Maximum Z Script Showcase – Summer ’21 edition

Any screenwriter who’s done their homework can tell you there are plenty of platforms and websites out there offering up the opportunity to put scripts on display.

Granted, I know this little operation of mine isn’t the biggest or the most well-known, but I also know how frustrating it can be when you’ve got a script you’re really proud of and want to let the rest of the world know about it.

I’m a big believer in supporting the writing community, and wanted to do what I could to offer up that same opportunity to any and all interested parties.

“Send me the vital details for your script, and I’ll post ’em!” I announced.

And 167 of you did exactly that.

What you will find below is a virtual treasure trove of material.

Film and TV scripts covering a vast spectrum of genres, many with accompanying awards and accolades.

But the most important part is that each and every one is available for you to read – courtesy of the writer’s email being included.

Something grabs your attention, makes you think “I’d like to read that.”? All you have to do is contact the writer and ask. Maybe they’ll want to do a swap.

This is networking and establishing professional relationships at their finest.

So settle in and start perusing. Hope you find something you like.

(And as long as I’ve got your attention, feel free to hit the ‘like’ button, and even take it one step further and start following this blog.)

FILM

12 HOURS 2 STEAL

Justin Hayward

Thriller, Heist

A struggling artist must navigate a series of instructions to steal a valuable treasure for an unknown puppetmaster after she downloads an audio tour podcast for a specific painting in a gallery.

Winner, Best Unproduced Feature Screenplay – UK Motion Picture Festival, Spring 2021

Finalist – PIMFF 2021

Finalist – European Cinematography Awards 2021

Official Selection – Amsterdam World International Film Festival 2021

Finalist – Best Script Award 2021

Official Selection – Rome Independent Prisma Awards 2021

ian@reddoorvision.co.uk – my agent Ian Taylor at Red Door Vision

A BULLET FOR MERRI

Tim Brennan

Western

When a notorious outlaw is wrongly arrested, a young sharpshooter who idolizes Western legends must team with him to defend her mountain town from bandits seeking revenge.

tbrennan75@gmail.com

A SISTER IN NEED

Michael Field

Mystery, Thriller

A woman is found dead and her sister believes its murder as she uncovers secrets of a small New England town in search of the truth.

mdfield@me.com

AIN’T NO COWBOYS IN NASHVILLE

Christopher O’Bryant

Crime, Drama

An aspiring country singer willing to hustle, a broke bartender with a big heart, and a two strike criminal find their lives thrust together under the neon shadows of Music City after a robbery gone bad turns to revenge.

Quarterfinalist – 2019 Nicholl Fellowship

Winner – Best Screenplay, 2018 California Film Awards, Orson Welles Awards, Best Screenplay

Finalist – 2019 Los Angeles Crime and Horror Festival

Quarterfinalist – 2019 Roadmap/Road to New Republic

Selection – 2019 Sacramento International Film Festival Screenplay Contest

Quarterfinalist – 2018 & 2019 PAGE

Semifinalist – 2021 Stage 32 Drama Screenplay

Semifinalist – 2018 & 2019 Screencraft Drama

Quarterfinalist – 2018 WeScreenplay Feature

obryantcj@gmail.com

ALL THE STARS IN THE HEAVENS

William B. Stoddard

Drama

A once famous, burned out writer at MGM and a young, aspiring writer, a Studio Page take a tumultuous journey that will alter both of their lives.

williamstoddard52@gmail.com

AMERICAN CHECKOUT

Todd Foley

Thriller, Horror, Dark Comedy

While stocking shelves in a retail store, a struggling, newly single dad gets caught in a diabolical game where he must follow the instructions in each box he opens, or his estranged children will be murdered.

scribbledrevisions@gmail.com

AMONG THIEVES

Danny Katz

Thriller

A young man in recovery is recruited by his N.A. sponsor to join a cult-like group of thieves. Lured in with the prospect of helping his father’s shaky new sales career in the home-security sector, Ethan learns the hard way, there’s no honor among thieves.

dankatz920@gmail.com

AN ANGEL WALKS INTO A BAR…

Paul E. Zeidman

Comedy

After literally dying onstage, a caustic comedian must fix three of the many lives he ruined when he was alive, or be damned to his own personal hell for eternity.

paul.zeidman@gmail.com

ANASTASIS

Simon Doyle

Comedy, Horror

A museum security guard sets out to destroy a painting the same night a motley crew attempt a bungled heist. Shame the painting’s haunted. And eats people.

simon.doyle@doctors.org.uk

BACKMASKING

Charli Quevedo

Drama

A doctoral student who discovers the cure to an ongoing epidemic inadvertently falls in love with the potential environmental terrorist.

Selection – Hollywood Jumbo

chaliquevedo21@gmail.com

BLUE SKY AND I

Durnford Edward King

Comedy, Drama

A suicidal comic, trapped in an isolated cabin with a traumatized ten year old girl who hasn’t spoken in over a year, discovers that if he assumes the persona of her favorite cartoon character, she’ll respond. They put crazy on hold, have a hell of an adventure helping each other survive, and begin to heal their personal wounds.

durnking@aol.com

BONE BROTH

Noelle Messier

Psychological Thriller

In an isolated, small town, a squeamish, vegan, lesbian detective falls in love with a sadistic, serial-killer cannibal and battles her inner and outer demons in an intimate and twisted psychological cat and mouse battle for survival. With the help of a brave Deputy in a wheelchair, she learns she needs to become her fear to overcome it.

noellemessier@gmail.com

BREAKING GROUND

Natalie O.

Drama, Indie, Female-Driven

Lexi, a heavily tattooed woman in her mid-20’s, who was known to be an on-the rise young skateboarder during her childhood, gave up her talent as she approached her mid 20’s due to her the loss of her father and her mother in rehab. She lives with her disabled grandmother and likes spending time with her abusive boyfriend. However, with her finances hanging on by a thread each day, she decides to run back to the one thing she loves the most, skateboarding.

natalieolajide27@gmail.com

BREAST IN SHOW

Andrea Berting

Dramedy

A young burlesque dancer reeling from a breast cancer diagnosis forms an unlikely bond with the much older members of her support group, and must push past conservative mindsets and patriarchal, ageist ideas of beauty in order to run a burlesque workshop helping her fellow survivors reclaim ownership of their bodies. 

Quarterfinalist – Screencraft Screenwriting Fellowship

andreaberting@gmail.com

BRIDGE BY THE EARTHEN HOUSE

Paul Howard Hunt

Drama

A man with early-onset dementia continues to hide his condition when his son commits suicide. Past and present, lies and truth begin to merge.

Best Screenplay Award – 2020 European Independent Film Festival

paulhowardhunt@gmail.com

BROOM GOES THE DYNAMITE

Jeffrey Field

Sports, Comedy

When a superstar college quarterback suffers an injury that threatens to derail his pro career, a shrewd sports marketer offers him lifetime financial security if he can carry a team of talented misfits to the Olympic trials… in curling.

jefffield88@yahoo.com

CALYPSO

Fiona Faith Ross

Supernatural Thriller, Fantasy, Horror

After her granddad dies, a bereaved young American travels to the ‘old country’ to connect with her last living family, an aunt who insists she is the immortal sea-goddess, Calypso.

fionafaithross@gmail.com

CLIMBING MOUNTAINS

Paul Ober

Magical Realism

A young boy who’s always wanted to go on an adventure is dying of lung cancer. On the brink of losing all hope and youthful imagination, his friend’s teddy bear comes to life, bringing him on an adventure unlike any other.

Stereo podcast week 4 – $10,000 grand prize winner.

pauloberofficial@aol.com

DARK HOLIDAY

James Lemke

Comedy, Horror

Two clueless women take a vacation to get away from boyfriends and the city only to find themselves in a hilarious Canadian government experiment with Zombies. Hockey players and all.

Finalist – New Wave Film Festival

Selection – New York Tri-State International Film Festival

jclemkeart@yahoo.com

DARK SHAMROCK

Jalissa Cruz

Thriller, Mystery, Suspense

While the Vice President of a video game company tries to prevent her kidnapper from hacking into her company’s data, her coworker and best friend of over 40 years tries to escape the hacker’s accomplice.

yelissaaawrites@gmail.com

DEFINITELY NOT ANYMORE

Paige Feldman

Romantic Comedy

Two colleagues who don’t like each other – and who are both in other relationships – fall in love and get married over one Passover. It’s a story about family, following your passion, and fish (gefilte, and otherwise).

Second Rounder – 2020 Austin Film Festival

paige.feldman@gmail.com

DIAMOND CODE

Kimberly Eaton

Thriller

Chloe Monet, desperate to prevent a predicted death, is introduced to two jet-setting brothers from Greece, exposing an International diamond scheme. Although diamonds are considered a girl’s best friend, in this case they are a source of contention and danger.

scripchik@aol.com

EDEN’S FLOWER

Marcelo Rabelo

Thriller

A girl raised in isolation by her brother is forced to flee when he becomes a threat, and must now survive in a world she knows nothing about.

mrjfilho@icloud.com

EDEN’S PARADISE (2nd in a trilogy)

J.E. Swainston

Sci-Fi, Action

An idealistic young woman fights to stop the violent disintegration of society and create a peaceful haven.

Finalist – Beyond The Curve Int’l Film Festival

janetswainston@gmail.com

ESPERANZA

Blake Armstrong

Western

A pacifist sheriff wants to shape the west with non-violence but his moral code is pushed to the limit when he transports a dangerous killer across the New Mexican desert. 

blake@roboteatingrobot.com

FAMILY TIES

Brian Weston

Drama

When a ruthless entrepreneur’s grandmother in Ireland dies in suspicious circumstances, he decides it is time for revenge against his evil criminal kingpin uncle.

bw1707@yahoo.com

FERVOR

Luke Greensmith

Horror

Tensions between young and old in a small town are manifested in the mysterious appearance of the “Miracle Church”, and the transformations that follow.

lukegreensmith@gmail.com

FIVE ORCS

Kevin Ryan

Fantasy, Animated, Comedy

As the final battle between Good and Evil approaches, five desperate orcs plan to steal a magical shield from their Queen’s enormous fortress so they can pay for their escape from the inevitable slaughter.

Bronze – Prix Royal Paris Screenplay Awards

Winner – Golden Nugget Feature Screenplay Awards

Semifinalist – 2021 Shriekfest

kevinryan333@gmail.com

FIVE SWORDS UNDER HEAVEN

Logan Shaw

Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Western

A vengeful train robber and a female Samurai forge an unlikely partnership as they race across the Old West to rescue the Emperor’s daughter and stop a gang of thieves from stealing five mystical swords. 

