Laurie Moderates for I.S.A.

Now Write! Screenwriting and Now Write! Mysteries co-editor Laurie Lamson recently had the honor to become a moderator for the International Screenwriters Association teleconferences.  These have been great conversations useful both for screenwriters and authors in general.

Two of ISA’s recent speakers were Now Write! Screenwriting contributors – Chris Soth and Steve Kaplan.

Laurie also interviewed Jeff Bollow of Fast Screenplay and moderated a lively conversation with Gary Shusett aka Professor Logline of Sherwood Oaks Experimental College about how to pitch your screenplay.

The ISA Teleconferences are free so just sign up on the ISA website to stay informed about upcoming guest speakers.

March 3, 1pm pst – next isa teleconference with Corey Mandell (sign up)

Corey Mandell is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter who has written projects for Ridley Scott, Wolfgang Petersen, Harrison Ford, John Travolta, Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, Warner Brothers, Universal, 20th Century Fox, Fox 2000, Fox Family, Working Title, Paramount, Live Planet, Beacon Films, Touchstone, Trilogy, Radiant, Kopelson Entertainment and Walt Disney Pictures.

I.S.A. Exclusive: Chris Soth

Why TENSION is the key to every story…and every movie. How Chris sold his spec screenplay and how they’re sold today. Why a coach and mentor is vital to writing your best screenplay, getting it sold, and getting it made!  (listen now) 

I.S.A. Exclusive: Steve Kaplan

The 8 myths of comedy.  The Comedy Perception Test. And the 8 Hidden Tools of Comedy. And answers to burning questions about writing, directing or performing comedy.  (listen now)

I.S.A. Exclusive: Gary Shusett

Gary explains his philosophy on pitching and how to pitch more than just your story. Very honest feedback on pitches and instant ‘pitch repair’  that helped guide participants to create a word for word alternative pitch. (listen now)

I.S.A. Exclusive: Jeff Bollow

Jeff is a producer/director, author, film festival organizer and public speaker. He has been in the film industry since age 12, starting as an actor before doing nearly every job in production (including experience in development, post-production and distribution). Through his production company, Jeff has reviewed over 15,000 project submissions, and has edited, assessed or mentored over 350 projects.  (listen now)


Now Write! Contributors New Work

Some more of the latest work by Now Write! contributors!

What The River Carries: Encounters With the Mississippi, Missouri and Platte by Lisa Knopp (Now Write! Nonfiction contributor)
University of Missouri Press, April 2012

A collection of lyrical interwoven essays exploring the physical and cultural  geography of 3 rivers the author knows and loves.

rode by Tom Averill (Now Write! Fiction contributor)
University of New Mexico Press, Feb. 2012

Traveling the same route the song chronicles, from Tennessee into Arkansas, through Texas and into Mexico,this novel captures the spirit of the ballad while telling the story of a man who holds love in his heart though adventure rules his time. Pursued by a bounty hunter, Indians, and his conscience, he and his horse are tested, strengthened and made resolute.

Access: Thirteen Tales by Xuxi (Now Write! Nonfiction contributor)
Signal 8 Press, November, 2011

A collection of short fiction set in Hong Kong and among those in the Chinese diaspora.  The stories are mostly about women, the ties of family, the consequences of deep enculturation, money, sex and loneliness.

The American Essay in the American Century
by Ned Stuckey-French (Now Write! Nonfiction contributor)
University of Missouri Press, May 2011

A ‘whodunnit’ about how the the highbrow culture form of essay writing was threatened with death and who and what the likely culprits are.

Savvy Characters That Sell by Susan Kouguell
Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)
self-published, September, 2011

The author analyzes over 220 films, offers 34 screenwriting exercises and provides 6 templates from fictional scripts to inspire screenwriters to unleash their ideas, break through stumbling blocks, and strengthen their characters.

New Book: Now Write! Mysteries

The latest ADDITION TO the Now Write! series is AVAILABLE NOW!

Now Write! Mysteries is the fourth volume in the acclaimed Now Write! series, due out December 29, 2011 from series publisher Tarcher/Penguin and available for pre-order now.

Now Write! Mysteries  is an essential handbook of suspense, crime, thriller and other mystery exercises covering topics from research and “detective work” to creating a compelling detective character and keeping a series going.

Now Write! Mysteries contributors include many New York Times-bestselling authors and Edgar, Shamus and Hugo Award recipients and nominees.

Now Write! Mysteries was edited by series originator Sherry Ellis, who was working on the book when she passed away earlier this year.  Her niece, Laurie Lamson, took over putting the book together after the untimely death of her aunt.  As the co-editor of Now Write! Screenwriting, Laurie was the logical choice for the job.  Please contact Laurie with any questions or comments.

Available for preorder at: Penguin Books, Barnes & Nobles and Amazon.

Check out Now Write! Fiction, Now Write! Nonfiction and Now Write! Screenwriting.



