Winning Short Story – A Far Distant Wind by L S Kleinschmidt

Performed by Val Cole

 Get to know the writer:

What is your short story about?

A Far Distant Wind tells the story of an everyday person living her life who becomes trapped in an international crisis and learns the importance of living everyday.

What genres would you say this short story is in?

Dramatic Memoir –

How would you describe this story in two words?

Tragic realities

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

I have a LONG list, but definitely one is Schindler’s List. Another is Forest Gump, and of course any movie with Sidney Poitier, Fred Astaire or directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?

It’s not actually a song – I love Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. A favorite song is Moon River.

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Again, there are many, and my favorite changes regularly, probably too regularly, but Grapes of Wrath is one of the best.

What motivated you to write this story?

A news story and my deep passion for telling stories, understanding history, and New York City

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Again, I have a long list, but Pope John Paul and Jacqueline Kennedy would be definite choices. Their courage during terrible times and their dedication to history, country, and human freedom impressed me greatly. As a writer and lover of movies and screenwriting, I would have loved to meet Robert Osborne on TCM.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Improving literacy skills ( writing + reading as without both, a free society is lost); human rights and advocacy also can help everyday persons live happier meaningful lives.

What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

A recent connection I made on LinkedIn told me about the festival. I’ve been writing in multiple genres for years, and I particularly love the power and emotion of oral dramatic performance. So, I submitted the story.

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Ideas are everywhere around you, but it is the constant gathering and personal consideration of them that makes you a writer. Being in the right place at the right time is luck, but when that stroke of luck appears, you need the talent and the experience to discover the story only you can tell. Then you have to know how to tell it right. I believe good writing is all about scene, and you learn scene and how scene delivers character, theme, and story by watching tons of movies. I do that all the time.

 

 


Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

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Short Story Reading of THE ATTACK by Mark Renshaw

Performed by Val Cole

 Get to know the writer:

What is your short story about?

It’s about a guy experiencing a severe panic attack. From his perspective, he views these incidents more like battles, as if he’s being assailed by an invisible force. Using this viewpoint helps him to focus through the pain and fight back.

What genres would you say this short story is in?

Drama.

How would you describe this story in two words?

Grief, recovery.

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

I’m a sucker for the original Star Wars trilogy.

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

My favourite song changes as time goes by. One of the ones I keep going back to though is Dream On by Aerosmith.

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

One of the few books I’ve read numerous times is Legend by David Gemmell.

What motivated you to write this story?

At the time, I was trying to cope with the loss of my mother and I was experiencing anxiety and panic attacks for the first time in my life. Writing this was quite cathartic.

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Isaac Asimov. He’s my literary hero.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I love turning my work into produced films. I’ve produced two of my own stories so far and I’m in post-production of a third. It’s amazing to see what I’ve written given life on the screen.

What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

I entered a Doctor Who TV script into the Fanfiction Festival a couple of years ago, and it won a table read. It was wonderful to see the script performed by real actors so I decided to try something similar with one of my short stories.


Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

TV CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed
SCREENPLAY CONTESTFIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) SCREENPLAY CONTEST
Submit the first stages of your film and get full feedback!

Novel Transcript: The Assignment by Georgi Ivanov Nenchev

Performed by Val Cole

Get to know the writer:

What is your novel about?

This is about how a simple man, a doctor, not heroic at all, brutally forced by all around him, turns into a real avenger and bringer of justice.

What genres would you say this novel is in?

Action-Nemesis.

How would you describe this story in two words?

Strength and Honor.

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Kozure Okami – Lone wolf and the Cub. And Hawaii 5-0.

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

“Links 2-3-4” of Rammstein.

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

“Dune” of Frank Herbert.

What motivated you to write this story?

My work in Emergency, meetings with Death and some series of History channel.

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Maybe I would like to have a dinner with Buddha and Jesus.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Martial arts and my work as anesthetist.

What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

I would like as many people as possible to read this book and to see it filmed by
good director.

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Write! Don`t stop trying anything!

 


Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

TV CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed
SCREENPLAY CONTESTFIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) SCREENPLAY CONTEST
Submit the first stages of your film and get full feedback!

Novel Reading of Briar Earth (Chapter 59 – Balcony Diplomacy) by Paul Tapp

Performed by Val Cole

Get to know the writer:

What is your novel about?

Reluctance, tradition and coincidence. They bring together as princess and escort, an opiniative ‘silly girl’ and a ‘handsome captain’, who fails his diplomatic mission to keep her silent on contentious matters at her fox-hunting debut. A puppy hound and a missing fox-cub confound the biggest fox-meet of the year and bring an end to the cruel tradition.

What genres would you say this novel is in?

Historic fantasy/Historic romance.

How would you describe this story in two words?

World’s collide.

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Casablanca

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

Summer Wine

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

The Woman In White (Wilkie Collins)

What motivated you to write this story?

As a kid I watched my grandpa and his dogs race rabbits to their
burrows. He’d dig them out, apologise as they squealed in fear, wring their necks. It was his living. So too for many over the centuries, is the tradition of fox-hunting. It was a cathartic journey to understand the fear of the fox … and the concomitant respect between the hunted and the hunter when a beagle puppy discovers a fox-cub hiding in a manor stable.

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Angelina Jolie. Just sit and sip coffee all night would be great.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

International polemics in a complex, selfish world that will destroy everything we love.Family documentaries.Investigative journalism.

What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

Nice to hear someone read something I have written. To see if they ‘get’ the nuance in a chapter without the perspective of the full novel.