Finalist – 2021 Screencraft Fellowship

Top 100 – 2021 Table Read My Screenplay Genre Competition

Semifinalist – 2020 Screencraft Action/Adventure

Quarterfinalist – 2021 WeScreenplay

Quarterfinalist – 2021 StoryPros

Quarterfinalist – 2021 SWN Goldman Award

sloganshaw@gmail.com

FOREVER CRUSH

Ms. Uthman & Joy Princess

Romance

Two tenants, a poet and a fan of poetry, Desmond and Vicky are drawn to each other by their love for poetry. Their closeness threatens Desmond’s relationship with his fiancé. 

shrekoxymann@gmail.com

FULL MOON OVER THE NEW ‘D’ BAR

Daniel Bridges

Horror, Comedy

After their conspiracy theorist buddy goes missing, two dumbass vets enter a seedy town with a seedy strip club that just happens to be full of seedy 80s clad stripper werewolves, and once again they need to save ‘Merica.

Coverfly – Overall Top 10%

Quarterfinalist – 2021 Richmond International Film Festival

Quarterfinalist – 2020 Big Break Script Competition

Semifinalist – 2020 ScreenCraft Comedy Screenplay

Semifinalist – Filmmatic Comedy Screenplay Competition

Official Selection – 2019 Portland Comedy Film Festival

Official Selection – 2020 Houston Comedy Film Festival

Official Selection – 2020 Austin Short Film Festival

danielobridges@gmail.com

GARAGE SALE

Sheila M. Cronin

Family, Drama

A cinematographer receives his first offer to direct a film, but must convince his soon-to-be ex-wife to star in it or lose the opportunity.

sheila.giftcounselorbook@gmail.com

GHOSTS IN THE MACHINE

Blaise Hesselgren

Sci-Fi

Trapped inside a computer simulation with its two creators, an emergent AI has to hack its way into their minds to find the way out to the real world.

Semifinalist – 2018 PAGE International Screenwriting Awards

blaise.hesselgren@gmail.com

GIRL IN THE SHADOWS

Stephen Knight

Thriller

Haunted by a childhood trauma, a small town cop searches for the killer of people from her past, but the man in charge and her past consort to stop her.

Top Ten Feature – SWN Goldman Award

step1knight@gmail.com

GODFATHERS

Sharon Samson

Comedy

Tricked into babysitting their godchildren, a trio of egocentric dudes find themselves in the middle of a robbery turned kidnapping, leaving them one kid short. With the aid of a frenemy cop, they must defeat the bandits and save the kid before daddy returns.

sharonsamson89@hotmail.co.uk

GOLEM

Max Kinchen

Historical, Fantasy, Drama

As his people face constant persecution in 16th century Prague, Chief Rabbi Judah Loew suffers a crisis of faith and creates a Golem as a means of protection, only to lose control of his monster and be forced to stop it before it brings about an even greater threat.

8 – The Black List

Quarterfinalist – Screencraft Fellowship

2nd rounder – Launchpad

2nd rounder – Austin Film Festival

max.kinchen@gmail.com

GRAMMY GOES GANGSTER

Scotty Cornfield

Seniors, Gangsters, Comedy

A group of under-appreciated old ladies form a street gang to save the life of a dying grandson. 

scotty@scottycornfield.com

HAIL MARY

Sophia Baratti

Thriller, Drama, Comedy

When three self-indulgent college students find millions in stolen cash, a spontaneous spring break turns into a vengeful weekend as they push each other to their greediest limits.

sabaratti@gail.com

HAULING ASH

Derek Wightman

Comedy

The do-nothing son of a recently deceased business mogul is tasked to deliver his estranged father’s ashes cross country in order to inherit the family fortune. Along the way, he must evade 2 hit men hired by his father’s spurned business partner, with his unbeknownst secret agent girlfriend assisting him along the way.

derekscottw2@hotmail.com

HERMIT

Brendon Udy

Horror, Thriller

A grieving man isolates himself on an island after the loss of his daughter and wife, but when his wife returns, his sanity and devotion are pushed to the brink as she shows increasingly violent, animalistic behaviours.

brendon.u@gmail.com

I DON’T KNOW

Arthur Tiersky

Comedy, Rom-Com

A seemingly conventional romantic comedy is disrupted when its own screenwriter inserts himself into the story and appears to be a better match for the leading lady than the leading man is.

Finalist/Residency – Bahamas International Film Festival

Best Unproduced Screenplay – Unrestricted View Film Festival

Best Screenplay Feature and Best in Show – Cinema WorldFest Awards

Best Screenplay – Montreal International Film Festival

Best Feature Screenplay – Pollino International Film Festival

Best Comedy – Best Script Award

artiefromtheblock@yahoo.com

IF THEY WERE OF US

Rosemary Griggs

True Crime, Drama

Inspired by a True Story, a middle-aged FBI agent in Suburban Chicago soon finds his latest murder case is invading the lives of the people he loves.

8 – The Black List

Semifinalist – Launch Pad

Semifinalist – Stage 32 Drama

grigs521@gmail.com

INDEBTED

Jake Peter

Thriller

After losing big, a gambler decides to rob a bank to pay off his debt and escape his merciless boss.

jakepeter025@gmail.com

INDUCEMENT

Jeffrey Lee Sibley

Sci-Fi, Action

When a low-level criminal reveals his hidden power of complete persuasion, omnipotent forces attempt to exploit his extraordinary ability with life-altering repercussions.

jeffsibley1@gmail.com

INSIDE THESE WALLS

Jade Tostanoski

Sci-Fi

An inclusive dystopian sci-fi screenplay about a hot-headed woman, who after her mother is taken for missed organ payments, joins a small rebellion effort to save her, but when they uncover darker truths about the repossessed victims, she must save the people of the encased city, which seems impossible because the powerful CEO is standing in her way.

jade.banzhoff@gmail.com

I WOULD LIKE TO THANK

Benedict Ransley

Comedy

To stage his long-desired comeback, a disgraced Hollywood star must join forces with a quirky British acting coach.

Shortlisted for Barnstorm Festival 2020

benedict@moviemagicdarling.com

JHO LOW

Teng Ky-Gan

Drama, Biopic

Upon accidentally gaining access to a sovereign fund containing billions of dollars, an awkward social-climber has to siphon as much money as he can, using brilliant and complicated financial structures, before the authorities close in. Based on the real-life fugitive Jho Low who was involved in the biggest financial scandal in history.

1st Place – Table Read My Screenplay (Genre: Historical / Biopic) 2021

tengkygan@gmail.com

K9-47

Attris Jewitt

Action, Thriller

DEA Special Agent John Fisk and Kayla, his detection dog, are a force to be reckoned, when a mission goes sideways, killing him. Waking up wounded and alone, it takes the unwitting help of a rookie agent for Kayla to exact justice.

attyisearnest@gmail.com

LAW OF THE WEST

Troy Greenwood

Epic, Western

Rooted in a gateway valley, a family of homesteaders and Indigenous band become targets of a railway tycoon intent on exploiting a recent gold discovery in the neighboring hills.  Driven to defend their way of life the valley’s inhabitants must put aside their differences and join together if there’s any hope of preserving honor and justice in this brave ‘New World’.

troygreenwood@hhsproductions.com

LIFE OF CY

Mark Anthony Ramitt

Drama, Coming of Age

Determined to attend senior prom, a teen born with a rare genetic disorder must also overcome social anxieties to secure a prom date, until a teacher he is smitten with provides him with a unique opportunity and arrangement.

Adaptation of my short script GENERATION CY, which placed in the semifinals in the 2020 Barnstorm Film & TV Fest

markramitt@gmail.com

LOVE SCARS

Jodi Ippolito

Drama, Coming of Age

For transgender teen, Andy Cooper, finding love – much less a date to prom – is a pretty tall order. Things change when Andy rekindles his friendship with Valedictorian, Olivia McDonald. Together, the duo confront transphobic peers, family struggles, challenging friendships and life altering SCARS.

Official Selection – 2021 Script Summit

MANIFEST DESTINY

Deidre Berry

Drama

A biracial teen comes of age in inner city Miami, and resents her mother’s return home after serving  a lengthy prison sentence.

berrydeidre82@gmail.com

MOTHER

Benas Drabavicius

Horror, Thriller

Members of a Satanist band must escape the wrath of a pious Catholic mother, dangerously obsessed with saving the souls of the Satanist trapped in her care.

asa.benas@yahoo.com

MUDDY WATERS

John M. Ware

Crime, Drama

When a small, southern town is ravaged by a deadly new drug, a tough detective and grief stricken medical examiner must team up to bring down a drug kingpin.

johnm.ware80@gmail.com

MUSTANG EXPRESS

B. Jack Azadi

Crime, Drama, Neo-Western

New Mexico, 1979: After killing a corrupt Deputy Sheriff, two Chiricahua-Apache women resort to a desperate scheme to start a new life across the border.

Comps: Thelma and Louise, Hell or High Water

bjackazadi@gmail.com

MY DREAM OF CHLOE SEVIGNY

Ryan Greenwood

Comedy

When a Columbia Law professor meets the internationally-acclaimed actress at the New York Public Library, the line between reality and dreamscapes quickly blurs.

ryancgreenwood@gmail.com

MY FAVORITE COLOR

Lou Paoletti

Dark Comedy

After being forced to make an impossible decision about his relationship, a love-struck man battles newfound mental illness while navigating an existential crisis.

loupaoletti1@gmail.com

NINE LIVES

Bart Baker

Hard action, Comedy

The good news:  Disgraced, down on his luck, dog-loving, former special-op, Mutt Hickock, finds his fortunes changing when he’s named the executor of a billion and a half dollar trust.  The bad news: The massive fortune has been left to a pampered, Persian cat, which Mutt not only can’t tolerate, he’s allergic to as well.  The worse news: There is a very badass group of people from Mutt’s past that want the cat dead so they can get their hands on the money.  The worst news: Killing Mutt in the process would just be a bonus. 

bartshd@aol.com

NOVUM

Joseph Rhea

Sci-Fi, Dystopian Drama

In an aging undersea colony, a troubled cargo-sub captain must join forces with an untested crew to destroy an ancient weapon that threatens what’s left of the human race.

