: Paranormal, Historical, Contemporary, Mainstream, YA.
Judges: Three qualified judges per entry (trained and/or published authors).
Final Judges: Deborah Smith/Bell Bridge Books, Contemporay; Mandy Hubbard/D4EO Literary Agency, YA. Others TBA.
FMI, http://www.charteroakromancewriters.org/.

SCRIPT WRITING OPPORTUNITIES Via ISA:
(N.B. Only contact the companies listed below between 17th April – 2nd May2012)

SEEKING CO-WRITER TO FINISH WEB SITCOM SCRIPTS
Looking for a co-writer to help polish off six scripts for my new comedy web series. Currently the first episode is being funded through Kickstarter, however there is recent interest from JB Smoove (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and his manager Rick Dorfman to get behind this project. They’d like me to send them the scripts in the next couple of days and to be honest I’ve been caught off guard with this interest. The scripts are finished, but I feel they could use one more rewrite before I’d feel comfortable sending them off. Payment and terms to be negotiated. Please only respond if this is something you can tackle immediately. You can check out the project here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/retrofilmsent/manuel-labour-trash-collecting-junk. Apply to: Ryan Noel at info@retrofilmsentertainment.com

TRANSLATE SCRIPT FROM ARGENTINIAN SPANISH TO AMERICAN ENGLISH
Looking for a fun, amiable writer to translate a movie script (approx 100 pages) that’s in Argentinian Spanish to American English. Please have screenwriting know-how (but I will be training you with my own methods and requirements).  This is a very important opportunity for the right person since I am a Gatekeeper, Mentor, Manager & Muse in Hollywood.  Please give details on what you bring to the table and what you expect to be paid.  Anyone can submit, but being in Los Angeles is ideal. Send inquiries to info@TheBitchWithTheRedPen.com

WOMEN OF COLOR WRITERS 
Please only apply if you have read this posting. Generic cover letters will not be read. I’m developing a comedic web series about an up and coming feminist group in New York. The web series is a narrative about the formation of this group, and the struggles to make it racially, sexually, and economically diverse. The film has three main characters, two of whom are women of color. The project is highly ambitious. It’s got the raciness of shows like Sex in the City, but it really aims to show the side of women that we don’t often talk about: the fact that they are powerful beings that can change the world. In doing this, I want to explore what it means to be a woman, and to do this I feel that it is necessary to have a diverse group of women on the writing crew. More about the creator: I have just released my web series, and have written and directed 5 films before that. I am a feminist who is really interested in gender, race, and class. I’m also an aspiring history buff (well, someday), comedy writer, and social media guru. This show is very important to me as not only do I want to change the way that women are represented in media, I also wish to really hone in on what a better world would look like for all women. I’m looking for writers who want to do the same. A plus if you are also an actress. More Info: Http://lessonsfrommyearlytwenties.com Send inquiries to alexmac84@gmail.com

SEEKING SKETCH COMEDY WRITER
I am in need of a sketch comedy writer. I would like to use someone for my talk variety show which will be a great way for improv and sketch comedy writer to get loads of practice and have their work acted out. Unfortunately, I am unable to pay at this time but you will get writer credit. If you are interested, send inquires to colorofloveproduction@gmail.com P.S. Blue Material and Dark Humor is welcomed.

SEEKING SHORT FILM SCRIPTS 
We have a start-up cinema production company and are looking to add to our arsenal with some short films (under 10 minutes) that can be filmed in one day, preferably one location (or minimal number of locations) for about $1,500 (mostly toward gear rental, craft services, crew, cast…in that order, which we will provide). Any genre works. Looking to lock principal photography the last week of April. The kicker: it has to have as its lead a mid- to late- 20s Caucasian male (good looks, medium/athletic build/height, versatile dark hair, mesmerizing blue eyes…can email you headshots, etc.) He’s a crucial member of our Team, and hopefully you will be, too!  Everyone ought to have their dreams “reelized”; let’s collaborate to Make It Happen, yo. To talk shop, please email: theactorproject@gmail.com

SEEKING WRITING PARTNER
Looking for a writer to make partners with and co-write. Initially I have two scripts waiting to be polished and fixed). Please send me your resume, a little about yourself and the style of writing, genres or favorite films/influences, you have. Initially this is non paid but obviously there is the writing credit. I am a foreign (yes that´s another reason why I need a writing partner) producer-director that wants to focus more on execution, getting the thing done and….weird…get distribution 🙂 Thanks for reading and talk to you soon. More Info: http://www.mandy.com/home.cfm?c=mga004 Apply to: Alicia at ali.blue.angel@gmail.com

HAVE SCRIPT NEEDING EDITING AND FORMATTING 
We are looking for an experienced screenwriter to edit and format our script. Must be located in Southern California. This is a paid project. Contact us at luisx310@yahoo.com

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

Good luck and let me know how you get on.

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

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