Now Write! Contributors’ Brand New (& Less New) Work

In the Key of New York City: A Memoir in Essays

by Rebecca McClananan
(Now Write! Nonfiction contributor)
Red Hen Press (September 1, 2020)
A middle-aged couple leaves North Carolina to pursue a long-held desire: to live in New York City. As they struggle to find work and forge friendships in a city of strangers, Rebecca takes her mother’s advice to “make a home wherever you land.” She tracks the heartbeat of New York, finding in each face she meets the cumulative loss, joy, and stubborn resilience of a city that has claimed her for its own.

Racialism and the Media: Black Jesus, Black Twitter, and the First Black American President

by Venise Berry
(Now Write! Fiction contributor)
Peter Lang Inc., International Academic Publishers (May, 2020)
In the 21st century, we need a more nuanced understanding of racial constructions and how the nature of racial ideology has changed in our society. Yes, there are still ugly racists who push uglier racism, but there are also popular constructions of race routinely woven into mediated images and messages. This book examines selected exemplars of racialism moving beyond traditional racism.

Also check out:

The A to Z of African American Cinema

by Steven Torriano Berry and Venise Berry
Scarecrow Press (September, 2009)
Covering everything from The Birth of a Nation to Crash, this book provides a deep understanding of the role African Americans play in film history, with loads of photos and hundreds of cross-referenced entries on actors, actresses, movies, producers, organizations, film credits and awards.

Shakespeare for Squirrels: A Novel

by Christopher Moore
(Now Write! Mysteries contributor)
William Morrow (May, 2020 – hardcover, Kindle and audio)
Shakespeare meets Dashiell Hammett in this hardboiled murder mystery take on the Bard’s most performed play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, featuring Pocket, the hero of Fool and The Serpent of Venice, along with his sidekick, Drool, and pet monkey, Jeff. A New York Times bestseller.

 

Wild Ride Home

by Christina Hemp
(Now Write! Nonfiction contributor)
Arcade (February, 2020)
The close-knit Hemp family believes beauty and humor outshine the most devastating circumstances, but when the author suffers a dangerous fiancé, her mother’s dementia, unexpected death and illness, a feisty little Arabian horse, with his own history to overcome, offers a chance to look back on her life and learn to trust herself (and others) again.

Burners – A Jack Daniels/Alex Chapa Mystery

by Henry Perez (Now Write! Mysteries contributor) and J.A. Konrath (June, 2019)
Jury duty is not how newspaper reporter Alex Chapa wants to spend his day. But when he learns Chicago Homicide cop Jacqueline Daniels will play a key role in the trial, his curiosity gets the better of him—with potentially lethal results.

 

 

Looking for some summer and Covid-19 escapism?

Hungry for Your Love: an anthology of Zombie Romance

Edited by Lori Perkins
Ravenous Romance (September, 2010)
Packed with Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror contributors (stories in order of appearance in Hungry For Your Love:)
“Romance Ain’t Dead” by Jeremy Wagner
“Eye of the Beholder” by Stacey Graham
“First Love Never Dies” by Jan Kozlowski
“Julia Brainchild” by Lois Gresh
“Kicking the Habit” by Steven Saus
“Some New Blood” by Vanessa Vaughn
“First Date” by Diana Fredsti

 

And for your self-care in these trying times – request a free color ePub version

Inner Yoga: 23 Simple Self-Care Tools for Peace, Healing, and Authentic Empowerment

by Laurie Lamson
(Now Write! Screenwriting and Now Write! Mysteries co-editor/author; Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror editor/author)
JaZzyMaE Media (May, 2020)
A variety of simple tools collected and practiced over decades of research into the most effective ways to feel better.  With a little practice, these “quick fixes” can become habitual – healthy habits for the mind, body and spirit, bringing you more into alignment with the Real You. Soon you will be able to count on them as friends and allies on your journey through life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soulful Screenwriting: Empowering Interactive Workshop

Explore the soul of a screenplay and yourself as the writer:

Each Wednesday in September: 2, 9, 16, 23, & 30

4:30-6:30pm Pacific / 7:30-9:30pm Eastern

In this empowering 5-week interactive workshop, participants will receive a big running start toward beginning a project from scratch or rewriting a current screenplay effectively.
We’ll discuss crucial dramatic ingredients along with common screenwriting pitfalls and creative writing exercises and tools for solving them.
Quote from past participant, Lise Pyles, award-winning screenwriter and co-founder of San Antonio Screenwriters’ Guild:

“Your exercises have proven very helpful! It’s a good reminder to me, to keep taking workshops because there will always be new ways of looking at things. Thanks so much for a beneficial and thought-provoking workshop.”