Note – adapted from the first book in my own series, so could be first 2 hours of a ~10-hour limited series

wjrhea@gmail.com

ON THE HOUR

Brandon Rhiness

Horror

A group of friends spending the weekend in the country fall victim to a curse that causes them to die off one by one, every hour, on the hour.

brhiness@gmail.com

PARENTAL DISCRETION ADVISED

Joel Murphy

Horror-Comedy, Coming of Age, Road Trip

In the summer of 1999, four high school friends must band together to save professional wrestling from an ancient demon known as the Flayed One.

joeldmurphy@gmail.com

PASSING THROUGH

Robert Rhyne

Drama

A guilt-ridden doctor conceals his identity to secretly care for his female hit and run victim — only to fall in love with her — even as her vengeful father and the police close in on her assailant.

Winner – UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television Screenwriting Program

Winner – We Screenplay

Finalist – Austin Film Festival

Semifinalist – Slamdance

Quarterfinalist – Nicholl Fellowships

randprhyne@aol.com

PORCELAIN GIRL

KB Jackson

Drama

An ambitious girl at the start of her senior year makes a significant decision about her baby’s future due to an unexpected pregnancy.

fantastiafann@yahoo.com

REDEMPTION RIDGE

Michael Dickson

Drama, Music

A washed-up country music legend and Nashville’s hottest new star must set aside their differences and work together to save the young star’s tarnished reputation.

mimmikmedia@gmail.com

RETURN TO SENDER

Adam Sturkenboom

Comedy, Adventure, Fantasy

In an attempt to save his dying relationship, a socially inept slacker finds a way to adopt a literal monster baby, sparking a cross-country road trip to return it before someone dies or all their money runs dry.

adamlanesturkenboom@gmail.com

SAVING ELVIS

Clint Williams & Dennis Love

Sci-Fi

A burned-out rock critic and his billionaire publisher travel back in time to rescue the self-destructive Elvis Presley from himself and the evil Colonel Tom Parker.

clintwilliams3@gmail.com

SCARLET SEAS

J.C. Young

Action, Adventure, Horror

Father and daughter hunters pursue a fugitive vampire to the New World; her blood-thirst unleashed when pirates plunder the ship ferrying her coffin.

Red List – Feb 2020 Coverfly

Top 23% – Coverfly

Semifinalist – 3rd 2020 Filmmatic Pitch Now

Semifinalist – Unique Voices

Quarterfinalist – 2020 Script2Comic

Quarterfinalist – StoryPros

Top 10 (4 weeks) – Talentville.com

writer.jcyoung@yahoo.com

SEARCHING FOR WENDY

Diego Sanchez Nicolas

Home Invasion, Survival, Horror

An agoraphobic girl fights through a bloodbath of death when the psychotic Peter breaks into her flat with his violent gang of “Lost Boys”.

diegosancheznicolas@hotmail.es

SNIPER QUEEN

David Ennocenti

Action, Biography

When Nazi Germany invades her Ukraine homeland, a 24-year-old University student enlists in the Rifle Division of the Soviet Red Army, over the objectionss of her family and the recruiter;  she becomes her country’s most prolific sniper.

Finalist – Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition

Official Selection – Artemis Women In Action Film Festival

d.ennocenti@gmail.com

SOMEWHERE SAFE

Kris Taylor

Action, Adventure, Thriller

When a damaged Somali Soldier’s hidden past is uncovered, he faces his demons to shepherd an innocent family on the run to Europe. But blood ties to the vengeful military regime hunting them force him to make an impossible and deadly choice.

kris.taylor80@gmail.com

STILETTO

Shauney Taylor

Psychological, Thriller

A successful novelist with a dark secret takes in a lodger whose own secret changes her life forever.

2nd Place – Raindance

taylorsue42@yahoo.com

SWEAT

Hyten Davidson

Thriller, Drama

When an Army ranger is forced to pass an unconventional sobriety program or face a dishonorable discharge, she stumbles upon a dark plot within the facility capable of undoing her past while sabotaging her future.

Best Feature Screenplay – 2021 FunMill Film Fest, Cleveland, OH

hytendavidson@gmail.com

SYNDICATE

Kevin O’Leary

Action, Adventure

A naïve girl must grow up fast when her genius father is kidnapped by a futuristic, dystopian, multinational corporation.

privateer808@hotmail.com

THANKS FOR YOUR DONATION

Matthew J. Kaplan

Thriller, Horror

When an orphan discovers that she has been adopted for the sole purpose of being an organ donor for her sickly new brother, she must fight her new family and escape their old mansion before her life is taken and her lungs are harvested.

kapmatt@gmail.com

THE BOY FROM THE MEADOW

Geoffrey Enright

Drama, Thriller

A young boy escapes from the grip of a religious compound and falls into the arms of a small-town sheriff who vows to protect him at all costs.  

geoffreyenright@gmail.com

THE CALL OF THE VOID

Graham McNeill

Supernatural, Horror

In the days before Hurricane Katrina, a former investigative journalist is drawn back to New Orleans following the death of her sister, where one of the Crescent City’s oldest families is on the verge of summoning an ancient god of prehistory.

Quarterfinalist – Final Draft Big Break

graham@graham-mcneill.com

THE CHAMELEON

Anthony Moore

Thriller

An attractive animal rights activist must stop a serial killer, while avoiding becoming his next victim, to prevent an infatuated cop from uncovering her dark secret.

Grand Prize Winner – Thriller, 2018 Fade In Awards

techrat@live.com

THE CHECKERED

Mark Gunnion

Action, Dramedy

In 1970s Indianapolis, a 2nd-generation hot rodder finagles a way to stay out of the Army (and the County Jail) so he can keep doing what he loves – RACING – but a cop with a grudge is obsessed with wrecking his life, and making him pay for ALL his family’s crimes.

Finalist, Official Selection – 2021 Die Laughing Film Festival

Semifinalist – Filmmatic Comedy Film Festival

Semifinalist – StoryPros

markgunnion@gmail.com

THE CHRISTMAS BET

Katie Haskins

Drama, Romance, Christmas

A reluctant bet between a disenchanted Christmas novelist and her playboy brother. Before Christmas Eve, she’s going to find his Mrs. Claus and he’s going to find her holiday spirit.

katie.haskins@gmail.com

THE COLLAR

P.B. Forde

Crime, Comedy

When a revenge plot goes horribly wrong, a sickly priest finds himself caught up in the chaos. As violence unfolds around him, and doubt enters the fray, he must do what he can if he wants to get out alive.

paulbforde@gmail.com

THE DARK BELOW

Brian Fitzpatrick

Horror, Sci-Fi

Ruthless mercenaries, fanatical cultists, and celestial horrors won’t stand in the way of an all-girl urban explorer team hell bent on rescuing their young sister from the grip of a shadowy monster in a secretive lab.

brianfitzauthor@gmail.com

THE DUNA HOTEL

Ryan Berry

Horror, Comedy

As a newly appointed bell-boy, Ryan expected to meet a lot of guests. What he didn’t expect was for one of them to be a murderer, or for half of them to be monsters. It’s going to be a long night.

ryberry@hotmail.co.uk

THE EDGE OF HONOR

Katherine Bryan

Action, Thriller

Wanted for murder, a Navy SEAL must save his fiancé by plunging into the most desperate hunt of his life–a shattering search for a brilliant killer who has come back to finish a job he failed at several years before.

katie-bryan@att.net

THE FAMILY BUSINESS

Eva Wakeford

Neo-Western, Black Comedy

Loosely based on the twisted tale of America’s first serial killer family. Set in the absurd and abnormal town of Labette, a determined yet naive young woman strikes up an unlikely companionship with a gunslinger, teaching her that she must forge her own way in the world. But when you come from a family of murderers, heads are guaranteed to roll.

evawakeford@gmail.com

THE FUNNY FARM

Robert Ward

Horror

A wise-cracking demon terrorizes a farm family, then battles the lone survivor to the death… who happens to be the farmer’s ingenious and badass teenage daughter.

Winner – 2019 Filmmatic Horror Screenplay Awards

2nd place – Best Feature Script – 2019 Hollywood Horrorfest

Finalist – 2018 Page Turner Horror & Thriller

Finalist – 2017 New York City Horror Film Festival

Finalist – 2017 Shriekfest Horror Film Festival

rward@got.net

THE HALF LIFE OF HARRY FIGG

Mark Wesley

Sci-Fi, Drama laced with Humor

After seeing a strange light, a feral boy’s life is changed when he breaks into a reclusive scientist’s home and discovers a star in a jar.

markwesley13@googlemail.com

THE HOMESTEAD

Ian Sandusky

Comedy

When a couple from New York City move to Missouri to build the glamping homestead of their dreams, they will have to reevaluate everything they think they know to save the farm – and their marriage.

ian.sandusky@gmail.com

THE LAST EARTH STATION

Kathryn Radmall

Sci-Fi

When a space station, missing for over a century, suddenly reappears on the far side of the galaxy, the team sent to investigate discover that the lost don’t always want to be found.

kathryn.radmall@icloud.com

THE LAST PRIEST

Brian Mulligan

Historical, Faith-based, Drama

Berlin 1938. The Catholic Church makes a deal with the devil and a reluctant young priest must either comply with the church’s appeasement of Hitler’s government or rise up against two powerful forces to become the hero the world needs.

Semifinalist – Screencraft Fellowship

bmull863@gmail.com

THE LAST RAIN

Kathryn Rushent

Sci-Fi, Drama, Magic Realism

In the endless rain and crop failures of an apocalyptic volcanic winter, a mythic being – both man and monster – comes to the aid of a diverse blended family to bring back the sun. (MAGGIE meets THE SHAPE OF WATER)

rushentk@gmail.com

THE LEGEND OF YAKATUTCH

Sean Francis Ellis

Horror

A snowboarder must embrace his First Nations heritage to save his girlfriend from a legendary beast, which needs her DNA to restore its humanity.

Quarterfinalist – 2017 Screencraft Fellowship

Official Selection – 2017 Beverly Hills Film Festival Screenplay Competition

Finalist – 2016 Toronto Horror Film & Screenplay Festival

Producer Spotlight Project – 2015 Toronto’s Int’l Financial Forum and Trans-Atlantic Partners

Best Project & Pitch – 2014 3-D Stereo Media Summit – Liege, Belgium

seanfrancisellis@gmail.com

THE MAN WITH A GLOVE

Suzanne Lutas

Supernatural, Thriller

When a claustrophobic art restorer is held captive, she must renovate a Renaissance era painting which has more inside than just paint.

