Winning Short Story: Before and After by S. Pfeiffer

Story performed by Elizabeth Rose Morriss

Get to know the writer:

What is your short story about?

The story’s about a woman facing the impact a shocking experience from childhood has had on her life.

What genres would you say this story is in?

It’s mostly a thriller with a hint of film noir i suppose.

How would you describe this story in two words?

I’d say odd and uncomfortable 🙂 Someone described it as Lynchian which i find evocative.

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

I tend to forget movies i’ve seen:( Even the ones I really loved. Casablanca stands out though.

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

hmmm. Tubthumping or Paper Planes by MIA maybe.

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Jane Eyre

What motivated you to write this story?

A deadline for a workshop! I don’t really know what motivated me to write it to be honest. I write intuitively and it usually comes from whatever current fixation I’m on that comes and goes after a few weeks or so.

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

Gertrude Stein or Buckminster Fuller. Georgia O’Keefe. That’s 3, sorry.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Progressive Politics and Astrology.

What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

I thought it would be cool to see it performed because it’s got a cinematic feel to it.

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

Learn to trust yourself and your own process.

Winning Short Story Reading: Always Watching… by Kordale Gibson

Story performed by Elizabeth Rose Morriss

Get to know the writer:

What is your short story about?

My short story is about a man killing someone who he feels deserves to die. The story is told exclusively through this man’s stream of consciousness, revealing his beliefs, motives, & revelations.

What genres would you say this story is in?

Suspense, Mystery

How would you describe this story in two words?

Thrilling eye-opener

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Life
If not, The Dark Knight

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

I Love music way too much to have a favorite song.

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

I have so many more books on my list, but as of now, my favorite would have to be The Talented Mr. Ripely.

What motivated you to write this story?

My friends & I were debating whether a serial killer could be completely sane or not. I was on the side saying that they could be. So I, the writer of the group, decided to come up with a story or series of events that would turn a sane man into a serial killer. In other words, this kind of started out as a joke. But when I started writing it, I saw that it was actually coming out pretty good. So I decided to challenge myself & continue the story seriously. I veered away from the whole serial killer thing & kept to whatever was coming to me. I actually wrote the entire thing without knowing what I was going to do or where I was going with it. I literally just thought as I wrote. That’s what I’m most impressed about, personally.

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

Probably Albert Einstein

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Music!!

What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

I’ve been writing for a while now, but I started out writing poems & lyrics. I started getting into storytelling & Loved it. I also found out I was really good at it. This short story was my first attempt at creating a story & it came out great in the eyes of myself & everyone who read it. So after that, I decided to pursue that form of writing. I started writing more stories & realized I could possibly do this for the rest of my life. In order to do that, I’d have to get my work out there. And that’s why I did this.

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

Keep writing, only if you have passion for it. Try to write as often as you can & constantly challenge yourself. Don’t compare your writing to others’, your writing can touch people others’ can’t. Write for yourself before writing for anyone else.

May 2017 Novel & Short Story Winners

1st CHAPTER and FULL NOVEL FESTIVAL: https://novelwritingfestival.com/

Watch the May 2017 Winning Novel & Short Story Performance Readings. All stories read and performed by professional actors:

ACTORNOVEL Transcript: LIGHT OF HOPE
May 2017 Reading
by S.T. Collins

ACTORNOVEL Transcript: ELLA: A STEPMUMS TALE
May 2017 Reading
by J.L. Higgs

ACTORNOVEL Transcript: DIGBY’S DIARY
May 2017 Reading
by E.D. Bird

ACTORNOVEL Transcript: OUTBREAK MUTINY
May 2017 Reading
by Jay Sandlin

ACTORNOVEL Transcript: NO ACCOUNTABILITY
May 2017 Reading
by Keith Lawton

ACTORNOVEL Transcript: BE SILENT
May 2017 Reading
by Danie Botha

ACTORNOVEL Transcript: THE SCENT OF MY SON: IN GOD WE TRUST
May 2017 Reading
by Adrienne Miranda

ACTORMAY 2017 Poetry Readings
Watch readings performed by Becky Shrimpton & Val Cole

 

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Novel Transcript: Digby’s Diary, by E D Bird One

Performed by Becky Shrimpton

BUY Novel Online

Get to know the writer:

What is your novel about?

A pack of various breeds of dogs set out on a mission to protect two young boys from certain danger, only to find that there is another child who must be rescued from the hands of villains.

What genres would you say this novel is in?

Adventure

How would you describe this story in two words?

Exciting adventure

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Marley and Me

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

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Watchers, by Deane Koontz

What motivated you to write this story?

My standard French poodle, Digby

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

My dad

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Animals

What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

I believe it is a wonderful story about dogs and children, and should be seen as well as read.

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

Keep writing!

*****

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

Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Kierston Drier

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Prologue Novel Reading of Light of Hope, by S.T. Collins

Performed by Val Cole

BUY Book ONLINE

Get to know the writer:

What is your novel about?

Synopsis: Light of Hope by S. T. Collins introduces the lead character, Vikki Nelson, a 30-something divorcĂ©e who has just been hired as a case manager. The central theme of this fictional novel is domestic violence, but it also includes relationship issues, romance, office politics, and takes place at a social service agency: the Light of Hope, in Pittsburgh, PA. Although Vikki’s main focus in life has always been to help others, she can’t help it when she falls for her boss. Their relationship is passionate and forbidden, but it fills a void in Vikki’s heart. Her boss, Robert Cuccio, is so unlike Vikki’s abusive ex-husband. With all of the recent publicity about domestic violence in today’s society, S. T. Collins hopes that this book is not only entertaining, but will help empower those victims of domestic violence to change their lives for the benefit of their families.

What genres would you say this novel is in?

I would describe Light of Hope as a combination of a contemporary fiction in which the primary theme is a romantic suspense with a domestic violence theme.

How would you describe this story in two words?

Passionate Crusader

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Titanic by James Cameron with Leonardo DeCaprio and Kate Winslet

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

A Day in the Life by the Beatles

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

What motivated you to write this story?

a psychic reading that foretold its publishing and the belief that I had led a tempestuous life

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

Cary Grant

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

As a former educator for over twenty years, I love to help others achieve success in their lives, especially when faced with great obstacles to overcome. I am planning to go back to school and become a psychologist who operates my own social services agency so that I may encourage the downtrodden to become empowered to change their lives for the better.

What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

In bringing awareness to the underlying theme of my book: domestic violence, my desire is to demonstrate that anyone can be susceptible to physical or emotional abuse. I believed that a performance of my story would enlighten people to the societal scourge of domestic violence, which is often hidden from the public, in a way that would not only entertain the audience, but strike a chord within people to either advocate for violence victims, or as a victim become empowered to end the cycle of abuse through education and therapy. In addition, I want to remove the stygma of victimization as somehow being the fault of the abused who is relegated to a life sentence of misery.

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

My advice is to be determined to write about what is important to you, and be willing to work diligently to impress your story into the minds and hearts of those who you want to influence.

*****

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

Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Kierston Drier

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

2015 Novel Winning Readings (42 Total)

1st CHAPTER and FULL NOVEL FESTIVAL: https://novelwritingfestival.com/

Watch the 2015 Winning Novel Performance Readings. All stories read and performed by professional actors:

