April 14, 2018

Got this blog Google verified tonight. Not that hard to do. Working on writing a lot lately even though the day job is being stubbornly time consuming. I don’t mind 40 hours a week, but 60 recalls the bad old days of film & TV…

Accomplishments this week

  • Finished first draft of a new story and sent it to my beta reader.
  • Found out about another Polar Borealis upcoming poem publication.
  • Got a very nice rejection from Strange Horizons.
  • Sent out my On Spec and Tesseracts 22 submissions. These are important Canadian publications to be in and I hope I make it in!
  • Sent out another short story that is a hard one to get published. Unlike a lot of authors, I find my comic stories easier to sell than the more tragic ones.
  • Getting my own garden plot and going to first meeting about it.
  • Planted some more early flowers on balcony. I have a few 2 leaf plants now from last week’s early attempt. The petunias didn’t come up but the mixed hardy wildflowers had a few sprout!
  • Hyacinths almost done but were great! Street is full of cherry blossoms!
  • Enjoyed an hour at Southlands Nursery and bought way too much for a balcony and a small garden plot.
  • Emailed Garden Manager to see if I can have another plot.

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

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

open door submissions for novels

So this week, I found two places that are accepting unpublished novels (slush basically) for a short period of time.  Both of them want about 50 pages of a novel from any author who wants their novel read by a big-time publisher.  I think these are great opportunities for those of us in SF/F.  So here they are:

Gollancz UK publisher

Angry Robot USA publisher

I’m not certain I will go for it, though. I don’t want to send my novel off until I’m ready. I don’t have the 80k finished level and it’s not polished as yet.  But it is tempting!

Like my old friend the tomcat KittyCat or Quonsi as his owners call him, I have to assess our chances of getting good things from each hunting expedition.  Not entirely certain that being in a veritable mountain of slush novel submissions is the best presentation for me…

cat from larch

 

December 18, 2015

Enjoying my WOTF badges! It helps me to feel like a creative writer when Corporate Job makes me feel like a technical person.

Plans for the Christmas break include trying to get back into my novel and also writing a pitch up for the Women In Film Horror script contest More on that at: Women in Film (Canada) genre writing contest.

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