Quarterfinalist- 2018 Screencraft Horror

Semifinalist – 2019 Miami Screenplay

Semifinalist – 2019 Wiki Screenplay

Finalist – Horror/Thriller – 2019 Pitch Now

Quarterfinalist – 2020 TSL Screenplay

suzannebl@mail.pf

THE MONITOR

Erik Sternberger

Social Thriller

Returning from Iraq, Jacob Diaz works as a social media monitor where he’s forced to constantly watch videos of cruelty, conspiracy, and hate. Fed up with the inaction of his supervisors and the authorities—plus the toll on his psyche—he hunts down the offending posters in search of peace. Finding that he has become a viral sensation himself, he must now escape a rabid fanbase that uses him as its inspiration.

erik.sternberger@gmail.com

THE NOBODY

David Dinning McDermott & Zvi Jaari

Action, Spy

Pawns in the spy world, the betrayal, the guilt, and one mans journey through it all.

Selected – Silicon Beach Film Festival

Selected – Hollywood Jumbo: Screenplay Festival

Selected – The Beverly Hills Film Festival

Selected – 4th Dimension Independent Film Festival

Finalist – 4th Dimension Independent Film Festival

AWARD WINNER – 17th season of World Film Carnival – Singapore(WFCS).

Selected – World Film Carnival – Singapore

Selected – L.A. Indies’ Film Festival

dinningproduction@gmail.com

THE OBSERVER

Ronnie Shantz/Robinson

Sci-Fi

Sometimes being on someone’s radar isn’t all that. Beware an alien woman scorned…

electronten@outlook.com

THE PIRATE PRINCESS

Bobby Kirk

Adventure, YA

A refined young woman must avenge her father’s death by becoming what she despises most, a pirate. Chasing her father’s nemesis across the high seas and through the Queen’s court to extract vengeance and save the kingdom.

A Katniss Everdine heroine in a Princess Bride world. A story for girls that want to be the hero and a princess.

stlbobby@gmail.com

THE PRINCE OF WALGROVE MANOR

Phillip E. Hardy

Dark Comedy, Romcom

A young male rocker plays with 80’s bands, works a white-collar job, and dates multiple women until two of them collide at a party and one of them pulls a gun.

phillip_hrdy@yahoo.com

THE RAVENING

Brian & Robert Kelly

Horror

A young woman is terrorised by her ex-boyfriend after he’s attacked by a werewolf and must fight to the bitter end to save herself and all that she holds dear from the big bad wolf.

seven_tower@hotmail.com

THE RICKETY MAN

Jeremiah Lewis

Horror, Folk, Period

In 1810 England, a bankrupt and disgraced London socialite has three days to uncover the truth about her ex-lover’s disappearance and make amends for her role in her sister’s death before she’s taken by a mythical entity that punishes wrongdoers.

jeremiah.lewis@gmail.com

THE SCAM

Kevin McCormack

Heist, Drama

When an overworked, underpaid college grad finds the promises of her higher education degrees aren’t paying off, she teams with two misfit friends to steal a prized sculpture from their alma mater in order to save her father’s house and finally make a difference.

kevinmccormack8@gmail.com

THE SUBTLE ART OF JUMPING OFF BUILDINGS

Sean Fee

Thriller

A man with a fear of heights falls head over heels for a woman with the unusual hobby of watching people jump off buildings.

sean_fee@hotmail.co.uk

THE TALE OF OBSIDIAN LANDING

Mista Martel

Western, Adventure

When a thriving Freedmen’s town is held hostage by the deranged realtor Dexter Spite, Tijuana Adams must venture back home to avenge her father, the sheriff, and save her mother, the doctor.

Finalist – Beyond The Curve International Film Festival

actormista@gmail.com

THE VANILLA CHILDREN

Gabe Dye

Mockumentary, Dramedy

Six friends who are all siblings of child prodigies try to do something to get themselves recognized by getting into the Guinness Book of World records.

gabe_ms@live.com

THIS IS IT!

Berg Rosenberg

Comedy

Entering her senior year 1999, Allison James has 180 school days left to date the hottest guy, party like a rockstar, and lose her virginity. This is it! 

bergscreenplay@gmail.com

THURISAZ

Yosuke Mitton

Horror, RomCom, Road Trip

After a case of mistaken identity, a shiftless young woman must retrieve an ancient artifact for a crazed cult leader and must battle redneck cannibals, a werewolf, and an ancient evil along the way.

Official Selection: Twin Falls Sandwiches Film Festival

yomitton@gmail.com

TILLIE

David Chester & Blake Pinter

Coming of Age, Period, Drama

In 1890s Pennsylvania Dutch Country, an intellectually gifted farm girl rebels against her tyrannical father and risks her life to get an education to follow in the footsteps of her beloved teacher. 

Finalist – 2019 Pitch Now Screenplay Festival

Finalist – 2019 Screencraft Public Domain

Finalist – 2020 Vail Screenplay Contest

davidhalchester@gmail.com

TIME AT FORT PECK

Anthony Nelson

Neo-Western, Sci-Fi, Crime, Thriller

In pursuit of riches, a woman teams up with her ex-husband to hunt dinosaur bones in the Montana badlands.

amvnelson@gmail.com

UNSPOKEN

Maura Campbell

Psychological Thriller

A non-speaking disabled woman has to overcome her learned helplessness and save herself when her unstable aunt tries to starve her to death.

maura.campbell@btinternet.com

UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN

Antonio Shorter

Family, Drama

The relationship between a father and her daughter is deepened and explored throughout a series of events.

antonioshorter.21@gmail.com

VAMPIRIC

Kelly Parks

Horror

A young couple must survive the night when they become the sexual obsession of a sadistic vampire.

Finalist – StoryPros

kelly.parks@gmail.com

VOODOO MACBETH

Daren Wagar

Period, Drama, Based on a True Story

A young Orson Welles contends with racial tensions, a drunk lead actor and his own ego as he tries to stage MACBETH with an all-Black cast in 1930s Harlem.

Semifinalist – Academy Nicholl Fellowship

daranwagar@outlook.com

WE DON’T SMILE ANYMORE

Leah Simmons

Thriller

Dragged to an exclusive couples retreat, a career-focused woman discovers too late that she and her ambitious husband are the center of a dangerous game.

juliawild375@gmail.com

WHERE THE SUN SETS

Dallas Rector

Western, Drama, Adventure, Crime, Period

When a vindictive bounty hunter transports a bank robber from New Mexico to Colorado to pay for his crimes, the outlaw tests his captor’s weakness and forces the bounty hunter to find out if he truly has the courage to dispense his own personal justice.

dallasrector@runpicturerun.com

TELEVISION

#HOTMESS

Ana Christina Perez Del Rio

Dramedy

A young mess of a woman, trying to break into the business of Hollywood and obsessing over her ex-boyfriend, fakes a pregnancy to get him back but it may be real. 

aperezentertainment@gmail.com

#SANTAMUERTEHEARMYPRAYER

Chelly Pike

YA, Drama, Horror

After a 17yo student at a pretentious New Orleans Catholic school digs into her Colombian heritage in search of a pretty, petty picture to paint to get back at her infuriating Religion teacher, her project on Santa Muerte leads to her lighting candles and murdering her lecherous uncle, but did she find Santa Muerte or did Santa Muerte find her? Maybe death is her destiny?

mpike818@gmail.com

ABDUCTED

Lee Lawson

Action, Thriller

A specialist recovery team risks it all as they fight politics, jealousy, and industry corruption to return kidnap victims home.

leejlawson@gmail.com

ALTERS

Courtney DeCamp

Drama, Thriller

SYBIL meets DEXTER

After witnessing a murder, a woman’s alternate personality goes into hiding, forcing the other quirky personalities to help the police solve the case while attempting to hide their own bloody crimes.

Top 10 – Stage 32 Television Writing Contest

8 on The Black List

Quarterfinalist – Page Turner Screenplays

Honorable mention – WIKI Screenplay Contest

actorcourtneydecamp@gmail.com

ASPEN GROVE

Timothy Shireman

Horror, Supernatural, Thriller

Chapter One: Evil Roots Run Deep. In the Montana Wilderness of 1845, a French-Canadian fur trapper with a dark past is captured by a Native American family. But after duplicitously talking his way out of their captivity, he faces a reckoning for his sins, stumbling into an even more harrowing nightmare that proves as haunting as it is deadly.

stimpleton69@hotmail.com

AUREM

Denise Papas Meechan

Superhero, Action

When a tenacious AAPI teen witnesses four corrupt policemen beat her dad to death, she must learn to convert her auditory PTSD into a newfound power to uncover the identities of the killers and seek revenge- even as it transforms her from a naive streetkid to gold-suited superhero, Aurem!

Quarterfinalist – Screencraft Fellowship

todenisepapas@gmail.com

BLOOD BONDS

Ashley Bower

YA, Drama

As their lives begin to intertwine by happenstance, two teenage girls navigate the layered complexities of young adulthood and family secrets by way of accidental pregnancy and DNA tests.

ashleybower107@gmail.com

BUTTERFLY

Harriet O’Neill

Historical, Drama

After their parents’ murder, two sisters join the underground fight against fascism in Nazi-occupied Belgium.

Semifinalist – 2021 Screencraft Fellowship

Semifinalist – Filmmatic Inroads Fellowship – Season 4

Official Selection – 2021 Script Summit

hlon_95@hotmail.com

COLLEGE MAN

Vin Romano

Drama, Thriller

After unknowingly taking part in a drug experiment at his school, a slacker freshman becomes big man on campus, growing more intelligent, ambitious…and dangerous.

LIMITLESS meets ANIMAL HOUSE

vt3.romano@yahoo.com

FALL FROM GRACE

Roisin Chapman

Comedy, Thriller

An exasperated housewife longing for the sweet release of death gets her first taste of freedom on the run from the law, after accidentally killing her dementia-riddled husband.

roisinc785@gmail.com

FANTASY FARM

Adam Puckoris

Drama

After 15 year old Jilly Parks witnesses a murder from her bedroom window, she begins to uncover dark horrors of her neighborhood Fantasy Farm. 

adampuckorisdna@gmail.com

FIERCE!

