Sunday, January 22, 2012

TV Writing Fellowships for 2012

The blog post with the most visits since I started this blog has been the TV Writing Fellowships, so I thought I'd update for 2012, as I'm sure many of the links are now broken on the old post.

First up, Nickelodeon, since their deadline is closest:
Nickelodeon TV Writer Fellowship
(description from homepage)
For consideration in the 2012 – 2013 Submit materials between January 2, 2012 and February 28, 2012
Semi-finalists will be notified by the end of August, 2012
Finalists will be notified by the beginning of September 2012
Chosen writers will be notified by the end of September 2012
All others will be notified, by mail, by the end of October 2012
Please note: Notification dates are subject to change.

Developed to broaden Nickelodeon’s outreach efforts, the Nickelodeon Writing Program is designed to attract, develop and staff writers with diverse backgrounds and experiences on Nickelodeon Network productions.
Operating in a three-phased structure, the Program provides a salaried position for up to one year and offers hands-on experience writing spec scripts and pitching story ideas in both live action and animation television.
This three-phased structure allows writers an opportunity to nurture relationships with creators, network executives, line producers, head writers, show runners and story editors.
As part of their script writing, each writer will be assigned to an Executive in Charge of Production and have an opportunity to write a spec script for an on-air Nickelodeon show.
In addition, all writers are integrated into the activities of both the development and production departments. This allows the writers an opportunity to attend storyboard pitches, notes meetings, records, table reads, show pitches and show tapings; all while being exposed to top creators and key production crews.

A 2011 Fellow, Kiyong Kim was wonderful to blog about his experience in this program.
Read his blog here:

The CBS Diversity Institute’s Writers Mentoring Program 
All completed application materials must be received between February 1, 2012 and April 1, 2012. Semi-finalists will be notified in September 2012 (or such later date as may be determined by CBS).
The Program is scheduled to begin in late September 2012 and continues through April 2, 2013.
Dates subject to change.
Making an Impact: In its first eight years, a total of 50 emerging diverse writers have graduated from the CBSWriters Mentoring Program. 25 careers have been launched. The goal of the program is to positively impact the presence of diverse writers throughout the industry.

From the webpage
There are many different paths writers can follow to get their first foothold in being hired in television. As part of its ongoing commitment to create additional access for writers of diverse backgrounds CBS' Diversity Institute has launched a different kind of writers program which highlights one of those paths.
The focus of this six month program is on opening doors: providing opportunities to build relationships with network executives and show runners; to support new and emerging writers in their efforts to improve their craft; and to develop the interpersonal skills necessary to break in and succeed.
The Writers Mentoring Program is not employment and there is no monetary compensation. It is, instead, a structured program of career development, support, and personal access to executives and decision-making processes, with the goal of preparing aspiring writers for later employment opportunities in television.
Each participant will be teamed with two different mentors.
  • One is a CBS network or studio executive with whom they will meet on a regular basis, to discuss their work, get creative feedback on their material and get advice and support in furthering their career.
  • The other is a show mentor who is a senior-level writer on a current CBS drama or comedy series. This relationship builds over the course of the Program and is focused on helping the participant with creative feedback on their writing as well as help and advice on career goals.
Once a week, participants will be invited to attend a small workshop-style meeting with various CBS show runners and other industry professionals. Speakers include executive producers, agents, managers, development and current executives and others. The purpose of these gatherings is for participants to gain a better understanding of how the business works from many different perspectives as well as creating the opportunity to make critical networking connections.
Another important part of the Program is the opportunity for each participant to spend time observing in their show mentor's writing room, as well as in the CBS current and development departments.
Each participant will have help in creating a rigorous career action plan and there will be on-going support in evaluating and achieving those goals. Another important benefit of the Program is the development of a close-knit peer support group that will sustain participants through the program and beyond.
The CBS Writers Mentoring Program helps aspiring writers to understand the unwritten rules of breaking in and moving up. It is a combination of mentoring and networking opportunities. Program opportunities such as mentoring, workshops, and observing can be scheduled around participants' existing work commitments. In order for a participant to get the most out of the Program a meaningful commitment of time and effort are required.

