Thursday, August 25, 2005  

American Accolades Contest Winners

American Accolades Announces 2004/2005 Contest Winners

Funny Man by Lon Harris has been named the Grand Prize Winner of
the American Accolades Screenwriting Comeptition:


Funny Man
by Lon Harris


1. Green Shag Carpet Girls by Tamara Farsadi
2. The Summer My Brother Left Home by Adam and Paul Dooley
3. Black and Pink Walls by Jennifer J. Massi


1. Funny Man by Lon Harris
2. Chick Magnet by David J. Seropian
3. All Downhill From There by Ryan Peek


1. Bankers by Lis Anna
2. The Angel Dagger by Robert Tomoguchi
3. Mocha Cola High by David Michael Slater


1. Technology Cop by Bobby Gilmore
2. Fluke by Kevin T. Phillips
3. The Wayfarers by Lydia and Robert P. Faulkner


1. Salamanca by Arzhang Kamarei
2. The Most Biggest Sleepover Ever by Rick Fonte
3. My Hometown by Miro

Tuesday, August 23, 2005  

New Blog Design

The new design is finally up! For those of you who have visited the site before you've already noticed the changes.

The reason for the re-design is so the blog is compatible with the main site Haven't been there yet? If you like the blog you'll love the web site. Click here to have a look.

I'd love to hear your comments about the new design. Let me know what you think. Good or bad. After all, I'm an amateur screenwriter... I've learned to take criticism well.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005  

Forum Post - Sending Out Screenplay's


What do you know about sending out your screenplay before sending a query or logline to ads seeking screenplay's on message boards? Any feedback appreciated,



One of the first things you should do before sending your work to anyone is protect it. Make sure your script is registered with the WGA and/or copyrighted. Always fill out a company’s release form and save a copy for yourself. If they don’t have one or offer one, look elsewhere.

As for sending your script out, don’t just do it blindly. If a company didn’t ask for it, chances are they won’t read it when you send it to them. They won’t even open the package you’ve sent them. It’s a lawsuit thing that could potentially come their way.

Best advice, always introduce yourself and your script with a logline and query letter. From personal experience, if they’re interested they will ask you to fill out their release form and mail it to them with your script. That way they’re protected, you’re protected and a potential deal for you has started off on the right foot… or left if you prefer.


Contest Advice for Screenplay Writers


There are many screenplay contests available to the aspiring screenwriter. These contests can be a good avenue to getting one's work noticed and/or make a sale. So, it's important to make certain that you have written your screenplay to the best of your ability and according to industry standards.

The most important thing to do for any aspiring screenwriter is to first learn the basic techniques of screenwriting before sitting down to write one. I come across many hopeful writers who think that all it takes to write a script is a good story idea and a lot of explosive special effects. While a good story is important, with or without the special effects, writing that story using proper industry standards is equally important. (Please visit -- Tips for Screenwriters link for further information.)

There are specific techniques to the craft of screenwriting involving everything from act structure to proper screenplay format, which must be followed. It's difficult to write engaging characters, focused plots and entertaining screenplays without having a solid framework in which to bring it all to life.

Before any money is spent submitting your work to a screenwriting contest, it would behoove the writer to first educate himself in the "tools of the trade". There are many, many screenwriting books available as well as workshops and seminars, both online and in live classroom situations. My advice is to take advantage of them. Then, armed with the basics, write, write and then write some more.

Then before submitting your work to any screenplay competition have it copyrighted and WGA registered. (United States Copyright office: Writers Guild of America: )

Advice and Suggestions

I am a judge for many contests and as such, have read thousands of TV scripts and screenplays. I can assure you that the winners are chosen because their screenplays or TV scripts contain great stories and are written to industry standards. Therefore, putting your best foot forward is a must. Below are some pointers to keep in mind before you submit your screenplay.

· If your purpose is to "break into the business", make certain that the script contest you enter offers meetings with agents and/or producers as part of the prize for winning and not just cash prizes. Of course, if it is just the extra cash you're after, then go for it!

· Make certain, before you write that entry fee check and send in your material, that the screenplay contest or TV script competition is a reputable one and indeed has, in the past, delivered to its winners what it promised in its promotion.

· Presentation of your screenplay does count so make certain your screenplay follows the accepted industry standards. This not only includes using the proper screenplay format but also such things as a typo-free screenplay and the correct binding.