Pablo Diablo

Dramedy, Musical

The safety of a drag queen’s women’s shelter is compromised when her estranged high school bestie seeks a place to stay away from her abusive husband.

parmend@gmail.com

FUTURE KING

Dawn Prato

Urban, Fantasy, Drama

After accidentally waking King Arthur in the present day, a disillusioned businesswoman must sort fact from fantasy if they’re going to survive his enemies, both ancient and new – problem is, she may be one of them.

dawn.prato@gmail.com

GARDEN CITY SHUFFLE

Dave Goossen

1-hr Drama

A disgraced jazz musician returns home with hopes of reopening a club but gets caught up in deceit and the dangerous criminal underbelly of a picture-perfect tourist town.

davegoossen@gmail.com

GASOLINE

Liam Kavanagh

Action, Comedy

An uppercrust British aristocrat and a streetwise Mexican cage fighter are recruited by a mysterious benefactor to take down untouchable international criminals.

liamkavanaghmail@gmail.com

HADES

Mike Boaks

Drama

When a doctor from a family of cops is unfairly suspended from a prestigious hospital, he is thrown a lifeline by the Croatian Mafia in his old hood. Committing to help their ailing boss as an underground war erupts, he may discover his professional calling, if he can survive..

Red List #14 TV All Time, #2 TV past year

Top 1 TV Of The Month Coverfly (April 2021)

Finalist – LA Intl Screenplay Awards 2020

2nd Round – Austin Film Festival

Quarterfinalist – Final Draft Big Break

Official Selection – Script Summit

michaelboaks@hotmail.com

HENCH

Charles Rutter

Comedy, Superhero, Animation

A staffing service clerical error reclassifies a hopeful henchman as a supervillain, forcing him to reluctantly fulfill his new managerial obligations instead of what he really wants: to win back his estranged girlfriend and find a decent benefits package.

Semifinalist – Final Draft Big Break

Quarterfinalist – Screencraft Animation

Top 12% – Coverfly ½-hour TV Comedy

Top 14% – Coverfly Comedy

charlesrutter2@gmail.com

INDEFINITE LIFESPAN

Michael Raphael Salomon

Sci-Fi

In the near future, immortality science and religion are destined to collide.

Semifinalist – 2021 Screencraft Fellowship

Semifinalist – Filmmatic Inroads Fellowship, Season 4

Semifinalist – Filmmatic TV Pilots, 5th

Quarterfinalist – Screenwriters Network – SWN Screenplay Competition Goldman Award

Official Selection – 2021 Script Summit

dr.ms@earthlink.net

(in)TOLERANCE

Travis Seppala

Sci-Fi

When the Robot Rights movement is targeted by anti-bot protestors, a non-binary domestic bot finds themself in the middle of a developing uprising. 

flannelmann@yahoo.com

JOHN SUNSHINE’S LOST ROCK ’N’ ROLL TAPES

Alice Wells

Found footage, Rock-Mockumentary, Dark Comedy, Thriller, Music

Decades after the underground rock scene of the 1970s ended, a son discovers his father’s lost interview tapes with some of rock’s lesser known “legends,” and discovers that rock ‘n’ roll may never die, but it sure can kill.

jenscreenplays@gmail.com

JUNIOR HIGH GENIE

Audrey Hackett

Family, Fantasy, Comedy

A preteen girl’s life becomes increasingly complicated when she unleashes an adolescent, hard-to-manage genie, who can’t leave until he grants her three wishes and realizes he may not want to leave at all.

Endorsement – 2020 KIDS FIRST! Film Festival

Semifinalist – 2020 Creative Screenwriting Unique Voices

Quarterfinalist – 2019 Write/LA

audreyhackett0@gmail.com

LOST SUMMER

Terry Dray

Thriller, Scottish Noir

A cheap private eye has to step up his game after he unwittingly uncovers a cold case involving murder, smuggling, and police corruption to become the unlikely hero and survive his deadliest adversary yet.

terrydray@me.com

MEDICINE WOMAN

H.L. Van Hoose

Urban Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Thriller

When a New York City medical intern of Navajo descent suddenly manifests supernatural healing powers, she must learn to control her abilities with the help of her long-lost medicine-man grandfather, and discover how a shadowy genetics corporation was responsible for her father’s mysterious death.

Finalist – Diverso Minority Report Fellowship

Semifinalist – BlueCat

Semifinalist – Cinequest

Semifinalist – Stage 32 TV Writing

Semifinalist – Filmmatic TV Pilot Awards

h.l.vanhoose.writer@gmail.com

MILLER’S BLOOD

Ari Gill

Mystery, Thriller

After her husband’s mysterious death and the disappearance of her 9-year-old son, a teacher discovers a dark secret in her home that catapults her out of suburban London into the heart of Mumbai’s underworld. 

SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE meets BREAKING BAD

Semifinalist – Final Draft Big Break

Top 2% – BBC Writers Room

arigill8@gmail.com

MILNER FUNERARY SERVICES

R. J. Blake

1-hour Horror, Dramedy

A freak accident offers the director of a failing funeral home the solution to her family’s money problems: murdering the men responsible for her husband’s death and reaping the financial windfall of their funerals.‬

#8 – Top Pilots – Blacklist.com

Top Horror PIlots of the Year – Coverfly Red List

2nd rounder – Austin Film Festival

Semifinalist – Nashville Film Festival

Semifinalist – Cinequest Film Festival

Quarterfinalist – Final Draft Big Break

rjblake.production@gmail.com

NEMESIS

Nicole Sylla

Drama

Having survived an abusive childhood, a therapist helps his patients take revenge on the people responsible for their traumas, always at the risk of putting them all behind bars. 

nicole.sylla@gmx.net

OCCUPIED INTELLIGENCE

Collin Lieberg

Historical, Drama

Based on a true story. Two newly recruited female Resistance members risk their lives to rescue downed soldiers and translate Nazi secrets as part of a civilian spy ring, only to face betrayal and capture.

Top 50 – Fast Track Fellowship

Quarterfinalist – Page Turner Genre

Quarterfinalist – Screencraft TV Pilot

collin.lieberg@gmail.com

OFFSIDE

Hayley Griffin

Sports, Drama

At a hybrid state-run boarding school, the boys’ soccer coach must merge his team with the girls’ and win a tournament to stay funded, but can’t get his own daughter to play ball let alone the rest of the team.

Placed on Coverfly’s 2020 Red List – Top-rated Family Televsion (one hour)

#2 – Coverfly’s Red List – Dec 2020 – Top-rated Family Television (one hour)

hayleyfgriffin@hotmail.co.uk

ONE IN A TRILLION

Marven Likness

Sci-Fi, Drama

An underground Deaf society attempts to steal an experimental intergalactic ship from the government to escape persecution and torture.

Best TV Script – Script and Storyboard Showcase

Best Original Screenplay – Hollywood Blood Horror Festival

Best New Artist – L.A. Neo Noir Novel

Best Short Screenplay – European Film Festival Mainstream and Underground

Best Screenplay – Global Monthly Online

Top 15 Short Sci-Fi Script – Coverfly Red List for August 2020

Best International Screenplay – Mile High Film Awards

Best Screenplay of the year – Picasso Einstein Buddha

Finalist: CIFF, Madras, Eurasia Fest, Indie Short Fest, PixlesGarage, Voghera, Tagore…

marven.likness@gmail.com

PARLOR

Cynthia S. Wright

Dramedy

A newly sober woman teams up with her estranged brother to take down a rival funeral parlor, stumbling over hidden secrets that reveal it ain’t just bodies her family kept buried.

cyndyswright@gmail.com

PEARL OF WISDOM

Marlene Sharp

Animated, Kid-friendly, Comedy

Under the noses of faculty, staff, parents, siblings, and cliques, 12-year-old Pearl

assembles her angst-ridden peers into an unofficial group of humorists who pan for proverbial

comedy gold in the hills and valleys of middle school.

Winner – Best Screenplay, Great Message Film Festival

Finalist – Best Comedy Teleplay, Austin Comedy Film Festival

Honorable Mention – Best Screenplay, Night of Comedy Shorts

Honorable Mention – Best Screenplay, Wiki Screenplay Contest

Official Selection and Endorsed Title (ages 12-18) – KIDS FIRST! Film Festival

Official Selection – Top Indie Film Awards

marlene.sharp@kinsane.com

PERFECT STORM

Cindi Woods

Comedy

When Hurricane Katrina blows the film industry up from New Orleans to Shreveport, a displaced eccentric talent agent, a rebellious preacher’s wife, and a diverse group of local actors form unlikely bonds at a weekly acting class, all hoping to get their big break in the other LA.

cindiwoods@gmail.com

RECLUSE

Ian Sutherland

Horror, Drama

After witnessing a bizarre murder, a paranoid medic becomes ensnared in a supernatural plot to destroy humanity as he struggles to outsmart the sinister forces at work.

ian.sutha@gmail.com

SANTA MONICA

Amanda Avalon

Romantic Comedy

Four friends living in Santa Monica, each trying to make it as they navigate love and dating in Los Angeles. 

amanda.avalon@hotmail.com

SHE CRAZY

Linda Denton

Drama, Comedy

Three Black women, on the downside side of 40, trying to stay sane while coping with mental illness, broken dreams and personal shortcomings, discover that #CrazyAF may be their new normal.

studior467@gmail.com

SHELTERED

Layla Cummins

Crime, Thriller

A homeless mother witnesses the strange murder of a political activist and becomes the new target of a wealthy and influential cult.

laylacummins@hotmail.co.uk

SILENT ASSISTANT

Brooke Greene

Dramedy

A fresh college grad must play nice with the ghost of her recently deceased predecessor in order to keep her job as a high school teacher.

brookegreene39@gmail.com

SLIFKO RULES!

Neil J. Brimelow

½ hour, Comedy, Limited Series

After being framed for a massive senior prank he didn’t commit, ex-serial prankster Freddie Slifko is forced to repeat his entire senior year at his Catholic boarding school where he vows to pull off the biggest senior prank of all time.

neil@filmvoltage.com

STANDARD, NEBRASKA

Edward Hamel

Dramedy, Sci-Fi

Surrounded by cornfields and casual racism, the town of Standard, Nebraska is anything but— When a blatantly racist statue of the town’s founder is defaced, a high school journalist and his best friend discover that their hometown is at the center of a story that threatens to tear apart not only their community but a society that has yet to come to terms with race in America.

Finalist – 2021 Cinequest Screenwriting Competition

edward.scripted@gmail.com

STAR DUCKS

Jake Lynch

Animation, Sci-Fi, Comedy

A screw-up duck stranded on a distant planet must save her missing crew, fix their ship and, with help from a young scroop, learn what it really means to be a true hero.

jakelynch25@gmail.com

SUCKING MANGOES NAKED

Amil Abraham Thomas and Tad Wojnicki

Comedy

A figure artist must win the Mango Art Show, or lose it all, including his model’s heart.

tadwojnicki@gmail.com

SWIPE RIGHT

Joyce Cyr

Comedy

A singles cruise with all the baggage.

