A claustrophobic survival story: a small but strong woman is the only chance for a man trapped miles underground. THE PINCH by James Raynor is a gripping script that took a very worthy 2nd place in our Fall 2019 Screenwriting Contest!
A couple of weeks ago we announced the winner of the first ever WriteMovies Horror Award: MONGER by David Axe. Now it’s time for the next round of results with the Fall 2019 Screenwriting Contest Quarter-Finalists!
We first launched the WriteMovies Sci-Fi and Fantasy Award because we wanted to be transported to amazing, fantastical new worlds – and boy, did you guys deliver! Our entrants spanned the deepest reaches of space, magical lands, and all of time: past, present, and future!
The imagination is a writer’s most powerful weapon, and it was on full display here. Well done to everyone who entered; the quality was so consistently high that you made it extremely difficult for us to pick a winner!
Some of the things that helped us make our choice include:
- Originality of concept – giving us something truly unique instead of something we’ve seen before
- Depth and complexity of worldbuilding – making the universe of the story feel like a real, lived in place
- Impressive visual elements – taking full advantage of these genres’ strengths
- Great characters – ensuring that the human element doesn’t get lost!
So here it is… The first ever winner of the inaugural WriteMovies Sci-Fi and Fantasy Award is…
By Mark Flood
A big congratulations to Mark, who has won guaranteed pitching to industry, two sets of Development Notes, and continued script development from us! Well done also to all of our Honorable Mentions, who you can find listed below.
|OMEGA POINT, James Bingham||ENDANGERED SPECIES, Mark Flood||GODLESS SKIES, Joshua David Harris|
|FABLE OF THE JADE TIGER, Jason Fisher||SHIRO, Pascal Kulcsar||THE LAST PRISON, Richard Geiwitz|
|THE REVOLT OF THE WHALES, Michael Rhodes||MARS GENESIS, Don Ternyila||RACE MUSIC, Eric Weber|
It’s time to introduce the cream of the crop from our Spring 2018 Contest! Landing in third place is an exceptional screenplay, a topical mystery-thriller set in Greece: FIRE ON THE ISLAND by Timothy Jay Smith!
Congratulations to Timothy, who also won our award for Best Indie Script and is a former Grand Prize Winner from 2010! His prizes include a year of script and pitching development worth $3200, previews of our Virtual Film School, exclusive prizes from InkTip, and more!
Here’s the logline for FIRE ON THE ISLAND:
When an arsonist threatens an important Coast Guard station on a Greek island, the FBI agent stationed in Athens arrives to investigate, finds himself immersed in a community rife with conflict, and falls in love with his chief suspect.
And Timothy’s summary of his script:
An arsonist threatens to burn down a Greek island village by blowing up a fuel tank in its harbor. Alarmed by the possible disruption of the local Coast Guard’s vital operations in rescuing refugees, Nick Damigos, the FBI Agent posted to Athens, arrives to investigate.
The arsonist has struck eleven times in as many months, each fire coming closer to tiny Vourvoulos, and each followed by a mysterious poison pen letter. The last one makes it clear: the arsonist plans to strike within days. With no clues, Nick searches for a motive that would drive someone to such a destructive act. He discovers a village embroiled in conflicts, some dating back generations, and uncovers earlier crimes—all casting a wide net of suspicion.
Gradually the mystery is revealed through the interwoven stories of a struggling restaurant owner and her feminist teenage daughter, a seductive widow and lovelorn waiter, a scurrilous priest and patrician mayor, and a host of colorful characters who paint a portrait—both humorous and soulful—of Greece where the past mingles with the present. While sorting it out, Nick’s life is threatened, and he falls in love with a young waiter who becomes his chief suspect.
Plus a biography of Timothy himself:
Raised crisscrossing America pulling a small green trailer behind the family car, Timothy Jay Smith developed a ceaseless wanderlust that has taken him around the world many times. En route, he’s found the characters that people his work. Polish cops and Greek fishermen, mercenaries and arms dealers, child prostitutes and wannabe terrorists, Indian Chiefs and Indian tailors: he’s hung with them all in an unparalleled international career that’s seen him smuggle banned plays from behind the Iron Curtain, maneuver through Occupied Territories, represent the U.S. at the highest levels of foreign governments, and stowaway aboard a ‘devil’s barge’ for a three-day crossing from Cape Verde that landed him in an African jail.
Tim brings the same energy to his writing that he brought to a distinguished career, and as a result, he has won top honors for his novels, screenplays and stage plays in numerous prestigious competitions. Fire on the Island won the Gold Medal in the 2017 Faulkner-Wisdom Competition for the Novel, and his screenplay adaptation of it was named Best Indie Script by WriteMovies. Another novel, The Fourth Courier, set in Poland, will be published in spring 2019 by Skyhorse Publishing. Previously, he won the Paris Prize for Fiction (now the Paris Literary Prize) for his novel, A Vision of Angels. Kirkus Reviews called Cooper’s Promise “literary dynamite” and selected it as one of the Best Books of 2012.
