Posts Tagged ‘film’

paul walker3

Saturday, 28th November 2013 is a day most will never forget.

Images of a wrecked Porsche that took actor, Paul Walker’s, life spread around the world like a virus, dominating news channels, the internet, and especially social media. Family, friends, co-stars, and fans joined together to cry, grieve, and attempt to understand how something so devastatingly horrific like this could happen to such a decent guy.

But beneath all the mourning, it leaves one unanswered question. What will happen to the Fast and Furious franchise?

FAST 6, which was released earlier this year, earned a reportedly $800 million worldwide, and FAST 7, already 3 months into production, was tipped to top that, leaving Universal with one hell of a decision to make. How do we continue?

The Crow

Or, do they continue? How does a movie survive when they lose one of their main stars halfway through filming?

When The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus lost actor, Heath Ledger, one third of the way through filming, production was temporarily suspended and Ledger’s role was eventually recast using three actors: Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell.

After the accidental death of Brandon Lee, co-star, Sofia Shinas no longer wanted to film The Crow and went back to Los Angeles, leaving Paramount to pull out from having any involvement altogether. It was only after Miramax stepped in and invested a healthy $8 million that the film was completed with the help of CGI, flashbacks, and a stunt double.

Hmm, now there’s an idea. After all, CGI is better than it has ever been, and Paul Walker’s brother did stand in for him while making the movie Running Scared. Could he do it again and finish filming the 7th FAST instalment?

Of course, the studio could just kill Walker’s character off altogether. But this whole franchise is about street racing, fast cars, and lot’s of crashes. Maybe not the moral path to take considering the way in which Walker’s life prematurely ended in reality.

Then there is the good old rewrite, which the script will undoubtedly go through. But to what extent? Will Walker’s character, Brian O’Conner, be written out completely? Or will a mash-up of footage be re-edited to finish those all important scenes?

One thing is for sure. No matter how shell-shocked and saddened studio executives and director, James Wan are at the news of Walker’s death, the FAST franchise is one of the studios biggest earners. FAST 7 will be made, distributed, and inevitably become one of the biggest grossing films of all time – it’s just a case of how and when.

Paul founded the charity, Reach Out Worldwide.

Cast members taking a (funny) break on the set of Fast and the Furious 6
(Warning: There is the use of bad language in this clip)

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This weeks competitions that have caught my eye:

FICTION: Via First Writer

Choc Lit Short Story Competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   31st January 2012
Fees:   £3 for one entry.
Prizes:   £200 for first place. £50 runner up. Also online publication and a box of chocolates.
Details:   For short stories up to 1,500 words on the theme of chocolate.
Contact:   Short Story Competition, Choc Lit Ltd, Penrose House, Crawley Drive, Camberley, Surrey, GU15 2AB
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   info@choc-lit.co.uk
Website:   http://www.choc-lit.co.uk/html/choc_lit_short_story_competiti.html

Stella Kupferberg Memorial Prize
Category:  Fiction
Closes:   2nd March 2012
Fees:   $25 for one entry.
Prizes:   $1,000 for first place. Also ten-week creative writing course.
Details:   For short stories on the theme: objects of desire.
Contact:   Selected Shorts Contest, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street, New York, NY 10025
Country:   United States
Email:   shorts@symphonyspace.org
Website:   http://www.selectedshorts.org/extras/writing-contest-2

Stories Space fiction contest
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   12th March 2012
Fees:   $0 for one entry.
Prizes:   $100 for first place. 2nd prize $75, 3rd prize $50
Details:   Stories must be based on the theme: New Beginnings. As an additional challenge stories must also contain one (or both) of the following items: A family heirloom and/or a set of keys. Stories, poems and songs are all eligible to enter and you can submit as many entries as you like.
Country:   United States
Email:   lisa@storiesspace.com
Website:   http://www.storiesspace.com

Twisted Stringybark Short Story Award
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   4th March 2012
Fees:   $9.75 for one entry. Discounts for multiple entries.
Prizes:   $300 for first place. Additional cash prizes.
Details:   All genres accepted. There are only two constraints. Firstly, that the story must have a nifty twist at the end that surprises the reader and secondly, that the story must have some link, no matter how tenuous, to Australia. International entries encouraged.
Contact:   PO Box 851 Jamison Centre ACT 2614
Country:   Australia
Email:   judges@stringybarkstories.net
Website:   http://www.stringybarkstories.net

Five Stop Story January Competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   31st January 2012
Fees:   £4 for one entry. £4 for 1 entry, £7 for 2, £8 for 3.
Prizes:   £50 for first place. £150 prize for overall winner of 2012 league table
Details:   Stories up to 3,000 words; Open to international entrants aged 16 and over
Country:   United Kingdom
Website:   http://www.fivestopstory.com/write

Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   24th February 2012
Fees:   $75 for one entry.
Prizes:   $1,500 for first place.
Details:   Calling all indie book authors and publishers – including small presses, mid-size independent publishers, university presses, e-book publishers, and self-published authors who have a book written in English released in 2011 or 2012 or with a 2011 or 2012 copyright date to enter the most rewarding book awards program.
Contact:   Next Generation Indie Book Awards 511 Wilkinson St. Chelsea, MI 48118
Country:   United States
Email:   info@indiebookawards.com
Website:   http://www.indiebookawards.com

Ledge Fiction Awards Competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   28th February 2012
Fees:   $12 for one entry. $6 for subsequent entries.
Prizes:   $1,000 for first place. $250; $100. Also magazine publication.
Details:   For unpublished short stories up to 7,500 words.
Contact:   The Ledge 2012 Fiction Awards Competition, 40 Maple Avenue, Bellport, NY 11713
Country:   United States
Website:   http://www.theledgemagazine.com/Annual%20Contests.html

Crystal Magazine Children’s Story
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   1st October 2012
Fees:   £3 for one entry. £2 each subsequent entry.
Prizes:   £50 for first place. Prizes for children.
Details:   Write one story, up to 1,000 words for children aged 6 to 9. Theme: Jumping For Joy. Three sections: £50 plus books and DVDs for children. First section is aimed at very young children and includes an artist tool box and drawing pad. Decide which section to enter on the prizes offered. You may enter all three, using one copy of one story. Or request money only. Send stamped sae for entry form.
Contact:   3 Bowness Avenue, Prenton, Birkenhead CH43 0SD
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   christinecrystal@hotmail.com
Website:   http://www.christinecrystal.blogspot.com