· Keep in mind that the industry professionals who sponsor some of these film and TV competitions do so in order to find good producible material, hopefully for lower rather than higher budgets. Therefore, entering a screenplay in a genre with a story that screams "high budget" lessens the writer's chances of winning. This means that

(1) Sci-fi special effects stories taking place on purple planets populated with giant, paisley-skinned, seven-armed, Plasmanian Wooglegorps who magically float through the air using anti-gravity belts or
(2) a 1920's Period Piece necessitating Model-T's, Zoot suits and flappers or
(3) an action/adventure story that has the bad guys blown to smithereens, along with their Lear jet, over the ocean, followed by a high-tech nuclear submarine underwater search and rescue mission while the oil slicked water burns out of control, may not be the best way to go.

· Make certain that your story is told visually. Film is a visual medium.

· Make sure you don't have "on the nose" dialogue or too much dialogue and that all the dialogue sounds natural.

· Check to make sure that your characters are interesting, engaging and have good character arcs. Nothing worse than having an unlikable hero, a wishy-washy bad guy, or a protagonist who starts out angry at the world and by the end of the story is still angry at the world having learned and changed nothing in his nature.


Once you've gone through your screenplay and are satisfied with it, have it read by someone else. After all, your story is intended for a movie-going audience so honest opinions from friends and family members will give you a feel for that audience reaction.

Then do yourself a favor and have your screenplay read by an industry professional that has experience and good credentials in the area of script analysis. A writer can become too close to his work and not be able to "see the forest for the trees". It is to your advantage to have any possible format, story, character, dialogue and structure flaws found and corrected before it is submitted to a movie or TV script contest.

While there is never any guarantee your screenplay or TV script will be a winner, writing one to the best of your ability and which meets industry standards is a must, as the competition is fierce.

I wish you great success in your present and future story-telling adventures.

Lynne Pembroke

Copyright © 2004 Lynne Pembroke,

Friday, August 05, 2005  

Screenwriting 101 - Get 1/2 Off September Class!

"Rated BEST online Screenwriting Class" by Screenwriter's Monthly Magazine!

Screenwriting 101 is an online class for beginning writers or writers wanting to brush up on the fundamentals. For four weeks you will interact and study under the guidance of your instructor to jumpstart your writing and hit the ground running. Also, two online LIVE lectures during office hours to help you as you do your assignments and work on your script. Students gain enough knowledge to continue writing their screenplay, start their first screenplay, and finish.

Why take a class? Every year about 50,000 or more screenplays will be registered with the Writers Guild of America and other services. Less than 1,000 will be purchased by Hollywood studios and producers. The competition is fierce. You're competing with professionals as well as everyone else. Start your screenwriting career (or first screenplay) by taking a professional level class taught by a professional.

Classes available 2005 (Hurry deadline approaching!):

September (Deadline approaching!!)

Class Goals:

Reading (e-text), movie analysis, and some writing exercises
Lectures on fundamental concepts
Present work for critique

Class Breakdown:

Finding the Heart of your story
Plot or Character driven, which is best?
Cause and Effect (Characters and Plot)
Thinking about Characters
Fully fleshed Characters
The Paradigms of a Story
Screenplay Structure (This is not a discussion on simply the 3-Acts, every story has a beginning, middle, and an end or it would not be a story, and we're only interested in writing screenplays with a story.)

What is Structure and why is it important?
What Structure best suits your Story?
Structure and Genre
Classic Structure: Linear, Journey, Chase, Search
Types of Alternative Narrative Structure
Writing your first ten pages
The Setup: the or else scene
Establishing genre and drama
Connecting the Audience
Case Studies
Looking Ahead towards your Second and Third Acts (setups and payoffs)
Writing the Scene
Types of Scenes
Scene Dialectics
Ins and Outs

Who is the instructor?

The instructor is Chris Wehner, a published author, journalist, critic and professional screenwriter. He has worked in the field for over 10 years. Starting in the Fall of 2005 he will be an affiliate professor at the University of Idaho teaching screenwriting. He was recently Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Screenwriter's Monthly and VP of Development for MoviePartners. Currently his screenplay, EL CAMINO, is in development with Area 51 Films in Los Angeles and is scheduled to go into production this year. His book, Screenwriting on the Internet: Researching, Writing & Selling Your Script on the Web was a Top Seller at The Writer's Store and his latest book "Who Wrote That Movie?" has received praise as well.

For more information and registration: