Only 2 – Count ’em, 2 – Weeks Left to Enter the People’s Pilot 2017 Writing Contest

Over $20,000 in prizes & entry bonuses!

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SPECIAL BONUS AWARD – All Entries Eligible!

NEW! We Want Your Web Series Pilots – See ‘Enter’ Page for Details!

TVWriter™’s PEOPLE’S PILOT has been kickstarting the careers of fine new TV writers since the year 2000 – the dawn of the 21st Century. Enter PEOPLE’S PILOT 2017 and create your dream future!

Winners, Finalists, & Semi-Finalists of TVWriter™’s past contests are on, or recently have been on, the staffs of the following shows:

LETHAL WEAPON
WESTWORLD
MOM
NARCOS
TIME AFTER TIME
GREY’S ANATOMY
THE LEFTOVERS
BASTARD EXECUTIONER
ANIMAL PRACTICE
KILLER WOMEN
NTSF:SD:SUV
GIRLFRIENDS
FILTHY PREPPY TEENS
MELROSE PLACE

SNEAKY PETE
CHICAGO PD

CHICAGO FIRE
PERSON OF INTEREST
THE WALKING DEAD
RIZZOLI AND ISLES
COLONY
ONCE UPON A TIME
THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES
SMALLVILLE
ROME
PRIVATE PRACTICE
SNOWFALL

Plus various TV movies & other one-offs!

You’ve got from now until the very last minute (11:59 PM) of November 1, 2017 to pay the entry fee of $50 (with some discounts still available) and upload your pilot script for your own original series, of any length and in any genre, intended for electronic media – broadcast TV, cable or satellite TV, the internet, you name it.

Find out more about our prizes, rules, and all aspects of PEOPLE’S PILOT 2017 HERE

And if you have any questions, send ’em HERE

Batman VS Elmer Fudd

Sure, the comic book’s cool, but we want to see this as a TV series:

Voices and scanning by a dude you may have heard of: Neal Adams, who may in fact be the absolute Batman artist supreme. Thanks, Neal!

The images you’re seeing and the words they’re saying were drawn by Byron Vaughns and written by Tom King.

Everything we all need to know about (and created by) Neal Adams is HERE

And HERE

Doctor Who: In A Word

Do you know Keith Kelly Topping? We here at TVWriter™ firmly believe you should. He’s the UK’s Munchman – except that Keith very likely was first and definitely is more prolific.

In other words, we’re talking about one of our absolute favorite bloggers, a master of all he discusses…which is pretty much everything related to showbiz and politics in the UK. What we love about Keith most, though, is the way his blog, From the North, unabashedly proclaims his unqualified, overwhelming love for a little series you may have heard of called Doctor Who.

How much does he love Doctor Who? We would be glad to count the ways, but King Keith already has done so. Literally. Like so:

Doctor Who: In A Word (Parts One To Ninety One)
by Keith Tell Topping

Between now and Christmas (or, whenever this blogger finish, anyway) yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self shall be reviewing every single Doctor Who story – all two hundred and seventy five(ish) of them – using just one appropriate adjective for each. Or one verb if Keith Telly Topping can’t think of an adjective. Or, one noun if Keith Telly Topping can’t think of a verb. You feel me? So, without further ado, dear blog readers …

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See the rest of this, the first batch of “Doctor Who: In A Word” on Keith Telly Toppings’ From the North blog HERE

Diana Vacc sees ‘The Gifted’ Opening Episode ‘eXposed’

by Diana Vaccarelli

—SPOILER ALERT—SPOILER ALERT—SPOILER ALERT—

Monday October 2, 2017, Fox premiered the new series The Gifted. The series takes place after the X-Men film Days of Future Past. It tells the story as a “What if the X-Men didn’t succeed in defeating the Sentinel Program?” adventure.

Basically, the show addresses the issue of, given their failure, what happens to the X-Men next? The main focus of the series is that mutants are on the run from a government agency tasked with imprisoning them.

THE GOOD:

  • Over the years, what fans call the “X-Men saga” has always done one thing very well: It shines a bright light on bigotry and on how we need to learn to accept one another and embrace each other’s differences.
  • This theme continues in The Gifted. One scene particularly effective in making the point is when Andy Strucker (Percy Hynes White) is pulled into the school showers by bullies and tortured with blasts of both hot and cold water. Through his terror he triggers mutant abilities that nearly tear the school down.
  • That storyline continues as we follow the very normal Reed Stucker (Stephen Moyer) searching for entree into the secret mutant underground in order to get help for his children their mutant natures become clear. I loved the way we could see his desperation, even though previously he had been instrumental in hunting mutants down.

THE BAD:

  • The performances in general aren’t exactly the best. The actors seemed strangely (unprofessionally?) uneasy in their roles.

THE REST:

The acting problems aren’t stopping me from wanting to see more episodes of The Gifted, and as an X-Men saga fan I’m hopeful that the performances will improve as the cast gets more into the storylines and writing in general.