Tom Howard Short Story Contest
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   31st March 2012
Fees:   $15 for one entry.
Prizes:  $3,000 for first place. Total prizes of $5,550 will be awarded.
Details:   20th year. Seeks short stories, essays and other works of prose, up to 5,000 words. Both fiction and nonfiction accepted. Submit entries online or by mail. Entries may have been previously published. Winners are published online.
Contact:   Winning Writers Attn: Tom Howard Short Story Contest 351 Pleasant Street, PMB 222 Northampton, MA 01060-3961
Country:   United States
Email:   johnreid@mail.qango.com
Website:   http://www.winningwriters.com/contests/tomstory/ts_guidelines.php

Reynolds Price Short Fiction Award
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   3rd February 2012
Fees:   $15 for one entry.
Prizes:   $1,200 for first place. $150 x 2.
Details:   For short stories up to 5,000 words. Open to men and women.
Contact:   Amy Knox Brown, Director of the Salem College Center for Women Writers, 601 South Church Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Country:   United States
Email:   cww@salem.edu
Website:   http://www.salem.edu/community/cww/international-literary-awards-guidelines

Scenes of the Apocalypse
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   8th February 2012
Fees:  £5 for one entry.
Prizes:   £0 for first place. Book voucher from a major retailer for the winner.
Details:   Calling all writers to submit a short story on how do you imagine the end of the world. Will humanity be engulfed by nature? Will wars and crisis turn us against each other? Let your imagination flow and captivate us with your scenes of the apocalypse. Length: 1000 words maximum (2 pages approximately).
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   project2012exhibition@gmail.com
Website:   http://project2012exhibition.blogspot.com


The Bridport Prize 2012
Poems/Shortstories/Flash fiction
NEW CLOSING DATE: 31st May 2012

The Bridport Prize is the richest open writing competition in the English language – with £5000 first prize for a short story (of up to 5000 words); and £5000 first prize for a poem (of up to 42 lines). The category of Flash Fiction attracts £1,000 to be won for the best short, short story of under 250 words.

The Bridport is also known as a tremendous literary stepping-stone – the first step in the careers of writers such as: Kate Atkinson, Tobias Hill, Carol Ann Duffy and Helen Dunmore.

Anyone can enter – so long as the work is previously unpublished. It costs £8 per story, £7 per poem or £6 per flash fiction and the NEW closing date is 31st May 2012

Each year the prize is judged by well known writers – this year we are delighted to announce that Gwyneth Lewis will be judging the poetry, and Patrick Gale, the short stories and flash fiction

The 2011 anthology of winning entries is available for just £12 or £15 overseas (including postage and packing). The 2010 and 2009 anthologies are available in limited numbers for £7 and £5 (£10 and £8 overseas).
Enter online at: www.bridportprize.org.uk
Or download an entry form: www.bridportprize.org.uk/entryform.pdf
Or email for a pdf entry form: frances@bridportprize.org.uk
Or send an SAE for an entry form to be posted to you: The Bridport Prize, PO Box 6910, Dorset, DT6 9BQ. UK.

SCRIPTS/PLAYS: Via First Writer

Pint-Sized Plays
Category:   Scripts
Closes:   31st May 2012
Fees:   £5.50 for one entry.
Prizes:   £0 for first place. Plays will be performed in the Festival.
Details:   2012 will be the fifth season: 5 to 10 minute plays for no more than three characters, suitable for performance in a pub. Six winning plays will be performed during the Festival and go on to a Script Slam competition where the audience vote for their favourite play. For full details please visit the website.
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   info@pintsizedplays.org.uk
Website:   http://www.pintsizedplays.org.uk


Spring Into Romance Contest
Sponsor: RWA San Diego
Fee: $25.00 Non Chapter Member/$20.00 Chapter Member
Deadline: March 17, 2012
Eligibility: Non published or not in the last five years.
Entry: First 25 pages of novel.
Categories: Historical, Single Title, Young Adult, Series Romance, Romantic Suspense, Paranormal, Romantic Elements.
Judging: Chapter members (trained/one published).
Final Judges: Editors and agents.
FMI, rwasd.contests@gmail.com.


SEVEN PICTURES – Television Pitch Writer
We are looking for completed one-hour television scripts from writers with experience pitching television projects and writing one-sheets. Note that we are looking for writing samples to gauge writers’ voice and sensibility in a potential writer-for-hire opportunity; we are not looking for scripts to option.
Budget is irrelevant. WGA and non-WGA writers may submit.
Our credits include “Necronaut.”
To submit to this lead, please go to: http://www.inktippro.com/leads/
Enter your email address. Copy/Paste this code: akf4n0k6tx

We are looking for completed feature-length teen comedy scripts from writers with a strong knowledge of High School life as samples for a possible writer-for-hire opportunity. We are developing a zombie teen comedy feature, so if you are pitching a teen comedy sample and have a zombie one, we’d prefer to read that. The emphasis is on being skilled at writing hilarious teen comedy, so we’re not open to samples about adult characters. If your pitch interests us, we will request the sample script for further consideration.
Budget will not exceed $4 million. Both WGA and Non-WGA writers may submit.
Our credits include “The Graves” (Tony Todd).
To submit to this lead, please go to: http://www.inktippro.com/leads/
Enter your email address. Copy/Paste this code: xzeqfmqzme

GTMG – Espionage, Contemporary Only
We are looking for completed feature-length contemporary espionage scripts. Stories can be set anywhere, but they must be contemporary, we are not open to cold war period pieces. Please re-submit to this lead if you already submitted to this particular mandate.
Budget will not exceed $5 million. Only non-WGA writers may submit.
Our credits include “Death and Cremation” and the upcoming “The Employer.”
To submit to this lead, please go to: http://www.inktippro.com/leads/
Enter your email address. Copy/Paste this code: unwbgjum1e

ALIEN KINGDON – currently looking for screenplays.
Length: Feature
Genre: Action and/or Thriller / Fantasy
Compensation: % of budget
Looking for films that can be made in the 750K – 1.5 million dollar range.
Please submit a Query Letter to query@alienkingdom.net
do not send scripts.
Thank you.


Singapore Production Company seeks feature scripts
Singapore-based independent feature film production company is calling for scripts for projects 2012. We are looking for exciting feature film length scripts from any genre with a character-driven story. Please only submit scripts, which are completed. Submit your script(s) directly to scripts@action.ms in PDF file format only! Please do not submit treatments or loglines only. Any other file format than PDF will be deleted immediately. Thank you very much!

Producer seeking high concept screenplays
Amply credited producer (IMDB Link: http://pro.imdb.com/name/nm1056990/ ) seeks high concept screenplays (horror, thriller, drama, comedy) for production consideration. Maximum budget = $4m. MUST HAVE INTERNATIONAL APPEAL. Please email log-line only at this time. Send to: praterpix@gmail.com. If we are interested, we will contact you for more information. Thank you.