It's been found that in order to derive the greatest benefit from the Program, participants should be available to 1) attend a once a week (evening) workshop and 2) attend meetings or observe in various situations for a minimum of five full days (not necessarily in sequence) over the course of the six-month Program.
Disney/ABC Fellowship
Materials must be submitted between May 1, 2012 to June 1, 2012
Program runs from January 2013 through January 2014

From the webpage:
Writers become employees of Disney | ABC Television Group and will be paid a weekly salary of $961.54 ($50,000.00 annualized) plus any applicable benefits for which they are eligible in accordance with the then-current Company benefits plans. The program is designed to expose writers to key executives, producers and literary representatives – all essential in the development of a writing career. Additionally, while in the program, writers have the opportunity to work one-on-one with a current programming or development executive to create spec scripts of series from the current broadcast season. The ultimate goal is to prepare the writers for television staffing.

Fox Writer's Residency
So far there are no details for submissions or deadlines.
Below is the description from Fox's webpage:

Thank you for your interest in the Fox Writer's Residency. The Fox Writer's Residency is a program for new and emerging writers with diverse voices and life experiences. New writers in the program will develop their original feature and/or television script(s), be exposed to a wide range of Fox writers, writer's assistants, creative executives, directors and showrunners and participate in a series of initiatives through Fox Writer's Residency customized sessions focusing on the development processes, development of original scripts, as well as the business of writing. In partnership with Film Independent, Fox and a steering committee comprised of seasoned writers and producers will select up to ten (10) writers for this six (6) month program targeted to launch in Fall of 2012. This program will seek to cross-pollinate talent across all Fox Group units, including TV, film and digital. Writers who are members of the following organizations* are encouraged to apply, although all applicants are welcome.
Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment
East West Players

Film Independent
Guy Hanks & Marvin Miller Screenwriting
Media Access Awards
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
National Association of Latino Independent Producers
National Hispanic Media Coalition 

(NHMC)New York
Foundation for the Arts

Organization of Black Screenwriters
Sundance Institute

Sundance Native American and Indigenous Program

Visual Communications

Women and Hollywood

Women In Film Los Angeles

Writers Boot Camp

*Additional organizations may be added so please check back for periodic updates. If you are not affiliated with one of these organizations and would like more information, please contact the appropriate organization directly to find out how to become a member.
May 30, 2012 - June 30, 2012 (3:00 PM PST deadline) - Submission Period
This program runs from October through January. (*Includes breaks for Thanksgiving & December Holidays)All dates other than the submission period are subject to change.
Writers on the Verge is a 12-week program focused on polishing writers and readying them for a staff writer position on a television series. We are looking for writers who are "almost there" but need that final bit of preparation with their writing and personal presentation skills. We particularly encourage writers of diverse backgrounds to apply.

The program will consist of two night classes, which will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays (7-10pm), weekly at NBC in Universal City, CA. Once accepted, students must attend all classes and turn in all written assignments.

Classes concentrate on creating an exceptional spec script and understanding the dynamics of pitching oneself in the television industry. Writers are given the chance to interact with industry players ranging from network executives to showrunners to agents and receive valuable feedback on their work and pitch style. Writing assignments on a NBC television show may be available after successful completion of the program but are not a guarantee. Past participants have gone on to series including CommunityBurn NoticeWhite CollarIt’s Always Sunny in PhiladelphiaFriday Night Lights and Chuck.

