THE JANUARY CHALLENGE: REVIEW YOURSELF!
Write a 300- to 400-word review of something you have written. It can be a review of your screenplay, book, poem, short story, article, song, or essay. It’s a fabulous exercise in writing reviews—and will renew your enthusiasm for your work.

The Write On! Online January Challenge is sponsored by Blake Snyder Enterprises’ Save the Cat!

PRIZES
1st Place: Save the Cat! software and have your review published on Write On! Online
2nd Place: Save the Cat! Strikes Back by Blake Snyder
3rd Place: Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies by Blake Snyder

Submit a 300- to 400-word review in the body of an email to debra@writeononline.com by Sunday, January 31. Be sure to include the category and title with your submission. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, February 9, 2010, in the February Write On! Newsletter.

NEWS
Congratulations to the Winners of the Write On! Online December Challenge: Holiday Traditions!

1st Place: Barbara Watkins
2nd Place: Adam Bein
3rd Place: Shella Udoh

The 1st Place Story by Barbara WatkinsA Lifetime Gift from a Christmas Past – is posted on Write On! Online!
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Congratulations to Shawn Weisser, January winner of an iScript, for posting goals. Post your February goals on Write On! Online and be entered in the monthly drawing to win a FREE iScript. (An iScript is a professionally recorded audio version of a screenplay or novel read by professional readers, similar to an audiobook.)
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Last week, I was a guest on Pilar Alessandra’s On the Page Podcast, episode #123. Thanks, Pilar and podcast producer Aasip Desai. That was a lot of fun!
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Ask Al A Carte (aka Alexandra Anne Carte) is collecting food memories for her upcoming ebook. Send your favorite story – along with a recipe if you have it. You can even include a photo! Send to askalacarte@cs.com. By submitting, you are giving permission for your essay to be published.

Shannon Flaherty is collecting HUSTLE FILES for her blog HUSTLE UP. It’s a great showcase for people who are “tackling jobs, dreams & the in-betweens.” Email Shannon to be featured: info@shannonflaherty.com

Screenwriter Anne Lower will be joining execs from WMA, APA, and other major studio execs and writers as a judge for the Hollywood Pitch Fest, launching February 1 – 20. The competition winner will be announced March 6, 2010!

The Mystic Pete Chronicles seeks “Tales of Love and Madness” for the radio program. Details here.

Check out VBT – Writers on the Move for book tour info, articles, reviews, and more! For more on Write On! Online, read the interview on Liana’s Stories here: http://lianastories.blogspot.com/2010/01/meet-debra-eckerling.html

The January StoryLink eZine is up. Read an interview with Sherlock Holmes’ Simon Kinberg, expert articles with Michael Hauge (on the Keys to Structure) and The Last Station writer/director Michael Hoffman, events such as the Screenwriter’s Summit, contests, and more.

It’s Award Season! Congratulations to the Writers Guild Awards and Film Independent Spirit Awards nominees!
– The Writers Guild Awards take place simultaneously in New York and Los Angeles on February 20th.
– The Spirit Awards will air on IFC on March 5th.

EVENTS
Meet Dr. William Saleebey, author of Connecting: Beyond the Name Tag, at his book-release party on Thursday, January 21st at 7pm at Ca’Brea Restaurant. For details, go here.

11, September by actor/playwright Paul Kampf runs Wednesday though Sunday until February 7 at Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90025. For tickets and more information: www.11SeptemberPlay.info.

Basics and Beyond: Goal Setting and Productivity will be on Saturday, January 30, at 11:00 am, at The Writers Store in Westwood. The workshop, given by Debra Eckerling , will offer strategies to help you hone in on your goals and position yourself for success; plus, she will offer tips and tools for staying – and in some cases getting back – on track. To register go to StoryLink or email debra@writeononline.com. For a sneak peek, read Debra’s article on Goal Setting & Productivity!

Save the Date: The next LA Mediabistro Party will be on Tuesday, February 23rd. Details to come

ONGOING
Want to hear your work read? AltScreenPlay meets on Thursdays 7:30 – 10 pm, at Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd., Venice, CA, and is moderated by Matt Byrnes, mbbyrnes@gmail.com. First reading starts at 8 pm; and readings begin in the order in which the author arrived. Bring 1-10 pages of your screenplay, and make enough copies for each role. No RSVP necessary. Feel free to sit in without bringing any material of your own.

The Los Angeles Public Library now has a Screenwriters Workshop four Saturdays a month at different branches, from 10:30 am – 12 pm, and every Sunday in the Farmers Market community room from 3 – 5 pm, hosted by Sasha Karova. Learn format and workshop original material (screenplays, 1/2 hour sitcom, and 1/2 hour and 1 hour episodic) with an open reading or read-through. Open reading is on a first-come, first-served basis. Please RSVP to WritersUnblock@aol.com.

Writers Boot Camp offers Write On! members a discount on enlistment. For more information, contact Christine Baroumand at 800-800-1733 ext. 313, or christine@writersbootcamp.com.

Meditation Friday Nights at The Learning Garden the 2nd Friday of the month. Meditation begins promptly at 8:00 pm. Please dress in layers and bring a blanket and cushion to sit on. Meditation lasts about 40 minutes around a fire in the peaceful surroundings of the Garden. Donations go to The Learning Garden. For more information contact Camille at (310) 382-4323.

WRITE ON!
Our February Meeting will be on Wednesday, February 10, 2010. Please have newsletter items to debra@writeononline.com by February 8.

Write On! Online Author Q&As are posted every Tuesday and Friday. Check out the columns posted since the last newsletter:

Dr William Saleebey, Connecting: Beyond the Name Tag
Larry Novick, The Journey of Aikido
Singer/Songwriter Kat Parsons
Selena Revani, The Next Generation of Women Leaders
Playwright Paul Kampf,11, September
Jamie Reidy, Bachelor 101, Hard Sell
Rachel Iverson Metcalf, Don’t Help a Man Be a Man
Mary Guterson, Gone to the Dogs
Harry Connolly, Child of Fire
Generation Y Columnist Sharalyn Hartwell
Travel Writer Johnny Jet
Danny Manus, No BS for Screenwriters

Published Authors: Share your knowledge by participating in a Write On! Q&A. Email debra@writeononline.com for more information. Also, if you have already participated in an Author Q&A, please keep us posted on current projects!

Also, here are links to the Write On! Columns posted since the last newsletter:

Moving Write Along: Advice from the Experts — Creating Web Video by marketing expert Linda Frothingham
Techno Tools for Writers: Great Writer Gifts by freelance writer Heidi Leder
Jen’s Gems … for the Healthy Writer: Improving Health and Productivity in 2010 by Seattle-based movement and fitness coach Jennifer Waak
Moving Write Along: Advice from the Experts — Writing A Short Story by author Geoff Hoff

FINAL NOTE
Check out the new HARO website. Peter Shankman’s Help A Reporter Out is an invaluable resource for writers and experts: receive queries, submit queries, and respond to pitches.

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