Think Boy Think is seeking niche feature scripts
Do you have the next great film script but no one else seems to know it yet? Too niche for others to invest? Then we want to read them! Think Boy Think Productions is looking for undeveloped film scripts of 60 minutes or longer to develop into proposals for production. Currently in post production on their debut feature film, Think Boy Think Productions are wanting to find the next films to take from the page and stick up on the big screen. We are looking for lower budget films to be produced in the near future, and larger productions for the development for investment. No genre, style or approach restrictions. We are hoping to meet writers also interested in a long term association. Please visit http://www.thinkboythinkproductions.com/Think_boy_Think_Productions/ScriptSearch.html for more details. Email us at info@thinkboythinkproductions.com.

Looking for low budget horror script
I am a director looking for my next project. You can view my last project here at www.thescamthemovie.com. I am looking for a low budget horror script that is great and different than the other stories that have been told out there.
I prefer something that is simple and not that many locations and actors. Please email me a logline and a synopsis of your script at perdellproductions@gmail.com. If we like it, I will email you for the script to read. Thank you.

Seeking fellow screenwriter to collaborate with
I wish to find a fellow screenwriter to collaborate with on screenplays. I have repeatedly received indications from studios and/or directors/producers directly that they were more inclined to favor collaborated work, especially work that has crossed some international culture differences. Any level is ok, just need the passion to work hard and get things done with me. If interested, please let me know ASAP by contacting me at anthony_spicer@hotmail.com.

Seeking fellow screenwriter for collaboration
I am looking for a fellow screenwriter who would be interested in collaborating with me on a true story I have for a future film.  We would collaborate together on the screenplay and bring it to someone/film company to bring it to life.  If you are a screenwriter looking to write for a new feature film here is your chance.  This is a true, very original, unique story that would be a great experience to write.  I want to collaborate with somebody who I know will be willing to work with me and take the it to heart.  This story could be called a murder/mystery with a flair but the truth is, it is much more than that.  It is a story unlike any other,  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me at sarahangelrose@yahoo.com.

Santa Barbara CA Company looking for screenplays
Studio 2050, a Santa Barbara Based production company is currently looking for live action screenplays to review. Our goal is to begin production this year, 2012. We are interested in genres including Drama, Romantic Comedy, Family and Romance. Story could include some fantasy elements provided they are not period or special effects driven. We are interested in scripts that are light, feel-good or positive in nature. We are not interested in scripts that are dark in nature, period pieces or heavily special effects driven. Our goal is to shoot in Santa Barbara and the surrounding Santa Barbara area. This would include beach, Mountains and foothills, ranches , rural, wineries and any of the Santa Barbara land marks ( Mission, Downtown area, high end real estate etc.) Please email logline, 1-3 page synopsis and script to scripts@studio2050.com. Please include all contact info including: name, email and phone.

Looking for fellow screenwriter to collaborate
I am a director and looking for a fellow screenwriter who would be interested in collaborating with me to enhance the script which I already developed. The current draft version is 2. This is going to be very low budget feature film. I would offer 5% of the Director’s net profit. This is a romantic comedy so if you are good at comedy and dialogues, this will be a good opportunity. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me. Please contact me at chandu@moviebuffcreations.com for further details. Serious writers apply!

Looking for ultra low budget rom com scripts
Looking for Ultra Low Budget ROM COM scripts. Please send a logline to Cary at info@carysandovalfilms.com. Very interested in scripts that take place in New York City. Thank you.

EFish Entertainment is calling for scripts
Efish Entertainment is expanding their development slate and is now calling for scripts in the genres of Action, Thriller, Mystery, Sci-fi, True stories, Book adaptions and very uniquely done horror. No conventional horror please. We are acquiring scripts from known and unknown writers to be set into immediate development. Please do not send the script. It will not be read. Please only send the following: no more than a 1/2 page synopsis; plot point outlines (if applicable); resume of writer/s; contact information. After reviewing the material, we will request the script for coverage. Send your materials to: info@efishentertainment.com. Thank you.

Seeking fellow screenwriter for collaboration
I am looking for a fellow screenwriter who would be interested in collaborating with me on a idea/story I have for a feature film. We would collaborate on the screenplay together and bring it to someone/film company to bring it to life. If you are a screenwriter looking to write for a new feature film or a writter that would like to dabble with in the art of screenplay here is your chance. This a very original, very unique idea/story that will be a very fun experience to write and a nice addition to add to your resume. I gurantee you this is something you have not done before or will ever do in the future. It is a horror/comedy film with a B movie flaire. I want to collaborate with somebody who I know will be willing to work with me on crafting this story and not planning to place it on a shelf. We are working on the screenplay together. I am not just giving you my work so it is your problem. I want to work with someone who work with me on this and we do everything possible to have it made. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask me. Please contact me at abandonsinner@aol.com for further details. Serious writers apply!

Seeking scripts for low budget production in 2012
Ambitious production company is taking submissions of scripts to be produced on a low budget in 2012. We are interested only in following genres: thrillers, crime, adventure, action, horrors, family and comedy films. No sci-fi or period pieces. No docs, webseries, pilots. Email is contact@manager4actors.com. Please send only logline, 1 page synopsis and character breakdown. Don’t send the script, we will request it. Thank you.

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

Good luck and let me know how you get on.

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Happy New Year!

This weeks competitions that have caught my eye:


Spring Issue 2012
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   29th February 2012
Fees:   £0 for one entry.
Prizes:   £0 for first place. Publication in our magazine and on our website
Details:   We invite all writers to submit short stories of any genre to our Spring Competition. The best ones will be published in our magazine and on our website. Please submit via email. Your short story must be 2000-8000 words in length. The magazine will be published on March 20th 2012. Multiple entries are permitted but each entry must include your name. See our website for full details.
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   editor221b@yahoo.co.uk
Website:   http://221bmagazine.co.uk/?page_id=818

Fiction Writing Competition
Category:  Fiction
Closes:   1st August 2012
Fees:   $0 for one entry.
Prizes:   $1,000 for first place. SECOND PRIZE: $500, THIRD PRIZE: $250.
Details:   Fiction Writing COMPETITION for Physicians and Lawyers. FORMAT: A short story or novel excerpt in the fiction genre should be submitted. The submission should be typed and not exceed 2,500 words. (This will be strictly enforced). DEADLINE: August 1, 2012. JUDGING: The submissions will be judged on originality, quality of writing, and the potential of the author.
Contact:SUBMISSIONS SHOULD BE SENT TO: (do not send certified mail) SEAK, Inc. —Fiction Writing Competition ATTN: Steven Babitsky, P.O. Box 729, Falmouth, MA 02541
Country:   United States
Email:   karen@seak.com
Website:   http://www.seak.com/2012_National_Fiction_Writing_Competition_for_Physicians_and_Lawyers.html