WB Writers' Workshop

The Workshop will be open for submissions May 1-June 1, 2012. Submissions must be registered online with scripts uploaded and/or postmarked by 11:59pm on June 1, 2012 to be eligible. Writers may submit a maximum of two scripts. Each script counts as a new submission. Writing samples will not be returned. To qualify for the program, you cannot have been staffed on a primetime cable or network show. No recommendation letters, please.
WB has a specific list of specs that will be accepted for the application process!
The Warner Bros. Television Writers’ Workshop consists of three components, all geared towards preparing the writer for a successful career in television writing.
Lectures: Weekly lectures feature guest speakers currently working in television and include a mix of showrunners, directors, actors and agents. Each seminar will teach a new skill essential for surviving and excelling in a writers’ room as a staff writer and beyond.
Simulated Writers’ Room: In the winter, the Workshop participants are divided into smaller groups for an intensive writing experience. Each participant will be required to complete a new spec script under the same deadlines found on a show currently in production. How participants perform during this exercise will determine whether they will be chosen for a possible staffing position on a Warner Bros. show. Yes, the stakes are that high!
Staffing: Upon completion of the program, Studio executives will help participants, who pass the Writers' Room, obtain a staff position on a Warner Bros. television show currently in production. We can’t guarantee you will get staffed, but we will get your material in front of the people who make the ultimate decisions – the showrunners.
The 2012–2013 Warner Bros. Television Writers’ Workshop will run October 2012–March 2013, with meetings on the Warner Bros. lot in Los Angeles, California, every Tuesday evening from 7 p.m.–10 p.m. Full participation is mandatory. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Meet John Weimer and his Favorite Things

Hi, I'm John Weimer and these are a few of my favorite things.

ON MY iPoD: Pics of the World & a tapestry of musical favorites from Pink to Billy Idol
CURRENTLY READING:  Chariots of the Gods by Erich von Daniken – An intriguing analysis of ancient history and alternative theories of our origins.
COLOR:  Cerulean Blue – reminds me of warm waters of paradise.
CITY: BostonMA for culture & history - La JollaCA for everything else.
DREAM VACATION: Greek Island hopping.
ACTIVITY: Golf and polo
BOOK: The Great Gatsby
BOOK ON WRITING:  Hero’s Journey by Joseph Campbell
PLACE TO READ:  The beach with a gentle sunny breeze.
TV SHOW:  Fringe currently, but Smallville and X-Files are past favorites.
MOVIE: Donnie Darko, Blade Runner, Risky Business & The Thomas Crown Affair
SONG: Don’t take Your Love Away by Vast
SINGER:  David Gilmore of Pink Floyd
BAND: This is tough – U2, Vast, Pink Floyd, Cold Play
ACTOR:  Hugh Jackman, who can argue with Wolverine.
ACTRESS: Naomi Watts, she’s classically beautiful.
PET PEEVE: People with closed minds.
MOST LIKE TO MEET: Myself at 18 years old to tell him to enjoy the journey more.
My website:

My Twitter handle: @MojoNV

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Heart Attack Signs in Women

I got this in an email, but instead of emailing others, I decided to post to the blog.

I am an ER nurse and this is the best description of this event that I have ever heard. Please read, pay attention, and send it on!


I was aware that female heart attacks are different, but this is the best description I've ever read.

Women and heart attacks (Myocardial infarction). Did you know that women rarely have the same dramatic symptoms that men have when experiencing heart attack.. you know, the sudden stabbing pain in the chest, the cold sweat, grabbing the chest & dropping to the floor that we see in the movies. Here is the story of one woman's experience with a heart attack.

'I had a heart attack at about 10:30 PM with NO prior exertion, NO prior emotional trauma that one would suspect might have brought it on. I was sitting all snugly & warm on a cold evening, with my purring cat in my lap, reading an interesting story my friend had sent me, and actually thinking, 'A-A-h, this is the life, all cozy and warm in my soft, cushy Lazy Boy with my feet propped up.

A moment later, I felt that awful sensation of indigestion, when you've been in a hurry and grabbed a bite of sandwich and washed it down with a dash of water, and that hurried bite seems to feel like you've swallowed a golf ball going down the esophagus in slow motion and it is most uncomfortable. You realize you shouldn't have gulped it down so fast and needed to chew it more thoroughly and this time drink a glass of water to hasten its progress down to the stomach. This was my initial sensation--the only trouble was that I hadn't taken a bite of anything since about 5:00 p.m.

After it seemed to subside, the next sensation was like little squeezing motions that seemed to be racing up my SPINE (hind-sight, it was probably my aorta spasms), gaining speed as they continued racing up and under my sternum (breast bone, where one presses rhythmically when administering CPR).