It’s like THE GOLDEN GIRLS meets SEX IN THE CITY on THE LOVE BOAT.

joycecyr5@gmail.com

THE APARTMENT

Kipe Lyan

Comedy, Dramedy

Zyanya has to stop partying….. with Grandma, find a roommate and try to make it on her own. She learns family doesn’t have to mean blood related.

kipe.lyan@gmail.com

THE BORDER

Vance Tucker

Comedy

A “What If” comedy where the U.S. builds The Wall and it successfully eliminates all drugs and violence in America, leading to unintended consequences and a looming threat from the one place they forgot to take into account… Canada.

Quarterfinalist – 2020 Final Draft Big Break

tuckervance@gmail.com

THE FANTASTIC ADVENTURES OF TANZILA THE WOLF GIRL

Mukesh Vidyasagar

½ hour Comedy

When an Indian-American girl living in Queens gets her period, she gets more than she bargained for as an ancient family secret is revealed – she’s actually a werewolf!

mukesh.vidy@gmail.com

THE RESTORER

Laurel Pardo

YA, Supernatural, Drama

When a teen witch accepts a cemetery restoration apprenticeship, her ability to interact with spirits is reawakened. Unfortunately, so is her evil father’s desire to steal her power and use it to unleash the damned souls that he controls on the living world.

Second rounder – Austin Film Festival

Finalist – Fresh Voices

Quarterfinalist – Los Angeles International Screenplay Awards

Quarterfinalist – Screencraft TV Pilot

Consider – Austin coverage service

laurel.storylines@gmail.com

Representation – CSP Management, Tammy Hunt (tammy@citizenskull.com) & Jamie Bradley (jamie@citizenskull.com)

THE RULES

Lawnya Benton

½ hour Dramedy

A 30-year old Black woman struggles to balance her career ambitions, personal growth, and friendships while navigating life and love in Atlanta. 

lawnya.benton@gmail.com

THE VAPORS

Guy Crawford

Half-hour Single-cam Comedy

Facing eviction, three pot-smoking, golf cart-crashing, fun-loving retirement village ladies embark upon a black market scheme in order to save their homes and continue to live life on their own terms.

guyc2_2000@yahoo.com

THE ZOO

Zach Witt

Animated, Comedy

The hijinks of a prestigious zoo’s animals as they deal with the day-to-day pressures of constantly being on display.

zwitt87@gmail.com

TO HELL WITH YOU

Bianca Malcolm

Supernatural Dramedy

After she unexpectedly kicks the bucket and finds her recently-deceased boyfriend did not make it into Heaven, a saintly medical student escapes back to Earth and uses her second chance at life to stumble her way into Hell.

blmalcolm13@gmail.com

TRAILER PARK SAMURAI

Luke Baker & Jesse James Dean

Adventure, Sci-Fi, Comedy

A delusional, samurai-obsessed, young trailer rat is finally put to the test when an alien armory lands on his Airstream, and finally makes his wildest fantasies come true.

Finalist – 2020 Screencraft Animation

Semifinalist – Filmmatic TV Pilot Awards

Top 10% – #4 – Coverfly Red List – Adventure Half-Hours

lbaker4444@gmail.com

TRANQUILITY

Tim Westland

Sci-Fi

After an alien device catapults the Moon through hyperspace to the farthest edge of the galaxy, the citizens of Tranquility Base must survive an interstellar odyssey in their attempt to return the Moon back to Earth.

timwestland@hotmail.com

UNTITLED MINCOFF SITCOM 

Rob Mincoff

Sitcom

After blowing up his apartment and nowhere to go, Cole turns to his friends to help him figure his life out.

rmincoff@gmail.com

WAITING

Amanda ReCupido

½-hour Comedy

Two 30-something women lean on each other for support as they navigate separate fertility challenges, and learn to parent themselves on their quest to become mothers.

amanda.recupido@gmail.com

WE DIDN’T START THE FIRE

Cheryl Laughlin

Dramedy

A chance meeting between a street-smart, female fire breather and a wealthy black teenager running an illegal scam sparks a night of understanding, acceptance, and a brutal burning.

Winner, Outstanding Short Script – Sacramento International Film Festival

Official Selection – Scriptwriters & Co UK Table Read

laughlincheryl@gmail.com

Thanks for stopping by, and take a piece of pie for the road, compliments of the management.

Q & A with Cody Smart of Next Level Screenwriting

Cody Smart is an L.A.-based Latina writer, script consultant and script doctor with degrees in English Literature & Linguistics, Screenwriting, Development, and Producing, who prides herself of helping writers take their work to the next level, in both English and Spanish. She moved from Santiago, Chile to L.A. to pursue her masters, fell in love, and now enjoys family hikes chasing her toddler around in the perfect L.A. weather.

She worked as a script analyst at Sony for three years, reading hundreds of scripts, and honing her craft and learning to appreciate the development of scripts and how to best guide writers to deliver the best script possible.

She also works as a judge for seven film and screenplay competitions, where she’s learned what makes scripts engage readers and attract the attention of managers, agents and producers. As a writer herself, Cody has placed in multiple competitions, and won some awards.

Cody is also the head of coverage of Story Data, a script-hosting site, where she does a bi-monthly vlog with tips for screenwriters.

She also currently teaches two courses about Screenwriting, Script Doctoring and Get Your Script Contest Ready, as a UCLA Extension instructor in the Writers’ Program, and is developing a new TV Workshop for the fall quarter.

Cody has worked with a wide variety of clients, helping to provide in-depth script analysis, and also rewriting/doctoring hundreds of scripts in order to get them ready for production. She loves working directly with her clients, understanding their needs, and staying true to the essence of the story the client is trying to tell, in order to elevate the story and characters.

What was the last thing you read or watched you considered exceptionally well-written?

THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT. I was a little bit late watching it, as it came out in 2020, but I was so legitimately impressed at the quality of the writing. They managed to take chess, a “boring” subject that doesn’t lend itself to be that visual or entertaining, and turned it into an exemplary work of character development.

How’d you get your start in the industry?

While I was in grad school, I started interning at Sony, and that’s were I fell in love with the development side of things. Before that, I always thought my path was to be a writer only. Then I discovered how interesting developing and consulting was, helping other writers improve their work, and getting scripts ready for production.

Is recognizing good writing something you think can be taught or learned?

Yes, definitely. I believe everyone can learn if they have the will and want to do so. If you study scripts and films, and study your craft, you can learn what good writing is. That’s also what makes any writer a better writer: studying the best in the craft, lots of practice, and lots of rewriting.

What do you consider the components of a good script?

A good script is a great mix of different things: amazing characters that are three-dimensional and realistic, with real wants and needs, and great arcs. A world that aligns with the tone and genre, and that hopefully is also new in some way. A premise that either feels fresh and new or that is a new take on old ideas, making it feel fresh and new. Writing that has a voice of its own, and that makes you want to keep turning pages.

What are some of the most common screenwriting mistakes you see?

As a consultant & doctor as well as a judge for multiple festivals, I’m constantly looking at issues in scripts. Doing that, I’ve found these to be the most common:

– A premise that doesn’t work from the start. Usually this means you just have an idea, but no plot. Or you have an unoriginal concept or one we’ve seen hundreds of times before.

– Not proofreading, which leads to bad formatting, typos, grammatical errors, etc.

– Not outlining first – then you don’t know where your story is going, and it shows in your draft, as the story loses aim. Part of this could be when the story/the protagonist has no clear goal.

– Dialogue that doesn’t feel natural or no use of subtext.

– Starting scenes too early and leaving them too late.

– Not killing your darlings – some scenes may be greatly written, but if they don’t advance the plot, then you don’t need them in your script.

– Directing in your script – this tends to take the reader out of the world of your story.

– Not grabbing your reader/audience in the first 10 pages (or even the first 3!)

– Overusing transitions.

– Use of flashbacks that don’t move the story forward or don’t reveal any new information.

– Zero character introduction/description. No memorable introductions, so we forget them. Also too many characters being introduced at the same time, so we forget who’s who.

– The world of your story isn’t clear.

– Long chunks of descriptions – Readers are known to skip past these. 

– Too much exposition.

– No subplots or interesting supporting characters.

– Antagonists that are two-dimensional or formulaic.

– Writing a formulaic script just with the intention of selling it, instead of writing a unique story you’re passionate about that’ll definitely get you noticed (even if just as a writing sample).

What story tropes are you just tired of seeing?

Tropes work for a reason—audiences expect certain things in certain movies, like a falling in love montage in romcoms. But just because people expect them, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to be surprised. The tropes I’m tired of seeing are those that just follow tropes to the letter. I love when a writer turns a trope upside down and surprises the audience. When they don’t and deliver the same old things, then that’s when they’re boring and I don’t want to see them anymore.

What are some key rules/guidelines every writer should know?

– Show your voice in your script. That’s what will set you apart from the thousands of scripts being written every year.

– Write the story you want to tell as a writing sample to impress people, and open doors for you, even if it doesn’t get bought or filmed.

– Formatting exists for a reason. Follow it and don’t play games, or your script won’t get read, even if it’s amazing.

– It’s hard to come up with new ideas that haven’t been told. But new takes on old ideas that make the ideas feel fresh can be a great way of creating something that feels new.

-The best antagonists are just as interesting as the protagonist, and they’re the hero of their own story. When we understand their reasoning, that makes them much more powerful.

Have you ever read a script where you thought “This writer really gets it”? If so, what were the reasons why?

I remember when I read the script for JUNO. It had such a unique voice and point of view. It had a protagonist that felt real, with flaws and dreams. It explored what felt like real teenagers. It had amazing supporting characters, and we could understand everyone’s POV in the story, as different as they all were. And it was pretty contained. It could be shot for cheap. But most importantly, it wasn’t something completely new: we’ve seen stories about teen pregnancy before but it turned the idea upside down, making it feel so fresh that it ended up winning so many writing awards.

How do you feel about screenwriting contests? Worth it or not?

Totally worth it. I even developed a course called “Get Your Script Contest Ready” for UCLA Extension that debuts in June 2021. That said, having a contest strategy, knowing what appeals to contests, identifying the best contests to propel your career forward, and understanding that you also need to network and take an active role in getting your scripts out there are key things every screenwriter needs to know.

