OCTOBER WRITE ON! CONTEST – October Challenge: Boo! Write in a Genre that Scares You!
Write On! Online’s monthly contests are designed to encourage you to give those writing muscles a workout. For last month’s contest—”Getting to Know You”—I recommended fiction writers take the non-fiction challenge and vice versa. This month, writing out of your comfort zone is the assignment!


We tend to play favorites when it comes to genres. We write what we like to read and watch (or at least we should) as a way of studying the craft. While it’s essential to like what you write and “write what you know,” there’s value in testing out less familiar territory. You may discover a long lost (genre) love. Also, practicing a less-familiar genre may strength your skills—and give you fresh perspective on—an old standby.


1st Place: A medium-length (or 21,000 word) one-reader iScript, and have your story published on Write On! Online
2nd Place: Save the Cat!® Goes to the Movies by Blake Snyder
3rd Place: The Writers Digest Guide to Query Letters by Wendy Burt-Thomas, compliments of The Writers Store

Submit a 300 to 400 word short story in the body of an email to debra@writeononline.com by Friday, October 31. Include in the message: your name, email address, favorite genre, and the “genre that scares you.” Winners will be announced on Tuesday, November 10, 2009, in the November Write On! Newsletter.

Check out Write On! Online on November 1st for details on The November Challenge!

If your an author interested in donating your book as a prize for a future Write On! Online Challenge, email debra@writeononline.com.

Congratulations to the Winners of the Write On! Online September Challenge.

1st Place:
Fiction: Elizabeth Beeson
Non-Fiction: Lillian Lewis

2nd Place:
Fiction: Shelley Ginsburg
Non-Fiction: Samantha Goddard

3rd Place:
Fiction: Ginger Earle
Non-Fiction: JJ Ford

First place winning stories are posted on Write On! Online!

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Congratulations to Mark Niu, October winner of an iScript, for posting goals on Write On! Online. Post your November goals on Write On! Online and be entered in the monthly drawing to win a FREE iScript (www.iScript.com).

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Ask Al A Carte (aka Alexandra Anne Carte) is collecting recipes for her upcoming ebook. Send your favorite recipe – along with a paragraph telling why it’s your favorite. You can even include a pic! Send to askalacarte@cs.com. By submitting, you are giving permission for your essay to be published.

Orchid Black has a new website: http://nativesanctuary.wordpress.com/. Congrats, Orchid!

Laurie Dinnerstein and a group of students from Ivy Academia in Woodland Hills will be participating in NaNoWriMo. Hopefully, by the end of the month, Laurie – and most of her group – will have a rough draft of a novel. Good luck Laurie, and everyone else participating in NaNoWriMo.

Check out Linda Frothingham’s website – www.chicagohollywood.com – for info on interesting events in LA and Chicago, including a recap of the recent three-day event with Daniel Manus.

Author Carolyn Howard-Johnson (The Frugal Editor, The Frugal Book Promoter) will be a host for one day at the Green Book Pavilion with The Green New Media Life Expo at the convention center in Ontario, CA. Interested authors may contact Gerry Fisher at GeFisher39@aol.com or call 702.467.9411 or 760.961.2728. He has other Expos coming up, as well. Also, check out Carolyn’s website, and sign up for her newsletters! Lots of great information!

Write On! Member Esther Kustanowitz was recently featured on member Shannon Flaherty’s Blog: Hustle Up! The two met at the last Mediabistro Party on October 1st at The Crocker Club in LA. Shannon is looking for more writers and media creatives to profile on her blog. If you’d like to complete a HUSTLE FILE, showcasing “yourhustle,” please hit her up at info@shannonflaherty.com.

The Big Noisy Bug Movie Podcast, where Peter Pollack does off-the-cuff reviews past Oscar winners, launched last month. Subscribe here, or search “Big Noisy Bug” on iTunes.

Author and radio personality Vicki Wagner (Get a Date Today: How to Market Yourself for LOVE and Lesbian Knows Best) just premiered her new show – The Vicki Wagner Show – on October 6th. Missed the show? Catch it online.

Congratulations to Michael Wolffe (former Santa Monica Write On! member who now lives in Minnesota) who just released his novel Love Song Journey. For more information, go to: http://michaelwolffe.blogspot.com/.

The new issue of East on Central (A Journal of Arts and Letters from Highland Park, Illinois) was just released. Congrats to editor Judith Kaufman Tepfer and all of the magazine’s contributers.

Read the Horror-themed October StoryLink eZine, which includes interviews with Jeffrey Reddick (Final Destination), Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (Zombieland), and Shauna Cross (Whip It).


Chayah Masters is looking for someone to house sit and take care of her indoor cats in Tucson, AZ, from November 27 to December 16. For more informattion, email Chayah@theacme.com.

All Ways Consulting offers script consulting services for aspiring screenwriters looking to break into the industry. From writing a captivating treatment to script analysis to marketing tools, All Ways Consulting meets the needs of screenwriters… in all ways. For more info, contact Michelle at www.allwaysconsult.com.