This fascinating process continued on into my throat and branched out into both jaws. 'AHA!! NOW I stopped puzzling about what was happening -- we all have read and/or heard about pain in the jaws being one of the signals of an MI happening, haven't we? I said aloud to myself and the cat, Dear God, I think I'm having a heart attack!

I lowered the foot rest dumping the cat from my lap, started to take a step and fell on the floor instead. I thought to myself, If this is a heart attack, I shouldn't be walking into the next room where the phone is or anywhere else... but, on the other hand, if I don't, nobody will know that I need help, and if I wait any longer I may not be able to get up in a moment.

I pulled myself up with the arms of the chair, walked slowly into the next room and dialed the Paramedics... I told her I thought I was having a heart attack due to the pressure building under the sternum and radiating into my jaws. I didn't feel hysterical or afraid, just stating the facts. She said she was sending the Paramedics over immediately, asked if the front door was near to me, and if so, to un-bolt the door and then lie down on the floor where they could see me when they came in.

I unlocked the door and then laid down on the floor as instructed and lost consciousness, as I don't remember the medics coming in, their examination, lifting me onto a gurney or getting me into their ambulance, or hearing the call they made to St. Jude ER on the way, but I did briefly awaken when we arrived and saw that the radiologist was already there in his surgical blues and cap, helping the medics pull my stretcher out of the ambulance. He was bending over me asking questions (probably something like 'Have you taken any medications?') but I couldn't make my mind interpret what he was saying, or form an answer, and nodded off again, not waking up until the Cardiologist and partner had already threaded the teeny angiogram balloon up my femoral artery into the aorta and into my heart where they installed 2 side by side stints to hold open my right coronary artery.

I know it sounds like all my thinking and actions at home must have taken at least 20-30 minutes before calling the paramedics, but actually it took perhaps 4-5 minutes before the call, and both the fire station and St Jude are only minutes away from my home, and my Cardiologist was already to go to the OR in his scrubs and get going on restarting my heart (which had stopped somewhere between my arrival and the procedure) and installing the stints.
Why have I written all of this to you with so much detail? Because I want all of you who are so important in my life to know what I learned first hand.

1. Be aware that something very different is happening in your body, not the usual men's symptoms but inexplicable things happening (until my sternum and jaws got into the act). It is said that many more women than men die of their first (and last) MI because they didn't know they were having one and commonly mistake it as indigestion, take some Maalox or other anti-heartburn preparation and go to bed, hoping they'll feel better in the morning when they wake up... which doesn't happen. My female friends, your symptoms might not be exactly like mine, so I advise you to call the Paramedics if ANYTHING is unpleasantly happening that you've not felt before. It is better to have a 'false alarm' visitation than to risk your life guessing what it might be!

2. Note that I said 'Call the Paramedics.' And if you can take an aspirin. Ladies, TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!

Do NOT try to drive yourself to the ER - you are a hazard to others on the road.

Do NOT have your panicked husband who will be speeding and looking anxiously at what's happening with you instead of the road.

Do NOT call your doctor -- he doesn't know where you live and if it's at night you won't reach him anyway, and if it's daytime, his assistants (or answering service) will tell you to call the Paramedics. He doesn't carry the equipment in his car that you need to be saved! The Paramedics do, principally OXYGEN that you need ASAP. Your Dr will be notified later.

3. Don't assume it couldn't be a heart attack because you have a normal cholesterol count. Research has discovered that a cholesterol elevated reading is rarely the cause of an MI (unless it's unbelievably high and/or accompanied by high blood pressure). MIs are usually caused by long-term stress and inflammation in the body, which dumps all sorts of deadly hormones into your system to sludge things up in there. Pain in the jaw can wake you from a sound sleep. Let's be careful and be aware. The more we know the better chance we could survive.

A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this mail sends it to 10 people, you can be sure that we'll save at least one life.

*Please be a true friend and send this article to all your friends (male & female) who you care about!*

Monday, January 16, 2012

Let Us Prey - Blog Tour

Let Us Prey Now on Tour

For the next month, I’m a tourist! A Blog Tourist, that is. 

