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

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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

Winning Sept. 2016 Short Story: 1st world problems by Mathieu Riva

Watch the September 2016 Winning Short Story Reading.

Reading performed by Val Cole

1st world problems  by Mathieu Riva

Get to know the winning writer: 

What is your 1pg Short Story about?

It’s about how much crap that we fill in our every day lives that causes so much stress when in reality love is the most important thing at the end of the day. The ending is a fork in the road; depending on how the reader perceives it.

What genres would you say this short story is in?

Dark comedy

How would you describe this story in two words?

That’s life.

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Fight Club

How long have you been working on this story?

One day

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Angels & Demons

What motivated you to write this story?

I’m currently writing my own novel, poetry and competing on the side to improve my writing abilities. As well as it was base on a real life story.

What artist would you love to have dinner with?

David Fincher

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Film, I’m an accomplished guitarist singer, and I act when I can.

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

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

If you have an idea, don’t give up on it. If you work hard enough at something people will notice the fruits of your labor, you just have to dedicate your time.

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

The Nightmare at Golden Acres – Short Story by Cindy Crawford Garrett

Watch the July 2016 Winning Short Story Reading. 

Reading Performed by actor Val Cole

The Nightmare at Golden Acres by by Cindy Crawford Garrett

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your 1pg Short Story about?

Rape victims of any age, can even happen at our elderly care facilities.

2. What genres would you say this short story is in?

Drama

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Upsetting

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Pretty Woman

5. How long have you been working on this story?

1 week

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

No

7. What motivated you to write this story?

Visiting a nursing facility and being made aware these very disturbing situations happen.

8. What artist would you love to have dinner with?

Norman Rockwell

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Family, history, music, gardening, agriculture

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

Recognition for this topic on our elderly.

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

Write on what you our passionate about. Write, edit, write more and reread after a little time passes.

Novel Transcript Reading: WHAT PASSES BETWEEN WOMEN by Patty Fischer

Performed by Val Cole

 WHAT PASSES BETWEEN WOMEN by Patty Fischer

Get to know writer Patty Fischer:

1. What is your novel about?

This novel “What Passes Between Women” is a women’s fiction/crime drama of a circle of women very different from each other that create a close bond in the midst of a sensational murder case happened in the quaint city of Noblesville, Indiana.

2. Why should this novel be read by people?

The novel possesses a double distinction: criminal mind of a true psychopath embodied in the character of a most unlikely type of man, an intellectual paunchy middle-age Biology teacher. Where the murder takes place in this Midwestern quiet city, not a crime-riddled metropolis, much like the popular film “Fargo”.

3. How would you describe this novel in two words?

Edgy but Homespun.

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Witness for the Prosecution (1957) film

5. How long have you been working on this novel?

I have been working on this novel for the last nine months.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

My favorite novel is “Memoir of a Geisha” by Arthur Golden

7. What motivated you to write this novel?

I work as a high school custodian. One night a peculiar set of circumstances happened between two teachers late at night. My imagination and fascination with the criminal mind took over.

8. What artist would you love to have dinner with?

The artist I would love to have dinner with is Anthony Bourdain. A well-known chef all over the world, he is an artist in his own right. His uncanny way with words, and knowledge of good food, together to be defined as the perfect dining experience.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

As well as writing, I am quite passionate about painting.

10. What influenced you to enter the Novel Festival?

I came onto your site as I was on a search to promote my writing and find the adequate representation.

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

Some advice to pass on – Never stop writing because of rejections, no matter how many. Writing brings to me such a sense of accomplishment, and I keep learning as I write.

THE OCEAN AND THE SKY Short Story by Rose Mendonca

Watch the July 2016 Winning Short Screenplay Reading.

Story performed by actor Val Cole

THE OCEAN AND THE SKY by Rose Mendonca

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your 1pg Short Story about?

The Ocean and the Sky is my personal recounting of when I was raped in 2012.

2. What genres would you say this short story is in?

non-fiction, trauma, rape, rape culture

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

no escape

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

The Wizard of Oz

5. How long have you been working on this story?

My rape happened in 2012 and I wrote The Ocean and the Sky about a week later, but I didn’t publish the story until now.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

White Oleander by Janet Fitch

7. What motivated you to write this story?

Reading and hearing people (women and men) who tell their rape stories, and then nothing happens or very little happens in response. I feel it is my duty to speak out now, if nothing else, to support those who already have. To say, “You are not alone.” Also, the fact I am in the company of so many others says there is something very wrong with how rape is addressed in our society and we need to change that. We need to change the culture.

8. What artist would you love to have dinner with?

Frida Kahlo

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Filmmaking

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

I was asked if I’d be interested, and I’m honored.

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

Write what is real to you. Nothing else is worth it.

Leila, Age 17 Short Story by Sherry Chow

Watch the July 2016 Winning Short Screenplay Reading. 

Story performed by actor Val Cole

LEILA, AGE 17 by Sherry Chow

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your 1pg Short Story about?

The story is about Leila, a teenager who wonders why she is under the shadow of an unknown darkness that has caused suffering to her and her family.

2. What genres would you say this short story is in?

It goes under the fantasy-reality genre.

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Awakening power

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Beauty and the Beast (Disney) & The Matrix

5. How long have you been working on this story?

The story is part of a novella that grew into a feature movie trilogy

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

The Great Gatsby

7. What motivated you to write this story?

A scene from Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle

8. What artist would you love to have dinner with?

Still living: Hayao Miyazaki
Past artist: Leonardo Da Vinci

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Movies, classical and EDM music, exploring new places and cuisines, spiritual journeys

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

Getting recognition from the logline contest

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

Always write from the heart and write every day! Practice does make perfect!

Galicia’s Granite Short Story Reading by Janice Tindle

Watch the July 2016 Winning Short Screenplay Reading. 

Story performed by actor Val Cole

Galicia’s Granite by Janice Tindle

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your 1pg Short Story about?

It’s about the start of a young immigrant girls life in America and how even though she could not read or write English, she didn’t left that hold her back. She used the skills, gifts and talents she had within her to begin fulfilling her dreams.

2. What genres would you say this short story is in?

Historical Romance/Fiction

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Imagination igniter

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Camelot

5. How long have you been working on this story?

It’s actually a fictional twist on the biography I’m writing about my great grandmother that is not yet unfinished.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

A Soldier Of The Great War by Mark Helprin

7. What motivated you to write this story?

It was just for my own pleasure.

8. What artist would you love to have dinner with?

Artist is a broad term. Living or dead?
Dead: Robin Williams
Living: Barbra Streisand

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

God and Prayer.
Decorating, faux painting, collecting vintage things, raising awareness about brain injury, chronic pain/ invisible illness and Dystonia.

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

I saw it advertised and thought it would be exciting to have my short story performed, which it is!!!

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

Remember that after you’re dead, what you write will live on forever, so leave something good behind. Be impactful. Be honest. Be concise