Soulful Screenwriting was designed by Laurie Lamson, a produced award-winning screenwriter, screenplay consultant and author/editor of three Now Write! anthologies.
Each session includes one or two Laurie’s favorite writing exercises culled from several of the Now Write! books to help you get out of your own way, get creative juices flowing, and benefit your screen stories.

This intimate workshop is a safe space to talk about your work – limited to 10 participants.

Eventbrite: $150 including fees
Venmo through Aug. 15: $135 – message Laurie for details

Guest Post by Pen Densham: Creative Person’s Survival Manual

Passion, Creativity and Success

A creative person’s survival manual

 (Excerpted from Pen Densham’s free eBook – link to download the whole book at the bottom.)
Our media business involves a zillion layers of invention, including every craft and art seen credited on those end-title crawls. Each credit connotes an innovator and creative problem-solver bringing his or her talent to bear in the creation of movie magic.

Unknown-2 images-2

Across the spectrum of vocations, whether you’re an actor, writer, director, inventor, chef, computer programmer, research scientist or, God help us, a weapons creator—we struggle with the process of bringing forth what has never existed through the mysterious process called creativity.
For many, this exploration toward the ultimate joy of accomplishment has a cost: anxiety!

FIRST RULE: IGNORE ALL RULES

I share these thoughts, aware of how ignorant I am of the true spectrum of your inspiration process. Which I consider pretty close to sacred. I want to dialogue “with” you and not at you. Please ignore everything here that goes against your instincts.They are usually right!
My observations come from the privilege of a longish career. A few wild, giant successes and many rejections (many!) Experiences that have given me the one thing I didn’t have when younger – “perspective”. I have discovered the scripts I’ve written from the heart have gotten them made more frequently than the projects the studios paid me to write. But, as an artist and businessman I have never been far from the pain of uncertainty, when attempting to make concrete what has flitted around inside my head.
images-1As a curious young documentary filmmaker, I explored some amazing game-changers in various fields. Like revolutionary Media Guru Marshall McLuhan, Master Magician and Psychic debunker The “Amazing” James Randi. Brilliant Canadian Architect Raymond Moriyama. Malcolm Bricklin, the car entrepreneur who built a gull-wing sports car before Delorean. Toller Cranston, the first international figure skater to perform his sport as Ballet on ice and not just muscular gymnastics – and my own mentor, Norman Jewison, who’s list of amazing films is humbling. People who have the habit of pushing beyond the limits in their fields.
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What did I learn? They have a universal sense to think freely and uniquely outside their current boxes, but it didn’t prevent stress and outside criticism. They cared so much about their goals that despite the negatives they headed where their guts told them. It was infectious. I don’t think of myself as particularly gifted… More a dreamer and not a great employee, but they made me feel that pursuing my own dreams was possible.

I HAVE NEVER ESCAPED STRESS

It comes from our imaginations trying to help us define the future – but without any compass for that untrod path. Stress is normal, it evolved alongside the imagination as a protective problem solving mechanism, igniting our body’s fight or flight system. A kind of psychic radar, bouncing negative things out and reflecting on how we might defend against them. But, when it is not attached to solving a real issue, it can bounce all over the place, unnerving us in the process.
UnknownI saw the world’s most renowned stress pioneer speak. The late Dr. Hans Selye. He stated that being mugged or experiencing a surprise birthday party can create an identical adrenaline rush. Heart rate increases. Tension tightens. Breathing speeds up. But, in the mugging, the effect is felt as fear and the birthday surprise, as joy. – “Anxiety” when it is in the service of something we value is embraced as “Excitement”.
Selye said, our adrenalin glands disturb us less when we are impassioned, pursuing goals that fascinate us. Even more strongly if we feel those goals benefit others!
Unknown-1Alternately, working on projects that are against my nature. (Maybe I sold out a little?) – Trying to cash in on someone else’s goal can be painful. I have done it as a writer.And it was like trying to pluck words out of my flesh. I didn’t like the end result and failed to have the incentive to fight for it.
When I am going in the direction my instincts support, the fear of failure is still there – but mitigated with the magical excitement of discovery.