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Don’t pitch to an audience. Write to appease something within.
Re-write until all paragraphs say ‘yes’. Writing is a private journey to somewhere. Collect fellow travellers along the way.


Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

TV CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed
SCREENPLAY CONTESTFIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) SCREENPLAY CONTEST
Submit the first stages of your film and get full feedback!

Prologue Reading: VERONICA’S PAPERS by ANTHONY COLIN WRIGHT

Performed by Val Cole.

February 2017 Winning Novel Reading.

Get to know the writer:

 What is your novel about?

A group of almost-strangers is brought together for a week-long cruise, as an experiment orchestrated by Gerald Clayton and his mistress Veronica. A trained hypnotherapist, Veronica hypnotises former friends and lovers of Gerald into not recognising him as they board a cruise ship with him and must try and find out the connection between them. Religious belief is also a theme of the book

What genres would you say this novel is in?

Literary Fiction, Mystery.

How would you describe this story in two words?

Intriguing writing.

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Shakespeare in Love.

How long have you been working on this story?

Twenty years, but with other writing at the same time.

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita

What motivated you to write this story?

My own experience of hypnosis.

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Meryl Streep.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Languages (I speak a number), Theatre, Birds, Basic Astronomy and Understanding of the Universe, Belief (non-traditional) in God.

What influenced you to enter your novel to get performed?

A wish for it to be better known.

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Never give up.

*****

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Casting: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Novel Transcript of Mei Meng: The Lost Panda by Andrew Fisk

Performed by Val Cole

 
What is your novel about?

This novel is about an adventurous young Panda named Mei Meng. She travels with her parents deep into the mountains of China to escape the destruction of her habitat by human beings. When she is swept away by a raging river, she meets all sorts of fantastic animals on the journey home. Some of them want to help her. Some do not. Surprisingly, her best allies are the human children she meets along the way.

What genres would you say this novel is in?

It is definitely a fantasy. It is a children’s book, aimed at the middle-grade audience. It is one hundred twenty two pages without any illustrations. It defies classification as most children’s books are not that long.

How would you describe this story in two words?

Child explorer. If this story was on Disney Family Channel it would be something like “Panda Meets World.” Mei Meng leaves her little corner of the mountain where she lives, and becomes a world explorer. At the end of the book she even has a telescope so she can keep track of her human friends.

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

It is a tie between “Forrest Gump” and “American Graffiti.” The Forrest Gump character exemplifies the triumph of the simple man, the pure at heart.

American Graffiti has a great story line and a cast of a dozen or more actors who went on to have outstanding careers.

An example of why I like this movie: when Harrison Ford (aka Bob Falfa) drives into town in his jalopy to challenge Paul Le Mat to a race, his license plate is THX 1138. Why is that important? This is the title of the first George Lucas feature film, a science fiction classic. I probably saw “American Graffiti” ten times before I picked up on this.

How long have you been working on this story?

It took me a few months to write. I did a lot of research on interesting Mandarin names for the characters. For example, Mei Meng’s good friend is a funny snow leopard named Chun Bao, which means Silly Leopard. A scary Siberian tiger is named Di Zheng, which means earthquake. He is so huge that every step he takes shakes the earth.

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

I’ll nominate two books. One is “The Magic Barrel” by Bernard Malamud (although it is a collection of short stories that won the National Book Award in the nineteen fifties) and “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway.

What motivated you to write this story?

I felt like writing something lyrical, fantasy-world that would go deep into mythology and have a totally sympathetic main character. It was also meant as a “welcome to the world” present for my daughter. This is not “Kung Fu Panda” by any means. It moves at a slower pace and is more emotional and mystical than slapstick. It also emphasizes the importance of the family, both panda and human.

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Leonardo Da Vinci. I would ask him, “How did you accomplish all the things you did in so many different areas?” Unlike Da Vinci, I write my ideas down in spiral notebooks, instead of an ornate leather bound Codex (which Bill Gates paid millions of dollars for). Maybe that’s the secret.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Being outdoors. Hiking in the hills, kayaking, white water rafting, paddle boarding. I am a fan of American college football and find the games more exciting than the usual NFL product.

What influenced you to enter your novel to get performed?

I wanted to hear different voices speak the lines of dialogue and the narration. I also hope to attract some interest for the book. At the very least I would like to find an illustrator. I would like to have the illustrations done in the style of traditional Chinese paintings. All the different animals and natural environments would allow an artist to create many interesting canvasses. If I were to engage in a little “exponential thinking” I would like to:

Have the book translated and published in China.
Have the book made into a movie for the Chinese market.

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Inspiration can come from anywhere at anytime. Sometimes your subconscious pulls together elements from events in your own life and combines them with elements from literature and mythology. There is a flash of lightning in your head and suddenly you know what your project is about. This has been my experience.

*****

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Short Story: Dead End Job by Alice Lacey

Performed by Val Cole

October 2016 Winning Short Story

Dead End Job  by Alice Lacey

What is your short story about?

For as long as he could remember, he’d driven a hearse. Freddie was fed up with the whole business…

What genres would you say this story story is in?

Dark comedy

How would you describe this story in two words?

Everyone’s fantasy

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

How long have you been working on this story?

3 years

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

What motivated you to write this story?

The idea came to me as I was in my car waiting for other cars to get in line for a funeral procession

What artist would you love to have dinner with?

Rothko

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Teaching, tennis, jazz; rock & roll; the Ramones; theater; poetry; my family; politics

What influenced you to enter the 1pg. Short Story contest?

I saw this as a wonderful opportunity to have my protagonist, Freddie, brought to life, and also to have a way for Freddie’s story to be shared widely

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Be yourself when you write and write for yourself