Writersbillboard Flash Fiction 
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   27th January 2012
Fees:   £2.50 for one entry.
Prizes:   £0 for first place. Prize is publication on the website
Details:   Short fiction of fewer than 400 words, any theme
Country:   United Kingdom
Website:   http://www.writersbillboard.net

Libboo Bounty
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   30th January 2012
Fees:   $0 for one entry.
Prizes:   $100 for first place. Top five stories will be selected.
Details:   Seeking short stories, word count: 1000(min) – 3500(max), within the comedy or satire genre about Vacation and Holiday Mayhem.
Contact:   Libboo Inc. ONE Marina Park Dr., 14th floor Boston MA 02210
Country:   United States
Email:   fernando@libboo.com
Website:   http://www.libboo.com/bounty

Sentinel Literary Quarterly Short Story 
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   20th January 2012
Fees:   £4.00 for one entry. £8 (2 stories), £10 (3), £12 (4)
Prizes:   £150 for first place. £75 (2nd), £50 (3rd), £10 x 3 High Commendation, plus publication
Details:   For previously unpublished original stories in English Language in any style, on any subject up to 1,500 words long. Stories submitted must not be under consideration for publication or accepted for publication elsewhere, and must not be simultaneously submitted to another competition.
Contact:Sentinel Poetry Movement, Unit 136, 113-115 George Lane, London E18 1AB
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   competitions@sentinelpoetry.org.uk
Website:   http://www.sentinelquarterly.com/competitions/short-stories-0112/

Valentines Short Story Competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   5th February 2012
Fees:   £1 for one entry.
Prizes:   £30 for first place. 1st prize in Amazon Vouchers, website and ebook publication. Other prizes on offer.
Details:   Short story between 100 and 1,500 words on the theme of Love. Check out website for details.
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   editor@5minutefiction.co.uk
Website:   http://www.5minutefiction.co.uk

What Happens Next?
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   31st March 2012
Fees:   £3 for one entry. or free to members.
Prizes:   £150 for first place. 2nd Prize: £100 3rd Prize: £75
Details:   Using the photo for creative inspiration, your story must be about a man in a library who chooses a book that changes his life. What the book is and why it has such an effect on him is up to you. The story must evolve and can be emotional, action-packed, mysterious or indeed take any direction that you like. Just make sure that it is powerfully written and interprets the theme creatively.
Contact:   Creative1 Publishing 15 Rue Canigounenc, Ceret 66400
Country:   France
Email:   info@creative-competitor.co.uk
Website:   http://creativecompetitor.com/2011/12/28/what-happens-next-writing-competition/

Man on the Train Writing Competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   7th April 2012
Fees:   £3 for one entry. Free to Members.
Prizes:   £150 for first place. 2nd Prize: £100 3rd Prize: £75 4th Prize: 3 months membership
Details:   Using the photo for inspiration, create a story that depicts a man on a journey by train, but a journey to where? What happens to him en-route? Who does he meet? What happens when he reaches his destination?
Contact:   Creative1 Publishing, 15 Rue Canigounenc, Ceret 66400
Country:   France
Email:   info@creative-competitor.co.uk
Website:   http://creativecompetitor.com/2011/12/28/man-on-the-train-writing-competition/

500 Word Writing Competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   15th March 2012
Fees:   £3 for one entry. Free for Premier1 members.
Prizes:   £100 for first place. 2nd Prize: £75 3rd Prize: £50.
Details:   Using the photo for inspiration, create a compelling story that make us hang onto every word. You can be completely creative with your interpretation but you must include all three characters in some way. Entries must be completely original and previously unpublished. You have a maximum of 500 words including the title so make sure that you use each word wisely.
Contact:   Creative1 Publishing 15 Rue Canigounenc Ceret 66400
Country:   France
Website:   http://creativecompetitor.com/2011/12/25/500-word-fiction-writing-contest/

Scribble Themed Competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   1st November 2012
Fees:   £3 for one entry.
Prizes:   £100 for first place. Shortlisted entries to be published.
Details:   For short stories up to 3000 words on the theme: Friends.
Contact:   Park Publications,14 The Park, Stow on the Wold, Glos. GL54 1DX
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   parkpub14@hotmail.com
Website:   http://www.parkpublications.co.uk

Writers For Animals
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   31st March 2012
Fees:   £0 for one entry.
Prizes:   £0 for first place. This is a fund-raiser, so contributors won’t be paid.
Details:   Stories of 800 – 8,000 words sought for a compilation book that will be sold to raise funds for animal rescues. Wanted: True-life stories about animals who have touched people’s hearts, and people who’ve helped them. Plus fiction stories for adults and teenagers in any genre that have some kind of animal theme. We don’t want poetry, essays, opening chapters of novels, children’s stories, sexually-explicit content or political rants. Email for submission instructions.
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   writersforanimals@live.co.uk
Website:   http://writersforanimals.onlinegroups.net

Illness & the Child writing competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   31st March 2012
Fees:   £5 for one entry. Fee donated in aid of Sick Kids.
Prizes:   £0 for first place. Hand-crafted Borders glassware, publication and live reading at publicity event.
Details:   Open competiton, poetry (60 lines) and prose (3000 words) on Illness and the Child. Anything linking a child with illness (in the child, or someone known to him or her), otherwise interpretation wide open. Entrants 18 and over; BWF members precluded. Winners announced after 30th May. All entry fees go towards helping children in the Sick Kids Hospital.
Contact:   The Sick Kids Foundation, 20 Millerfield Place, Edinburgh, EH9 1LW
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   bwfcompetitions@gmail.com
Website:   http://www.edinburghsickkids.org/press-and-news/news-archive/open-writing-competition.html

Birmingham Book Festival Story Competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes: 31st January 2012
Fees:   £5 for one entry.
Prizes:   £100 for first place. Also writing workshop. Ł50 second place.
Details:   For stories between 1,000 and 2,000 words on the theme: clocks.
Contact:   Birmingham Book Festival Short Story Competition 2012, Unit 116, Custard Factory, Gibb St, Birmingham B9 4AA
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   joanne@birminghambookfestival.org
Website:   http://www.birminghambookfestival.org/short-story-comp-2012

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   5th February 2012
Fees:   $0 for one entry.
Prizes:   $15,000 for first place.
Details:   For general fiction and young adult novels. Opens to submissions January 23, 2012.
Country:   United States
Website:   http://www.amazon.com/b?node=332264011


21st Annual Duel on the Delta
Sponsor: River City Romance Writers
Fee: $25.00
Deadline: March 15, 2012
Entry: electronic entries only; first twenty pages.
Judges: trained, published and unpublished.
Final Judges: TBA.
FMI, www.rivercityromancewriters.org; duelonthedelta@yahoo.com.