I love to travel, but for this tour, I’ll be staying home, and at the same time, I’ll be in computers all over the world. Maybe world is an exaggeration, but I’m okay with it. I’m thrilled to be sharing a bit about me and my first novel, Let Us Prey, on this blog tour. So welcome to my Jan/Feb 2012 Bewitching Book Tour. Before I get started, I need to thank Roxanne for everything she’s done.

Let Us Prey is the first book in the Gotcha Detective Agency series. Mimi Capurro, the owner of Gotcha, gets caught up in a murder when all she was supposed to be doing was protecting a New York Times bestselling author on her book tour. You know how crazy those fans of vampire series authors can be. Throw in her old flame from college, Nick Christianson, who happens to be the homicide detective and you have a bit of sexual tension to break up the stress of the investigation.

Due out in February, Death of a Sales Rep, when Mimi and Nick once again connect over a dead body, but this one is in San Francisco.

About me:

Born and raised in Salinas, CA (where the Gotcha series is set), I moved to Iowa about 16 years ago. I started writing because I needed to escape the real world, and just reading about other worlds wasn’t enough anymore.
I’ve written a non-fiction book called Hiking Iowa for Falcon Publishing, and I was a contributing writer for Crafts Business Magazine for two years before turning to fiction. Along with writing novels, I’ve written 3 feature screenplays, and I’m also writing for television. I have a great writing partner with whom I’m writing a TV drama.

Jan 16 Tour Party
Fang-tastic Books

Jan 19 Promo and Interview

Jan 21 Guest Blog
From Meredith Allard

Jan 25 Promo
For The Love of Reading

Feb 1 guest post and review
Mama Knows Books

Feb 2 Promo and review
Fictional Candy

Feb 4 promo and review
Lissette E. Manning

Feb 5 interview (review later)
Beverly @ The Wormhole

Feb 6 Guest Blog
I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read!

Feb 7 Interview
Theresa Stillwagon blog

Feb 8 Guest Blog

Feb 9 Interview

Feb 10 Guest Blog (review)
Cocktails and Books

Feb 10 Promo
**All the days of (Book Blog)**~

February 11 Interview
Lisa’s World of Books

Feb 11 Promo and review

Feb 13 Promo
Reader Girls/

Feb 13 Guest Blog and review
Sapphyria's Book Reviews

Let Us Prey
Book 1, Gotcha Detective Agency Mysteries
By Jamie Lee Scott

Mimi Capurro has been hired to protect New York Times bestselling author, Lauren Silke, who was recently assaulted in the bathroom at a paranormal conference. Though Mimi is hired to act as bodyguard for Lauren’s upcoming book tour, plans change when Lauren's assistant is murdered and the slaying is a replica of a scene from Lauren’s newest novel. A novel that hit bookstores the same day as the killing.

Now instead of playing bodyguard, Mimi is cracking computer code, and chasing down vampires. These vampires come alive on the streets of Santa Cruz, as part of a live-role-playing game. Mimi must find the connection between the vampires and the author to track down the killer. This would be much easier if Detective Nick Christianson wanted her investigating the case.
Nick, Mimi’s old college fling, is the lead homicide investigator.

Though he wants her off the case, he also wants to pump her for information. Nick may have used her in the past, but this time she’ll use him to try to catch the murderer first.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Meet K.E. Saxon and her Favorite Things

Hi, I'm K.E. Saxon and these are a few of my favorite things.

CURRENTLY READING: I’m actually reading two! A TOUCH OF ICE, by Lj Charles (romantic suspense with a bit of the paranormal), and ENTANGLEMENTS (Multiverse), by P.R. Mason (YA sci-fi urban fantasy).
CITY: San Francisco
DREAM VACATION: A trip to Argyll region in Scottish Highlands (the place my medieval scottish romances are set)
ACTIVITY: vegetable gardening
BOOK: Lady Gallant, by Suzanne Robinson
BOOK ON WRITING: Scene and Structure, by Jack M. Bickham
PLACE TO READ: Curled up on either the couch or my bed
TV SHOW: Grey's Anatomy
MOVIE: It changes, as you can imagine, but for today: Simply Irresistable
SONG: Today (this changes as well!) A Question of Lust, by Depeche Mode
SINGER: Natalie Merchant
ACTOR: Keanu Reeves
ACTRESS: Sandra Bullock
PET PEEVE: Pronouncing realtor realator
MOST LIKE TO MEET: Susan Elizabeth Phillips

K.E. Saxon, Author of Contemporary Romance
Tweet me @KESaxonAuthor

Friday, January 13, 2012

And heeereeee's the Pitch - Strike 3

I recently read an article in the L.A. Times, which I'm linking to at the bottom of the post.

