Posts Tagged ‘wwbc’

James Lipton and the Actors Studio did it for fun with the actors…..Now, I’m doing it for fun with the writers.
This 30 Second Interview sees a different kind of writer than what we’ve had so far.
No, by different I don’t mean he finger-paints his words on to chalk boards or chisels them into rock. I mean this is a writer of non-fiction.
Let me introduce you to Brendan Foley. It’s okay, he won’t bite. Trust me.

So who is Brendan Foley and what does he do? Well there is Brendan Foley, the International sailing champion who has represented Ireland at many World and European Championships. Or, Brendan Foley the owner and founder of Seachange Training. But, if it’s success in your career, business, and life you’re after, then you need Brendan Foley the best selling author and life coach.
With quotes such as ‘Happiness is the starting point, not the end goal. Be happy now!’ Brendan has worked with thousands of people and helped them find their potential. And with numerous TV appearances on shows such as The Morning show, you know you’re going to be in safe hands.
Here’s some of the amazing books and CD’s you can buy:

 The Yin Yang Complex – signed paperback book

The Yin Yang Complex explores the nature of the masculine and feminine energy, that exists inside every person regardless of gender. Learn how to create balance and success in your relationships, business, the community and the environment.

The Yin Yang Complex – Guided Meditations CD

Experience the guided meditations from the Yin Yang Complex. This powerful audio experience will help you to understand your masculine and feminine energy and help you to create more balance in your life. The CD tracks:

Meet your Yin and Yang
The Yin and Yang of Nature
Discover Yourself
Envisioning the future

All the meditations are voiced by the author Brendan Foley.

 ‘5 States of Success’: insight, connection, certainty, vitality and spirit. When these states are entered into they produce; clarity, empathy, conviction, action and purpose, which are the essential ingredients of meaningful success.
You can also check out his amazon page.
One thing I totally love about this guy is, if you email him, he will not only autograph a book but will also write a personal message of your choice.
So for a guy that has it all together, what did he make of our ten questions?
1.  What is your favorite word?  Yes
2. What is your least favorite word? Bored
3. What turns you on?   My Wife. The Ocean. Life.
4. What turns you off?    Celery
5. What sound do you love?   The whispers of my children sleeping
6. What sound do you hate? Vacuums on acrylic carpet
7. What is your favorite curse word?   Clusterfuck (a term for every possible thing going wrong all at the same time!)
8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?   Exploration filmaking
9.  What profession would you not like to do?  Taxidermist
10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? “Great, you made it, the party has started – they’re all waiting for you!”
Contact Information

For more information regarding Brendan Foley, please check out his website, Facebook, twitter, blog. Or, why not email Brendan at foleybrendan@gmail.com

If you want more of me, I can be found on FacebookTwitter, Google+ and Linkedin

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This weeks competitions that have caught my eye:

FICTION: Via First Writer

Graffiti Magazine Writing Competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   10th April 2012
Fees:   £2 for one entry.
Prizes:   £25 for first place. Also magazine publication.
Details:   For short stories on any theme, up to 1,000 words.
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   graffiti.magazine@yahoo.co.uk
Website:   http://www.wilkiemartin.com/competition.php

Wolfe Pack’s Black Orchid Novella Award
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   31st May 2012
Fees:   $0 for one entry.
Prizes:   $1,000 for first place. Also magazine publication.
Details:   For crime mystery novellas between 15,000 and 20,000 words.
Contact:   Jane K. Cleland, Chair, Jane K. Cleland, P.O. 3233, New York, NY 10163-3233
Country:   United States
Email:   jane@janecleland.net
Website:   http://www.nerowolfe.org/htm/neroaward/black_orchid_award/BO_award_intro.htm

Novelicious Undiscovered 2012
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   3rd April 2012
Fees:   £0 for one entry.
Prizes:   £0 for first place. Prizes include Kindle; vouchers; critique; books.
Details:   For the first 3,000 words of a chick-lit novel.
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   undiscovered@novelicious.com
Website:   http://www.novelicious.com/noveliciousundiscovered2012.html

Best and Brightest Competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   13th May 2012
Fees:   £0 for one entry.
Prizes:   £200 for first place. There are plenty of other prizes on offer as well- visit our website for further details!
Details:   A creative writing competition for student and graduate authors; a competition that isn’t just limited to the members of a single University’s Students’ Union, but one which is open to entrants from across the United Kingdom, and beyond! After judging all the entries on a regional basis, anthologies of the 10 regional shortlists will be published; and 2 months later, the readers’ votes will be counted to see who makes it into the FINAL anthology!
Contact:   292 Rochfords Gardens, Slough, Berkshire SL2 5XW
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   bestandbrightestcompetition@gmail.com
Website:   http://best-and-brightest.co.uk

Pearl Short Story Prize
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   31st May 2012
Fees:   $10 for one entry.
Prizes:   $250 for first place. Also magazine publication.
Details:For short stories up to 4,000 words.
Contact:   Pearl Short Story Prize, 3030 E. Second Street, Long Beach, CA 90803
Country:   United States
Website:   http://www.pearlmag.com/contests.html

Steyning Festival Short Story Competition 2012
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   31st March 2012
Fees:   £4 for one entry. Three for £10.
Prizes:   £250 for first place. £50; £25.
Details:   For unpublished fiction up to 1,500 words. Any theme.
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   steyningbookshop@yahoo.co.uk
Website:   http://www.steyningfestival.co.uk/short-story-competition-2012


Shoreline Screenwriting Competition 2012
Entry Fee: £25 ($38approx) Early Deadline.The Competition Is Open!
Shoreline Scripts Screenwriting Competition 2012 is made up of a small team of experienced producers and script consultants.
Our strong relationships within the industry, both in the UK and US, enables us to pair the right projects with the most suited producer.
Prizes are great, but a writers biggest challenge is getting his or her work out there. That’s where we come in. Throughout the competition, and after, we will activelyget the best scripts into the hands of the people that can get them made.
Shoreline Scripts is open to anyone, anywhere in the world!

Website:   http://www.shorelinescripts.com/index.html


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

International Digital Awards (IDA)
Sponsor: Oklahoma Romance Writers of America
Fee: $15.00
Deadline: May 1, 2012
Eligibility: Any ebook with a copyright date of 2010 or 2011 that was eligible for sale in 2010 or 2011 and is NOT available in print.
Entry: Non DRM PDF as email attachment.
Categories: (All of the following offer BOTH a short/novella and a Novel category in each genre) Contemporary, Erotica, Historical, Inspirational, Paranormal, Suspense, Young Adult.
Judges: Readers, including other unpublished and published authors.
Top Prize: Winner of each category (short and Novel) will receive an engraved paperweight and reviews, tweets, and Facebook posts from at least five OKRWA members. Bonus prize: All entrants will be placed in a drawing for a free book trailer.
FMI, http://IdaContest.Wordpress.com.

(N.B. Only contact the companies listed below between 26 March – 17th April 2012)

Miso Studios seeks writers to produce witty and informative content for Social TV second screen platform. This content (we call them sideshows) will be synchronized in real time with the content from the your TV set-top box.  We are looking for writers that have a good understanding of social media space and technology-savvy.  The position will require 10 hours a week at flat rate to produce 5 sideshows and extend through an entire season (8-10 weeks). Go to http://goo.gl/DOmw6 to indicate your interest in the Miso Studio Writer position. Feel free to check out our website for more information: gomiso.com/sideshows

Cinemonger Motion Picture Company is seeking SCREENWRITERS to work with on developing feature films. Responsibilities: Work closely with producers to form characters, story and dialog; Brainstorm with the development team; Perform in-depth research; Write character bios, outlines, treatments, scenes, synopses and screenplays; Follow grammar, style and legal guidelines; Stay on schedule. Requirements: Must have completed a minimum of two feature-length screenplays; Must be extremely comfortable with screenplay format, structure and the English language; Must understand how a film is made and knowledgeable about film language; Must be a team player and open to criticism and direction; Must be a self-motivated individual; Must have the ability and talent to write in multiple genres. Please send cover letter, bio, filmography or resume and a 5-10 page sample in TWO of the following categories: Quirky Character Piece; Sexy Suspense/Thriller; Action Sequence; Teen Drama or Comedy (R-rated is OK); Family Drama or Comedy. DO NOT SEND more than 20 total pages. Send all materials to: ASSISTANT@CINEMONGER.COM Compensation is negotiable, depending on experience of writer and budget of project. On average of $400 – $1,000 initial payment. Plus back end profit sharing.

