Friday, June 23, 2006


Ladies and gentlemen, Writers on the Storm and Coverage, Ink proudly announces our semifinalists.

There are some AMAZING scripts in this group. Every single person on this list should be congratulated for really bringing the goods.

As for the 160 folks we eliminated--we feel your pain. We're all writers, too. We know what it's like.

I can tell you that the scripts below all had good writing AND a great concept. Many of our contest entries had one or the other but often not both. Of course, writing is a skill which can be learned just like any other craft. Some may be more adept at it than others, but at the end of the day, if you keep at it long enough and study with the right people, you will get better.

But concept is, er, another story. There were some great writers we had to eliminate in this round because while they could turn a phrase, the story just wasn't as unique or fascinating or cool as it could have been. Others had a really neat idea, but the script execution just was not quite there--yet. (Of course, if anyone wants serious feedback on their script, contact us at, and don't forget to request $10 off as a WOTS entrant.)

Our TOP TEN will be announced at 12 noon on July 9th.

And so without further ado...


Ariadne's Thread by Stephen Callen
Bloody Mary by Erica Land
Booker T. by J. Hol
Boys In Red by Jeffrey Davis
Danny Longlegs by Keli Rowley
Dimmesdale by Doug Molitor
Divorce In The White House by Dane Edward McCauley
Empire of the Wolf by Michael Kogge
Felix The Flyer by Christopher Canole
Fire and Rain by Phil Smy
Fishtown by Aaron Schnore
From the Old World by Adam Mosher
Fury by Dane Edward McCauley
Good Ole Boy Band by Jason Ancona
Good Television by Matt Dallman
Healing Marie by James Ossi
Heavens to Betsy by Brad Hennig
Ink by Eric Anderson & Scott Smith
Iron Men by John Metzner
Jerusalem Idol by Lewis Papier
Jonathan's Missing by Leslie & Michael Green
Kakakarma by Carlota Bennett
Lost Souls by Bryan Carrigan
Magick by Jeff Spry
Masque by Kellen Hertz
Mister Perfect by Carri Karuhn
Rational Panic by Robert Rhyne
Red & Dead by Patrick Udomsak
Richard by Kathryne Sheard
Rochester by Terry Frazier
Scent by Ronald DiPrimio
Sherlock & Jack by Jeff Wolverton
Shroud of Darkness by Max Adams
Sole Pursuit by Jason Siner
Stars and Bars by Troy DeRego
The Art of the Dodge by Donna Miller
The Big Four Oh by Bernie Felix, Jr.
The Brick Layer by Laqueta Lewis
The Contest by Melanie Winstead
The Curse of Nostradamus by Robert Williams
The Dollmaker by Ned James Beedie
The Fraternity by Jeff Wiegand
The Joshua Device by John Connell
The Magick of Time by Patricia Joyce
The Man Behind The Man by Michael Brand
The Newly Dead Game by David Warfield
The Rut by Kevin Caruso
Time Surfer by Sandi Steinberg
Tray People by Fred Pakiewicz
Trio by John Unger Zussman & Patricia Zussman
Tyler Hudson's Christmas Eve Adventure by Carol Hoffman
Vincent's Shadow by Don Perez
Viral by Mark Kratter

Monday, June 19, 2006

SEMIFINALISTS - to be announced 6/24

Hi folks, since we had a lot more quarterfinalists than we anticipated, and since we want to make sure every one of them gets read again, and because we need to make sure we have the absolute best, top 50, we are bumping the announcement of the Writers on the Storm semifinalists to 12 noon SATURDAY 6/24. We apologize for the extra couple of days. Now we've got to get back to reading those scripts!

--Portia Jefferson

Friday, June 16, 2006

Rock N' Roll Nightmare on DVD!

Way back when, in the halcyon days of the late '80s when Republican presidents were sane and big hair still rawked, I had the pleasure of working on a little film called The Edge of Hell (later renamed Rock N' Roll Nightmare for VHS release.) Conceived by my brother-in-law John Fasano (who went on to an excellent screenwriting/directing career) as a ultra-chee-Z camp rockin' horror flick, we assembled a team of our friends -- artists and sculptors all -- in John and my sister's basement to sculpt all manner of wacky monster puppets on a budget of $3. Literally. Oh yeah, and we also all starred in the film as heavy metal icon Jon Thor's band. That there was some fine actin', let me tell you! The finished film came out laughably, wonderfully bad, and has garnered a sizable cult following over the years.

