Screenwriting Basics

At our February monthly meeting*, professional writing consultants George Winship and Sharon Owen will discuss what motion picture producers look for in a screenplay.  The speakers will cover screenwriting basics, from formatting the manuscript to story structure, and offer tips on how to pitch your project.

Writers will also hear about Clarity Entertainment, a film company coming to the Redding area looking for projects from local talent.  A representative from Clarity Studios (the soon-to-be movie studio in Stillwater Business Park) will be present.

If you’ve not yet paid your annual membership fee of $20, please pay Jennifer H. at the door when you arrive.  Thank you!

We look forward to seeing you soon!

*Monthly meetings are held on the second Saturday of the month from 10:30 am-12:30 pm in at All Saints Episcopal Church in the Memorial Hall.  All Saints Episcopal Church is located at 2150 Benton Drive, Redding, CA.  For more details about monthly featured programs and other Writers Forum events, please visit our Calendar of Events.

A Message From the President: February, 2012

At the next general meeting, you may notice some people floating around with big grins on their mugs. Rest assured they did not drink or smoke anything; they attended our very inspiring all day seminar in January. With close to 60 registrants, the fast-paced workshop was well attended; more than three-quarters had been non-members (several who have now joined). Big thanks to Toria of Barnes & Noble Booksellers for providing copies of their books; noticed many peeps with their arms full as they left.

Despite the almost overload of material presented (that I will continue to devour for months to come), several things came immediately to light. Foremost, unlike being a news journalist who should cover a multitude of topics, one should focus on one genre. For me, that means finishing my Life without Clots project, then move on to short mystery stories to get my feet wet.

Another tidbit that I took home was the fourteen wonderful truths about publishing, reaffirming my beliefs that technology is making the industry more effective and more efficient, and that today we have more options for getting published.

Included was a sample Rejection Letter; I took mine and burned it as a sacrificial offering to the Writing Gods, which there are many: Early Mesopotamian civilizations had Nisaba and Nabu; Seshat and Thoth guided early Egyptians; in China were Fuxi, Wenchang, and Cangjie; and our old familiar friends, Hermes and Odin of Western Civilizations. I will re-burn the ashes at a later date.

Thanks to all who participated, and special thanks to the helpers: Jennifer Higley, Chloe Winston, Ron Sutton, Alicia McCauley, Darbie Andrews, Cathy Elliott, and a really big hug to Sharon Owen.

Block your calendars: We will be having another Riverfront buyout this spring as a fundraiser. We were snooping around Nana’s Naughty Knickers by Katherine DiSalvino (running May/June), but are happy to get Ken Ludwig’s Lend Me a Tenor slated for March and April. A Tony Award winner that is currently a Broadway revival, it is a popular choice of regional and community theatre companies. Stay tuned for final arrangements. As usual, tickets should be $20, and it will be a BYOFF potluck (Bring Your Own Finger Food).

Until then, keep those papers out of the wind and in order; you don’t want that unintentional mystery when chapter 2 follows chapter 5.

Larry Watters,


The Spontaneous Pen: February, 2012

One jump line.  Ninety seconds to write.  Go!

This month’s jump line is:

What comes next…

  • “What comes next…according to the instructions should be safe.” – Dale Angel
  • “What comes next is a big adventure that sends goosebumps skittering down my arms and rouses me from sleep in the quiet of the night.  I love a big adventure, but in the cloak of night I find myself asking Can I do this?  Can I really do this?  Then I pull the sheets up around my chin, close my eyes and tell myself to be brave.” – Alicia McCauley

Take 90 seconds to finish the jump line and then post your response in the comments section.  All online comments will be posted here.  Due to limited space only, selected responses will be published in next month’s newsletter.