The 2012 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense for Unpublished Writers
Sponsor: Kiss of Death Chapter RWA
Fee: $15–30.00
Deadline: March 15, 2012
Entry: prologue/first chapter up to 5,000 words. All electronic entry.
Final judges: See website.
FMI, www.rwamysterysuspense.org or email: Brooke Wills at daphnecontest@gmail.com.


Iron Horse Films, LLC is scouting for a writer who lived in Manhattan during the tragedy of 9-11. We are looking for an up and coming writer who is looking to expand their script writing experience. Please submit a sample of your work (i.e. up to five pages either in word or Final Draft with a copy of your resume. Writers will get some compensation for their work. Serious writers only please. Please submit your sample to Iron Horse Films,LLC along with your resume by midnight of January 8th to the following E-mail: info@ironhorsefilms.net. Thank you.

Writer wanted for a sitcom about an Indian Immigrant experience taking place in New York. Each episode will be standard sitcom length 23 minutes. We would prefer previous sitcom experience, multi-cultural themes a plus. It’s a comedy/drama/satire with lots of emotions. Send a cover letter with either a link to a sample of your writing or a sample in the body of the cover letter to: info@nritvfilmclub.com. The producer Tirlok Malik is a New York Emmy nominated filmmaker. You can learn more about his work at www.nritvfilmclub.com.

Just completed a rough draft of a horror script and am interested in getting some feed back to assist in my revisions.   The script is a more traditional style monster mash-up, combining elements of Frankenstein and Mummy lore.  If you think you might be able to offer some free coverage, please drop me a line at kevinmglover@yahoo.com.  Thank you.

If you are a science fiction buff who has an idea for a film in Esperanto, give me a ring. I can barely speak a word of it but if it is written down, or in subtitles, I can actually make out the sense of it fairly well. If you don’t have any command of Esperanto whatsoever, but would like to try your hand at helping write a script along the lines of a futuristic domed city, robots, at least 1 personal sized spaceships, a slave revolt, and a lasergun battle, give me a call. This could be a lot of fun. Call Matthew, late evenings 503-771-3307.

Oak3 Films, Singapore, is looking for a junior writer. The job scope includes: generate innovative ideas for TV and new media; research and write scripts; pitch & sell ideas to broadcasters and investors. Requirements are: read widely, & sensitive to local & international TV trends; thrives on tight deadlines; awesome written and spoken language skills, especially in Mandarin; good presentation skill, especially in Mandarin. Need not have media background, but must love to watch TV (good & bad ones.)  Send inquiries to info@oak3films.com. Only Singaporean, Singapore PR need to apply.

Looking for screenwriter in Arizona feature film project. Compensation can be discussed over phone or email. Outline of story can be discussed. The film is drama/comedy. No professional experience necessary. For more information email tallent.stephen@gmail.com.

Pro Digital Group is now accepting short form screenplays. Please submit thriller, crime, and horror scripts only(a flavor of love story OK) with a running time of no more than 20 minutes. Must be unique and original to you and registered with the Copyright Office or WGA. We will produce and provide the financing. Option/Purchase price and rights to be negotiated. Reply by email to us at jobs@prodigitalgroup.com with subject line “SCREENPLAY”! Thanks for your consideration and hope to hear from you soon.

Please remember to check out legitimacy of all contests before you enter and to copyright all 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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This weeks competitions that have caught my eye:


Express Yourself 2012 – Write your world 
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   12th January 2012
Fees:   £0 for one entry.
Prizes:   £150 for first place.
Details:   For fiction or any other type of creative writing by a deafblind child or adult, a carer, or any other individual on the subject of deafblindness.
Contact:   Colin Anderson, Sense, 101 Pentonville Road, London, N1 9LG
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   colin.anderson@sense.org.uk
Website:   http://www.sense.org.uk/media_centre/latest_news/august_2011/express_yourself_2012

The FFW Flash Fiction Contest
Category:   Fiction
Closes:  9th March 2012
Fees:   £0 for one entry. Multiple entries, all free.
Prizes:   £25 for first place. 2nd £15 and 3rd £10.
Details:   Flash fiction stories up to 1000 words in any theme.
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   comp@flash-fiction-world.com
Website:   http://www.flash-fiction-world.com/flash-fiction-contest.html

World Audio Short Story Writer 2012
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   31st March 2012
Fees:   £3 for one entry. £3 until 31st December 2011. £4 thereafter.
Prizes:   £0 for first place. Professional recording of winning story plus promotional author podcast with interview and reading.
Details:   Theme: Open – any genre/theme. Word Limit: 1500-2000 words. Rules: stories must be written in English; must be previously unpublished in text (including internet)or audio form; the entrant must own the copyright to the story they have submitted.
Contact:   Wyndam Granite, PO Box 1302, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire HP4 9AE
Country:   United Kingdom
Website:   http://shortstoryradio.com/short_story_competitions.htm

Emerald Writing Workshops
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   31st August 2012
Fees:   £1.80 for one entry. 3 entries for a fiver.
Prizes:   £65 for first place. Second £20; third £15; three runners-up win a book of short stories.
Details:   Maximum 500 words excluding title. Open theme so you can write about anything you like. Maximum 3 entries per person. Open to anyone in the world of any age. Postal entries only.
Contact:   4 Abbott Street, Long Eaton, Nottingham NG10 1DF
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   edwardjohnwalsh@hotmail.com
Website:   http://www.emeraldwritingworkshops.co.uk

Malahat Review 2012 Novella Prize
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   1st February 2012
Fees:   $35 for one entry. $40 (US); $45 (RoW).
Prizes:   $1,500 for first place.
Details:   For works of fiction between 10,000 and 20,000 words.
Contact:   The Malahat Review, University of Victoria, P.O. Box 1700, Stn CSC, Victoria, B.C. V8W 2Y2
Country:   Canada
Email:   malahat@uvic.ca
Website:   http://www.malahatreview.ca/contests/novella_contest/info.html


More Than Magic
Sponsor: Romance Writers Ink
Fee: $25–27.00
Deadline: March 2, 2012
Entry: All romance books with a North American copyright date of 2011.
Judges: Romance readers.
E-mail: jackie.rwimagic@netscape.com
Website: http://www.rwi-rwa.com


Little Pieces of Love
Deadline: 20 December 2011
Writers are invited to submit their short plays for a Valentine’s themed event at the Southwark Playhouse.

Immersive Writing Lab Competition
Deadline: 21 December 2011
Create a cross-platform storyworld and win a £6k development fund.

Red Planet Prize
Deadline: 16 January 2011
£5,000 cash prize and entry to a mentoring scheme for an original TV script.

Script Space 2012
Deadline: 31 January 2012
Open competition that invites submissions of new, unperformed one-act plays from UK-based writers.