Enter the Tableread My Screenplay contest for a chance to have our Screenplay Read by Professional Actors. Other grand prizes include a trip to Los Angeles, a ‘Private Session’ with Gary Goldstein – Producer of Pretty Woman, the PRO Series – six-month intensive screenwriting course – worth $1100. Early deadline (with $15 entry free) is October 31st!

Want to jumpstart your Hollywood Screenwritng Career? Enter the Filmstream 2009 Screenplay Competition. Pitch your story to 5 Hollywood Insiders with a chance to win the Grand Prize valued at over $2,700. For details, check out the website!

The 2009 Screenwriting Expo is this week at The Wilshire Grand Hotel in Los Angeles – October 15th through 18th. Hear and speak to producers, agents, screenwriters with blockbuster hits and critically-acclaimed films, screenwriters who are also best-selling novelists, and world-famous screenwriting teachers. Other highlights include the Golden Pitch Tournament, the Expo Scriptwriting Competition, and multiple networking opportunities.Plus, The Writers Store will offer the best deals of the year on the top writing tools.

Debra Eckerling will be teaching Breaking through Writers Block at the Screenwriting Expo on Friday, October 16th, from 2 pm – 3:30pm. The session is sponsored by iScript. Should be a great workshop. Hope you can make it.

Jon Dorf invites interested playwrights to DRAMAKAZE! A Crash Courses in the Art and Business of Playwriting, a FREE, day-long extravaganza on Saturday, October 24, at Cal State Northridge, Nordhoff Hall. While the Business workshops and the Reading Festival are open to all, participation in the Director/ Dramatist Exchange and the two Art workshops is limited: you must notify them if you wish to be included in any of those. Participants will be chosen by lottery, with current ALAP members and CSUN students having priority. To apply for any of those three programs, send an email to DanB@LAPlaywrights.org to be received no later than 6:00 PM on Thursday, October 15! You will be notified the following day of your status.

Check out the great events Writers Guild of America West have coming up at: http://www.wga.org/content/default.aspx?id=902

Basics and Beyond: Marketing through Blogging and Social Networking will be on Saturday, November 14, at 11:00 am, at The Writers Store in Westwood. The workshop, given by Debra Eckerling, will offer strategies for marketing yourself on the web, including why and how to create a blog, using social networking effectively for self-promotion, enewsletters, and more! Price: $49.95 includes an assessment of your blog and additional recommendations. To register go to StoryLink or email debra@writeononline.com.

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 Satur days of the 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: http://www.writersbootcamp.com/29distinction.asp. For more information, contact Christine Baroumand at 800/800-1733 ext. 313, or christine@writersbootcamp.com.

Meditation Thursday Nights at The Learning Garden. Gates open at 7 pm; Meditation begins promptly at 7:30 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.

Our November Meeting will be on Wednesday, November 11. Please have newsletter items to me by

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

Amy Ferris, Marrying George Clooney

Susan Shapiro, Speed Shrinking

Laura Bell, 101 Things You Didn’t Learn in Harvard Business School

Monica Holloway, Cowboy & Wills

Stefanie Flaxman, Revision Fairy Tales

Travel Writer Lena Katz

Freelance Writer Susan Hornik

TV Writer Jack Burditt, 30 Rock

Chris Roerden, Don’t Sabotage Your Submission

Screenwriter and Playwright Arthur Jolly

Published Authors: Share your knowledge by participating in a Write On! Q&A. Email debra@writeononline.com for more information. Also, if you have previously 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 — Literary Agents” by Laura Stracham, Stracham Literary Agency

“Techno Tools for Writers: Digital Pens” by freelance writer Heidi Leder

“Jen’s Gems … for the Healthy Writer: Carpel Tunnel” by Seattle-based movement and fitness coach Jennifer Waak.

Also, last week, “Moving Write Along: Advice from the Experts – NaNoWriMo” UCLA Extension Instructor Ian Randall Wilson shared tips for succeeding during National Novel Wriing Month

Speaking of NaNoWriMo…

Just a few weeks left until the start of National Novel Writing Month on November 1st. Participating in NaNoWriMo? Let me know, so we can cheer each other on. I will be setting up a discussion thread on the Write On! Facebook Page!


Comments are closed.

  1. Bill Stankiewicz 12 years ago

    I enjoy these posts. Keep up the great work!

    Best Regards,

    Bill Stankiewicz
    Vice President and General Manager
    Shippers Warehouse of Georgia
    Office: 678-364-3475
    Sustainable Consumer Packaged Goods member
    CPG Branding and Forum Member
    Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail
    ‚ÄúChange doesn’t start on the surface. It’s generated from consciousness.‚Äù
    Deepak Chopra

  2. Debra Eckerling 12 years ago

    Thanks, Bill! Appreciate it!


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