Looking for a STORY WRITER for a short film. The genre is psyhco-thriller. Premise, characterization and basic story arc is already chalked out. The writer needs to fill in the gaps with interesting events in the life of the character(s), add exciting and fresh story elements, build a dramatic conflict with suitable twists & turns. The film is intended for the festival circuit and movie channels on TV & online. Freshers are most welcome, provided they have keen sense of storytelling and a basic understanding of what is possible on screen and what not, within the limited budget of an experimental short film. People who are passionate about doing something different & exciting in this industry, please apply with your CV here and also send a short sample of your creative fiction writing to soumya.tvconceptsdev@gmail.com

We are looking for experienced screenwriters for the pre-production of a major film. Serious inquires only. All interested candidates must be familiar with the current standard screenplay format (i.e. Final Draft software). For more information, please contact Noel at sbv7four@gmail.com

Looking for a Latina screenwriter that wants to join me in writing a feature script based on my short film Neon Angels. (Neon Angels has played in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Atlanta Film Festival.) Pay will be $200 – after script is done. Contact me, Alex Clavijo, at asclavijo@yahoo.com

Online serial writer (GUIOPERA) seeks stealth screenwriter (someone who goes about their business undetected) for long term partnership to develop concepts and ideas for TV, film and online/video games. The partnership will yield new intellectual property for new company created by collaboration. so there is no pay in the first instance. Please email john@etfiction.com for more information.

Comedic screenwriter is on quest for epic collaboration with equally talented writer for dramedy project. Specifically looking for writer(s) with some experience. Must have a thorough knowledge of the 90’s. Send messages of interest to Mutt Johnson at poquito.johnsonfilms@gmail.com. Gig is non-paid.

V-FilmS is looking for film scripts, regardless of runtime or genre – however we give exciting and crazy scripts preference. Main condition for entries is that the scripts are innovative and can be produced on low budgets. Please send your script (include a short synopsis) to contribute@meridianum.eu. If you have no script as of now, send us a message anyway if you are interested in writing for us on a freelance basis. We are looking forward to your exciting work and stories.

Hi, I’m taking a producing program in NYFA. I’m looking for a script which is any genre but related with tourism, or travel, or theme park, or any kinds of movie theaters. Yor script would be developed as a feature film project for a student thesis, which include all business plans, bugeting, scheduling, and potentail director, potentail castings. If possible, I am going to find the resource to produce it. Contact me, James Chuang, at jameschuang0422gmail.com I’m willing to have an option agreement if the script has a potential to develop as a feature film.

Small video company needs a feature film screenplay for ultra low budget production. Shooting only in NYC area with 2-3 main actors. We can pay a little money. Contact Alen at alex.video@yahoo.com

Hi, I am looking for Writing Partners who are serious and creative. Looking for people who are willing to travel to meet just as i am willing to travel to meet. I have started multiple projects in the action and comedy categories and have acquired some good contacts to send material out when it is finished. You will receive a percentage of what comes out of the finished product. I have a great movie started that just needs some touching up on the script so it won’t take long to finish. I am looking to get 1-2 other writing partners to possibly develop into a real money making writing team. If you are interested please email me at darakkhamone@yahoo.com and we can exchange contact info. Thanks, Darak Khamone.

Central Station Media is a well-established production company that has filmed and edited over 500 TV commercials which have aired on national and International TV channels, and has produced 1 feature film to date. As we open our new Hollywood production facility our company will be selecting the 5 most-promising screenwriters (based on previous work), as well as the five most promising directors in a contest to showcase local talent and draw attention to our company’s new feature film production capabilities. During production, Central Station Media will provide all equipment, casting, and production facilities at absolutely no cost to screenwriters or directors. There is no pay associated with this project, but screenwriters and directors that are chosen will have access to a full studio of equipment to make their creative visions a reality. For Screenwriters: Please submit a SHORT screenplay that is 3-5 pages long, and preferably takes place in 1-2 locations. For Directors, please submit your resumes to the email associated with this posting. We look forward to reading your screenplays and resumes. Send to us at censtation@gmail.com

I am an award-winning director looking for a scriptwriter to collaborate on another short film in the near future. I have just finished another short but am hungry to collaborate on another exciting project. I have a great track record of successfully making the most of script ideas, delivering great pitches and overall achieving funding through national film funding schemes. I will use part of that funding to pay for the production rights to your script, so that your creativity and hard work are fully rewarded. I would like to receive any treatments/scripts for a short films that you have written and feel would make a good short film. Ideally looking for fictional dramas of any sort. Please email your submissions to Rohan Green: rrrproductions@hotmail.com Then we can speak soon and take it from there. In the meantime, here are a few links of interest: http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/london/hi/people_and_places/2012/newsid_8950000/8950008.stm and http://filmlondon.org.uk/news/2010/july/award_winners_announced_for_best_of_boroughs Thank you.

I am a young score writer that has made many scores, but none of them have ever been used. I would love to work on a score for a movie. If you are interested in my full list of works and my complete bio, please contact me at mtmichael13@gmail.com

We’re a film team looking for some good drama/dramedy scripts. You should really only send scripts (to: storybirdfilms@gmail.com) that are WGA protected–it’s just a smart thing to do. For further info about us visit our web site at http://storybirdfilms.com/. You’ll notice a lot of comedy, but we’re looking to branch out. There is no pay, nor is there any plan to make money. This is art for art’s sake. If it turns out well, we’ll submit it around to festivals. Thank you.

I am a producer and starting a new company and need fresh, talented writers who can give words to the imaginations and can create a magic onscreen and can attract audience. Interested candidates can apply and can send sample of their work or loglines in any genre to me, Ekta, at ekta_lovesdancing@yahoo.com

Looking for screen/script writer for a short community music television show. One day shoot. Payment is on a lo/no/deferred basis. Apply to Gabriel at amfestevents@gmail.com


Self-Publishing Options–6 Week Course taught by Bob Mayer & Jen Talty for $40.00

Will be offered April 2012

(Registration Open) Published author considering publishing your backlist? Unpublished author considering self-publishing? This workshop will look closely at self-publishing distribution channels from what kind of file you will need to upload your eBook to various options you have in creating the files. We will also discuss all the various platforms such as Kindle, Nook, iBooks and Smashwords and what are the best strategies to getting your book up for sale. We will discuss doing it yourself, outsourcing and team-building options. Authors have more options today than ever before, but the process can be overwhelming. While this is not a step-by-step technical class, the workshop is designed to give you enough information to make informed decisions on how to get your eBook on all formats possible. Course taught by Bob Mayer and Jen Talty

San Francisco Writer’s Conference – February 14-17, 2013

We are proud to announce bestselling author R.L. Stine will be our keynote speaker for 2013.

Continued for the 2013 SFWC  More conference! The SFWC will start on Thursday evening and run through the entire President’s Day weekend. Both new and returning attendees will appreciate the welcome session on Thursday evening (Feb. 14th) at no additional cost. As always, the main event is Friday through Sunday…but now there will be optional PreEvent and PostEvent Master Class writing intensive sessions which will be announced later this year. Watch your Newsletter for announcments. 
Click here for registration information.

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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Hello to week four!

How are you guys finding things so far? Remember in Part 3 I referred to the preparation of writing a book like building a house? Well, by now you should all have your Facebook and Twitter accounts up and running, regularly posting, and making a ton of new friends. That means you’ve sought out some building contractors and received a pile of estimates.

Part Four is all about drawing up the plans, ready for the architect.

Okay, let’s get down to down to business. The whole point of doing all this is because you have a bunch of ideas you’re dying to turn into a novel, right?

Firstly, lets just run over the basics.

Where do ideas come from?

This is like asking how long is a piece of string. Ideas are everywhere: magazines, newspapers, lines in a song, a word in a dictionary. It’s what our imagination does with them that matters.

Take this photograph for example:

We all know and love TV sitcom, ‘Friends’. When we look at this picture we automatically think of the perfect life we’d all like to live, with funny, humorous, neighbours who all have a great life. That’s because one, it’s make-believe, and two, it’s written as a comedy. Now, let’s say you sway towards the genre of romance. Look at the picture again. What do you see? Probably, pretty much how the show was towards the end of its run; relationship ups and downs, heartache, weddings….

Now, if you are like me – or maybe you’re just twisted and demented – you may sway towards the thriller genre. You may see Phoebe as a sociopath. Chandler as a womanizer. Monica as a spoilt brat who would kill to get what she wants. Or, maybe you see six friends just days before one of them accidently dies. The other five decide to cover it up until years later they start to die, one by one.

See how one photograph can set the idea’s train in motion?

But, one snippet of an idea doesn’t necessary give you enough material to write a novel.

Same but different rule

Actually, I think this is a good time to tell you about the ‘same but different’ rule.

Every idea has been done before. I’m sorry but that’s the cold, hard, truth of it. If you are discarding ideas because they have been used before then you will never write a book and should give up now.