How can people find out more about you and the services you provide?

For information about my script consulting & doctoring services, or my writer services, they can check out my Facebook page (@NextLevelScreenwriting), my Instagram page (nextlevelscreenwriting), or send me an email (nextlevelscreenwriting@gmail.com).

I can share more about my services and background information, and we can talk more in detail about what they need help with, as I offer very personalized services.

Readers of this blog are more than familiar with my love/appreciation of pie. What’s your favorite kind?

Wow, this is such a hard question, because I have such a sweet tooth. But if I had to pick just one, I’d have to say my grandma’s pecan pie recipe. It brings back so many amazing childhood memories by the smell and taste of it, especially living far away from my family, and missing them all the time.

Q & A with Anat Wenick of The Write Script

Anat Golan-Wenick started her career in the entertainment business working as a production assistant and researcher in a team that produced series for a large educational channel, while also pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Film/Television and English Literature. After graduation, Anat moved to Los Angeles to dip her hands into the screenwriting pool. Her screenplays have won or placed in contests like Sundance Table Read My Screenplay, StoryPros, Scriptapalooza and others, with one getting optioned by the producer of THE LAST WORD with Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried.

After taking a script analysis class, Anat discovered her true passion in the entertainment business: reading and improving other writers’ scripts. She became a reader for companies like Amazon Studios, Crispy Twig Productions, The Radmin Company, the Atlanta Film Festival and others, while developing connections with creative voices she aspires to bring to the big and small screens. In her spare time, Anat volunteers as the Secretary on the Board of the San Fernando Valley Writers’ Club (a chapter of the California Writers’ Club).

What’s the last thing you read/watched you considered to be exceptionally well-written?

Not really “the last thing”, but KIDDING on Showtime is a great example of how dialogue, visuals and story come together perfectly. Also on Showtime is I’M DYING UP HERE, which very skillfully weaves many plotlines together. Netflix’s SHTISEL is an example of how a story about a seemingly insignificant part of the world’s population can be made relatable. And for those catering to the younger audience, I recommend studying BOY MEETS WORLD. In terms of reading, THE CARTOONIST’S MASK by Ranan Lurie is a book I’d love to see adapted to screen.

How’d you get your start in the industry?

I always thought I would be a screenwriter. But an internship (followed by a full time position) at a TV station, working on a youth drama, set me on another course. I was a rookie intern when I was allowed to join my first script meeting. I sat quietly, just hoping to learn as much as possible, when the director, an amazing woman by the name of Yael Graf, turned to me and asked for my opinion. Without thinking, I said the solution won’t work. A second later, I was mourning the loss of the best (and only) internship I ever had, when much to my surprise, the director actually wanted to know why I reached such a conclusion. Based on my explanation, the script was revised.

A few years later, I took a script reading class. Based on my analysis, the instructor encouraged me to pursue this career. My hope is to move from script reading to creative executive so I can work with undiscovered writers to help bring their stories to the screen.

Is recognizing good writing something you think can be taught or learned?

Akiva Goldsman once said: “Writing is both a pleasure and a struggle. There are times when it’s really aversive and unpleasant, and there are times when it’s wonderful and fun and magical, but that’s not the point. Writing is my job. I’m not a believer of waiting for the muse. You don’t put yourself in the mood to go to your nine-to-five job, you just go. I start in the morning and write all day. Successful writers don’t wait for the muse to fill themselves unless they’re geniuses. I’m not a genius. I’m smart, I have some talent, and I have a lot of stubbornness. I persevere. I was by no means the best writer in my class in college. I’m just the one still writing.”

You can absolutely become a better writer. But just like any other job – if you want to be good at it, you have to study it, stay on top of new trends, and practice, practice, practice.

What do you consider the components of a good script?

Visual over telling. Don’t say “he walks into a room,” say “he skips, dashes, stumble, falls, dances, shuffles into a room,” etc.

Know the genre you’re writing. Nothing wrong with a horror rom-com, but make sure characteristics of all genres are present in the script.

A well-executed “wait for it” moment. Scripts that constantly challenge me to wonder what will come next, even in based-on-true-event movies. Sure, we all know the Titanic is going to sink, but we wonder what will happen to the protagonists.

If you spent time developing your characters’ external and internal conflicts, make sure to address them during the climactic moment. In CASABLANCA, Rick must get Ilsa and Victor safely to the airplane (external), while saying goodbye and convincing the love of his life to exit his (internal).

Good balance between dialogue and action sequences. Allowing the two to play off of one another, rather than feeding viewer/reader with a spoon.

What are some of the most common screenwriting mistakes you see?

Excessive usage of voiceover for no reason. Personally, I’m not one of those “never voiceover” believers, but use it with caution.

Unimaginative character description (i.e. JANE DOE, 26, pretty).

Unnecessary camera and other directorial instructions as well as endless parentheticals in dialogue sequences.

Undeveloped subplots.

Usage of “Starts to,” “Begins to,” “Commences to,” etc. as well as “beat.” These phrases can kill the flow of a screenplay, especially when writing an action-adventure movie. Instead of using “beat”, state what causes it (i.e. biting lip, looking away, cracking knuckles, etc.). Instead of “starts to walk but rethinks it,” consider “marches off. Halts.

What story tropes are you just tired of seeing?

I would read anything, but if you’re going to write about vampires or zombies, make sure you put a fresh spin or angle on the genre. WARM BODIES and INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE are two good examples. If writing a romcom, love doesn’t have to be the ultimate goal. In WORKING GIRL, the protagonist wanted a career, and along the way she found love.

What are some key rules/guidelines every writer should know?

Read, watch, internalize, and execute in your own writing, repeat.

Connect with other professionals. You never know when an early connection will lead to a later opportunity.

When receiving comments, always thank the person even if you don’t agree with them.

Your work may get rejected not because it’s not great, but because it’s not what the company is looking for. Do your research before sending.

Entertainment attorneys are a lot more approachable than agents and managers, and often can get your screenplay to the right hands.

People will have a more favorable view of you if when boasting about your achievements, you take a moment to acknowledge others. So when posting “my screenplay just advanced to quarterfinals/semi-finals/finals in “this and this” contest, add “congrats to all others who advanced” or “thank you for this opportunity, etc.

Even if making the slightest change to your script, make sure to save it as a new version. You never know when you may want to refer to an older version.

Always email yourself the latest version of your script, not just in PDF format, but in the writing-program-of-your-choice format, so you can restore the file if the software fails to open.

Ever in a slump and can’t come up with an idea? Public domain is your friend. Either adapt a project, or use it as the base for your own interpretation (e.g. how EASY A was inspired by THE SCARLET LETTER).

Have you ever read a script where you thought “This writer really gets it”? If so, what were the reasons why?

The number of scripts I recommended can be counted on one hand. However, I have yet to encounter a project that was not salvageable, even those I scored extremely low. I encourage all writers to watch Toy Story 3: Mistakes Made, Lessons Learned to realize we all struggle to “really get it.”

How do you feel about screenwriting contests? Worth it or not?

Winning a contest can do wonders to boast the spirit, but winning alone will do nothing to advance a writing career, unless you build on the momentum. I recommend listening to Craig James, Founder of International Screenwriters’ Association (ISA) advice on Screenplay Contest Strategy.

How can people find out more about you and the services you provide?

I mostly read for agencies, studios and contests. Screenwriters often don’t want to hear the truth about their screenplays, they just want someone to say they’re great, as Josh Olson wrote in his article “I Will Not Read Your F*%!ing Script”. However, I have done quite a few free readings for aspiring screenwriters. They can find me through my website The Write Script, social media like LinkedIn and Twitter, or through the San Fernando Valley Writers’ Club, where I volunteer as a Board Member. Writers don’t have to pay big bucks for a quality reading. Join a writing group or a writing community like Talentville that tells it like it is, and swap screenplays.

Do your research if you plan to pay for someone to read your script, especially if they boast about recommending your material to their contacts within the industry. I once encountered a person advertising his reading services on known screenwriting platforms, stating he was a final-round reader/judge for the Austin Film Festival and an Emmy Award Winner. Since the prices he charged were low for someone with such experience, I researched his claims and found out they were far from true. This is not to say the person didn’t give good feedback, but writers can receive the same type of professionalism for much less, or even for free.

Readers of this blog are more than familiar with my love/appreciation of pie. What’s your favorite kind?

I have yet to find a pie I haven’t liked, and not for lack of trying. I volunteer as a tribute to boldly go where no pie lover has gone before to try new flavors. Has hazelnut chocolate cheesecake pie been invented? (Editor’s note: it has.)

Q & A with Mario Martin of Scriptdick

Mario Martin’s love for storytelling originated as a young boy when he felt inspired to tell stories through writing. Early on he honed his craft at the Maine Media Workshops and Boston Film & Video Foundation, and has attended many screenwriting boot-camps, worked with multiple coverage companies as well as many screenwriters.

Mario helped develop and produce the award-winning film LA LUZ, on which he collaborated heavily, and helped finance the indie feature GAS STATION JESUS starring renowned actor Patrick Bergin.

Mario followed this success with his writing-directing debut CITY LOVE, a provocative short about a soulful, flamboyant talk radio host starring critically acclaimed actor poet, and performer, Antonio David Lyons of AMERICAN HISTORY X and HOTEL RWANDA.

Mario has dedicated the majority of his life to becoming a better storyteller, writer, and filmmaker. When asked “Which part of the creative process do you enjoy most?”, he often responds, “All of it. The writing, crafting and fully developing your story, making sure it’s on the page.”

Mario enjoys rolling up his sleeves to work with fellow screenwriters. Taking an average story and making it a page-turner “is a lot of work, but fun and so worth it.”

What was the last thing I read or watched that I considered to be exceptionally well written? 

BREAKING BAD and OZARK. I love the simple concept and plot. The writing on both these TV series is brilliant at every level.

How did you get your start in the industry?

I made my first film CHECKMATE at eighteen. That experience hooked me for life. I later wrote, directed and produced CITY LOVE, which played in nine film festivals, and worked on several feature films. Primarily my time is invested in the craft of screenwriting. I’ve written eight screenplays and am working on my ninth as we speak. I truly enjoy it.

Is recognizing good writing something you think can be taught or learned?

Yes.I believe it must be taught. It’s important to study film as to how it works so we can become better screenwriters. Understanding the technicals and there are a lot of them and knowing how to apply. Watching a movie or TV show is only what we SEE and HEAR. In a screenplay, that’s how it must be written. Only what the audience will SEE and HEAR.

