Write On! Online’s monthly contests are designed to encourage you to give those writing muscles a workout.


As 2009 comes to an end, let’s celebrate! Write 200 to 400 words on your favorite holiday tradition. It doesn’t matter what you celebrate – Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Years, Winter Solstice, or something else. It can be a current tradition or one you remember doing as a child. Don’t have a holiday tradition? Now is a great time to create one.


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! Strikes Back by Blake Snyder 3rd Place: The Pocket Screenwriting Guide by Mario Moreno and Anthony Grieco, compliments of The Writers Store

Submit 200 to 400 words about your holiday tradition in the body of an email to by Thursday, December 31. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, January 19, 2010, in the January Write On! Newsletter.


Congratulations to the Winners of the Write On! Online November Challenge: Write Your Turkey!

1st Place: Lisa Marks

2nd Place: Susie MacEldowney

3rd Place: David King

The 1st Place Story by Lisa Marks – “Little Bag of Sugar” – is posted on Write On! Online!

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Congratulations to Stephanie Olivieri, December winner of an iScript, for posting goals. Post your January goals on Write On! Online or Facebook Fan Page 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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Congratulations to everyone who participated in National Novel Writing Month. Winners, awesome job! Participants, congrats for taking the challenge. Best of luck as you jump into those re-writes. Special congrats to Laurie Dinnerstein’s NaNoWriMo students at Ivy Academia. Of the 17 members of her NaNoWriMo Club, she had 6 winners, and 3 students who came close.

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 By submitting, you are giving permission for your essay to be published.

Read Debra Eckerling talks Goal Setting for Writers on Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s Sharing with Readers and Writers blog. Need some help planning your success in 2010? Check out my Goal Setting & Productivity workshop on January 30 at the Writers Store in Los Angeles.

Fern Ettinger just had her letter to the editor posted at The Detroit Free Press, and was asked to contribute an Op Ed piece for an upcoming issue.

Maria Fotopoulo has an article about complementary currency is the Dec/Jan issue of Whole Life Times magazine. Her article is on page 30, though the entire issue is available online – and worth reading.

Jenn Garbee, author of Secret Suppers and a Los Angeles Times food writer. She is a contributor to the just released 2010 EAT Los Angeles. Check out for more information.

Annette Pasternak’s new blog is up:

Larry Whatcott’s script, Time Wreck, made the semi-finals of The Screenplay Festival contest. Congrats, Larry!

The December StoryLink eZine has lots of great info, including an interview with Kirk Jones, Everybody’s Fine and Waking Ned Devine, as well as an article on writing drama by Danny Manus, gifts for writers, the new session of Writers University classes, and more.


The final Save the Cat! Logline Contest of 2009: Use the STC! rules of a well-written logline to rework the logline of a well-known movie and turn it into a Holiday classic. For details, examples, and prizes, go to

The Tableread My Screenplay contest gives screenwriters the chance to have their 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 $1000). Late deadline is December 15th.


On Sunday, December 13, 3pm, Company of Angels Theatre in LA presents Nancy Mills’ “Tales of Downtown – From Blog Page to Theater Stage!” World Premiere. Following the performance will be a “wandering caravan” “hot dogs & champagne” holiday party at Weeneez – a combo hot dog parlor & art gallery. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Alexandria Workshops – a special community project of the Company of Angels. Ticket Price: $55, includes theater & holiday party. To purchase a ticket e-mail

At 5:30 pm on December 20th, The Learning Garden at Venice High School, 13000 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles (on the corner of Walgrove Ave and Venice Blvd.) hosts Winter Solstice, led by Camille Harris, Ceremony Master Supreme. With the fire in the pit and a thoughtful retrospection, like agrarian societies in times past, we observe the season’s changing. Dress warm. It’s an island of peace and quiet in the madness of the modern American holiday season. For details contact David King, The Learning Garden’s Gardenmaster, at 310.722.3656 or email

The Christmas Princess by Write On! member Arthur Jolly returns for its third revival – this time at The Promenade Playhouse in the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. Saturdays and Sundays, through December 20th at 2:30 pm and 5:30pm – fun for all ages! “An original fairy tale – a spoiled Princess must find three magical christmas gifts for her parents if she is to escape an arranged marriage to the world’s stupidest Prince.” You can get discounted tickets – in advance – online at or go to

Basics and Beyond: Marketing through Blogging and Social Networking will be on Saturday, January 9, 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. (Register in advance – using code WRITEON – and receive $5 off) To register go to StoryLink or email

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, 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

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

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.


Due to a conflict at the bookstore, our January Meeting will be on the 3rd Wednesday of the month: January 20, 2010. Please have newsletter items to me by January 18.

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

Nancy Mills, The Spirited Woman, Tales of Downtown

Howard Sherman, Saints in Sin City

Dallas Woodburn, 3 a.m., The Identity Theft of Dani Dickinson

Playwright Gabe McKinley, Extinction

Jeremy Greenberg, Relative Discomfort: The Family Survival Guide

John Le Beau, Collision of Evil

Alyson Noël, The Immortals Series

Jessica Bendinger, The Seven Rays, Stick It

Published Authors: Share your knowledge by participating in a Write On! Q&A. Email 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 — Book Proposals by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the acclaimed HowToDoItFrugally series

Techno Tools for Writers: Netbooks by freelance writer Heidi Leder

Jen’s Gems … for the Healthy Writer: Avoid Becoming a Holiday Weight-Gain Statistic by Seattle-based movement and fitness coach Jennifer Waak


Writer’s Digest is accepting nominations for next year’s list of “101 Best Websites for Writers.” If you enjoy Write On! Online, please send a message to with “101 Websites” in the subject line (deadline is January 1, 2010).



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