The ‘same but different’ rule applies to every single film or book you have ever seen or read. The reason you may not have noticed it is because of this rule. I can see I’m loosing you. Bear with me. Let’s take a film we have all seen. Halloween.

Here’s the basic idea. A psychopath runs around and kills sex hungry teenagers.

Sound familiar?

Maybe you’re also thinking about ‘Scream’. You know, where the killer runs around and kills a load of teenagers?

Or, what about Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street? Doesn’t a killer run around and kill a group of teenagers in them too?

Of course he does. So why are all these films (along with a boat-load of others), so different?

Because the writers used the same but different rule.

In Halloween, the killer is an escaped mental patient out to kill his sister. In Friday the 13th, the killer is a man repeatedly acting out revenge for his mother’s death. In A Nightmare on Elm Street, the killer is a dead murderer who uses dreams as a way to get his victims.

Scream was very clever and took the ‘same but different’ rule a step further by surprising audiences with not one killer – but two. (And, I’m ashamed to admit, one I did not see coming).

So, although all these ideas are the same, they are different.

Building on your idea

Having the kernel of an idea is only the start for a book. But it isn’t enough. Here’s why.

I have an idea. It goes something like this. I have a girl who has lost her memory and has to find out who she is. It’s simple and it’s been done a thousand times before…. and I’m comfortable with that. I like simple. Simple is good.

But how the hell am I to get between 80-100 thousand words from that idea? Even my imagination couldn’t go with the flow on that one. Well maybe it could, but I’m a freak of nature.

No. This is where much thinking and plotting comes into it. Now, plotting we will talk about in week or so. But for now, we need to work on further thinking our idea.

I know I am writing a thriller. I also know I want both a female and male protagonist. Plus, there has to be one antagonist, too. Now I have an idea I need to fit a minimum of three characters into. But how should I tackle this amnesia? How does she get amnesia in the first instance? I know. I’ll have her thrown of a bridge. Cool. But why? Has she witnessed something? Is she in witness protection? Is she on the run and in hiding? Maybe. And this is where the hero cop comes into it, with all his luggage and the cat and mouse game begins.

Okay. I have a rough idea of why and where my story will go. Now I have something I can develop further with plotting. But, before I begin plotting, I need to work on my characters. This is something we’ll look at next week in Part Five.

So, this weeks task is to go find an idea. I don’t care where it comes from. Maybe you overhear some people talking. Maybe you pass a road side advertisement. I want to know where you found your idea and what it consisted of. For example, if a picture, what kind of picture. If it was in a song, tell me the song and the line/word/verse that caught your attention. And, as I love to know how good your imaginations are, I want your to put your brave head on and also tell me what your idea is.

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

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This weeks competitions that have caught my eye:

FICTION: Via First Writer

Writers’ Journal Short Story Contest
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   30th May 2012
Fees:   $10 for one entry.
Prizes:   $350 for first place. $125; $75.
Details:   For short stories up to 2,000 words.
Contact:   Short Story Contest, Val-Tech Media, P.O. Box 394, Perham, MN 56573 Country:   United States
Website:   http://www.writersjournal.com/ShortStoryContest.htm

DreamQuestOne Writing Comp – Summer 2012
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   31st July 2012
Fees:   $10 for one entry. add $2 transaction fee for electronic entries
Prizes:   $500 for first place. All contest winners will be published online.
Details:   This writing contest is international; open to anyone having a story that’s worth telling everyone! Now accepting short stories, 5 pages maximum, fiction, on any subject or theme, neatly hand printed or typed, single or double line spacing for a chance to win cash prizes! First Prize: $500, 2nd: $250, 3rd: $100. Postmark deadline: July 31, 2012. Visit the website below for details and enter!
Contact:   Dream Quest One, Writing Contest, P.O. Box 3141, Chicago, IL 60654
Country:   United States
Website:   http://www.dreamquestone.com

Calderdale Short Story Competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   6th July 2012
Fees:   £4 for one entry.
Prizes:   £300 for first place. Second Prize £100, Runners Up £50.
Details:   No theme. Short stories up to 3,0000 words.
Contact:   Anna Turner, Central Library,Northgate, Halifax, HX1 1UN
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   anna.turner@calderdale.gov.uk
Website:   http://www.calderdale.gov.uk/leisure/libraries/readers/writing-competition/index.html

Colonsay book festival writing comp
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   20th April 2012
Fees:   £0 for one entry.
Prizes:   £0 for first place. A book from one of the book festival authors.
Details:   As part of our book festival we are holding a 100 word flash fiction competition. Submissions may be on any topic but must include the word Colonsay. Submissions must be exactly 100 words long. Winning entries may be published in a short phamphlet. Please submit via e-mail.
Contact:   Colonsay Book Festival, Drumclach Cottage, Isle of Colonsay, Argyll, PA61 7YR
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   colonsaybookfestival@hotmail.co.uk
Website:   http://www.spanglefish.com/colonsaybookfestival/index.asp

Flash a Famous Phrase
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   1st May 2012
Fees:   £1.00 for one entry.
Prizes:   £30.00 for first place. 2nd £20, 3rd £15. Winners also get Featured Writer page on our website.
Details:   Celebrating National Flash Fiction Day! Stories up to 500 words based on a famous phrase or saying. Winners announced on May 16, National Flash Fiction Day.
Country:   United Kingdom
Website:   http://www.flash-fiction-world.com/flash-fiction-famous-phrase-competition.html

Sentinel Literary Quarterly Short Story
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   5th April 2012
Fees:   £4.00 for one entry. £8 (2 stories), £10 (3), £12 (4)
Prizes:   £150 for first place. Second Prize: £75, Third Prize: £50, High Commendation £10 x 3 plus publication.
Details:   For previously unpublished short stories in English language on any subject, in any style, up to 1,500 words long. 1 Entrant will win 1 year’s subscription to our writing competitions magazine.
Contact:   Sentinel Poetry Movement, Unit 136, 113-115 George Lane, South Woodford, London E18 1AB.
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   competitions@sentinelpoetry.org.uk
Website:   http://sentinelquarterly.com/competitions/short-stories-0412/

2012 Unbound Press Short Story Award
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   30th April 2012
Fees:   £5.00 for one entry. £5 or €8 or $10
Prizes:   £500 for first place. £500, £250, £125 Anthology publication, winners and shortlist receive 1 free copy
Details:   Length: 1500 words, no min.
Contact:   Unbound Press, PO Box 16864, Glasgow, G11 9DJ or unboundpress@gmail.com
Country:   United Kingdom
Website:   http://www.unboundpress.com/competitions

2012 Spilling Ink Flash Fiction Prize
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   31st March 2012
Fees:   £5.00 for one entry. 1 £5 / 3 £10, 1 €8 / 3 €16, 1 $10 / 3 $20
Prizes:   £500 for first place. £500, £250, £125, Anthology publication, winners and shortlist receive 1 free copy
Details:   Length: 500 words, no min.
Contact:   Spilling Ink Review, PO Box 16864, Glasgow, G11 9DJ or spillingink.email@gmail.com
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   spillingink.email@gmail.com
Website:   http://www.spillinginkreview.com/competitions


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

The 5th Annual Alaska Break-Up Contest
Sponsor: Alaska Chapter of RWA
Fee: $30.00
Deadline: May 1, 2012
Eligibility: Submitted manuscripts must be unpublished.
Entry: All entries electronic; submit up to 10 pages of your manuscript’s most tense argument, breakup, or black moment. A 1–3 page scene set-up may be included but will not be judged.
Categories: Open to all categories and heat levels.
Judges: AKRWA trained judges, PRO and published authors.
Final Judges: Publishing Editor TBA
Top Prize: Personal critique of the entry by New York Times Bestselling Author, Cherry Adair.
FMI, for full rules, please visit http://akrwa.org.


Superhero, a central London moving image creative agency is seeking talented freelance script writers to work on a range of projects. Superhero works primarily with entertainment brands: films, video games, music, theatre, live events, lifestyle producing TV ads, film trailers, EPKs and video content for on-line use. Sought are writers to work on a range of projects: TV ad copy, Film trailer copy, EPK / Vodcast interview questions and structure, Advertiser funded programming ideas and Brand content film ideas. If you have expertise in all or some of these areas please apply with details of experience and rates.

Perdell Productions LLC is looking for completed horror feature film scripts for micro-budget production. Check out the director’s latest feature film http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2069957/. Please submit to us at prtfhasco@gmail.com a quick description, along with a synopsis of the script(s). Writers will be compensated based on the sale of the finished project. Serious inquiries only please. Thank you.