ACTORNOVEL READING – Large is the Smallest We Got
December 2015 Reading
Written by Jed Hamilton
ACTORCHAPTER 1 Reading – Tempest Makers
December 2015 Reading
Written by K.L. McKinley
ACTORCHAPTER 1 Reading – Liquid Diamond
December 2015 Reading
Written by Sebastien Blue
ACTORCHAPTER 1 Reading – Bader Field
December 2015 Reading
Written by Carl David
ACTORChapter 3 NOVEL – Follow in the Tigerman’s Footsteps
November 2015 Reading
Written by Colin Guest
ACTORTranscript NOVEL – A Life Singular
November 2015 Reading
Written by Lorraine Pestell
ACTORChapter 21 NOVEL – One Hot Summer
November 2015 Reading
Written by Ian Barker
ACTORBEST SCENE – The Charlottetown Jackhammer Imbroglio
November 2015 Reading
Written by Marc Lalonde
ACTORChapter 1 NOVEL – Please Hold
November 2015 Reading
Written by Tricia Stewart Shiu
ACTORChapter 7 NOVEL – From the Sky
November 2015 Reading
Written by J E Nicassio
ACTORNOVEL Chapter 2 – Junction Part 2
October 2015 Reading
Written by Cody Schlegel
ACTORNOVEL Chapter 4 – Large is the Smallest We’ve Got
October 2015 Reading
Written by Jed Hamilton
ACTORNOVEL Chapter 1 – Emma the Nerd at the End of the World
October 2015 Reading
Written by Cathy Herberg
ACTORNOVEL Chapter 1 – Silent Hearer
October 2015 Reading
Written by Marcia Shury
ACTORNOVEL Chapter 5 – The Origin of F.O.R.C.E.
October 2015 Reading
Written by Sam B Miller II
ACTORNOVEL Chapter 40 – You Can Run
October 2015 Reading
Written by Greg Smith
SCREENPLAYChapter 1 Novel: APRIL SNOW
September 2015 Reading
by Lynn Stewart
SCREENPLAYNovel Transcript: NORTH HALL
September 2015 Reading
by Julian Lev
SCREENPLAYChapter 1 Novel: SHIELD OF THE PALIDINE
September 2015 Reading
by Barbara T. Cerny
SCREENPLAYChapter 1 Novel: COURAGE UNDER FIRE
September 2015 Reading
by Vanayssa Somers
SCREENPLAYNovel Transcript: DRACONUM
September 2015 Reading
by Sebastian Halford
SCREENPLAYChapter 1 Novel: WHAT IF ITS ALL BEEN A LIE
August 2015 Reading
by Nancy Arant Williams
SCREENPLAYChapter 3 Novel: WINGS OF HOPE
August 2015 Reading
by Hillary Hoffman
SCREENPLAYChapter 1 Novel: TO FLY AGAIN
August 2015 Reading
by Rachelle Hasnas
SCREENPLAYChapter 2 Novel: EDGE: EAST WIND IN PARADISE
August 2015 Reading
by Carl Jackson
ACTORWatch NOVEL turned into a MOVIE
Chapter 1 – AHBC
Written by Albert Russo
ACTORChapter 1 NOVEL Reading: DIARIES OF KARMA
July 2015 Reading
Written by Bam
ACTORChapter 2 NOVEL Reading: CORR SYL THE TERRIBLE
July 2015 Reading
Written by Garry Rogers
ACTORChapter 4 NOVEL Reading: TURNSTILES
July 2015 Reading
Written by Andrea McKenzie Raine
ACTORChapter 1 NOVEL Reading: RED STORM
July 2015 Reading
Written by Thom Tate
SCREENPLAYChapter 13 Novel: FORTY DAYS AND NINE MONTHS
June 2015 Reading
Written by James Jeffrey Paul
SCREENPLAYChapter 6 Novel: STAY AWHILE
June 2015 Reading
Written by Anthony Vecchiarello
SCREENPLAYChapter 7 Novel: SURVIVAL YEAR
June 2015 Reading
Written by Jennifer Shearer French
ACTOR1st Chapter: THE SZGANY CHRONICLES
May 2015 Reading
Written by David John Roberts III
ACTOR1st Chapter: CONCEPTION OF A DIALYSIS
May 2015 Reading
Written by Fayton Hollington
SCREENPLAY1st Chapter: LOOKING INTO THE SUN
April 2015 Reading
Written by Todd Tavolazzi
SCREENPLAY1st Chapter: THE DECISION
April 2015 Reading
Written by C.P. Munro
ACTORNovel Transcript – NOT TO TALK ABOUT UNTIL NOW
March 2015 Reading
Written by Kirsten Marie Wohlgemuth
ACTOR1st Chapter – DISTURBED
March 2015 Reading
Written by Suzanne Wilson
ACTORNOVEL READING – HELLCAT
February 2015 Reading
Written by Alan Hostetter
ACTORNOVEL READING – SERENITY
January 2015 Reading
Written by Tom Beakley
ACTORIN THE CLEFT Chapter 10 Novel Reading
January 2015 Reading
Written by Dana L. Goodman