Theatre Trail Writers Competition 2012
Deadline: 31 January 2012
Have your play performed at next year’s Arundel Festival Theatre Trail.

One Act Playwriting Competition
Deadline: 31 January 2011
The Drama Association of Wales’ One Act Playwrighting Competition is now open for submissions.

The BBC Writersroom Future Talent Award for Writers
Deadline: 01 February 2012
Opportunity for north-based student/recent graduate drama writers to access development opportunities and mentoring from the BBC.

TenFour Theatre presents – A Table for Six
Deadline: 20 February 2012
TenFour is now accepting submissions of monologues for its Spring production of A Table for Six.

Saturday Shorts 3 – Scriptwriting competition
Deadline: 01 March 2011
Bristol Folk House are looking for fifteen-minute scripts for a performance event in summer 2012.

The Windsor Fringe Kenneth Branagh Award 2012
Deadline: 05 March 2012
The Windsor Fringe is now accepting unpublished one-act plays from amateur playwrights for its 2012 Award.


New Devil Productions Looking For Next Short or Feature Project
We, New Devil Productions, are looking for our next project.  We are in post for a short film called “the party” and have worked with AmericanDreamMachine Productions and have worked with the producers of the film Echoes.  We are looking for any projects that would be of interest to us and create a world just around that script/story.  Please contact us with ideas any genre any type of script but no tv shows or anything like that.  Shorts are welcomed. Once we can get funding for projects there will be funds. Send inquiries to us at Brandonsndp@gmail.com. Thank you.

Indie Film Production Company Looking for it’s Next Project
Seattle area  indie film production company looking for its next project. We are in post production of our current film and looking forward to our next project. We have a good idea about the setting and other elements but we need someone to bring the script together. If you have a flair for situational comedy and catchy through-line (possible McGuffin) then contact us! We’re paying in percentage of future revenue. We want someone who wants to see their script made into a film. While we have some ideas about the story, the script would be yours and credited as yours. Call Michael at 206-372-7274.

Looking for Experienced Writer to Collaborate on Script
I am a film maker trying to put a story together for my new short film “Love on the Dance Floor.” I am looking only for an experienced writer to collaborate on the script. We will be shooting on canon 5D MII, and sending it out to the film festival circuit. It is a no budget short film so its unpaid project but in consideration for your collaboration, we can provide you with credits and film material for your show reel. If you are interested, please send me your CV and samples of your work to info@shadikhalilvisuals.com.

Seeking Female Scriptwriter in New Jersey/Philadelphia Area
Seeking a New Jersey/Philiadelphia area female script / screen writer to work with the executive producer of an original musical. College seniors and recent graduates ok. For more info write to musicjarproductions@gmail.com. Thank you.

Looking for a Horror/Fantasy Script
New York Film Academy producer seeks original horror or fantasy screenplays for potential production. Chosen screenwriter(s) will partner with a NY Film Academy producer who will create an entire producer’s package for the script. Which package will include a business plan, a look book, a budget, a schedule, and a marketing and distribution plan. Please submit a log-line and synopsis in the body of an email message to Muriel Moraes at script.nyfa2011@gmail.com. If the project is funded compensation will be at customary low budget independent film rates.

Seeking Collaborator/Writer for High Concept Political Thriller
Looking for experienced writer to help develop and write political thriller. Must have experience in this genre with a good sense of story and structure. Please send BRIEF (10 – 15 pages) writing samples in .pdf or Word format to links2movie@gmail.com.

Looking for Drama/Comedy Screenwriters for Feature Film Script
Director/Producer looking for a great writer in the drama/comedy genre to collaborate on a feature film script. The subject involves a struggling band set in LA during the 1970s. Knowledge of that era is a plus, but not a must. Looking for a writer with a dry sense of humor. The film would be a “Bottlerocket” meets “Almost Famous” meets “Spinal Tap.” For more information write to Brandon LaGankea at brandonlaganke@gmail.com.

Looking for Character Driven Short Scripts
I am a director/producer searching for a simple 5-10 minute script. More than anything, I am looking for a character driven piece with no more than 3 locations, containing 2-4 characters. My preferred genre for the script is either comedy, drama, horror, crime or action. The reason for this is because the big budget FX of science fiction or fantasy are way out of my budget. My desired script would be a strong dialogue driven comedy/drama, but I will consider any crime, horror or action stories depending on what FX they require. As long as the FX occur on-screen and do not break the bank too much then I will consider your script. If you are based in or close to Manchester then that is a plus but don’t worry too much if you aren’t. Please e-mail your scripts to jonnycof@hotmail.com.

Looking for Gritty, Original British Short Scripts
Independent Filmmaker requiring original Short Films Scripts (Up to 20 mins long) to be made on a low/no budget basis. I am looking for Gritty British scripts of any genre that contain: Minimal characters (2-5); Minimal dialogue; Only a handful of locations; Gritty themes (Love, sex, loss…etc) Low budget scripts only – you must know a rough estimate of how much your script would cost to make, so please only send your script if you think it could be made for practically nothing. The film will be shot on a Canon 550D camera and edited on Final Cut Pro. Please send formatted scripts and story breakdowns via email to filmprojectuk@gmx.com and we will get back to you with further details.

Seeking Romantic Musical Story for Hindi Feature
Kopy Cat Films ‘N’ Entertainment is registered with WIFPA and going to make a Romantic Musical Hindi Feature Film. We need a good Romantic Musical Story from writers. Please send us One Line Story idea. The shortlisted story writers will call for detail story sitting. Payment will be as per industry trend. You can mail your story idea to script.kopycatfilms@gmail.com.

Seeking Collaborators/Writers for Dynamic Youth-Action Flick
A dynamic, action and sports based digital feature film, starring kids in their late teens and early twenties, is looking for above line collaborators. We have an immediate opening for an experienced co-writer to become part of the development process and work with the director/producer and his writing partner. Will offer equity for the right person, possible stipend upon funding.
If you have a great sense for structure and are a team player, we invite you to help us combining the best ideas into a great story before we write the scenes. The shoot and story is based in NYC, the genre is action/comedy/drama; and it features skateboarding, stunts, teen slang, hacking, gadgets and MAVs. Please send your links/info to nospa3-00@yahoo com.

Please remember to check out legitimacy of all contests before you enter and to copyright all 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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Last week I was listening to Heart Essex Radio and the realisation that many traditional names we once used are being abandoned for much more ‘funky’ ones.

For example, David, Jean, Margaret, Sally, Theresa, John and Tracy are a thing of the past and being replaced with names such as Mercedes, Chantelle and River.