The essential part of creativity is not being afraid to fail.
-Edwin H. Land

Download your own free copy of Pen Densham’s Passion Creativity and Success: a Creative Person’s Survival Manual.

DOWNLOAD A FREE COPY OF PEN DENSHAM’S 20 SECRETS FOR SUCCESS.

About Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror contributor: Pen Densham

PenDenshamPen Densham rode into the movies at age 4 on a live alligator and started a life-long love of cameras and story. Pen produces, writes, directs (2 Oscar Nominations and over 60 other awards). He is partnered in the Trilogy Entertainment Group with John Watson – their breakthrough hit was ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES, and they made 16 other features such as MOLL FLANDERS (which Pen wrote and directed), BACKDRAFT, TANK GIRL, HOUDINI and Trilogy’s 2013 feature, PHANTOM submarine thriller starring Ed Harris, David Duchovny and William Fichtner. Pen also revived The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone series.

 

San Diego Film Week 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE: San Diego Film Week 2020 has been cancelled for April and tentatively rescheduled for August, 2020.

Wishing everyone optimum health and wellbeing during this crisis, and always.

In times like these, exercising our creativity is more important than ever. It helps us remain both present and empowered. Art heals!


 

Now Write! is proud to be a conference partner of San Diego Film Week.

We are helping produce the writer’s conference on Saturday, April 25th. Visit sdfilmweek.com to learn more about it.

San Diego Film Week Dates: TBD

Here’s what we have to look forward to:

  •  Opening Night at The Lot Liberty Station

  •  Opening Weekend at AMC La Jolla

  • Whistlestop Bar, Digital Gym Cinema, Thorne Street Brewery Barrio Logan (tentative)

  • Landmark Hillcrest Cinema (tentative)

  • Closing Weekend at AMC La Jolla

  • San Diego Film Awards at the Parq Nightclub

Writing Books by Now Write! Contributors – Updated

Now Write! anthologies belong on every writers’ bookshelf – the perfect gift for the writer in your life.  Now Write! contributors have  a number of their own writing books that can make the ideal companion gift to encourage your favorite writer.  

(Note: Now Write! editor Laurie Lamson was the host of International Screenwriters’ Association’s free teleconferences for four years.  Many Now Write! contributors were guest speakers – podcast links provided below when available.)

FilmGenreforScreenwriterFilm Genre for the Screenwriter by Jule Selbo PhD (Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror contributor)
Routledge (Aug, 2014)

A practical study of how classic film genre components can be used in the construction of a screenplay. Based on Jule Selbo’s popular course, this accessible guide includes an examination of the historical origins of specific film genres, how and why these genres are received and appreciated by film-going audiences, and how the student and professional screenwriter alike can use the knowledge of film genre components in the ideation and execution of a screenplay.

Explaining the defining elements, characteristics and tropes of genres from romantic comedy to slasher horror, and using examples from classic films, Selbo offers a compelling and readable analysis of film genre in its written form. The book also offers case studies, talking points and exercises to make its content approachable and applicable to readers and writers across the creative field.

** Intl. Screenwriter’s Association podcast with guest Jule Selbo **

MyFirstNovel

My First Novel edited by Alan Watt (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)
contributors incl: Cheryl Strayed, Rick Moody, Aimee Bender (Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror contributor), Janet Fitch, Jerry Stahl, David Ulin, Merrill Markoe, Dan Fante, Sheri Holman and many more
Writer’s Tribe Quest (Aug. 2013)

Have you ever wondered how your favorite authors got their start? How did they make the leap from closet scribe to published author? In My First Novel: Tales of Woe and Glory, twenty-five authors recount the variety of hurdles, both internal and external that they had to overcome on their journey.