Short Story: Watermelon Eating Contest by Teri B Clark

Performed by Michelle Alexander

October 2016 Winning Short Story

Watermelon Eating Contest  by Teri B Clark

Get to know the winning writer:

What is your short story about?

The Watermelon Eating Contest takes a humorous look at small town culture and competition.

What genres would you say this story story is in?

Realistic Fiction, Humor, Short Story

How would you describe this story in two words?

Watermelon bluff

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Gone With the Wind

How long have you been working on this story?

I wrote it in an afternoon

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

No, I simply love to read. My most recent favorite was The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.

What motivated you to write this story?

I was given a writing prompt – “Eating Watermelon.” I immediately thought of July 4th and my small town’s celebration with contests for seed spitting and hotdog eating.

What artist would you love to have dinner with?

I would love to have dinner with Taylor Swift. I love her clean and fresh style and really love how she gives back to her community and fans.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I am passionate about my family, my relationship with God, and helping others.

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

I have been writing non-fiction stories for years and have been thinking about branching out. This is my first attempt at publishing something fiction.

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

Don’t let the little voice in your head that says it isn’t good enough stop you from writing!

September 2016 Novel & Short Story Winners

1st CHAPTER and FULL NOVEL FESTIVAL: https://novelwritingfestival.com/

Watch the September 2016 Winning Novel & Short Story Performance Readings. All stories read and performed by professional actors:

ACTORSHORT Story – PARTNERS
September 2016 Reading
Written by Rupert Aspden
ACTORNOVEL Reading: HEARING THOUGHTS
September 2016 Reading
Written by Anthony Diffley
ACTOR7 Author Short Stories
September 2016 Reading
Written by Barry Brennessel
ACTORSHORT Story – DUALITY
September 2016 Reading
Written by Devin Klos
ACTORSHORT Story – THE STAGE
September 2016 Reading
Written by Rae Niehaus
ACTORSHORT Story – 1ST WORLD PROBLEMS
September 2016 Reading
Written by Mathieu Riva
ACTORSHORT Story – GOD’S CREATURES
September 2016 Reading
Written by Lionel Walfish
ACTORSHORT Story – SUMMER HILLS
September 2016 Reading
Written by Rochelle Potkar
ACTORSHORT Story – THE GRAVE DIGGERS
September 2016 Reading
Written by Joseph Tsujimoto
ACTORSHORT Story – DOUBLE FACE
September 2016 Reading
Written by Amira El Dahshoury
ACTORSHORT Story – DIRE CIRCUMSTANCES
September 2016 Reading
Written by Alisha M Risen Kent

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Winning Short Story: Held Up by Bree Katz

Watch the May 2016 Winning Short Story Reading.

Held Up by Bree Katz

Performed by actor Becky Shrimpton

Get to know writer Bree Katz:

1. What is your 1pg Short Story about?

“Held Up” is about a woman who realizes how unaffected she’d be at the news of her boyfriend’s death.

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

This story is primarily a work of nonfiction.

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

Happy breakup!

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

I cannot count the number of times I’ve seen the original – nay, the ONLY – Star Wars trilogy. It’s a good thing DVDs were invented when I was still a child, because I was drastically testing the limits of my mom’s VHS tapes. (Cue contractually obligated grumbling about “kids these days and their consarned streaming services; now get off mah lawn!”)

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

I wrote this particular version of the story in about two hours shortly before the submission deadline, as I have apparently learned nothing since my undergraduate days. I have, however, needed to make some kind of creative hay out of a night that proved to be a catalyst in dumping my now ex-boyfriend ever since it took place three and a half years ago.

