December 30, 2017

I’ve been revising and sending out stories this month. Its been great to have a few days off corporate job.

Spent Christmas Eve worried sick about elderly father, who was moved from his care home to a hospital.  Made the usual large Christmas feast for friends on the 25th. Saw a few movies since: The Big Sick, Downsizing and Murder on the Orient Express.  All enjoyable, loved The Big Sick, was pleasantly surprised by Downsizing and enjoyed the Orient Express as a good Agatha Christie film.

Hoping to get back into writing quick enough to finish the WIF Darkside Contest this year. Especially as I have a committed teen cowriter for  one idea.

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Buy my Story for the Holidays!

News: At last, the new story is out and available in print:

The Vancouver Sci-Fi Anthology

This features my story “Night Market” as well as the stories of Rob Boffard, Holly Schofield, Nicholas Jennings, David Wright, Elisha Betts and Alban Goulden. This was edited by up and coming SF/F editor Ellen Michelle. The front cover art which is terrific is by Elisha Betts.

Story Accepted by Neo-opsis Magazine!

“Wrasse” accepted by Neo-opsis Science Fiction Magazine! October 2017

Really excited to be in Neo-opsis which is one of Canada’s leading SF magazines!

For subscriptions, go to  Neo-opsis Science Fiction Magazine

Compostela Tesseracts 20 Reading

Tess20_Reading2Link to Recording of Cat reading a poem.

Reading took place September 18, 2017 at the Cottage Bistro, Vancouver. It was part of a double reading series with Pulp Literature launching their issue 16.  White Dwarf Books attended to sell copies of the books! It was a great night! I thoroughly enjoyed it and it reminded me of the Edmonton poetry scene where I first read my poems.

Many thanks to all who organized and attended!

Tess20_Reading_hand

 

Prix Aurora Awards 2017

It’s the time of year when Eligibility Lists form for the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards – the Aurora Awards.

This year, I’m happy to report, I’m on  the eligibility list. If you’d like to nominate my story, “The Cup” in Polar Borealis & thus allow me to proceed to the Nominations List, click here:  Aurora Awards site.

This is a really great deal, btw, because for Canadian Aurora voters, you can download a package of the top novels in the field before voting for them. It’s been an incredibly great way to see what’s new in SF&F and have nice pdf versions I can read on my Ipad.

And, you could, ahem, nominate my little story 🙂

To read my story: Just go to http://polarborealis.ca and click on “Current/Back Issues” in the header, then scroll a short distance down to the link.

Thanks!

 

Polar Borealis Magazine Get My Story Free

POLAR BOREALIS Magazine #2 is finally published and available for free download to anyone who wants to read it. It contains the following goodies:

  • Stories by Stan G. Hyde, Ron Friedman, Steve Fahnestalk, Michael John Bertrand, Holly Schofield, David Perlmutter, R. Graeme Cameron, Catherine Girczyc, Dave Duncan, Nina Munteanu, Matthew Hughes, and Spider Robinson.
  • Cover art by Eric Chu.
  • Poems by Colleen Anderson, Rissa Johnson, Mary Choo, Eileen Kernaghan, Rhea Rose, and J.Y.T. Kennedy.

Just go to http://polarborealis.ca and click on “Current/Back Issues” in the header, then scroll a short distance down to the link.

Cover art by Eric Chu

title page

 

How to get into TV & Film in Canada

Jwithpuppetback

  • My advice is twofold:

1.  Look for a day job in film.

Anyone interested in film and TV should work in it even for a short time – in any capacity!  Look for ways to get onto a film union list, starting as a PA maybe even? There are many jobs, too, not all of them on shoots.  This  includes the behind-the-scenes stuff or animation, distribution, etcetera.  That way you really get a feel for your field & make contacts.  I’m not a hugely successful TV writer, but I’ve sold over 15 scripts and all of them due to personal contacts – not the 2 agents (!).

2.  Sell what scripts you have in the best way possible.  I often use a real estate metaphor, because it is the same, believe it or not.  As I learned the hard way, a local agent here like Integral or Characters won’t ‘sell’ your big script or new TV series idea.  They’ll offer the ‘houses’ they have at their level – think Surrey.  If you have a Shaughnessy mansion of a script, go to an LA agent.  Many of them will look at new stuff from young writers. I will say that even a Vancouver agent would be good to start your talks with any producer though.

In this light, check out the Writers Guild of Canada. You can’t join until you have a credit, but they sometimes have open events and checking the website for good materials and references is good. WGC is the Canadian version of the WGA, in fact we have sharing $$ agreements with them.

So, for example, if you are ready to look for an agent, look at the public list on the WGC site: http://www.wgc.ca/resources/agents.html

It’s usually possible to meet with Canadian agents if you have a project.  I’m currently not agented, due to the fact that I had to turn down the last 3 offers in a row (for bad reality shows that pay poorly).

All my work’s sold solely due to industry contacts but having an agent may have gotten me ‘in the door’.  I have had 2 agents, both Canadian and neither earned me a cent I didn’t find myself.  However, if you have a fantastic script, ready to go, for a movie, for example, you should try to get an agent to help you sell it.

I usually write TV episodes, so my work’s differently focused. If it’s a huge script – the Hollywood style ones have to be agented in the USA – our agents just don’t have the contacts to sell huge scripts.  Check out the Hollywood Screenwriting Directory for ‘who to send it to’. https://www.writersstore.com/hollywood-screenwriting-directory  It costs $29 US but is worth it.

Links:

TO film list – good for applying to current films. These are often updated: https://www1.toronto.ca/static_files/economic_development_and_culture/docs/currently_filming.pdf

BC file list – from the DGC site

https://www.dgc.ca/bc/production_list/Production%20List.pdf

Unions to check out:

Vancouver: ACFC is the easiest to get into. They don’t have ‘all’ the productions but they usually have something and are more willing to train.  See http://www.acfcwest.com/become.html

ACFC also has a list of great links for beginners in film: http://www.acfcwest.com/industry.html  They have a Production Office area and it’s good if he wants to get some local experience.  Pay rates are lower than IATSE and hours sometimes longer but it’s a way in. Most ACFC members eventually join IATSE.

IATSE:  This I’d recommend only if he’s going the ‘office’ route first.  https://www.iatse.com/ Local 891 is Vancouver.  It’s more or less a route to get into an office and see production and work from there.

DGC: This is where locations starts, also directors.  But I never have seen Locations lead to writing gigs, they’re too far from the office and the writers.  If directing is your interest, though, it’s good.  They have offices in Vancouver and TO.

http://www.dgc.ca/en/index.cfm

The TV and film world can look like a jungle, but I’ve had some great experiences and earned a lot out there at times!

Cat

p.s. Below is from http://thecollectortv.com/36.html  and is the listing for 1 of my Collector tv series episodes.  Producers: Larry Sugar, Showrunners: Jon Cooksey and Ali Marie Matheson. The Collector is a wonderful show – a dark fantasy & I thoroughly enjoyed writing two episodes for it!

Collector website Ufologist