Well, I am happy to say that Rock N' Roll Nightmare is finally coming to DVD June 27th in a glorious, feature-packed special edition brimming with outtakes, a Thor documentary and and hilarious commentary from Thor and Fasano. If you live anywhere near Burbank, stop by horror bookstore and collectibles shop DARK DELICACIES on July 5th at 7 PM. I'll be there along with Fasano and my sister Cin and others involved with the movie signing DVDs. Dark Delicacies is located at 4213 W. Burbank Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91505.
Check out the review at DVD Maniacs. Then stop in and ridicule me for my outrageously bad Aussie accent in the film. Well, at least I get to play drums, get laid AND eaten by a zombie. Which I consider to be a great way to spend the day. Friggin' A, mate!

Pre-order the DVD from Amazon HERE.

(Good Lord, me with blond hair!)


Thursday, June 15, 2006


Picking the WOTS semifinalists... this is the really hard part, for several reasons. First, there are a lot of really good scripts in the quarterfinal round. Whittling 200 scripts down to 50 is going to be very hard.

But definitely not as hard as it will be for the 150 of you who get eliminated in round 2.

Yep, that's a killer. May even be harder than getting knocked out in round one, because you've maybe gotten your hopes up a little bit. And 3/4 of you are going to have to be jettisoned. Ouch. Man, I feel for every one of you guys that happens to.

The folks who make the semis and get eliminated before the top ten, I feel less sorry for. They can still use that semifinalist status to plug their careers and feel confident they're good writers whose scripts need more tweaking than a big rewrite.

We're going to be using a points system in the QFs to hopefully help with the elimination process. This is the exact same scoring system we've been using to judge the CS Open Live Writing Tournament for 5 years, and it works well.

We'll have those semifinalists next week!


Monday, June 12, 2006


Hey guys,

One of our quarterfinalists asked a good question -- are the QF scripts going to be read again, or are they simply going to be advanced based on the scores from the first round? The answer is yes, we are going to reread all the quarterfinalist scripts with fresh readers. They will not be privy to to opinions/feedback from the first reader. As for the 50 semifinalists, same thing -- they will all be read again by a fresh set of eyes.

The top ten will be read by me personally along with UCLA Co-Head of the Screenwriting Dept. Hal Ackerman, our top 3 CI analysts and select industry friends. I've deliberately kept myself out of the loop as far as the feedback goes and have no idea of what the analysts have thought of each script so far (with the exception of the folks who entered through Coverage, Ink and made the quarterfinals -- although I have not personally read any of those either.)

One other comment: One fellow wrote me to say that he thought we were treating the Coverage Ink clients with kid gloves, since they only have to get a consider with reservations for script to make it to the quarterfinals. In fact, exactly the opposite is true. As any CI client will tell you, our analyses are thorough and tough. When you sit with a script for 8 hours dissecting it, you find a lot more issues than if you simply read it and write up a quick paragraph of mini-analysis. It's actually harder, not easier, to make the quarterfinals through CI than if you had submitted directly to the contest. The trade-off there is that CI clients get the ammunition to improve their scripts and are then encouraged to do so and then resubmit directly to the contest. In short, they got a second chance, and several CI clients took advantage of that. So in the end, I think it all balances out in terms of fairness.

regards to all,

Jim Cirile

Friday, June 02, 2006


So what's next? What are you guys all going to do with those scripts? Have any marketing plans? Going to take the summer off? Going to take some classes?

Me, after taking a 9-month sabbatical to recharge my batteries and earn a certificate in the UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting, I plan on jumping back into the game again. I've got two new specs nearing completion. And when I say nearing completion, I mean they still need quite a bit more development (which is a kind way of saying they still kind of suck eggs.) My long-suffering agent is probably going to have a cardiac when and if he sees new material from me. (Don't laugh. It's happened before. Agent Bobby Littman, may he rest in peace, left the planet shortly after sending out one of my specs many years ago. Coincidence? Hmm.)

How about you guys? What are you going to do with those scripts you submitted to WOTS? Have you entered them in other contests? Does anybody have anything interesting going on career-wise? Let us know!

--Jim Cirile


Hi folks -- Just a quick note to let you know we should be able to get all the mini-analyses sent out by June 9th.

Best wishes to everyone who participated.

--Jim C.