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

There are many contenders, but I compulsively re-read Pale Fire every few months or so and feel newly humbled by Nabokov’s facility for wordplay and characterization every time.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

Making this story public was somehow less embarrassing than talking to a therapist about relationship issues that obviously linger three and a half years after I ended the relationship.

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

Larry David. There would be something comforting in having dinner with a guy who seems to understand flesh-burning levels of awkward the way I do.

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

I am an avid skier and hiker who has bagged twelve 14,000-foot mountains and has several more on my list. I’m also into photography – how else am I going to prove I actually climbed those fourteeners?

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

I was between “big” projects. My life was in too much upheaval to get a proper start on the novel I’d outlined. Creative stagnation is no good, either, though, so when I got the email notification about the contest, it was just the inspiration I needed to crank my gears.

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

Don’t worry about how much your first draft is going to suck. Just get the words out there. Editing is a special hell all its own, but once you reach that stage, you’re partway through. If you obsess over making the story perfect before you even sit down to write it, you’ll never get started.

Interview with Novelist Rebecca Nolen (The Dry, Deadly Thyme)

Rebecca Nolen
President, Houston Writer’s Guild
Author:  The Dry  and   Deadly Thyme
Follow her blog

MT: Do all of your novels have a general theme and tone?

Rebecca Nolen: No. One if for adults and the other is a middle-grade. I plan to do more novels that will go with my two published novels. I’m working on a novel called Deadly Haste that takes place right before Deadly Thyme. It is a stand-alone, too.

MT: Why should people buy your novels?

RN: My children’s novel The Dry is a great adventure story for children ages 9 to 99. It’s a fantasy that involves giant bugs and also, for the science nerds like me, each chapter heading starts with a wasp fact. The wasp facts have nothing to do with the story.

Adults who love discovering a great story to keep them up reading at night, will love Deadly Thyme. It is not a paranormal, nor a romance, but there is a hint of paranormal and romance. I would characterize it as psychological suspense, as in a bit scary. If you love Ruth Rendell, you would love Deadly Thyme.

MT: How would you describe all of your novels in just two words?

RN: Fantastically suspenseful

MT: What movie have you seen the most in your life?

RN: I didn’t mean to tell on him, but I’ve watched Godfather more times than I can count because I love my husband…

MT: Was being a novel writer something you’ve always dreamed of doing?

RN: Yes. I wrote my first novel at 16 years of age. And you know that question they ask you for yearbook in high school about what you want to be? I want to write and illustrate children’s books was my answer. Yeah, that was over 40 years ago, *sigh* so there you are.

MT: Do you have an all-time favorite novel? Have you read a novel more than once?

RN: I have read a few novels more than once (Agatha Christie) but I’ve also found that there are so many treasure yet to be unearthed so I constantly read new novels looking for another gem. I love so many novels I can’t name them all. Have you read The Language of Flowers? One of the most powerful and understated books I think I’ve ever read. Also, The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. What about 13 Reasons Why? So so many great novels…I can’t say just one of them is a favorite. What about a favorite of the week? My favorite of this week is Martha Grime’s novel Vertigo 42. I’m about mid-way through. Her’s are just so much fun.

MT: What motivates you to write?

RN: Writing is a sweet obsession. I can’t sleep well if I haven’t written something that day. Ask my husband, he will tell you. Or my children. No, don’t.

MT: What artist would you love to have dinner with?

RN: I was just thinking I’d love to have dinner with Ruth Rendell. She writes such deeply disturbing novels about seemingly ordinary people. I’d love to talk to her.

MT: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

RN: Gardening, my grandchildren., my puppy who isn’t a puppy but still thinks he is.

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

RN: If you are writing don’t stop. There is a reason writing drives you, find the reason and stay on the train. Writing is re-writing. If you’ve written that first chapter over a dozen times it’s because it is likely a second chapter. If anyone tells you your writing is a mess, find out why and fix it and keep writing. Some people just like to rain on your parade, others are truly trying to be helpful, learn to discern between the two, and don’t stop writing.

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go tohttp://www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.