I am a established Montreal cinematographer/director with over 25 years experience looking to director my next short.  All genres are welcome. Script should be between 5 – 7 pages. For funding purposes, the writer must be Canadian. Financial compensation to be provided based on the quality of the work. Please send a copy of your script to my assistant, Patrick Greatbatch, at greatbatchmtl@gmail.com.

Screenwriter needed for feature documentary project in final stages of post. Experience in writing a feature documentary script is required. I would like to see your previous work(s). Pay to be negotiated. Please contact Cass Paley at cass@casspaley.com. Thank you.

I’m looking for a short film script that can be produced on a budget of next to nothing, but still look great and catch the eye. If you can use storytelling to really grab the imagination, I can do the rest. I’m particularly interested in magical realism, conceptual science fiction, or spooky but intelligent horror. Something transportive, that takes the viewers outside themselves. A good example (as far as features go) would be David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, or Jacques Rivette’s Celine & Julie Go Boating. Please get in touch for more details, to pitch at me, or if you’d like to send a script, please feel free. Looking at around 5-10 minutes in length. Send to me, Adam, at adam.leslie@btinternet.com. Many thanks.


Writing Mom’s: How to do it all course taught by Natalie C. Markey $20.00

Plot, character arc, transitions, climax, revise, rewrite, make that deadline, blog, check social media sites, continued education, volunteer for local writing group, read critique partners manuscript, research agents/publishers, read books within your genre, read a craft book and network.  These are ALL things that go through writers’ minds on any give day. But what if you had to add: Make bottles, keep up with diaper/Gerber/ formula supplies, feed baby three times a day plus bottle feedings, playtime, bathe baby, wipe up thrown sweet potatoes, shower to get sweet potatoes out of your hair, more playtime, hope for a naptime (for baby, you must write,) schedule playdates, read to baby, and hope baby actually goes to bed at the designated time.
For many writers, this is reality. In fact, many full-time writers are made because of a child being born. Some amazing mothers write late at night, around their day job. However you do it, being a writing mom is a challenge but very doable and rewarding. Learn easy self study tactics, time management tips and suggestions from a ten-year freelance journalist, published author and speaker who also has a one-year-old daughter and a high maintenance dog. You can have it all without losing your mind.

Thriller Fest Writer’s Conference – July 11-14, 2012

This year, spotlight guests will include 2012 ThrillerMaster Jack Higgins, 2011 ThrillerMaster R.L. Stine, Lee Child, John Sandford, and Catherine Coulter, along with 2012 True Thriller Award Recipient Ann Rule,  2012 Silver Bullet Award recipient Richard North Patterson, and 2011 Silver Bullet Award recipient, Karin Slaughter.

REGISTER NOW! You won’t want to miss the most spectacular conference for thriller writers and thriller fans on the planet!

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

Good luck and let me know how you get on.

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

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Well, hello again. What does this make it? Three weeks? Doesn’t time fly?

You’re probably chomping at the bit to start the writing process but I’ll let you into a little secret. You’re already doing it.

Writing starts way before you type ‘Chapter One’ a third of the way down the first page.

Firstly, there’s all that preparation you have to do. Oh now come on, stop your whining. We all have to prepare for something or other. For example, take builders. They wouldn’t build a house on mud, (unless you’re watching TV show Cowboy Builders), because their house would sink within a couple of years; pretty much like your novel would.

No. The builder has much preparation to do: Dig foundations. Get Building regulations approved. Add concrete. Bring up the damp course. Only then does he start to build his house. – And in case you’re impressed by my knowledge of building, don’t be. My father is a builder and I can build a brick wall 🙂

It’s much the same with writers. Preparation is a MUST! Without it, you’re novel is guaranteed to sink. Trust me.

Still with me? Tantrum over? Excellent. Let’s move on.

After last weeks post you should now know what genre you’re writing for. But why do we have to talk about social media now? Isn’t that something to think about after we finish writing our novel? And where do we even find a social media site?

I’m glad you asked.

What is Social Media?

Social Media is exactly what it says.

‘Social’ is the social interaction between two or a group of people. It’s similar to going out at night and getting together with friends, or meeting and making new pals.

‘Media’ is media. Just as newspapers and magazines report news, entertainment, local stories, and fashion, your ‘media’ runs pretty much the same. With your friends and ‘new’ cyber pals, you build relationships and discuss everyday life…as well as your work, writing, and upcoming releases.

Building a Brand

Remember, our name is our ‘brand’. The only way we are going to build on it is by using it…. All the time. 

Decide what social media sites you are most comfortable with and plaster it ‘everywhere’. The more you use it, the more you become associated with it. You want people to remember it.

When I first started using twitter I had a random name, like most of us do. We hide because we don’t want to be ‘seen’. But that isn’t going to help us when it comes time to sell our books. Make sure it’s your name (or your pen name) that you use on the social networking sites. To my knowledge, Waterstones, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble don’t have the resources to find me if someone asks for a book by ‘EssexGirl71’.

But why do it now? Wouldn’t it be better to wait until I have written my book before I start promoting myself?

Well, you can but other than your mother and her friends at the W.I., you’ll have nobody to buy it. By building your brand now, you’ll have a loyal following of friends all queuing to read your book when it’s finished.

And, an extra tit-bit of information. I regularly hear that if a publisher or agent likes your book, the first thing they do is Google your name to see how big a presence you have on the internet. A well written book just doesn’t seem to be enough anymore.


The promotion package no longer comes wrapped in glittery paper and tied with a silky smooth bow. Here’s why:

Pre-internet: Author wrote a book. Author personally delivered, or posted, manuscript (remember those days?), to the publisher. Author returned home for a well deserved cup of tea before starting their next novel. Publisher runs around like a headless chicken promoting book.

Post-internet: Author writes a book while tackling social media. Author publishes novel either via traditional, indie, or the e-publishing route. Author works their ass off promoting and marketing the novel. Publisher relaxes with a cup of tea.

Promoting and marketing is exhausting and time-consuming and when you first start out, you’ll be doing everything yourself. Try different things. Watch what method makes the biggest impact.

Er, just to clarify, I am not telling nor condoning you take the same drastic action as Russell Brand, but if you do, send me pictures 🙂 

Social Media Sites

So, that brings us to which social Media should we undertake?

There are many out there: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, MySpace,Google+, LinkedIn….. the list is endless. And you will never have the time to join all of them. You have a book to write, remember? So, pick two or three and throw them into the mixing bowl.

Although I can be found on Google+ and Linkedin, I have two main sites I frequent; Twitter and Facebook. Not surprising as they are both listed in the top ten of social networking sites.

So, you’ve chosen ‘your’ social media sites. What do you do now? How much do you update them? I try to visit my sites at least ONCE a DAY. I update my status, have a chat and a giggle with people, and generally walk away with a smile on my face. Social media can be FUN!

Still not sure? Check out my Facebook page and see how it works for yourself.


Okay, now we’ve reached that word that scares the hell out of some writers. Blogging. Take a deep breath. Hold it. Hold it. Breath out. Blogging. Say it. Blogging. See, it’s not so bad, is it?

Blogging is another way to meet the world outside your window. And it’s a wonderful way for writers to enhance their writing skills.

But what do I blog about?

Hey, you’re a writer with a fabulous imagination! Trending topics are reviews and information on gathered research. Start by blogging once a week until you find your feet. Most importantly, be consistent with the timing of your posts. 

Remember, you are a writer the moment you decide to write your book. Be proud to call yourself a writer.

Need more help on the art of social media and blogging? Social media Jedi, Kristen Lamb has two fabulous books on the subject.

So, your task this week is to check out which social media sites you wish to build a presence on. And let me know in the comments section. It will be interesting to see what are the more popular sites.

