Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Hey, Stormies!


That's this year's number. Wow! Pretty insane, huh? Now that includes some of you who submitted double entries and also anyone who entered the contest through Coverage, Ink. But our total this year is big, bad and mighty!

And now the bad news: we have to bump the announcement of the quarterfinalists to 9/15. Yeah, I know, I know, y'all are grousing and grumbling right now. And I have to apologize. Fact is, that extra week we tacked on for Without a Box kind of messed us up--not to mention one of our key team members suddenly became unavailable, and thus we had to borrow readers from Coverage Ink (Writers on the Storm and CI are actually two separate deals.) And then collating all that info and trying our best to make sure that is really is the top 10%, that's pretty tricky. Last year was bad enough with 900-something. Oddly, 400 additional entries kind of complicates things!

But have no fear, because we are on it, and we're reading and whittling and in some cases rereading (there are several on-the-fence entries,) and on 9/15 we are gonna drop that big list of (around) 131 quarterfinalists on y'all. We'll e-mail the list to everyone in a newsletter and also post it on the websites.

As always, I'm impressed by the amazing amount of talent out there. The amount of scripts in the pretty good category is huge, way outnumbering the not-so-greats. That said, naturally when you read a ton of scripts, certain patterns start to emerge. So I hope you guys do not mind if I present...


Okay, these are little nitpicks that drive me crazy when I read scripts. If y'all do any of these things, then take a moment to think about addressing this stuff in your writing. Granted these are my personal peccadilloes, but for sure others share some of these concerns.

1) Using hard returns & line breaks between paragraphs in dialogue. Some of y'all skip a space between paragraphs in your dialogue, and that's just not how it works. If you need to pause for dramatic effect, just use (beat), or else write a smidge of description or action to break it up. But if you hit that hard return and skip a space, it looks weird.

2) Putting action in parens. Parentheses are not for action, so don't put it there. If your hero is going to put down his bottle of Dr. Pepper, put that in an action line, not in that tiny little parenthetical space under the character name.

3) Guessing at spellings. C'mon, guys, don't be lazy. You don't even need to grab your dictionary anymore since there are online dictionaries like dictionary.com and m-w.com. Words like anchorman and grandparents are compound (single) words. It's not anchor man and grand parents. Look 'em up! And if anyone else steps on the BREAKS in their car, I'm gonna cry!

4) Dumping commentary into description, e.g., "Bob realizes that he should have taken Jane's advice." I can't SEE that! Film is a visual medium, so that sort of thing needs to be depicted in either dialogue or visually somehow.

5) Using camera/shots in description. Get that stuff out of there! I don't need CAMERA FOLLOWS MARGIE as she enters the salon. Just write "Margie enters the salon."

That out of the way, It is, as always, my pleasure to announce the Writers on the Storm quarterfinalists to date! Now please everyone read this next sentence, because I’ve gotten a lot of e-mail about this. ***These quarterfinalists represent people who’ve entered Writers on the Storm via submitting their script to Coverage, Ink for coverage. *** They are the ONLY ones who find out before everyone else if they’ve made the quarterfinals or not, because the CI readers rate the scripts and forward the results to us. These represent everyone whose scripts got a ‘consider with reservations’ or better for script, or roughly the top 10%. The rest of y'all will not find out if you’ve made the quarterfinals until 9/15.

Okay! Without further ado, here are our Writers on the Storm 2008 Quarterfinalists **so far**:

Heather Upton, Belfast Boys
CA Bennett, Death Valley Dig
Kelly Murry, La Matadora
A.C. Yacobian, Rasta Pasta
Aaron Marshall, The Last Adventure of Martin Finch
Alan Sproles, Lizanne Southgate, Eden Lost
Rich Sheehy, Sliding into Home
Paul Sargia, The Man Who Could Stop Time
Steven Zawacki, Orcadia
Suzanne Darling, Brush With Fame
Dennis Bailey, Pound for Pound
Chris Jopling, Blacklights
Andrew Zeoli & Christian Wagner, Blueballers
Attila Nagy, Gilbert Inboden, Garen Inboden, Enlighten Up
Russ Meyer, Organic Svengali
Vito LaBruno, Last American Guido
Adam Nur, Jetpack
Nisso Cohen, The Source
Mark Eaten & Stacy Dymalski, Center of Fortitude
Art Blum, Back from the Dead
Patrick Nicholas, Edgewater
Michael Coleman Jr., Clone
Dan Williams, Forest Fire!
Lisa Cordova, Remote Stryker
Alexander Valhouli, Louis
CV Herst, The Bardo Realm
Marnie Collins, Silver River
Jerry White, Link
Sam Neil Kesler, Fatal Ambition
Jason Kent, Colossus
Jarran Davis, Newton’s Cradle
Krista Zumbrink, Virgin Marie
James Schannep, A Poem for Silvertown
Odin Shafer, Bury Me in Fire
David Larson, Laced Up
Gary Eichelberger, Catch 21
Susan and Wayne Boyer, Poser
Mark Nui, Shanghai Blood
Alasdair McMullan, The Blues Detective
Jim Corona, DEAD Line
Cynthia Troyer, Between

Back to y'all shortly with the BIG LIST!

Portia Jefferson
Writers on the Storm Contest Coordinator


Anonymous said...

You should all protest outside Jim's office, demanding a pay rise!!!

And Portia should burn her bra, to make a point.

That would really make my day.

Anonymous said...

Sounds cool. Can I protest outside my own office?

--Jim C.