The Essential Guide for New Writers, From Idea to Finished Manuscript by Valerie Storey (Now Write! Mysteries contributor)
Dava Books (February, 1995)

EssentialGuideDesigned for both beginning and established writers, this is a complete writing workshop in just one book. From first draft jitters to completing a polished manuscript for publication, the material is presented in a fun and informative progression filled with ideas for brainstorming plus checklists and writing exercises. Chapters include full coverage of characterization, plot, setting, dialogue, and marketing and query letter techniques. Besides end-of-chapter writing assignments, the book concludes with a strong question and answer section.

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up: The Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction—from Memoir to Literary Journalism and Everything in Between by Lee Gutkind (Now Write! Nonfiction contributor)
Da Capo Lifelong Books (August, 2012)

YouCan'tMakeThisSTuffupOffering new ways of understanding the genre, this how-to guide from the “Godfather behind creative nonfiction” (Vanity Fair) helps writers of all skill levels thoroughly expand and stylize their work.

What is creative nonfiction? It’s simple: true stories, well told. And yet—it’s not so simple.  Telling true stories can be hard work, but worthwhile.  It’s the hottest genre in the publishing industry.

Frank, to-the-point, and always entertaining, Gutkind describes and illustrates each and every aspect of the genre with depth and clarity. Invaluable tools and exercises illuminate key steps from defining a concept and establishing a writing process to the final product. 

The Mindful Writer: Noble Truths of the Writing Life by Dinty Moore (Now Write! Nonfiction contributor)
Wisdom Publications (April, 2012 – hardcover)

MindfulwriterExplores how a lifelong pursuit of writing and creativity helped open me to the path of Buddhism. The book explores these ideas through sixty writing quotes, from Buddhist writers such as Pema Chodron and from others, including Flannery O’Connor and August Wilson. Each of the quotes is discussed in a short page or so, revealing the similarities between artistic awareness and mindful thought.

** Dinty Moore’s guest post:
Writing and Creativity at a Peculiar Crossroads **

Riding the Alligator: Strategies for a Career in Screenplay Writing (and not getting eaten) by Pen Densham (Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror contributor)
Michael Wiese Productions (2011)

An artist-friendly screenwriting guide to success, with a non-dogmatic approach to finding your own personal creative process.

Pen draws from his own extremely simple breakthrough techniques, shares his inspiring philosophy of finding a personal well of creativity from your inner voice, to overcoming the many challenges in a unique business, managing stress, the real secrets to selling your work, finding the right agent and being true to one’s nature to create a lasting and passion-filled career.

**Pen Densham’s Guest Post and Free Download:
Creative Person’s Survival Manual
** 

** Intl. Screenwriters’ Association podcast
with guest Pen Densham
 **

Dating Your Character: A Sexy Guide to TV and Screenwriting by Marilyn R. Atlas (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor), Deborah Cutler-Rubenstein(Now Write! Screenwriting and Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror contributor), Elizabeth Lopez
Stairway press (August, 2016)

Most books approach character development using a winnowing process involving general categorization and list-making. Dating Your Character focuses instead on the importance of the individuality of characters: their eccentricity, drive, and relative “basis in fact” inspired in part by people you know or you yourself.

The 90-Day Novel: Unlock the Story Within, 2nd edition by Alan Watt (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)
The 90-Day Novel Press, 2010

90daynovelGet the first draft down quickly! The 90-Day Novel is a day-by-day guide through the process of getting the first draft of your novel onto the page. The 90-Day Novel was workshopped at LA Writers’ Lab over three years and has helped hundreds of writers complete their work. Some of Watt’s students have gone on to become bestselling authors and win major literary awards.

Writing & Selling Your Mystery Novel by Hallie Ephron (Now Write! Mysteries contributor)
Writer’s Digest Books, 2nd edition (January, 2017)

New York Times best-selling author shares the secrets to crafting an unforgettable mystery. The essentials of craft and the plan to execute them. This completely revised and updated edition features solid strategies for drafting, revising, and selling an intriguing novel that grips your readers and refuses to let them go.