This got me thinking about the names we, as writers, choose for our characters. Does the traditional ‘us’ stick with traditional names for our heroes, or like the totally normal named David and Victoria Beckham,  do we take this opportunity to go a little crazy and name our little darlings Brooklyn, Cruze, Romeo and Harper?

Maybe he just found out what his name is.

According to the Bounty Parenting Club, children nowadays are being named purely because their parents feel the wackier the name, the more their children will stand out.

I gues that does have an element of truth to it. Afterall, look at movies such as the Step Up franchise and its leading men. Tyler, Chase and, okay, Luke (I’ll let the last one slide), are not what you would call traditional names. Or are they?

75% of parents who choose traditional names for their children, such as Jennifer and Robert believe these ‘extreme’ parents who insist names like Armani are cool are setting their children up for a school life of misery and bullying.

But, if you watch shows like Disney’s ‘Suite Life on Deck’, you’ll see characters named London, Bailey and Woody. Again, not the normal names you usually see on a school register, but also not characters who are tormented by their peers.

The 1995 film ‘Clueless’, shows the protagonist as a school girl named Cher and someone who is not only caring and popular, but also who proves to be extremely smart.

But, back to Bounty’s poll. Six in every 10 people reckon a good strong name is sensible and the best way to go, and parents which proceed to use these outrageous names are nothing by selfish and not considering their children at all.


Hmmm…. Bruce Willis’ portrayal of John Mclane in Die Hard. Now you don’t get much stronger than that. Well, okay, James Bond played by Daniel Craig.  All traditional names which conjure up handsome features, rugged jaw line and muscles to die for – *slaps face* quick, change the subject before I pass out.

And, just to prove how wacky they are getting, here Bounty’s “Most Unusual Names of the Decade” list:

1.  Shy
2.  Unity
3.  Bean
4.  Zowie
5.  Puppy
6.  Ice
7.  Victory
8.  Porsche
9.  D’Andre
10. Denim
11. Diesel
12. Armani
13. Rooney
14. Bowie
15. Cobain
16. Stone
17. Gift
18. Echo
19. Heaven
20. Maroon

So, what do you name your characters? Do you go for the traditional, strong names, or do you take a more unusual and exotic stance? Do you think that traditional names are more stronger? Do you take into consideration the era your character was born and the most popular names at that time? Do you know anyone who has named their children Romeo, Cruze or Levi? Let me know. I want to find the most wierdest name EVER!

You can also find me on FacebookTwitter, Google+ and Linkedin

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Some people read the book first, others saw the movie first. I belong to the latter club.

Some people are Team Edward, some are Team Jacob. I am Team Bella’s Dad.

The phenomenon surrounding this story is almost as big as Harry Potter….almost.

So, why is this? The movie adaptation clearly helped Meyer buy herself an extra house or two. But, is the story really strong enough to warrant my mate getting herself an Edward Cullen lunch box?

I have already admitted to watching the movie first. And for the first half (and majority of the second), I wondered when the story was going to get a much needed shot of adrenaline. Where was the excitement? This was a vampire film after all. But, even after saying all this, I still sort of enjoyed it. Once I knew it wasn’t an ‘action’ type film, I watched it a second time for what it was….Basically, a bad romance.

Still, is it romantic enough to be one of the biggest hits of 2005 and then again in 2008? It’s not exactly Pride and Prejudice or Brief Encounter.

Is it that women (I wish I could say teenagers, but seeing as most my friends are lusting after these characters, I really can’t), are obsessed with the idea that loving a vampire is sexy? Or, is it just an unhealthy obsession with Taylor Lautner’s six pack and Robert Pattison’s…..er, what does he have?

So, armed with all this information, and while waiting for my flight at LAX, I took the plunge and purchased the paperback version. I’m ashamed to admit, I’d read half of it by the time I touched down at Heathrow, and finished it the following day.

Now, I am not a reader of young adult. I am 40 years old and prefer characters my own age – or a least a little closer to it. That’s not to say I don’t like young adult stories. I just sometimes think writers forget the kids are supposed to be teens, and as such let them run around like adults (not mentioning any names **cough cough** Vampire Diaries).

So, what’s this book about?

if you didn’t already know. Even my mum knows what this story is about. But, for the one person who’s been stranded inEureka for the past eight years, let me explain.

Twilight is a romance about a ‘human’ girl called Bella, who falls in love with a, more white than sparkly, vampire called Edward. And, wouldn’t you just know it? Her life becomes endangered; although it takes until the end of the film to get to this issue.

So, what kept me interested?

Honestly? I am still trying to figure that out. This story has been done a thousand times before, and much, much better. Let’s see, for one there was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Angel sent hearts fluttering across the nation. Mine, though, belonged to Spike, and, umm, Giles 🙂

And, I don’t believe for one minute Stephanie Meyer’s inspirational story of I dreamt of two people one night and when I woke up I just had to start writing to see who they were. If there is any truth to that statement, you can paint me blue and call me Smurfette.

And……., even though I am NOT a fan of the Vampire Diary books, I do feel sorry for their author L J Smith. Twilight is a complete rip off!

And……., Stephanie is so repetitive; I kept thinking she’d started the novel again.

And……., Bella is horrid! What kind of protagonist is she? There is nothing endearing about her at all. She is the biggest wimp ever! I mean, how many times can a girl faint for crying out loud? No wonder Hollywood toughened her up a little for the movie….albeit into the nastiest bitch going. Still, anything has to be an improvement, right?

Would I read another Stephanie Meyer book?

After much deliberation, which took all of a split second, I would have to say ‘no’. After I finished the Twilight novel it was ‘yes’, as I read the whole series. However, now it is ‘no’. In fact it is ‘HELL NO!’ I’ve only read the book once and have no desire to read it again. I’d rather watch the film for a couple of hours and then get on with life again. And, I’d only watch the film again if I’d already finished polishing the coal in my fireplace.

I don’t actually think Meyer is a particularly strong writer. When I reflect on Twilight, I don’t see the characters as very strong. The Twilight franchise went on two books too long, three if you count the Edward version. There was an Edward version, wasn’t there? I didn’t dream that. Or did I? And, I’m certain that if you cut all the repetition, you’d have a novel three quarters the size.

Rant over!

Now, I know I’m going to be hung, drawn, and quartered, but I have to ask….

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Have you read any other Stephanie Meyer novels? Have you seen the movie version? Let me know.

You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Linkedin

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I had never heard of the author, Ken Bruen. Perhaps not the best of starts, but I honestly don’t know where to begin with reviewing this book.

I picked ‘Blitz’ from the book shelf purely because it had Jason Statham on the cover. Okay, so I’m shallow, but Statham’s rugged stance was too persuasive and I buckled in a moment of weakness. It would appear this 2002 book was picked up by Hollywood and hit our screens in June of this year. I confess I totally slept though this period, but the promo on YouTube looks pretty good.