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

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James Lipton and the Actors Studio did it for fun with the actors…..Now, I’m doing it for fun with the writers.
Now, I have one hell of an imagination (as most of you know), but what eleven year old kid, when given a school essay to write, would dream up a story about bomb disposal?
Author and writing extraordinaire, Chris Nickson. That’s who.
From that moment on, Chris realised he was born to be a storyteller. Um, yeah, no kidding.
Leeds-born Chris moved to the good old U S of A at the tender age of 21, where he stayed for thirty years.
Now if you are a music lover, then you may know him as the well-known music journalist, Chris Nickson, where he has written for numerous publications, including Global RhythmNo? Well Chris also broadcast on NPR, and is the author of The NPR Curious Listener’s Guide to World Music, Solid Air: The Life of John Martyn and the forthcoming Nice Up the Dance: The Story of Studio One
To top that, he’s also a singer-songwriter and guitarist.
However, maybe you know the name ‘Chris Nickson’ if you have a love for celebrity biographies. Chris has written several including ones for Will Smith, David Boreanaz, Ewan McGreggor, Mariah Carey, and Superhero Christopher Reeve.
In fact, in an interview on Laydilejur: Books and Stuff…, Chris boasts “At the height of it I was doing five or six (biographies) a year, as well as plenty of music journalism – to nourish the soul. I was very lucky, I was a writer and I was making a good living. If it was prostitution, it was definitely at the call girl end of the scale.”
No, still haven’t heard of him? Even though he has published over 28 non-fiction books? What rock have you guys been hiding under?
Chris is also author of the Richard Nottingham Series. The first, The Broken Token, was published in 2010. This was followed in 2011 with Cold Cruel Winter, which was subsequently named one of the 10 Best Mysteries of 2011 by Library Journal.
And Creme De La Crime has just released Constant Lovers, the third in the series. It’s US release date is set for May 1st, 2012.
Come the Fear, the fourth book in the Richard Nottingham series will be released in the UK in July 2012.
Also, 2011 saw the e-book release of late singer-songwriter John Martyn’s biography: ‘Solid Air: The Life of John Martyn’.
So, let’s see what self-confessed Yorkshireman and devotee of good tea and digestive biscuits made of our interview. 
1.  What is your favorite word?  Actually
2. What is your least favorite word? Debt
3. What turns you on?   Hair
4. What turns you off?    Hatred
5. What sound do you love?   Birdsong
6. What sound do you hate? Banality
7. What is your favorite curse word?   Fuck
8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?   Musician
9.  What profession would you not like to do?  CEO
10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? “Bugger Off!”
 Contact Information

For more information regarding Chris Nickson, please check out his website, Facebook, twitter, blog, or email Chris at chrisnickson2@gmail.com

If you want more of me, I can be found on FacebookTwitter, Google+ and Linkedin

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This weeks competitions that have caught my eye:

FICTION: Via First Writer

Elizabeth Simpson Smith Short Story Competition 
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   15th May 2012
Fees:   $20 for one entry. $15 for members.
Prizes:   $0 for first place. Apple iPad; $200; $100.
Details:   For short stories between 1,500 and 4,000 words.
Contact:   Elizabeth Simpson Smith Contest, Charlotte Writers’ Club, P.O. Box 220954, Charlotte, NC 28222
Country:   United States
Email:   contests@charlottewritersclub.org
Website:   http://www.charlottewritersclub.org/ess_short_story

Eighth International Short Story Contest 
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   1st April 2012
Fees:   Ł6.50 for one entry. ($9.75). Two for $8.63 / Ł5.75 each; three for $7.50 / Ł5.00 each; or five for $6.00 / Ł4.00 each.
Prizes:   Ł200 for first place. Also magazine publication and vouchers for subscription for the winner and ten Special Commendations.
Details:   For short stories up to 3,000 words. Enter online at http://www.firstwriter.com/competitions/short_story_contest/
Country:   United Kingdom; United States; Ireland; Canada; Australia – submissions accepted from anywhere!
Email:   support@firstwriter.com
Website:   http://www.firstwriter.com/competitions/short_story_contest/

Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   15th May 2012
Fees:   $15 for one entry. $20 if submitted after May 1, 2012.
Prizes:   $1,500 for first place. $500 x 2. Also publication.
Details:   For short stories up to 3,500 words.
Contact:   The Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition, P.O. Box 993, Key West, FL 33041
Country:   United States
Email:   shortstorykw@gmail.com
Website:   http://www.shortstorycompetition.com/Guidelines.php

Mad as a Hare
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   31st March 2012
Fees:   $0 for one entry.
Prizes:   $50 for first place. $25 second prize
Details:   Enter your fiction or non-fiction of up to 2500 words about personified animals. Free sign-up –a friendly, knowledgeable, and intensive online critique community for writers and poets–is necessary in order to post your entry. E-mail entries will not be accepted. See our website for full rules and guidelines.
Country:   United States
Website:   http://www.scribophile.com/contests/mad-as-a-hare-contest/

Sunpenny Young Writers Competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   31st March 2012
Fees:   £3 for one entry.
Prizes:   £50 for first place. £25.
Details:   For short stories up to 3,000 words by young writers up to 14.
Contact:   10 Aspen Close, Harriseahead, Staffordshire ST7 4HD
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   writers@sunpenny.com
Website:   http://www.sunpenny.com/competitions/2011/youngwriters2011.html

Segora Short Story 
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   31st May 2012
Fees:   £5.50 for one entry. £10.50 for 2.
Prizes:   £150 for first place. £50 and £30.
Details:   1,500 – 3,000 words Judge: winner of the inaugural competition in 2008 now has his first novel placed with an agent. The winning entry will be read at the first bilingual LitFest to take place in our village in SW france.
Contact:   Gordon Simms Le Moulin de Larche St Clementin 79150 Deux-Sevres France
Country:   France
Website:   http://www.poetryproseandplays.co.uk

American Short(er) Fiction Prize
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   1st May 2012
Fees:   $15 for one entry.
Prizes:   $500 for first place. $250. Also publication.
Details:   For short fiction up to 1,000 words.
Country:   United States
Email:   editors@americanshortfiction.org
Website:   http://www.americanshortfiction.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=18-short-shorts&cat

First Page Competition 2012
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   8th June 2012
Fees:   £6 for one entry. £10 for two.
Prizes:   £500 for first place. 2nd £100 and 3rd £50.
Details:   What are we looking for: the most gripping, read-on-able first page of up to 400 words. Any genre, but as always we’re looking for The Best First Page.
Contact:   2 Malt Kiln Road, Newbiggin, Ulverston, Cumbria, LA12 0TU
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   editor@wordswithjam.co.uk
Website:   http://www.wordswithjam.co.uk/firstpagecompetition2012


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

*2012 Published Maggie Award Contest
Georgia Romance Writers
Fee: $20.00
Deadline: May 1, 2012
Entry: novel-length romances with 2011 copyright.
Judges: Booksellers/Librarians.
FMI, visit http://www.georgiaromancewriters.org/the-maggies/.

**2012 Tara Contest
Sponsor: Tampa Area Romance Authors
Fee: $25.00 (Pay Pal accepted)
Electronic Deadline: May 1, 2012
Eligibility requirements: The TARA Contest is open to unpublished and published authors of novel-length fiction. The entry must be the author’s original work, unpublished and uncontracted as of the time of the contest deadline. No entry can have been previously published in any format. (on author’s website visible to the public, self-published, ebook, mass market, etc.)
Entry: All electronic. The first chapter, 4,000 words max (actual word count), including prologue, if applicable. *Word count will be verified. No part of a second or any additional chapters will be judged. End your entry on a hook, leaving your judges breathless with no more pages left to turn. If an entry finals, a synopsis of no more than 1,500 words is required to move on to the final round.
Judges: trained/experienced, published
Categories/Final Judges: Series Contemporary, Brenda Chin, Harlequin; Historical, Leah Hultenschmidt, Sourcebooks; Paranormal, Elizabeth Bistrow, New American Library; Single Title, Sue Grimshaw, Random House; Women’s Fiction, Lauren Plude, Grand Central; Romantic Suspense, Emilia Pisani, Pocket Books; Inspirational, Natalie Hanemann, Thomas Nelson
Top prize: TARA sterling silver pendant & certificate
FMI, http://www.tararwa.com or email Taracontest@gmail.com.


Would you be outraged if your physician or health care provider intentionally failed to notify you that you had a terminal illness for four years? It is public record the medical professional did exactly that at the beginning of the AIDS pandemic. In the early 1980’s, 114 neonates, and an unknown number of adults, were given HIV infected transfusions at a major LA hospital. The problem first surfaced in 1983, but records clearly show notification to any of the families of those afflicted was deliberately withheld until 1987. I would like to team up with a skilled documentary filmmaker or writer to create an amazing film. Please write me, Alex Ghaffari, at ghaffari10@yahoo.com.

I’m currently looking for television scripts for television drama, in a similar vein as “The Shadow Line” and “Luther”. I’m interested in working with a writer who is willing to work on spec (as I will be) in order to get a project commissioned on a U.K based network. Initially I am interested in producing a 6 part mini series which can either be self-contained (as per “The Shadow Line”) or something with the potential to return with its characters for further episodes. I would be aiming at a post watershed audience for the 9pm – 10pm slot. It would need to be set in modern England day to keep production costs down. Whilst I cannot fund the development, I am happy to negotiate a deal that would see that would see the writer getting a fee that would reflect their period of speculation. Please do not submit whole scripts. Please send a short synopsis or the first 10 pages of a script. I may request the whole script if I feel yours is what I’m looking for. Please email tv@clockworkamoeba.com. For those of you interested in my background, I am a filmmaker that has been largely involved in creating productions which deliver far beyond the limits of their resources. In recent times I’ve built a reputation as a music video director but have worked on a range of film and television productions, in a number of cases as producer/director and have worked on feature script development with other producers.