What do you consider the components of a good script?

Great question. I’ve constructed an algorithm for screenwriting for just that reason. Action lines properly written. Character development, plot, and structure. Really it’s many things. At a bare minimum, there are twelve essential elements working together for great storytelling/screenwriting.

What are some of the most common screenwriting mistakes you see?

Action lines that read like a novel. Action can only be what the audience will see, period. “Show, don’t tell.” Giving each character their own voice.

What story tropes are you just tired of seeing?

Detective/Cop movies.

What are some key rules or guidelines writers should know?

-Action lines. Write them properly!

-Know your plot

-Know your genre

-Character development and characterization of characters.

-Structure

Have you ever read a script where you thought “This writer really gets it?” If so, what were the reasons and why?

I most certainly have. A well-written screenplay is exactly like watching a movie. I become completely engaged, lose track of time, am entertained, I care about what’s happening, and find myself thinking or talking about it later. How enjoyable that story was. All the elements needed for a screenplay to work were present and in place.

How do you feel about screenwriting contests? Worth it or not?

I don’t have a hard and fast opinion on that. If you win or place highly in a contest, that’s a high honor and might open a door for you. There are many other ways to get your work out there these days. Contests are just one of them. 

How can people find out more about you and the services you provide?

Check out my website at www.scriptdick.com  I post on all the social media platforms daily, including @thescriptdick on Twitter and script_dick on Instagram. I also have a podcast and a blog.

Readers of this blog are more than familiar with my love/appreciation of pie. What’s your favorite kind?

Favorite pie? You may have met your match! Ha ha! Pumpkin. Hands down. All others are a close runner-up. I love pie too.

Q & A with Kyle Andrews

Kyle Andrews is a Screenwriter, Actor, Producer, and Writer Advocate living in Los Angeles. As a writer, Kyle has written for or worked with several film hubs and online screenwriting resources. As an advocate, his “Kyles List” has helped several up-and-coming writers attain success in the industry. He is currently in development on three features, two as producer and one as writer.

What was the last thing you read or watched you considered exceptionally well-written?

There’s so much thoughtful, inspiring, engaging, and downright special (yeah, I said it) content out there at the moment, sometimes it’s difficult to narrow that down to just one or two. So, I won’t!

Lately I’ve been watching a lot more television than film. This past weekend I binge-watched Ted Lasso and I’ve never been left so deeply inspired by such a lovable goofball. For dramatic flavor, Raised by Wolves reminds me a lot of how I felt watching both The Leftovers and the reboot of Battlestar: Galactica, and I really wish more people would take a chance on it. WandaVision is also fantastic—though if folks enjoy a Marvel show that takes risks, I’d encourage them to check out FX’s Legion (also on Disney+).

I listen to a lot of audiodrama podcasts (a term than encompasses comedies, dramas, sci-fi, horror—basically any fictional podcast). The production/entertainment values are wildly disparate, but some of the standouts I’ve listened to in the last few months include The Magnus Archives; NORA; The Mistholme Museum of Mystery, Morbidity, and Mortality; and 1865.

There have also been a number of exceptional scripts I’ve read from undiscovered writers recently, and I’ve got those up over at my Advocacy page: kylefandrews.com/advocacy

How’d you get your start in the industry?

I’ve been writing screenplays and stage plays for 20 years, since I was a high school drama nerd and indie video store manager in my hometown in Massachusetts. At the risk of being too honest, this is where I admit writing wasn’t really my pursuit—I just enjoyed doing it while I focused on trying to be an actor, a much safer career choice. I ended up at Emerson College where I got a BFA in Acting with a playwriting minor, both of which taught me a great deal about craft…and very little about how to actually apply it all to the real world.

After moving to LA a little over a decade ago I had some moderate success acting in commercials but didn’t start finding real momentum until I started writing and producing my own projects. After a short film I cowrote, coproduced, and starred in got some traction at a few festivals I was approached by a competition and coverage service to help run their contests and manage their reader staff. That gave me the freedom to start meeting kind and generous industry pros while stretching my writer legs. This led me to where I am now: advocating for screenwriters, developing scripts and writer skills, lining up a few feature productions, and writing for myself and on contract.

Is recognizing good writing something you think can be taught or learned?

Any skill can be taught or learned, so long as someone puts in the time, has a level of humility and self-awareness, and is willing to admit they don’t know what they don’t know.

When it comes to recognizing good writing, I would hesitate to make it too binary a distinction, that you either can or you can’t. I think the most important thing is to recognize your own approach to what the author has written is inherently biased, subjective to your own experience and perspective, and—most importantly—not canon. Criticism free of judgement is how you empower artists to flourish.

For me, the most important thing is to recognize whether the writer met the goals they set out to meet, if doing so was an engaging experience for me as an audience member, and if not, how best to help them achieve those goals.

Anything else is just, like, your opinion man.

What do you consider the components of a good script?

Earth, Wind, Fire, Water, and Heart. Go Planet.

The thing I look for most is how a script ties its various components together. The threading of the various aspects of character, plot, theme, relationships, personal history and backstory, setting, and even tone and genre together in a way that makes sense as we come to learn about and experience them for ourselves, and grow as we watch them succeed or fail (or both).

Another thing writers hear a lot is “don’t be boring,” and like, yeah, that’s generally good advice. But how do avoid boring your reader? Interesting characters, smart dialogue, fun action are always useful—but for me, it’s making the threads of the story as dangerous as possible. When a script is connecting with a reader on a visceral level, it’s because we care about the people we’re reading and we don’t know whether they’re going to get out of it.

And danger doesn’t always, or even typically, mean physical—it just means the stakes behind it are life and death, even in comedy. For instance, a character in unrequited love might feel like they’ll die if their love interest ever found out; the opportunity for a potential yes gets overshadowed in the misery of all the ways they could say no. Get some real tension in there and we’ll care what happens regardless of the answer.

What are some of the most common screenwriting mistakes you see?

Writers make the mistakes that fit their level of experience, so every mistake is common in that sense. For a newer writer, it’s thinking that formatting is the biggest concern and not spending enough time in the pre-work before diving into the script itself. For a pro, it’s leaning on habits that may no longer be serving them.

Not following through with actually marketing the script is another concern. Personally, I look to elevate the craft whenever I can, and I love seeing writers who do the same—but our art form is one that is only going to be appreciated by a handful of people. Figuring out how to get the script made into a visual piece of art is something I encourage writers to focus on, at least for a bit before they jump into the next great script idea that they’ll lovingly craft and not pitch to anyone.

I run into plenty of “basically ready” scripts, but the writer has no idea how to market their work—or worse, throws obstacles into their own way through assumptions. Instead of trying to pitch what they’ve got, they spend their time writing new scripts and their money and energy competing for the approval of anonymous screenwriting competition readers with indeterminate levels of experience to soothe their ego.

Combine that time, energy, and money into learning how to pitch your work and grow your network and you might actually see the results.

What story tropes are you just tired of seeing?

I’m actually a huge fan of using tropes if a writer is able to subvert it with purpose and puts it in a new light. Which on some level makes it not a trope, I guess?

That being said, I don’t consider misogyny, racism, ableism, or the like to be “tropes,” but rather a deeper indication of something inherent in the writer’s worldview It’s very easy for me to tell the difference between a character with these qualities and a script that actively or passively engages in these things. I tend not to make time for these works and I let those writers know it.

What are some key rules/guidelines every writer should know?

-Script rejection is not about you, it’s about them and their current needs.

-You will never get anywhere if you don’t let people read your script.

-Disagreeing with a note is as important as agreeing with one because it helps the writer clarify for themselves what their intention is.

-Invite and embrace constructive criticism and encourage yourself not to dismiss all criticism as “unconstructive.”

-At the same time, respect yourself by recognizing when someone isn’t respecting you and allow that person’s opinions to fade into the background.

-“Formatting” is less about demanding adherence to a strict set of rules and more about making sure a script reads clearly to the benefit of potential collaborators.

-Please for the love of all that is holy stop focusing on whether to bold sluglines or use “we see” or include songs and just tell a good story.

Have you ever read a script where you thought “This writer really gets it”? If so, what were the reasons why?

Absolutely, often, and with great aplomb, from new and “elder” writers alike. In these situations, the writer has deeply explored the backstory, invested in the characters’ individual perspectives, and connected the relationship threads between them, their world, and the events of the plot, found the organic rhythm for the story, and presents it to the reader in a way they can engage with, understand, and visualize as often as necessary.

Do all that and no one will care if you’ve bolded shit.

How do you feel about screenwriting contests? Worth it or not?

Hoo boy, this is the most complex question phrased in the simplest way. Having worked within that system, I know first-hand how some writers and their careers have benefited from winning or placing high in them. I have personally worked with contests to help them promote their writers and have connected several with managers, gigs, and a larger network as a result. I’ve even developed a couple of services that certain contests still employ to the benefit of their writers.

I’ve also heard from reps and producers that they’ll receive a Top 10 list of writers from a competition or coverage service and none will get signed because the folks judging the scripts don’t have a frame of reference for what is ready for market. This gets compounded when some writers whose scripts are close but do need some work get an outsized impression of their impact and don’t bring it the rest of the way.

There can also be a lack of transparency that that doesn’t serve to build trust. I don’t want to disparage individual competitions, but some of them also pitch relationships they don’t actually have or prizes that they can’t fulfill. There are also a couple full-on scams, but I don’t want to get sued by the sociopaths who run them (they are, thankfully, fewer and farther between than you might think).

I guess my feelings boil down to how an individual writer uses it to their personal benefit. If they can win or make finals and they promote themselves with those victories, then that’s great. If the service has a presence in the community a writer finds helpful, that’s also good. If the writer is newer and they’re looking for basic, no frills feedback, then it can certainly be a starting point for development. For everyone else, I think they’re best as accessories to the main work—fun for adding some flair but won’t provide you much cover in public.

How can people find out more about you and the services you provide? 

My website kylefandrews.com includes all aspects of my work including Writer Advocacy and my own acting, writing, and producing.

They can also find me at @kylefandrews on Twitter and Instagram.

Readers of this blog are more than familiar with my love/appreciation of pie. What’s your favorite kind?

I’m more of a cake guy, but if all we have is pie and “pizza” isn’t an option, then I’m going with pumpkin because it’s savory/sweet, seasonal, and nostalgic—it’s the McRib of pies.