New Work by Now Write! Fiction Contributors

Found seven new books released in 2010 and 2011 written by Now Write! Fiction contributors and I wanted to let you know about them.  Could make great holiday gifts.  – Laurie

Short Fiction

Where the God of Love Hangs Out by Amy Bloom
Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2011
 Love, in its many forms and complexities, weaves through this collection by Amy Bloom, the New York Times bestselling author of Away.  Propelled by Bloom’s unmistakable voice and generous wit, Where the God of Love Hangs Out takes us to the margins and the centers of people’s emotional lives, exploring the changes that come with love and loss.


Birds of Paradise by Diana Abu-Jaber
W. W. Norton & Company, 2011
 A multilayered, textured novel about family and self, self-indulgence and generosity, against the vivid backdrop of contemporary Miami. Avis and Brian Muir are still haunted by the disappearance of their ineffably beautiful daughter, Felice, who ran away when she was thirteen. Now, after five years her family members will each be forced to confront their anguish, loss, and sense of betrayal.

A Small Hotel by Robert Olen Butler
Grove Press, 2011
 Set in contemporary New Orleans but working its way back in time, A Small Hotel chronicles the relationship between Michael and Kelly Hays, who have decided to separate after twenty-four years of marriage. An intelligent, deeply moving, and remarkably written portrait of a relationship that reads as a cross between a romance novel and a literary page-turner.

 Await Your Reply by Don Chaon
Random House Reader’s Circle, 2010
The lives of three strangers interconnect in unforeseen ways–and with unexpected consequences.  Await Your Reply has the momentum of a thriller in which pasts are invented and reinvented and the future is both seductively uncharted and perilously unmoored.

Young Adult NOVEL

Every Little Thing In The World by Nina de Gramont
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2011Sixteen-year-old Sydney Biggs is a ‘good kid’. Smart, pretty, self-aware…and pregnant. But she’s only told Natalia, her best friend, and when the police escort the pair home after they ‘borrow’ a car, they’re sent to a wilderness camp for the summer.


 Sanctificum by Chris Albani
Copper Canyon Press, 2010
A self-described “zealot of optimism,” Chris Abani investigates complex personal history, family, and romantic love using religious ritual, the Nigerian Igbo language, and reggae rhythms, Abani creates a post-racial, liturgical love song that covers the globe from Abuja to Los Angeles.

A History of Yearning by Kathleen Spivak
The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, 2010
Most of these poems begin with paintings and photographs, and rise from them as fragrance rises from spring flowers after a hard winter, a gift to us from language that survives and blooms and brings us pleasures we hardly know how to name.


New Work by Now Write! Nonfiction Contributors

Found four diverse nonfiction books released in the last couple of years and one novel written by Now Write! Nonfiction contributors.  Pretty fascinating lineup here.  – Laurie

Kingdom Under Glass: A Tale of Obsession, Adventure, and One Man’s Quest to Preserve the World’s Great Animals by Jay Kirk
Henry Holt and Co., 2010
A sweeping historical narrative of the life of Carl Akeley, the famed explorer and taxidermist who changed the way Americans viewed the conservation of the natural world. During the golden age of safaris in the early twentieth century, one man set out to preserve Africa’s great beasts. In this epic account of an extraordinary life lived during remarkable times, Jay Kirk follows the adventures of the brooding genius who revolutionized taxidermy and created the famed African Hall we visit today at New York’s Museum of Natural History.

The Secret of Chanel No. 5: The Intimate History of the World’s Most Famous Perfume by Tilar J. Mazzeo
Harper, 2010
The unauthorized biography of the world’s most famous, seductive, and successful perfume.  A blend of evocative history and thoughtful research, here is a glittering account of where art and sensuality mingle with dazzling entrepreneurship and desire.

The Secret Lives of Boys: Inside the Raw Emotional World of Male Teens by Malina Saval (you can download her Now Write! Nonfiction exercise here)
Basic Books, 2009
This unprecedented look into the lives and social groups of boys across America is a parent and teacher’s key to understanding the hidden hopes, fears, pains, and passions of their sons and students. This book asks the pertinent questions: Who are these boys? What do they think of themselves? How can we advise them properly in a way that they will not resist? Saval digs deep to uncover what binds these boys, what makes them different, what they want you to know.

The Silent Season of a Hero: The Sports Writing of Gay Talese
 Walker & Company, reprint edition, 2010
Chronicling Talese’s writing over more than six decades, from high school and college columns to his signature adult journalism and including several never-before-published pieces (such as one on sports anthropology), a new introduction by the author, and notes on the background of each piece.

Habit of a Foreign Sky a novel by XuXi
Haven Books, 2010
Somewhere between Hong Kong and New York, life does an abrupt shift for Gail Szeto when her last family member is killed in an accident. For Gail, a mixed-race, single mother who had buried her young son less than two years prior, all she has left is a hard-won career at a global investment bank. Life rapidly goes into free fall for this woman with a complicated past, who was once so sure of her direction in life. An international cast of characters in New York, Hong Kong and Shanghai.