If Marvel superheroes, and the X-Men in particular, are your kind of thing, then I believe you should give this series a try. It’s no Legion – not by a longshot – but over time it evolve into something interesting…and besides, it’s always fun to watch mutants kick the butts of biased abusers.


Diana Vaccarelli is TVWriter™’s Critic-at-Large and a student in the TVWriter™ Online Workshop. Find out more about her HERE

This Podcast Network May Have What It Takes To Compete With Hollywood

Have you ever said to yourself, “What the world needs now is a professional, commercial podcast network?” Neither has this TVWriter™ minion. But now that I think about it, what a great idea! (Provided that don’t bar the door to newbies, like everything else calls itself a network seems to do.)

The pic is the network. Here’s the podcast: https://soundcloud.com/deadlymanners/deadly-manners-trailer

by KC Ifeanyi

Podcast dramas have bubbled in the recent past as a modern resurgence of the radio serials of yesteryear. Shows like Homecoming and Welcome to Night Vale became must-listens more so because it was a welcomed breeze in the sometimes stale landscape of topical or non-fiction podcasts  in general. However, as novel as audio dramas may seem, it hasn’t necessarily translated into an abundance of advertisers–a familiar plight of podcasts at large. But Alex Aldea is set on changing that.

Aldea is the founder of the podcast network The Paragon Collective, home of the Reddit-born anthology series NoSleepDarkest Night, and its most recent entry in the audio drama space Deadly Manners, a whodunnit murder mystery starring Kristen Bell, Anna Chlumsky, RuPaul, Denis O’Hare, and narrated by LeVar Burton.

“I think it’s a really cool a growing medium,” Aldea says. “I started Paragon about three and a half years ago and there’s been a big shift with me of trying to find a place where I felt I belonged. And the second we started working with NoSleep and getting into the fiction space, it just kind of clicked–and there’s really a hardcore fan base out there.”

Deadly Manners started as a pitch from TV writer Ali Garfinkel (Burn NoticeHand of God) who had previously written two episodes of Darkest Night. Tonally speaking, Garfinkel says she wanted to make a show that would live somewhere between the 1992 black comedy Death Becomes Her and Clue–the challenge being that she couldn’t write Deadly Manners in the vein of either of her inspirations.

“I’m a TV writer so I’m very used to just writing for visuals. And so writing for an audio podcast, there’s no subtlety. You can’t have a scene with a bunch of actors looking at one another and sharing feelings with a glance–you have to describe everything because people are just listening,” Garfinkel says. “The thing about audio drama is that it seems like it would be less immersive than a TV show or movie, but when it’s recorded the way that Alex does it with the binaural headphones, you’re literally surrounded by sound and it’s a 3D experience. And I think for some people it has more of an impact than just watching a video.”

Creating that immersive experience is what Aldea hopes will pull in listeners beyond the fanbases his podcast network of shows has already accrued. And Aldea’s attention to production detail in order to execute his creative vision is something he’s not willing to shortchange–even if that means driving for hours just to use one microphone….

Read it all at Fast Company

Cargo 3120 ‘Ties that Bind: Part 2’ is on Smashwords!

EDITOR’S NOTE: What is Cargo 3120? Getting down to the nitty gritty, it’s a science fiction (ooh, outer space) adventure that began life as a series of original, scripted episodes in our Beloved Leader LB’s Master Class, then transformed into a web comic strip, and now is a prose serial novel that writer/co-creator (with Daymond Roman) Aaron Walker Sr. and Crew are doing their best to get it the way to your favorite TV-watching media ASAP.

We’ve written about this project many times over the past couple of years, but the best place to go to understand what Aaron Walker Sr. and his crew are up to is HERE.

And now that that’s settled:


by Aaron Walker Sr.

CLICK on the pic above to see CARGO 3120 on Smashwords!

You heard it right. The 2nd installment of our ongoing Sci-Fi Novella series: Cargo 3120 Ties that Bind is now available on Smashwords for only .99 cents!

Why Smashwords?

You’ll recall in our previous post during our free giveaway for book two, we talked about the benefits of distributing through Smashwords. There are two main benefits of making this move:

Read on more devices than just the Kindle: Through Smashwords, you have access to more formats than just MOBI (the ebook format used by Kindle). In fact, you have access to formats such as EPUB, PDP, PDF and more! In the end, more formats mean more devices. If your e-reader supports one of the formats available through Smashwords, then you can use whatever e-reader you want!

More places to find our book:  Because our book is part Smashword’s Premium Catalog, you can get the book through the following distributors: Barnes & Noble (which means you can read on the Nook!), Kobo, Apple (iBooks), Baker & Taylor Blio, Baker-Taylor Axis360, OverDrive, Scribd and more!

What’s up with Book 3?

Glad you asked. Here’s the sitrep:

Cargo 3120 Ties that Bind: Part 3 is set to release on November 1st, 2017!

The book is finished, and all that remains is the ebook formatting and cover art!

We are so proud of how Part 3 came out and can’t wait to share the latest installment of our exciting Sci-Fi Novella series!