I am a established Montreal cinematographer/director with over 25 years experience looking to director my next short.  All genres are welcome. Script should be between 5 – 7 pages. For funding purposes, the writer must be Canadian. There is no financial compensation, but you will get sole writing credit. Please send a copy of your script to my assistant, Patrick Greatbatch, at greatbatchmtl@gmail.com.

Shambala Entertainment is seeking collaborator to develop sitcom pilot that will be pitched and probably shot. Funny pros (with sitcom credits on IMDB) who know the sitcom craft needed. If we sell, appropriate writing rates will prevail. You must live in Hollywood area and have two to three days/nights available. Please send your experience and appropriate writing sample(s) to Todd Regenbogen at shambalaent@gmail.com. Thank you.

Seeking low budget feature length sci-fi screenplays. Please send log-line only at this time. Send to praterpix@gmail.com. Visit producer Matt Prater’s IMDB Profile at http://pro.imdb.com/name/nm1056990/.

Eurisko Performance Group (EPG) is seeking film script submissions of five to seven minutes in length. EPG is committed to producing a short film this fall as part of our “Pass it On” Project. Writers will be involved in all aspects of pre-production and filming. Our topic for this year is “Wrestling with False Gods.” It is at the writer’s discretion how to interpret this theme. EPG is committed to producing challenging and thought-provoking films. We value collaboration and passionate vision. Interested screen writers should submit scripts to Managing Director Michael Davis at euriskoperformancegroup@gmail.com for review. We look forward to reading all scripts that are submitted, and thank you for your interest in working with our company.

Looking for a comedic writer to collaborate with on short films and webisodes. We are a small production company anxious to focus more on comedic content. Please send a copy of something recent you have written to us at redefiningfilms@gmail.com. This is not a paid gig. Thank you.

CAT AND WEASEL FILMS is looking for new scripts! We will option scripts to develop and produce in 2013. Scripts should be: 1.) Feature length 2.) Written for low-budget (minimal SFX, contemporary) 3.) At least in their 2nd draft 4.) Set in Europe 5.) Intelligent. We are open to ALL GENRES. Please include: 1.) A short bio of yourself. 2.) The script. 3.) A logline. And, optionally 4.) Anything you would like to add. Send to film@catandweasel.com. Thanks! Please let us know if you have any questions!

We are a media production company in Atlanta looking for completed feature length, high-concept scripts to produce. We are placing emphasis on ROMANTIC COMEDY AND/OR DRAMA. The ideal concept will have minimal locations and cast, a unique non-traditional storyline with a short but strong hook in the logline. Pay to be determined. Please NO ACTION, THRILLER, SCI-FI, ETC. Thank you for your submission. INSTRUCTIONS to SUBMIT: We pay attention to professional, carefully proof-read queries. *PLEASE READ CAREFULLY* (1) In SUBJECT line put ‘LOGLINE/QUERY’ – [TITLE]’ (2)Cut and Paste QUERY LETTER or SYNOPSIS ONLY into body of email at: SCRIPTS @WILDHUNDREDS.COM (3) Attach FULL script. Partial scripts are accepted however, decisions can only be made from reading the ENTIRE screenplay. Thank you.


The Writer’s Workshop – How to Write a Novel Course
This course is designed for new writers who want to write a novel. You need absolutely no prior experience – just bring your imagination!
Starts: 24th March, 2012
Tutor: Your course tutor will be Jessica Ruston (left). Jessica is the prize-winning and bestselling author of Luxury and To Touch the Stars. She’s also a very experienced writing tutor and editor and loves working with first time writers.

Desert Dreams Writing Conference
Desert Dreams Writers’ Conference provides authors of all skill levels – from beginner to multi-published – with the tools necessary to take their writing to the next level. Sessions will include general writing, career development, genre-specific, agent/publisher spotlights, as well as an agent/editor panel. There will also be one-on-one appointments with editors or agents, a book signing, and keynote addresses. Check out our roster of acquiring editors and agents along with our keynote speakers and workshops.
Date: April 27th-29th, 2012


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

Good luck and let me know how you get on.

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

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James Lipton and the Actors Studio did it for fun with the actors…..Now, I’m doing it for fun with the writers.
  Wow, I’ve just looked at Thomas Atkinson’s resume. Geez…. This may take a while!Okay, first of all, Thomas, who likes to be referred to as Thom, lives in southern Ohio with one wife and two sons.

Now, this is the time when I usually dig around and write a short bio. However, Thom was super cool and sent me a bunch of information on himself. So, rather than pick the bones out of it, I thought I’d just print it.

Over to you, Thom! (I’m sure he’d reply with a thank you.)

“About me: I’m an author and playwright of what has been described as “hillbilly gothic.”

I recently completed collection of short stories: The title story Standing Deadwood appeared in The North American Review, and River’s Edge appeared in The Indiana Review.

The opening story in the collection, Dancing Turtle, took Grand  Prize in the inaugural Santa Barbara Writer Conference National Writing Contest and was judged by the author Ron McLarty (The Memory of Running, Traveler, Art in America, and The Dropper). His comments: “A girl damaged at birth, struggling to form words, invites us into an inner  life that is both painful and glorious. At the Appalachian Festival she reveals herself with a phrase I will never forget…In this beautiful and evocative story the author reaches into the reader’s heart.”

And on 8th March I was able to announce this: The closing story in the collection, Grimace in the Burnt Black Hills, has just won a major award and has been accepted for publication in The Sun magazine.

My first novel, Strobe Life, is now available for Kindle on Amazon. And, I have also just completed my second novel, Tiki Man

On the playwriting side of things, I’m the author of seven plays, including Cuttings, Copperheads, Clear Liquor & Coal Black Nights, The Circle of Mystery, Battling the Ghost of Max Schmeling, and D’s Tire Towne. My one-woman show ‘Cuttings’ has had several critically-acclaimed productions, and was a finalist for the 2010 NAAA Double X Play Reading Festival in London. My short play (based on a short story), Dancing Turtle, has just been  included in the Culture * Park 10th Annual Short Play Marathon, and has been picked up for a full production at a one act festival this summer in Rhode Island.

I’ve won a bunch of honors and awards for both fiction and drama, including four Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship grants.”

Thanks Thom. I do just want to add that The Sun Magazine has 70,000 subscribers and a circulation of
I don’t know what their total circulation is, but they have 70,000 subscribers and a circulation of much, much more.

Thom has also won an array of honors and awards including Community of Voices Writing Contest, Theatre Conspiracy 9th Annual New Play Contest, Mercantile Library Short Story Competition, Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship Grant in Fiction, Nominated for Society of Midland Authors Drama Award, and Post-Corbett Award Finalist in Literature.

Although there’s no award for answering these ten question, Thom broke his winning tradition and answered them anyway.

1.  What is your favorite word?  Vacuous

2. What is your least favorite word? Empowerment (a close second: Amputation)
3. What turns you on?   Heat
4. What turns you off?    Tattoos
5. What sound do you love?   1975 Triumph Spitfire
6. What sound do you hate? Fox “News”
7. What is your favorite curse word?   Douche (and variants: douche-bag and douche-baggery)
8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?   Sculptor
9.  What profession would you not like to do?  Coroner
10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? “WTF?”
 Contact Information

For more information regarding Thoman Atkinson, please check out his LinkedIn Page.

So, what do you think of Thom’s award winning writing? Do you feel inspired yet?

If you want more of me, I can be found on FacebookTwitter, Google+ and Linkedin

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Welcome back! Wow, you must be serious about wanting to be an author.

During this ‘So, You Want To Be An Author’ series, I’m using all my WWBC knowledge taught to me by author and social media Jedi, Kristen Lamb, to help you become a better writer.

Last week we talked about why we wanted to become a writer and what it was about writing that we love so much, we need to write ourselves? And there were some brilliant answers.

This week, I want to talk about genres.

How many of you know what a genre is? Pretty much every single one of you, right?

Well I’m not ashamed to admit there was a time way, way back when they baffled the hell out of me. Huh? Is this girl a thicko, or what? Hang on. Before I’m hung, drawn and quartered, let me explain what I mean.

There are two main categories in writing: Fiction and Non-fiction.


I’ll touch briefly on non-fiction as this post is mainly about fiction writing.

What is non-fiction writing?  Non-fiction is factual. It’s real. Under this heading we find DIY, health and beauty, sports, automobile, craft, autobiographies, etc, etc. Non-fiction shows, narrates, and even gives helpful little pictures of the topic we wish to learn more about. Got it? Good. Now lets move on.