Tim was nominated for the 2018 Pushcart Prize. His stage play, How High the Moon, won the prestigious Stanley Drama Award, and his screenplays have won competitions sponsored by the American Screenwriters Association, WriteMovies, Houston WorldFest, Rhode Island International Film Festival, Fresh Voices, StoryPros, and the Hollywood Screenwriting Institute. He is the founder of the Smith Prize for Political Theater.
Our International Screenwriting Contest isn’t just for full length screenplays – we accept short scripts as well! In our Spring 2018 Contest, the winner of Best Short Script also made it all the way to the semi-finals: ROLL WITH IT by Rosie Byrnes!
As most of our readers know, writing a screenplay is tough work that takes diligence, planning, and a whole lot of hours spent typing. It might seem like writing a short script is easier, but it brings with it an entire set of challenges you won’t find elsewhere. Imagine trying to cram a 120 page story into 10 pages and you’ll see how difficult it is!
Congratulations to Rosie for winning in this category; her script charmed us with its rich story, likeable characters, and colorful concepts. She now receives a copy of our Confidential Studio Manual and exclusive previews of our Virtual Film School as her prizes, plus a set of Development Notes to give her professional feedback on her work.
Read on to find out more about this short script which captured our hearts: ROLL WITH IT!
Here’s Rosie’s summary of her script…
“Max is the king of the roller disco, and he knows it—that is, until the spunky (and far more admirable) Lucy arrives at the rink. His crown threatened, Max challenges her to the ultimate dance-off. But he’s in over his head, and finds that he’s head over heels for the gal who knows what it means to be groovy.”
And a short biography of Rosie, too…
“Rosie Byrnes is a writer, a second grade teacher, and a notorious ice cream lover. Originally from Colorado but currently residing in Tainan City, Taiwan, Rosie has spent most of her life writing outlandish stories. Only after following her crush into a college screenwriting class did she realize that, hey, it’s actually pretty neat. Her most recent passion project is a feature-length screenplay about Bigfoot (who’s a big softie, deep down), and she currently holds the “Worst Female Bowler” title in her hometown’s championship.
Rosie can be found on Twitter via the username @rosiebwrites.”
The winner of our Best Stageplay Award in our Spring 2018 Contest also made it all the way to the final, receiving an Honorable Mention: THE CRACK IN PEGGY SUE’S FLOOR, by John Woodard!
Our congratulations to John for this achievement; stageplays are judged on their screen potential but equally the quality of the writing. “Viability” is the deciding factor here! John now receives a copy of our Confidential Studio Manual and exclusive previews of our Virtual Film School as his prizes.
Read on to find out about the stageplay which took the prize in this category: THE CRACK IN PEGGY SUE’S FLOOR!
Here’s John’s summary of his script…
“In 1944 racist Georgia, a black drifter saves a white recluse by killing her lecherous neighbor — setting in motion a chain of deadly events while uncovering secrets better left hidden.”
And a short biography of John, too…
“John Woodard is a multiple award winning screen, teleplay, and stageplay play writer living in Los Angeles, Ca.. Winner of The 2016 Beverly Hills Theatre Guild Youth Theatre Award for his play “The Princess Parodies.” John has written screen and teleplays in a variety of genres that have all gone on to win various contests, including The Scriptapalooza Grand Jury Prize, Several Nicholl Fellowship finalists, Rhode Island International Grand Jury Prize, 2nd Place Story Pros Screenplay Contest, Page and Page International and many others.
John looks forward to seeing the first production of “The Crack in Peggy Sue’s Floor” on stage as well as his screenplays on the big screen!“
If you’ve got a stageplay that would adapt well to the screen, why not commission our help to get it there?
We announced the winner of our Best Book award a short while ago, along with our Quarter-Finalists: BLUT WIRD FLIEßEN by Urs Aebersold!
Our congratulations to Urs for winning in this category, in which we assess both the quality of the writing itself and also its potential for screen adaptation. He now receives a copy of our Confidential Studio Manual and exclusive previews of our Virtual Film School as his prizes.
Read on to find out more about the script which so drew our attention: BLUT WIRD FLIEßEN!
Here’s Urs’ summary of his script…
“Several mysterious suicides are disturbing police detective Nina Brandner – and when her partner dies in the same way, she is certain it is murder.”
And a short biography of Urs, too…
“Urs Aebersold was born in Switzerland, in the famous Emmental area. During his High School time in Biel/Bienne, a lakeshore town with excellent wines, he created several short films with close friends culminating in the 90 minute family drama DIE FABRIKANTEN.
In 1967 Urs went to Munich, studying there at the film school, and later on concentrated on screenwriting. He wrote several screenplays for TATORT, the popular crime series of the First German Television Channel. In the 80s Urs worked for several years for Bavarian Television as a producer and gained the Student Oscar with the short ABGESCHMINKT by Katja von Garnier, and was nominated for the Oscar for foreign language with the movie by Caroline Link JENSEITS DER STILLE.
In 2016 Urs began to write prose; his latest book is the psychothriller BLUT WIRD FLIEßEN.”
If you’ve got a book that would adapt well to the screen, why not commission our help to get it there?