Friday, 13 December 2013
As we enter the last few weeks of 2013 I'm quite pleased to report that my writing year is ending on a high. Sure, I might have had a story rejected by a magazine just yesterday, but I'm in the finals of two contests (one screenwriting, one playwriting) so could, potentially, win one or both. And what an end to the year that would be! Chances are that I'll fall short in both but it's great to be in the finals of both the StoryPros International Screenwriting Contest with TABLE FOR TWO? and Sydney's Crash Test Drama with 'Falling for Harry'. 'Falling for Harry' has also just (this week) been shortlisted for SUITCASE THEATRE'S Valentine's Day production in 2014. So if it makes it through it will have been performed in two countries (Australia and Wales) come Valentine's Day. Even if I don't win either contest, it's a positive note on which to end the year. So, looking forward to 2014… I'll be looking to write more short plays as well as one full-length one and finish the first draft of my novel. I'll also be looking to do another draft (fourth this will be) of 'DeCodeMe' to see if I can elevate that to a position where it gets some traction, i.e. producer interest. And I'll be looking to keep my hand in with short stories and poetry. I should hear about StoryPros early next week, and the final of Crash Test is on 22 December. So wish me luck!
Monday, 9 December 2013
Monday, 2 December 2013
Somewhat relieved today to get the news that TABLE FOR TWO? has made the semi-finals of the 7th Annual StoryPros Screenplay Competition. Why relieved? Because a couple of days ago I got the feedback from another contest I entered it into, the Reel Writers Screenwriting Competition. And its reader there hated it! It got a real slating. Here's what the Reel Writers judge said about the latest draft of TABLE FOR TWO? ￼"The first couple of pages were fun. I thought I was in store for a comedic romp about a lovable man trying to get his act together and salvage his marriage and relationship with his children. ￼What I got instead was an aimless story with NO hero. There isn't a single character with any real redeeming qualities. All characters - even anti-heros - must have a quality that the audience can relate to so that they can forgive the character's wrongs and still pull for the character to make good. I didn't find that anywhere in the script. ￼The script is in desperate need of a plot. Currently the script is comprised of disjointed vignettes that swirl largely around acts of sex. The character's actions do not reflect what they say they want, e.g. to restore a marriage, to fall in love, to be a better wife/husband or father. None of those things are earned by the end of the script. It feels artificial." What can you say? It's art. Some people get it and some don't. This judge didn't like the script but hopefully it isn't as bad as they suggest (if it is that bad I'll be gutted as this is the sixth draft, so in theory it should be getting better!). Even if it doesn't get into the Final of StoryPros I'm still pleased that it made the semis. And StoryPros is a bigger contest than Reel anyway.
Tuesday, 26 November 2013
Here's a review of my short play, 'Falling for Harry', by Suitcase Theatre Company, Wales: *******NOTE: CONTAINS SPOILERS******* Situation On a bridge over a river, HARRY, a Hare Krishna complete with tambourine, finds the act of suicide desirable but difficult. He is joined by HARRIET, who has her own reasons for wanting to make the big jump. As they talk things through, they decide instead to make a go of it as a couple, until Harry accidentally knocks Harriet off the bridge. Character Both in orange (sorry, saffron) and with similar death wishes, Harry and Harriet have much in common but are nicely distinguished in this black comedy. After years of being drummed into percussion music by his mother, and taking up the saffron as a way of ducking out of the difficulties in life, Harry is now beginning to lust for forbidden fruit. The arrival of Harriet therefore comes as an opportunity. Harriet has been dumped by her lover who is also her boss, and finds a soul mate in Harry. They both see themselves as failures in the business of living, and are not much better at the business of dying. The situation makes for a compelling comedy. Dialogue The dialogue is witty, slightly off beat and full of endearing twists and turns. I like the puns: We’re a great catch for each other”, ”plenty more fish in the sea” – makes the clichés feel freshly observed. Structure Staging might pose some problems, particularly the ending, particularly in a more open venue. The play moves towards several possible conclusions, so the audience is always wondering if one or the other will make the plunge. Then we like the idea of them getting together and going off for a steak and a martini and a shag, so that when Harriet finally falls off by accident, we are taken by pleasant surprise. It’s a delightful play.
Tuesday, 19 November 2013
"This play did rather well for itself, winning Best Play from our judge and Best Actress Runner Up for newcomer Katie Lees, who performed alongside Terry Ryan. It has been invited to the Crash Test Drama 2013 Season Two Finals on 22nd December and we look forward to seeing it again soon." Read the review of November's Crash Test Drama here.
Monday, 18 November 2013
'Falling for Harry', my short play, won the judges' award for Best Play at the Sydney November heat of Crash Test Drama yesterday. This means it advances to the final on 22 December! What a great result for my first time at Crash Test, and I had to direct the play too as my director was a no-show. It was also the first time at Crash Test for my actors, Terry Ryan and Katie Lees. Katie also picked up the runner-up award for Best Actress.
Tuesday, 5 November 2013
My short play, 'Falling for Harry', has been confirmed for Crash Test Drama on Sunday 17 November @ King Street Theatre, Newtown, Sydney. Exciting! https://sites.google.com/site/crashtestdrama/upcoming-shows
Wednesday, 16 October 2013
Ether Books have released my latest short story, 'The Thousandth Prospect'. Set in small town Australia, it's the story of a travelling vacuum cleaner salesman and a murderous housewife who find an unexpected second chance with one another. In other news, my short play, 'Falling for Harry', has been selected for Script-in-Hand at the Bordello Theatre, Sydney, on 25 November.
Friday, 9 August 2013
Tuesday, 6 August 2013
Saturday, 3 August 2013
Another cluster of mixed fortune on the writing front the past couple of days. Got three poems rejected but, on the plus side, a LA-based management company has requested the script for 'DeCodeMe'. This doesn't necessarily mean anything, of course, but it's good that last week's pitching has at least garnered a bite, even if they do spit it out in the end.
Thursday, 1 August 2013
It may not have progressed beyond the first round of the PAGE Awards (massive disappointment) or got into the quarter-finals of the Nicholl Fellowships (another massive disappointment), but at least the latest (third) draft of 'DeCodeMe' has made it as a finalist in the 2013 Extreme Screenwriting Screenplay contest. A smaller contest, with less prestige, for sure. But a glimmer of light amongst the avalanche of rejections I've been receiving over the past two weeks. I was starting to think my writing had regressed, what with not even getting beyond first base with the PAGE Awards (the Nicholl Fellowships are a different kettle of fish altogether, only 372 quarter-finalists selected out of 7,251 entries). Still, chin-up and soldier on. No plans to revisit any of my three screenplays until 2014 now as concentrating on trying to get the first draft of the novel down. And maybe a play as well, and maybe some poetry and short stories...