So, what’s this book about?

Basically, a tough cop has to find and stop a psychpath from killing police officers. It’s neat and it’s simple.

Then, I turned to Chapter One. The first paragraph reads:

THE PSYCHIATRIST STARED at Brant. All round the office were signs that thanked you for not smoking.

      The psychiatrist wore a tweed jacket with patches on the sleeves. He had limp, fair hair that fell into his eyes, thus causing him to flick it back every few seconds. This doctor was convinced he had Brant’s measure.

So, nothing wrong with that. Then it continued –

    He was wrong.
    ‘Now, Sergeant, I’d like you to tell me again about your violent urges.’

‘Huh?’ I had to back up and re-read. I’d never seen a layout like this before and it threw me. In fact, for the first thirty pages it kept throwing me. Eventually, I came around to Bruen’s way but it wasn’t without a fight.

So, what kept me interested?

The story. There are three stories going on here. Well, actually there are four if you count the killer. And each story lets its character have its own point of view. There is Brant, who I thought would be the main character given the picture on the cover and the blurb on the back. How wrong was I! It’s a bit like Tarantion’s Pulp Fiction and, fortunately, I like this format. Plus the stories drew me in.

What I didn’t like was the ending. I won’t reveal what happens, but I felt very let down.

Would I read another Ken Bruen book? I would have to say ‘yes’. The strange layout aside, I found the story engaging, fast paced and the characters very real. I just hope the next Bruen novel I choose finishes with more of a bang.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Have you read any other Ken Bruen novels? Have you seen the movie version? Let me know.

You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Linkedin

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There is no way to sugar coat this so I’ll give it to you straight. I like to talk. Anyone who knows me will agree. Sometimes, I just don’t shut up.

But, to us novelists and scriptwriters, dialogue is an extremely important factor of our work. Dialogue is good. Dialogue is a major player in forming our personality and creating our character. Just ask my husband. He will tell you that my dialogue sums me up as a nag 🙂

So, writing dialogue should be a walk in the park, right? After all, we all talk on a daily basis, some of us even in our sleep. We are knowledgeable experts in the field of speech. We’ve been using words to argue and laugh our way through life for twenty, thirty (or us old ones) forty plus years. We know what we’re doing. We don’t need help in this area. Right?


Elmore Leonard and Quentin Tarrantino are arguably two of the best dialogue writers around. If you’ve read any of Leonard’s novel’s (and I do advise you to, if only for the dialogue), or watched any of Tarrantino’s movies, you will understand what I mean. They give their characters a ‘voice’.

By a voice, I mean your characters need their OWN voice. New writers often make the mistake of giving their characters THEIR voice, meaning all their characters sound the same as their author.

But how do I know when you’ve done this? What are the tell tale signs?

In his book ‘Save the Cat’, Blake Snyder talks about a simple test you can do to check whether you have bad and flat dialogue. Take a page of your script and cover your character names. Then, by reading the dialogue, see if you can tell which of you characters are speaking. It’s simple, but extremely effective.

So, just how do we go about distinguishing Bob the Postman from Betty the Accountant? Doesn’t all the dialogue look same, and it’s the movie actors who breathe life into them?

Hell, no! Novelists don’t have the luxury of actors. The dialogue we give our characters to speak can be the difference between novelists and screenwriters getting published or ending up on the slush pile.

Take these examples:

“If Mr Johnson catches you with that, you’re certain to be suspended, maybe even expelled.”

“Yo, dude. If Jonno sees ya, you’ll be outta here. No messing.”

See how both lines are saying the same thing, only in different ways?

Dialogue is conversation. Make it real. However, don’t forget the ‘show, don’t tell’ rule. You don’t need three pages of a husband and wife discussing their marriage problems, when a husband eyeing up the sexy waitress is enough.

Now, I thought I’d have some fun and set you a little quiz. Below, I have listed fifteen lines of dialogue from various films. All you have to do is guess the movie and the character saying it. It’s so easy, I don’t really know why I’m bothering 🙂

I’ll post the answers in the comment box on Monday.

OH, and no cheating on Google.

  1. “You can’t handle the truth!”
  2. “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”
  3. “You had me at ‘hello’.”
  4. “What do they think I am? Dumb or something? Why, I make more money than – than, than Calvin Coolidge! Put together!”
  5. “I know what you’re thinkin’. ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’ Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I’ve kinda lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya punk?”
  6. “They’re not gonna catch us. We’re on a mission from God.”
  7. “Get away from her, you BITCH!”
  8. “Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
  9. “I am not an animal! I am a human being.”
  10. “…I’m NOT gonna be ignored.”
  11. “Wendy…darling. Light of my life. I’m not gonna hurt ya… I’m just gonna bash your brains in. I’m gonna bash ’em right the f–k in.”
  12. “The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms – greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge – has marked the upward surge of mankind.”
  13. “They’re here!”
  14. “Fellas, last year I made three million dollars. But your fifty thousand was the most fun. Are you ready? Then, let’s go get ’em.”
  15. “I was a better man with you, as a woman, than I ever was with a woman, as a man. Know what I mean? I just gotta learn to do it without the dress.”

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We often forget about the things we did as kids, maybe because our memories are not as sharp as they used to be when we hit middle age, but probably because these memories are so embarrassing, we choose to block them from our minds.

A couple of days ago, I was searching for some photographs. Now, if your parents are like mine, your whole life is packed into boxes and stored in the attic, and when I say your whole life I mean it. From the love letters you wrote to your first crush in maths class to the hideous video footage of your first sports day when you won the 100 metre sprint but all you really see are my skinny legs and knobbly knees. Anyway, my mum retrieved some of these boxes and, together, we began to go through them. I can tell you, while a mystery to me at the time, I look back at my school photos and now fully understand why I couldn’t get a boyfriend! Just when I didn’t think I could feel any worse about myself, I found something I really couldn’t remember writing. Of course, my hubby quickly took a photograph of it and threatened to publish it on Facebook…Who said a relationship stales after marriage?

So as a bit of fun (and I wanted to beat him to it), I thought I would share it with you.


In case you cannot read it, it says, “Dear John Travolta. I like your records very much and I like Grease. Love Donna. xxxxx”

Oh, how I can feel myself regretting this already. Notice there is no date. This is so I can adamantly deny I was older than five when I wrote it. Unfortunately I was 8 when Grease hit our cinemas, so I reckon I had to be 8 or 9 when I penned it. It reads a little like my query letters now, actually.

Ok, that’s enough laughing at me. I want you to comment with an equally embarrassing story or memory from your childhood. If I get over 15 replies, I will tell you of another TV couple who I do remember writing to, and I was a lot older too. 😀

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