Right, now let’s get down to business.

What is fiction writing? Fiction is totally fabricated and made up – hence why I love it so much.

Now, I myself love writing thriller and crime novels although I’m currently writing a paranormal (but that’s whole other story). Fiction has many sprogs: historical, contemporary, western, romance, science fiction, young adult. The list is endless. But, how do we know which genre is for us?

For example, as I said earlier I am currently writing a paranormal novel. But, I recently entered a competition and paranormal wasn’t an option. Instead I found ‘supernatural’. Okay, close enough,’ I thought. Paranormal – supernatural…. same thing, right?

I mean, most of the genres seem straight forward. Horror pretty much speaks for itself and you can’t go wrong with romance… Well, unless you write a romantic suspense. What does that make your novel? Romance or suspense?

If you plan on writing for Mills & Boon, then you’re pretty much covered. They have a gazillion categories for everything you can think of: medical, nocturnal, western, historical. You just can’t go wrong….unless you’re writing something that has zilch romance. Then forget Mills & Boon.

So I thought I’d try to simplify the genre dilemma a little.


Western: Howdy. If it has cowboys, horses, (maybe) a damsel in distress, a saloon and a heard of cattle being yee-hawed across a prairie between 1800 and 1890, then western is your partner.

Historical: Whether Victorian, Edwardian, or Tudor, these tend to be based around specific eras with a ton of knowledge to go along with it. If you like your history and you like your research, this just may be the one for you.

Horror: Slicing and dicing is the theme here. Lots of blood, gore, and frightening the bejesus out of your reader.

Children: Don’t confuse this with young adult. The children genre is usually aimed at toddlers and kids up to the age of eleven. So no bad language or sexual references. We don’t want mumsy-wumsy throwing a fit.

Here’s an example of how not to write for children – I warn you, it’s rude.

Young Adult: Probably the easiest way to describe this genre is to think Stephenie Meyers Twilight saga, or L.J. Smith’s (you can see her 30 second interview here), Vampire Diaries. All involving teenagers doing way much more than I did when I was their age. I was a good girl 🙂

Paranormal/Supernatural: This is a big genre at the moment. Vampires and werewolves are a hit with readers of all ages. So if it has fangs, claws, no reflection, rises from the dead, or wears a halo above its head – stick it here.

Mystery/Crime/Police Procedural/Detective: Firstly, if your opening page starts with your main character searching for her hair brush, not only does this NOT mean it’s a mystery, but I will brain you. However, if your story revolves around an unsolved crime, murder, or anything else that needs both the protagonist and your reader together searching for clues and piecing the bits like a jigsaw, then you may call it a mystery.

Fantasy: Not to be confused with science fiction, this one can be set anywhere; Earth or some made up land where unicorns, fairies, elves and trolls make an appearance – along with a magical maze and a spellbinding witch. Fantasy is totally make-believe, thank God.

Science Fiction/Sci-Fi: Futuristic aliens, robots, the distant galaxy or downtown New York; if you can explain it, no matter how far-fetched, using science, then you have yourself a genre.

Romance: Two people meet, two people fall in love, tragedy strikes, two people break up. reader cries – but then two people get back together for a happy ending and reader goes to shops to buy another box of tissues.

Chick lit: Ever read Sophie Kinsella’s Confessions of a Shopaholic or Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones Diary? How brilliant are those books? Aim at the female population to provide nothing more than humor, romance, and good old-fashioned girl power.


Action/Adventure: Similar to thriller/suspense for its car chases and fight scenes, this genre is usually aimed a the male race and often uses an expert of some kind: whether ex-military, police, bomb expert, or in Sly Stallone’s case a mountain guide. Then the story will bung said hero in a jungle, dessert, or on top of a mountain. Sometime, though, if the hero is really lucky he’ll stay in his own city.

Legal Thriller: A large part of the action takes place in a court room while we run through a did-she-didn’t-she scenario. If you haven’t ever read John Grisham, surely you’ve seen his movie The Firm? No? How about Judge Judy?

Commercial/Mainstream: These are of no specific genre but are whatever is trending in the ‘moment’. They are, more often than not, plot driven and are expected by the publishing powers that be to make a ton of sales and wads of cash.

Literary: Unlike commercial novels, these tend to be more character driven. But that about ends the description. Even publishers cannot pin-point what makes a novel – literature: use of language, ability to address human conditions, it’s ‘truth’, moral ambiguity…

Right, I think that about covers it. So now it’s your turn. What genre do you write? Have you ever chosen the wrong genre? Do genre labels confuse you? Do you have a story where you are unsure of the genre? Let me know in the comments and together we’ll crack it.

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This weeks competitions that have caught my eye:

FICTION: Via First Writer

Short Story of the Month Competiton
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   24th March 2012
Fees:   £0 for one entry.
Prizes:   £0 for first place. Winner: critique, online publication and promotion. £10 Firstwriter voucher
Details:   The monthly competition is open to all writers on any subject. Submissions will be accepted up to 2,000 words. Best of luck.
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   hayleysherman.editor@gmail.com
Website:   http://www.hayley-sherman.co.uk

The Writer Short Story Contest
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   30th April 2012
Fees:   $10 for one entry.
Prizes:   $1,000 for first place. $300; $200.
Details:   For short stories up to 2,000 words.
Contact:   Gotham Writers’ Workshop, 555 8th Avenue #1402, New York, NY 10018-4358, Att: The Writer Short-Story Contest
Country:   United States
Website:   http://www.writingclasses.com/ContestPages/writer.php

Queen Mother Memorial Story Competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   30th March 2012
Fees:   £5 for one entry.
Prizes:   £50 for first place. Possible magazine publication.
Details:   For short stories by writers under 18, up to 250 words.
Contact:   19, Westbourne House, SW1W 8SJ
Country:   United Kingdom
Website:   http://sites.google.com/site/royalpoetrycompetition/competitiondetails

Multi-Story 1500 word competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:  30th April 2012
Fees:   Ł5 for one entry. Two entries Ł8.
Prizes:   Ł300 for first place. Second Prize Ł100 Third PrizeŁ50.
Details:   Open-themed short story of no more than fifteen hundred words. The winning entries will be published on the site. The judge is an author whose ten novels, including one Booker Prize nominated, have all been internationally published.
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   info@multi-story.co.uk
Website:   http://www.multi-story.co.uk

E.M. Koeppel $1,100 Short Fiction Award
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   30th April 2012
Fees:   $15 for one entry. $10 each additional entry.
Prizes:   $1,100 for first place.
Details:   For unpublished stories up to 3,000 words.
Contact:   Koeppel Contest, P.O. Box 140310, Gainesville, FL 32614
Country:   United States
Website:   http://www.writecorner.com/award_guidelines.asp

Unleash your imagination: short story co
Category:  Fiction
Closes:   15th March 2012
Fees:   £0 for one entry.
Prizes:   £0 for first place. Published on website, tablet, and eReader
Details:   3000 word limit, theme is what life will be like in 2025, please include political, technological and social changes that will occur over the next 13 years. Please visit the website for more details and submission process.
Contact:   Hannah Iredale The Guardian Kings Place, 90 York Way London N1 9GU
Country:   United Kingdom
Website:   http://www.guardian.co.uk/futurescapes/competition/unleash-your-imagination-short-story-competition

Yeovil Literary Prize
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   31st May 2012
Fees:   £11 for one entry.
Prizes:   £1,000 for first place. 2nd £250, 3rd £100.
Details:   Synopsis and opening chapters of your novel, up to a maximum of 15,000 words.
Contact:   Yeovil Literary Prize, The Octagon Theatre, Hendford, Yeovil BA20 1UX
Country:   United Kingdom
Website:   http://www.yeovilprize.co.uk

Yellow Room Spring Short Story Comp.
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   31st March 2012
Fees:   £4 for one entry. £10 for three.
Prizes:   £80 for first place. £45; £20.
Details:   For short stories up to 2,500 words.
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   jo.derrick@ntlworld.com
Website:   http://www.theyellowroom-magazine.co.uk/www.theyellowroom-magazine.co.uk/Competitions.html

Ether 18-25 iPad Competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   29th April 2012
Fees:   £0 for one entry.
Prizes:   £399 for first place. The story with the most downloads wins an iPad.
Details:   Publishes Quick Reads of 3,000 words or less on the iPhone APP. Our launch contest is for 18 – 25 year old Writers. Any genre is accepted, and the prize is an iPad. ALL ENTRIES ARE PUBLISHED on the iPhone APP.
Contact:   Maureen Scott 1 kildare court london w2 5ju
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   info@etherbooks.com
Website:   http://www.etherwin.posterous.com

SCRIPT: Via First Writer

Euroscript Screen Story Competition  
Category:   Scripts
Closes:   31st March 2012
Fees:   £35 for one entry.
Prizes:   £0 for first place. £1,000 Worth of Script Development.
Details:   For short films or extracts from full-length screenplays. Send two-page outline, plus ten sample pages from script.
Contact:   +44 (0)20 8208 0992
Country:   United Kingdom
Website:   http://www.inspired-by-nature.org.uk/


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

*7th Annual Passionate Plume Contest

Sponsor: Passionate Ink
Fee: $15–25.00
Deadline: April 15, 2012
Entry: Electronic and print books with strong erotic elements. Must have a 2011 copyright date.
Judges: readers and reviewers.
FMI, visit www.passionateink.org or e-mail passionate_plume@yahoo.com.

