Monday, December 2, 2013

Coliloquy: The Future of Digital Publishing

Monday, December 2, 2013

Coliloquy is a next-generation digital publisher, leveraging advances in technology to enable groundbreaking new types of books, new revenue models, and new forms of author-reader engagement.

Founded on the belief that digital technologies can push the boundaries of how we think about narrative and storytelling, Coliloquy publishes all of their books as active applications, rather than static files, allowing authors to build ever-expanding worlds through episodic, serial storytelling and engagement mechanics, like choice and voting, branching story lines, re-reading loops, and personalized content. The result is an incredibly fluid and immersive story-telling experience.

Read about how you can write with Coliloquy

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Scratch Magazine

Sunday, November 3, 2013
Scratch Magazine is a new digital magazine all about the intersection of writing and money, co-founded by Jane Friedman and Manjula Martin.

Very few people or publications speak openly about the economic realities of the publishing business. In our bare-it-all media culture, frank talk about money remains taboo. Writers often lack the context or insight to understand our own industry, even as that industry undergoes massive structural and economic changes.

Scratch provides a home for open and sustained discussion of these experiences through high-quality content. It not only publishes advice for writers but also investigates the nuances of writers' relationships to money, work, and publishing.

Check out the free preview issue or consider a subscription.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

5 Reasons Your Memoir Will Never Be Published

Sunday, October 6, 2013
Today's guest, Jennie Nash, is a book coach who specializes in helping writers write and publish books that will get read. She is the author of four novels, including Perfect Red, The Threadbare Heart, The Only True Genius in the Family and The Last Beach Bungalow. She is the author of three memoirs, including The Victoria’s Secret Catalog Never Stops Coming and Other Lessons I Learned From Breast Cancer. She has been an instructor at the UCLA Extension Writing Program for six years and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two daughters.  

5 Reasons Your Memoir Will Never Be Published
By Jennie Nash

1.)  You confused "what happened" with a good story

 "What happened" in your life is only part of the equation of a good story. You also need a sense of why "what happened" mattered to you, what it meant, what you took away from the experience. You need a sense of how "what happened" says something about human nature and the world and our time here on earth, because without that connection to the bigger picture, your memoir is in danger of being aimless and self-centered.  You need to know where in "what happened" would make a good place to start, where in "what happened" would make a good place to end, and which pieces of "what happened" are best left out of this story and saved for another day.

2.)  You forgot the importance of structure

Structure is the thing that holds a memoir up, that makes it more than just a series of journal entries.  Take Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love. That book has a beautiful, elegant structure. Three sections. Three big ideas. Three struggles to achieve a simple grace. You think Gilbert did that accidentally? The answer is no. And what about Cheryl Stayed's Wild? It's a road trip story-except the road is a hiking trail and instead of a vehicle, she's got her feet. It follows a classic structure of a person who sets out on a physical journey and goes on an internal, emotional journey along the way. One of my favorite celebrity memoirs, Andre Aggasi's Open, has an intriguing structure. It starts at the end of an illustrious tennis career that, it turns out, nearly crippled the author in a number of ways. The story traces the tale of how he got there, of why he made it as far as he did, and what he learned along the way. It all hinges on starting at the end. It all hinges on structure. To learn more about structure, re-read a few favorite memoirs. Instead of reading for what happened, read for how the whole thing is put together. Make a map of it.  Watch how the author does it.

3.)  You did zero market research

Most art comes from someone's heart and soul-from a place as far away from commerce as you can get. We write because we are called to write, because it is satisfying and healing to write, and there is no other motivation needed. Most writers, however, have some additional agenda for wanting to set their story down on paper. Perhaps they want to preserve their story for future generations. Perhaps they want to share what they have learned with other fellow travelers. There are a thousand good reasons to want to share your story.  If your desire is to share your story with a wide reading public-with readers in a bookstore, with searchers on the Internet, with strangers you may never meet-you enter into a wholly different territory of the writing experience. You must now consider the realities of the marketplace. You must study how memoirs are packaged and sold, which ones do well, what readers respond to, what gaps there are in the conversation (and how you might put a stake in the ground in that gap), and how to present your story in such a way that it stands a chance of being read. You must, in other words, find a way to reconcile the work of your heart with the demands and realities of commerce. For help in making this reconciliation, read The Gift by Lewis Hyde.

4.)  You were too stingy with your emotions

You may have the most dramatic and exciting story to tell, and you may have a solid structure to contain it, and you may have done your market research, but unless you share the gritty emotions you felt as your tale unfolded, you will quickly lose your reader to the latest Game of Thrones installment. Readers come to memoir to get inside the author's head. That is the one true promise of a memoir-and it's a promise no other art form makes. Readers want to see what it's like inside your head and to see how you handled the difficult, embarrassing, soul-crushing, harrowing, joyous and confusing things that befell you. Telling instead of showing, whizzing by the tough stuff, leaving things out because they make you look bad, making things up to make yourself seem anything other than what you actually are-these are fatal flaws. To learn more about how to invite the reader into your emotions, read Beth Kephart's fantastic new book about writing memoir, Handling the Truth.