The paragraph that struck me most was this:
Normally, only 10% of the writing process is actual writing. The other 90% is a subtle mix of procrastination and self-doubt. But there was no time for any of that. I had to outline the premise. Figure out plot points. Who are my characters? I don't know!

Don't I know it. Coming up with ideas is the easy part. When you get the incredible chance to pitch a story idea, well that's gold, but now you have to write the damn thing. That's where the line above comes in. With a novel you have 6 months to a year or more to write it, and if you are an established author, your chances of getting the book published is pretty high. Nowadays with indie/self publishing the chances are just about 100%. Not so with TV and movies.

Once your idea is pitched and they like it, you will only have a short time, usually about a month, to write the script to perfection. Features may be longer, but for TV it's a quick turn. This time crunch can either paralyze you, or make you work like an immigrant day worker.

And after you spilled your guts onto the page, the film/pilot may never get made. :-(

There are working writers whose names we will never know, and yet they are making a good living, selling pilots or screenplays, that will never get made. It's not that the screenplay wasn't good, it's just the business. This can cause grievous amounts of self-doubt and procrastination, and yet we are out there doing it again and again. Note: I'm not yet one of the writers making money from TV or movies, but I have friends who've sold projects that have never been made, and they are doing quite well, just writing for a living.

So here's the thing with Hollywood, or any other form of scripted entertainment: THEY CAN'T DO ANYTHING WITHOUT THE WRITER! Well, they can do some things, but the writer is the only person in this equation who doesn't need permission to do their job. Isn't being a writer incredible?

The best part is that once you have a manager/agent/good reputation, you can go into a meeting without a single word of your script written, you can pitch an idea. Ha, tell that to a publisher, "Yes, I have this idea about a zombie romance, where the zombie falls in love with a vampire, but they know it's doomed... but I don't have it written yet. Would you like to but the idea and pay me to write it?" With your tail tucked between your legs you squirm out of the office. (not that you'd ever be let into the office in the first place you lowly writer)

Oh, and the point of this story, whether you are a novelist or a screenwriter? Write, write, and write some more! Because if you don't kick self-doubt and procrastination to the curb, you will never get to "strike 3," but you will also never get the chance to pitch it out of the ballpark.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Meet Steena Holmes and her Favorite Things

Hi, I'm Steena and these are a few of my favorite things.

ON MY iPoD: Toby Mac
CURRENTLY READING: I 'just' finished a series from Anya Bast. 
COLOR:  blue
CITY: Calgary - the city of chinooks that bring warmth in the winter along with painful migraines.
DREAM VACATION: touring Europe
ACTIVITY: baking (that's an activity right?)
BOOK:Sarah's Key. It hits home every time I read it. 
BOOK ON WRITING:I have so many … really depends on what I need. 
PLACE TO READ:  in the bath or curled up in my comfy chair with a a hot drink and a blanket
TV SHOW:  Do I have to pick one? Alias is my all-time favourite. Love Nikita, Bones, NCIS and Once Upon A Time (a new favourite)
MOVIE: Lake House. I'm a sucker for long lost love stories.
SONG: whichever is playing on the radio ;) 
SINGER:  Michael Buble
BAND: hmmm….not sure
ACTOR:  Gerard Butler
ACTRESS:  Love Angelina Jolie - she has a depth that surprises me no matter what movie she's in.
PET PEEVE:  people who throw out chocolate - come on … you've already committed to those calories when you took that first bite. Just indulge and enjoy the whole thing :)
MOST LIKE TO MEET: fellow authors. I love meeting like minded people. 
My website:
My Twitter handle: @steenaholmes