**7th Annual Stroke of Midnight Contest

Sponsor: Passionate Ink
Fee: $15–25.00
Deadline: April 15, 2012
Entry: Electronic only; first 35 pages, first 20 pages for novella entries. A synopsis of up to 5 single-spaced pages (which will not be judged) must also be included. Entry must contain strong erotic elements.
Judges: trained, published authors.
Final judges: editors and agents.
FMI, visit www.passionateink.org or e-mail gina@passionateink.org.


I am looking for a writing assistant and an assistant for my documentary film, Long Shot, The Kevin Laue Story – www.thekevinlauestory.com. Between the two positions I can offer between 10-20 hours a week of work. Depending on your contribution we’d workout some type of credit, but mostly you should be looking to be involved with us to proof read, brainstorm and do research as my writing partner and I will be doing most of the actual writing. If this interests you, please submit a sample of your writing to us at info@dutchmenfilms.com. The pay is small, however you will make connections and have a learning experience that will be great and it can lead to other opportunities with this series that we are starting. Please go to www.dutchmenfilms.com to learn more about us and some of the projects we’re involved in.

I am an actress/producer who has written a show and I am looking for someone to collaborate with. I have already written the pilot (comedy), shopped it around, the idea is solid, now I want to take it to the next level. If you want to check out some of my work, watch Starvival (youtube.com/starvival) on Youtube. There are 20 episodes that I created, produced, filmed, and edited. Let me know if you’re interested in a potential partnership. Send samples of your work to me at Starvival@gmail.com. I will reciprocate. Serious inquiries only. Thank you.

American author looking for an industry professional to change my novel into a spec script for film production. I am looking for someone with industry connections. I already have a spec script written, but you may see changes need for the silver screen. This storyline is something like Star Wars meets Star Trek. I am currently penning the last in the trilogy for publication – the first two have already been published. Please send your resume and one sample of your work with the title “Film Adaptation” in the subject line of your e-mail to mentalllll@yahoo.com. There will be no pay for this gig unless there is a sale of the spec script.

“Inez Comes to America” is a completed action/adventure feature. Log Line: Inez crosses the border in search of work and her missing mother. She finds murder, cover-up and political corruption. I need the input of a WGA accredited partner to prepare it for submission. We will share equally in film credits, compensation that may come from this film. Please contact me, Joe Patterson, at viejojoe1@cox.net.

AB Productions (London) is looking for a scriptwriter to write a predominantly one-location ROM-COM or HORROR script. We are looking for something that keeps that audience hooked, that is witty and original, but also up to date. To apply please send us a couple of synopsis for either genre and your CV/resume to Alana at aa.ab.product@gmail.com. If you have a 10 page sample of your work that would be great. £300-£500 depending on experience.

I have an idea for a  dramedy television series, but I  want somebody to write the pilot. Think PUSHING DAISIES meets GLEE with a hint of THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA. Send your writing samples to Tim Bartow at baackflipcreator@aol.com under the subject line “pilot writer”.

I am the creator of Way-Station Nine, a new television series I plan to start shopping to my contacts. Way-Station Nine is going to be Star Trek meets Robotech with a little Wing Commander thrown in. I need people who can help to plan at least five seasons worth of stories for the series. I can’t pay you until we have a budget in place. Once we get a budget then we will work out compensation according to WGA guidlelines. If you are interested contact me, Cordell Garrett, at cordellg3@insightbb.com. Thank you.

I’m a screenwriter fluent in both Arabic and English. I have completed scripts in English, with Arabic and international characters. I’m looking to collaborate with writers in projects which deal with the middle eastern culture and beyond. Contact me at ayham_la@yahoo.com. Thank you.

Iron Horse Entertainment is looking for a female writer, preferably African-American, to compose a synopsis or treatment for a true story to which rights are secured. The story centers on a African-American woman (late 20’s) that lands a job at a Hollywood agency. Genre is drama/light comedy and script will be geared for TV/Cable as a MOW. Only accepting writers with sample(s) and resume. Please send material that is registered and less than 15 pages (could be part of a full script) to us at generalinfo@ironhorse-ent.com. Thank you.

Looking for Latina screenwriter for a coming-of-age feature film script based on the short film “Neon Angels”. Send inquiries to me, Alex Clavijo, at asclavijo@yahoo.com. Thank you.

Searching for a writer who is interested in working on a screenplay. The story is about two young adults who fall in love in Washington Heights. The girl is deaf and the boy speaks and communicates with her through sign language, they are confronted by obstacles in their neighborhood. We are planning to shoot the film before the summer on location. The film will be submitted to film festivals when completed. For those interested, please contact me at julianlbass@gmail.com. Thank you. 

We are looking for talented writers with completed scripts who are looking to see them produced. Our focus is primarily shorts but features and web series are welcomed. We have a very busy schedule ahead of us for this year and are looking to collaborate with professional-minded writers. Top genres of interest are horror, sci-fi, action & thriller but drama and comedy are welcomed. Our budgets are (normally) micro so please keep that in mind when choosing which scripts to submit. Please submit a quick description, along with a synopsis of the script(s) to info@freitasfilms.com. For your own protection, please have your scripts registered before submitting them to anybody. Writers will be compensated based on the sale of the finished project. Serious inquiries only please. Thank you.

Dear August Productions has secured financing and is seeking a feature-length script for production. Genres are horror, comedy, christian themed or documentary. Low to no vfx, animals, or children preferred. There is pay and writing credit will be reserved. Submit treatment for consideration to submissios@dearaugustproductions.com. Selected projects will be asked to forward complete screenplay.

I am working on a few animated screenplay projects and am in need of a good comedy writer to add in comedy and to help me finish the scripts. We will split any royalties 50-50. Folks with industry connections to animation houses and agents would be most appreciated. I will give you credit as co-writer. Hope to hear back. Send email inquiries to me, Jeff Dearman, at jdearman77@hotmail.com. Thank you

I’ve written several original scripts that require a native English speaker’s touch. I’m good with ideas but lack the special vocabulary to make them attractive. If anybody wants to partner with me, it would be a worthy experience. Contact me, Jim Kopatsaris, at ellinasxx@yahoo.ca. Thank you.

Currently shopping for a powerful drama script. Am looking to purchase a full script or have someone write it out. Budget for script is $1200. Send inquiries to me, Joe Johnson, at filming35mm@yahoo.com. Thank you.

New York Film Academy Producer is looking for screenwriter. This screenplay will be used to create entire producer’s package for the script. Package will include a business plan, a look book, a budget, a schedule, and a marketing and distribution plan. I wish to see scripts between 90pg to 110pgs. Please send your log-line and synopsis to me (Junghun Yang) at jnyfa90@gmail.com. I hope to meet a great partner for this project. Thank you.


Robert McKee London Story Seminar – April 19-22
We have created package deals to offer great savings. Storylogue is an ongoing, online study. New material 365 days a year. Storylogue is the next step to Story Seminar.
We expect our Seminars will be sold out again. We kindly ask you to register early to secure your seat. Please note, your registration will not be processed until you have completed the credit card payment. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact us at helen@storylogue.com or call (928) 204-2323 or (888) 676-2533 or visit our website.

Conflict and Idea course taught by Bob Mayer $30.00

(Registration Open) Can you say what your book is about in 25 words of less? This is essential to both writing a tight book and then selling it. We’ll discuss ways to find and state your original idea so that you stay on course while writing the book. The original idea will you excite those you tell it to when trying to sell it. Conflict drives your story. Not only must conflict escalate throughout the entire novel, every single scene must have conflict in it. The Conflict Box is an effective technique for focusing your story on the protagonist, antagonist, their goals and finding out if you have the necessary conflict lock. These two key concepts can help you focus your writing and narrow your pitch. Course taught by Bob Mayer.

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

Good luck and let me know how you get on.

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