Book 4 (which will conclude the Ties that Bind story arc) is in production as we speak. Writing has begun, and I’m shooting for a December 2017 release (January 2018 at the latest). I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

That’s all for now, folks. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more updates.

Kelly Jo Brick: – Advice From Emmy-Nominated Writers

Photo Credit: Michael Lynn Jones / WGAW

Sublime Primetime 2017
by Kelly Jo Brick

The Writers Guild of America, West, the Writers Guild Foundation and Variety, hosted several of this year’s Emmy-nominated writers during their annual Sublime Primetime event. Moderator Larry Wilmore led a stellar panel of writers including Matt & Ross Duffer (STRANGER THINGS), Jo Miller (FULL FRONTAL WITH SAMANTHA BEE), Gordon Smith (BETTER CALL SAUL), Lena Waithe (MASTER OF NONE) and Steven Davis & Kelvin Yu (BOB’S BURGERS) in a discussion about breaking in, the process and ideas behind their nominated episodes, chasing trends and the delicate balance of blending humor and activism.

These Emmy-nominated writers shared with TVWriter.com the best advice they received as they were starting out.

KELVIN YU – BOB’S BURGERS – You have to get a lot of bad writing out of your system as fast as you can. There’s a certain perfectionism and a certain ethos of letting perfect get in the way of good that stops people from that first step. So write something and make it as bad as you can possibly make it, like just literally get it out. Barf it out of your system and then write something again and imagine that it’s maybe just 4 percent less bad and then the third thing will be 4 percent less bad. It’s not ever as bad as you think it is. That’s the truth that you need to keep telling yourself.

STEVEN DAVIS – BOB’S BURGERS – To keep writing. To lock myself indoors. To not show stuff to people right away. To enjoy writing. Do it for lots of hours and to truly just write and write and write.

LENA WAITHE – MASTER OF NONE – The best advice was pretty simple, it was to be great. That was from Gina Prince-Bythewood. I used to be her assistant. She was like you gotta be the best to really break through all the clutter. It was a simple piece of advice, but it was very layered. Over the course of time I started to understand what she meant, like honing my craft, studying television and really trying to be a master at it. Work so hard that you shine and people can’t look away. That’s the advice I give now to people, it’s just to be great.

GORDON SMITH – BETTER CALL SAUL – Be passionate. If you love it, if you love what you’re doing, that’s going to come through. It’s going to separate you from just something that rounds the bases and is technically proficient. There’s a lot of technique you can learn and practice, but the thing that’s going to make your thing stand out is you.

JO MILLER – FULL FRONTAL WITH SAMANTHA BEE – Use your own voice, even if it sounds like nobody else. Especially if it sounds like nobody else. Don’t try to imitate somebody else. Say the things that are important to you, even if you think nobody cares about them. Only think about what’s important to you to say, that’s where your best writing is going to be.

MATT DUFFER – STRANGER THINGS – For a while you’re taught, especially in school, how to follow certain structure acts and structure breaks. That really held us back for a while. All of us have seen so many movies and have watched so many television shows that we sort of know the rhythm. You don’t need to make it be mathematical, because it shouldn’t be mathematical. Those rhythms will kind of reveal themselves as you’re writing on your own.

ROSS DUFFER – STRANGER THINGS – For us, the most helpful advice was not to overdo the writing. You can tell a simple story and you don’t need a lot at the end of the day. That was an important lesson for us.

Other highlights from the evening:

GETTING THAT FIRST JOB

Just get in the business. Take an internship, get an assistant job. One of the biggest challenges of breaking in is knowing people and finding people who trust you enough to recommend you. Just get in the industry and prove that you work hard, give it your best and show that you are someone people can count on.

Film school works for some, but not everyone. If you’re a comedy writer, get your material on Twitter. Always keep writing and don’t be afraid to write something to make on your own.

THE COLLABORATIVE NATURE OF WRITING FOR TELEVISION

TV shows are living, breathing things. Sometimes creators go in thinking this is what it is and then an actor comes in and can lead to things changing and growing in unexpected ways. Don’t be so locked in on where the story is going. Leave space for actors to walk in or for a writer who has a big pitch, because if you’re so blocked in on the idea you have, there’s no room for that magical creative fairy dust to come in.

GETTING YOUR WORK OUT THERE – WRITING THE SCRIPT THAT GETS ATTENTION

There’s so much clutter. There’s a lot of mediocrity. Work on your script until it’s amazing. They don’t care where you’re from or who you are. If you have something that’s amazing and great and phenomenal, that’s like gold.

Also be you, because you’re not going to be great unless you care about what you are doing to the exclusion of all else. Don’t try to be what you think somebody else wants.

You have to be willing to walk away and say no. Don’t chase the trends, you’ll write something you’re not passionate about and it will show. Write something you want to see. That’s what opens doors. Everyone is looking for great material.


Kelly Jo Brick is a TVWriter™ Contributing Editor. She’s a television and documentary writer and producer, as well as a winner of Scriptapalooza TV and a Sundance Fellow. Read more about her HERE.