 

The Hollywood Pitching Bible: A Practical Guide to Pitching Movies and Television by Ken Aguado and Douglas Eboch (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)

Expanded 2nd Edition (Aug. 2014)

hollywoodpitching-bibleBreaks down the art of pitching in Hollywood step by step. From choosing the right idea, to selling it in the room, this book tells you how it’s done, in clear language, suitable for the beginner or the seasoned Hollywood professional.

With decades of combined experience working in Hollywood as buyer, seller and teacher, the authors, Douglas Eboch and Ken Aguado, have created the definitive book that will demystify the pitching process, supported by a reasoned, logical point of view and supported by numerous specific examples.

If you want to work in the Hollywood creative community, you must know how to pitch. This book will show you how to succeed.

The Hidden Tools of Comedy by Steve Kaplan (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)
Michael Wiese Productions (July, 2013)

toolsofcomedyUnlock the unique secrets and techniques of writing comedy. Kaplan deconstructs sequences in popular films and TV that work and don’t work, and explains what tools were used (or should have been used). While other books give you tips on how to “write funny,” this book offers a paradigm shift in understanding the mechanics and art of comedy, and the proven, practical tools that help writers translate that understanding into successful, commercial scripts.

The Screenwriter’s Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script, 5th Edition, Expanded & Updated by David Trottier
 (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)
Silman-James Press, 2010

screenwriters-bible-5th-editionOne of the most popular, authoritative, and useful books on screenwriting, this is a friendly guide through the Hollywood morass. The new edition offers expanded coverage of dialogue writing and character development, the latest in proper screenplay format, a new section on jumpstarting your career, new advice on creating and delivering pitches and much more.

Rewrite 2nd Edition: A Step-by-Step Guide to Strengthen Structure, Characters, and Drama in your Screenplay by Paul Chitlik
 (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)
Michael Wiese Productions, 2008

Rewrite2ndEd A step-by-step process to take your script from first draft to submission draft.  Chitlik reveals the hidden structure of screenplays, sequences, and scenes, as he guides you through the process of examining your draft, restructuring it, and populating it with believable, complex, and compelling characters. Along the way he outlines how to make your action leap off the page and your dialogue crackle.

Story-Maps-book Story Maps: How To Create a Great Screenplay by Daniel Calvisi
 (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor) and Story Maps: The Films of Christopher Nolan by Daniel Calvisi 
and William Robert Rich
Act Four Screenplays (January, 2012 and March, 2013)

Learn the secrets to writing a great screenplay from a major movie studio Story Analyst. Master the structure and principles used by 95% of commercial movies by studying detailed breakdowns or “Story Maps” of several recent and classic hits in all different genres.

** Intl. Screenwriters’ Association podcast
with guests Daniel Calvisi and William Robert Rich
**

Your Screenplay Sucks!: 100 Ways to Make It Greatyour-screenplay-sucks by Will Akers(Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)
Michael Wiese Productions, 2008

A lifetime member of the Writer’s Guild of America who has had three feature films produced from his screenplays, Akers offers beginning writers the tools they need to get their screenplay noticed.

** Intl. Screenwriters’ Association podcast with guest Will Akers **

storydesignStory Design: Creating Popular Hollywood Movies
by Richard Michaels Stefanik (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)
Amazon (February, 2013)

Story Design analyzes the dramatic structures found in some of the most commercially successful and popular movies ever produced. This second edition includes detailed analysis of WIZARD OF OZ and AVATAR.

Savvy Characters Sell Screenplays by Susan Kouguell (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)

SavvyCharsCover * An essential and inspirational hands-on guide for creating and crafting compelling characters

* An invaluable resource analyzing and referencing over 220 Hollywood, independent and foreign films, offering 34 screenwriting exercises, and providing six templates from fictional scripts

* Accessible, fun, and thought-provoking screenwriting exercises geared to develop characters in each vital element that comprises a successful screenplay.

Learn how to create believable, compelling and gripping characters with distinct characterizations, motivations, and behaviors, and how these people can best drive your plot forward in a meaningful and plausible journey.

***

If you’re a Now Write! contributor with a writing book not listed here, please post the details as a comment here. Thank you!