5.)  You didn't use a professional editor

Your sister and your spouse and your mother and your friend who is a stickler for correct grammar may love you and may support you, but they can't be trusted when it comes to how your story is working on the page and what to do to fix it. You need a professional editor or writing coach who is ruthless and exacting, and who can whip your prose into shape on every level-from the macro concerns like theme and story resolution to the micro concerns like pacing and dialogue. In the old days, editors used to do this work. Some of them still do, and some agents do, as well, but most don't. They are looking for work that is already polished. To find a reputable editor, get a personal referral from someone who has had an excellent experience, or consider the recommendation of a trusted pro. Jane Friedman, former editor for Writers' Digest and super smart cookie about all things publishing, has a great post on her website: "4 Ways to Find the Right Freelance Editor."

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

War Writers' Campaign: Therapy Through Writing

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A newly-formed veteran nonprofit organization called The War Writers' Campaign is hoping to encourage veterans to write about their experiences in war as a powerful therapy tool.

The campaign aims to maintain a long-term platform that facilitates the consolidated efforts of servicemembers and veterans to promote mental therapy through the literary word, all while raising funds for best-in-class veteran organizations and mental-health programs. They are also launching external with a partnership alongside Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, with the hopes of gaining a national audience.

Their first featured work Conquering Mental Fatigues will be available for purchase in the coming weeks. All of all proceeds go to the War Writers' Campaign.

See the video on Colorado's 9 News - KUSA TV.

See submission guidelines

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Scriptnotes Podcast

Sunday, August 4, 2013

In this popular podcast Scriptnotes, screenwriters John August and Craig Mazin discuss screenwriting and related topics in the film and television industry, everything from getting stuff written to the vagaries of copyright and work-for-hire law.

Recently, they sat down with screenwriter-turned-psychotherapist Dennis Palumbo to discuss writer's block, procrastination, partnerships and more. It's a can't-miss episode for aspiring writers and professionals alike.

See the iTunes archives here.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Social Emotional Arts (SEA) Certificate Program

Monday, July 1, 2013

UCLArts and Healing is launching a Social Emotional Arts (SEA) Certificate Program to empower educators and community arts professionals.

Arts educators are often not sure what to do or say when the inevitable "stuff comes up," like when a student comes crying after seeing a performance and says: that happened to me. There can also be unintended consequences of arts experiences, such as self-judgment, anxiety, and inadvertent re-triggering of trauma.

Through eight Saturday training sessions running September 2013 - January 2014, SEA trainees will learn to develop and deliver process-oriented arts education for children and adolescents in school and community settings to improve emotional well-being, the social climate and the learning environment.

In partnership with Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Visual and Performing Arts Department

See full details

Monday, April 29, 2013

EngAGE: The Art of Active Aging

Monday, April 29, 2013

EngAGE is a nonprofit that takes a whole-person approach to creative and healthy aging by providing arts, wellness, lifelong learning, community building and intergenerational programs to thousands of seniors living in affordable senior apartment communities in Southern California. Founded in 1999 by Tim Carpenter, EngAGE serves low- and moderate-income seniors between the ages of 55 and 100+.

EngAGE catalyzed the development of The Burbank Senior Artists Colony, a first-of-its-kind 141-unit senior apartment community devoted to art and creativity. It has its own theater group, independent film company, fine arts collective and music program, and an intergenerational arts program coordinated with the Burbank Unified School District. 

The NOHO Senior Arts Colony is the new active adult apartment community created exclusively for artists specializing in the performing arts, visual arts, film and beyond. If you're an artist 62 or older interested in a residency at the colony, contact the Leasing Office to arrange a visit.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

PGA: Power of Diversity

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Producers Guild of America (PGA) is pleased to announce the opening of submissions for the ninth annual PGA Producing Workshop,"The Power of Diversity," running May 28th-July 13th, 2013. The multi-session workshop is designed to foster the development of aspiring and seasoned producers who bring diverse perspectives to television, film and digital media.

This annual program provides ten participants with one-on-one mentoring sessions with members of the Guild's Diversity Committee as well as master classes with some of today's top producers. Topics are tailored to the participating producers and their projects, and will include all aspects of producing such as story development, pitching, packaging, financing, marketing and digital media.

Application Deadline: April 17, 2013.

See submission guidelines

Monday, March 4, 2013

Warner Bros. Television Writers' Workshop

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Warner Bros. Television Writers' Workshop
Deadline for entry: May 1-June 1, 2013

The Warner Bros. Television Writers' Workshop consists of three components, all geared towards preparing the writer for a successful career in television writing:

Lectures: Weekly lectures feature guest speakers currently working in television and include a mix of showrunners, directors, actors and agents. Each seminar will teach a new skill essential for surviving and excelling in a writers' room as a staff writer and beyond.

Simulated Writers' Room: In the winter, the Workshop participants are divided into smaller groups for an intensive writing experience. Each participant will be required to complete a new spec script under the same deadlines found on a show currently in production.

Staffing: Upon completion of the program, Studio executives will help participants, who pass the Writers' Room, obtain a staff position on a Warner Bros. television show currently in production.

For more information and to learn how to apply

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Kids Imagination Awards

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Cynopsis: Kids !magination Awards honor the best in kids & tweens media. Now in its second year, this unique awards program is from the industry's most trusted brand, Cynopsis Media, and celebrates the very best in children's television. Now's your chance to win a crystal Cynopsis: Kids !magination Award!

The Cynopsis Kids !magination Awards honor the year's most outstanding and imaginative achievements in programming, marketing and promotion - the efforts that will have lasting impact. This includes new shows, movies, websites, apps and games, in addition to the marketing and advertising campaigns that support children's content.

Entry Deadline: February 20, 2013.  Awards Ceremony: NYC, June 2013.

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