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They Won’t Even Read You

John and Craig look at how the push to increase diversity in TV writing rooms impacts writers looking to staff for the first time.

Writing Tips: Outlining For Genre And Literary Fiction With Libbie Hawker

Today I talk about outlining, writing literary fiction fast and ambition with Libbie Hawker. In the intro I mention my own writing update and how CrimeFest literary festival has changed so much for indies over the last few years, plus, Goodreads expansion into ebook giveaways and email marketing for books on sale, which will see […]

Everyone’s Getting Into Video. Should You?

Unless you’ve been garreted away working on the Great American Novel—and maybe you have!—you’ve probably noticed that video is becoming a big deal. There’s high market demand for it, and we’re all spending more and more time watching video online, which means more advertising money is moving to video. Trend reports indicate that video advertising is now growing […]

Scriptnotes, Ep 250: The One with the Austin Winner — Transcript

The original post for this episode can be found here. Previously on Scriptnotes Craig Mazin: Zero. Amanda Morad: Oh, that’s me. John August: So, what this card says is John and Craig will read your script. If you would like to– Amanda: Um, yes. John: Great. Craig: And we’ll talk about it on the show […]

‘Language is a dangerous code’: A Conversation with Peter Gizzi

Thanks to Plymouth University’s YouTube feed, we have an intimate look into the life and work of Peter Gizzi, whose 7th collection of poetry, Archeophonics, will be published in September by Wesleyan University Press. Gizzi discusses his entry into poetry as a young man and the influence his older brother Michael had on his development, […]

The One with the Austin Winner

Remember the live show in Austin, when we promised we’d read one lucky listener’s script and talk about it on the air? This is that episode.

At Open Space: Paul Ebenkamp’s Mind in the Form of a List Includes Xenakis, John Wiese, Pigeons

Poet and musician Paul Ebenkamp makes the links the thing in his “Listworthy” at Open Space. Listworthy engages smart people. “What’s on their minds, bookshelves, browsers; what inspires, attracts, or distracts them?” How about we simply snag a few. Show More Summary

Creativity, Art And Business With Lisa Congdon

Today I’m talking with Lisa Congdon about the creative process as a visual artist, the myth of overnight success, getting over self-doubt about our work, and the importance of multiple streams of income for anyone wanting to be a full-time creative. In the intro, I talk about my trip to Spain (photos here) and lessons […]

Scriptnotes, Ep 249: How to Introduce Characters — Transcript

2 weeks agoArts / Writing :

The original post for this episode can be found here. John August: Hey, this is John. So, on April 16, 2016, I had the great pleasure of sitting down with Aline Brosh McKenna and Rachel Bloom to talk about their amazing show, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. This was all part of the Writers Guild Foundation Craft Day […]

Don’t Accidentally Give Your Characters a Time Out

2 weeks agoArts / Writing : Writer Unboxed

Pop quiz: Where do your characters go when they aren’t in the scene you’re writing? Are they pacing in the greenroom? Maybe chowing down at the snack table, catching a quick nap, or binge watching old episodes of Murder She Wrote on Netflix while waiting for their next cue. Or – and this is the […]

How to Introduce Characters

2 weeks agoArts / Writing :

John talks with Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna, co-creators of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, about how they pitched and wrote their critically-acclaimed show.

Aborted Nurses: A Geopoetics, for Mother’s Day (and the formula babies)

There are two human figures amidst the mayhem in Cathy Wilkes’s I Give You All My Money, a centrifugal 2008 installation reconstructed for various locations over time, which I lived with, or rather worked aside, at The Renaissance Society in Chicago over the course of winter 2012. Two mannequins, to be exact, naked and with […]

Write The Heart Of Your Story. Tips For Writing Emotion With CJ Lyons

As Maya Angelou said, “They may forget what you said and did, but they won’t forget how you made them feel.” If you can move the reader with your writing, they will remember you and become a fan. And that’s true with whatever you’re writing In today’s show, I interview CJ Lyons about tips for […]

Writing When It’s Not Like a Movie

3 weeks agoArts / Writing : Writer Unboxed

When you sit down to write a scene, do you see it play out behind your eyes like a movie? Can you close your eyes and bring to mind images of each of your characters? If you’re like the majority of writers, the answer to both those questions is a resounding YES. If, on the […]

Scriptnotes, Ep 248: Pitching an Open Writing Assignment — Transcript

3 weeks agoArts / Writing :

The original post for this episode can be found here. John August: Hello and welcome. My name is John August. Craig Mazin: My name is Sexy Craig. John: And this is Episode 248 of Scriptnotes, a podcast about screenwriting and things that are interesting to screenwriters. Today on the show we’ll be talking about how […]

Pitching an Open Writing Assignment

3 weeks agoArts / Writing :

John and Craig discuss open writing assignments, and how to best pitch to producers and studios looking to hire a writer for a specific property. Most of the work happens before you set foot in the room, so proper planning is essent...

How To Use Audio as an Author For Book Sales and Marketing

People connect with people, and humans have used their voices to connect for millennia. It’s hard for authors who favor text, but you can stand out if you use audio for book sales and marketing. In the intro, I talk about the launch of Destroyer of Worlds and the importance of remembering it’s about long-term […]

The Joy Of Going Small. Hawkesbury Upton LitFest And Why Local Writing Events Matter

Last weekend, I attended Hawkesbury Upton Literary Festival in the Cotswolds. I was there as J.F.Penn for a crime fiction panel and also to support my Dad, Arthur J.Penn, appearing as an artist-in-residence with his linocut prints. You can watch a little video below or here on YouTube. I actually enjoyed it more than London […]

Race Riot at East St. Louis July 2, 1917

Notes for national corpse month, continued: I keep returning to this moment during the one-year memorial of Michael Brown’s death, August 9, 2015, in Ferguson, Missouri, when Marcellus Buckley was reading a poem he had written the night before. I stayed up all night, he said. I was standing beneath an oak tree with Dot […]

How To Self-Publish In India With Rasana Atreya

India is an exciting market for indie authors and today, Rasana Atreya gives an overview of the publishing landscape and outlines tips for self-publishing in India. In the introduction, I talk about the death of Prince and the need to reflect on our mortality and what will make up our creative body of work. I […]

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