SWW Newsletter—August 20, 2021

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We’re Giving You the Scoop on the Biggest Scriptwriting Event in Minnesota This Year!

Catalyst logoWho says you can’t write for Hollywood if you live in Minnesota?  The Catalyst Content Festival in Duluth is a national conference dedicated to advancing the craft of writing a series.  It features top speakers and industry execs who will share their insights on writing for series — including television, streaming, and podcasts.

Want to learn more about this opportunity right here in our state?  SWW is partnering with Catalyst on events at the festival.  On Wednesday, August 25, 2021, Catalyst CEO/Executive Director Phillip Gilpin, Jr. will be presenting on the festival from 7:00-9:00 PM at FilmNorth.  Attendance at the live event is limited, so please sign up in advance for this free, in person event on Eventbrite.  Masking and social distancing are requested during the live event. This event will also be available online starting at 7:30 PM on Zoom, but be sure to register for the virtual event, register by clicking here.   Note:  This will not be on the regular SWW Zoom link.

Our “Twisting Tropes Mini-Challenge Due September 15th at Midnight!

There are still two remaining short script mini-challenges left for 2021.   The “Twisting Tropes Mini-Challenge” which is due on September 15th at midnight requires writers to write against (contrary to) a common movie troupe.  In your entry, you must identify which trope you are writing against.  Here are some, and there are many more if you just google “movie trope.”  In addition to following the general rules of our short script contest.

Voting for each of these will be done in a public, online reading according to the dates below.  Winners of each mini-challenge will choose between a SWW t-shirt and $20.  They will also be entered into the final juried award at the end of the year for a chance to win $250.  Members only are eligible to enter, but non-members may attend the public online reading and voting events.

Second Sunday Is Back, Baby!

After a summer break, Second Sunday is back on September 12th at 6:30 PM.  Join award-winning screenwriter Karen Frank for a deep dive into a full length, completed script.  Second Sunday to think through those bigger plot puzzles that you can’t solve in the regular script group.  To get on the list, send us an email with your name, the title and description of your script, and the number of pages written.  We will work it into the lineup as availability permits.  Note:  To qualify for Second Sunday, you must be a paid member of SWW.  Complete screenplays receive first priority.

Second Sunday on Summer Slack—Submit for September!

Okay, we’re not really slacking (we’re writers and we need a little alliteration in our lives), but Second Sunday is taking a break over the summer. If you have a completed script and want a full table read to assist with plot, structure, and character development, sign up for Second Sunday to think through those bigger questions that you can’t handle in the weekly script group. Shoot us an email with a name and description of the script, and we will work it into the lineup as availability permits. Second Sunday works best for scripts that are on their second draft and have already gone through script groups for dialogue and page level analysis.
Note: Complete screenplays receive first priority, but we are now accepting “stuck scripts.”

Thanks to Everyone for an Amazing SWW Shorts Showcase!

If you missed our first ever Shorts Showcase on July 17th outside at the Gremlin Theater, we hate to say it, but we had an awesome time.  Actually, we don’t hate to say it.  Our ten members who submitted their films did us proud!  Thanks to all for the work they put in to make this event a success.

2021 SWW Shorts Showcase

Calendar Through 2021

In addition to Saturday Script Groups, Sunday Script Group, and 2nd Sunday Script Readings, see below for a list of SWW events through the end of the year:

  • August 25th —Info Session on Catalyst Content Festival at FilmNorth at 7:00 PM
  • September 12th—Second Sunday at 6:30 PM
  • September 15th —Twisting Tropes Mini-Challenge Deadline at Midnight
  • September 26th—Twisting Tropes Mini-Challenge Reading and Voting at 6:30 PM
  • September 29th-October 3rd—Catalyst Story Festival in Duluth
  • October 10th —Second Sunday at 6:30 PM
  • November 14th—Second Sunday at 6:30 PM
  • November 15th –Medium Inspiration Mini-Challenge Deadline at Midnight
  • November 28th—Medium Inspiration Mini-Challenge Reading and Voting at 6:30 PM
  • December 12th –Second Sunday at 6:30 PM

Except for the Saturday morning script group, all online events are available at:

Join Zoom Meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/533859616?pwd=OWF5MTJkOFk3Y1Z4aHVVS0p1R3ZUdz09

Meeting ID: 533 859 616:

Passcode: 848149

Call in:

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

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Screenwriters’ Workshop Newsletter for June, 2021

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June 20, 2021: Big Events Coming Up–Submit NOW to SWW Shorts Showcase 2021

Join Us for the SWW Shorts Showcase—Outside at Gremlin Theater, St. Paul on Saturday, July 17th, 2021 from 7-10 PM.

Come to a fun evening of eats and cinematic treats showcasing our talented Minnesotan filmmakers at the Gremlin Theater (across from FilmNorth at 550 Vandalia in St. Paul). Our SWW members will be showing their produced short films. The goal of the showcase is to celebrate SWW members’ writing transformed into film.

Be entertained and reconnect with real people for real (and reel) fun! The showcase will include a social hour, comedy, trivia, prizes/swag, and, of course, short films. See below for information on how to submit.

Tickets are $5 for members and $10 for non-members. Price includes food, entertainment, admission, and fun prizes. Purchase tickets online through Eventbrite. Sorry, no cash taken at the door. Order soon, as spaces are limited!

Some seating is provided, but for true comfort, BYOC (Bring Your Own Chair)!

Join us under the stars to see how dreams come to life. Stay tuned for details.

Submit Your Completed Short Film for Our SWW Shorts Showcase ASAP—deadline is June 30th

If you are a member of Screenwriters Workshop and have written, directed, or produced a short film and can get rights to have it shown, submit it to our SWW Shorts Showcase (see above) no later than June 30th at midnight. There is no charge to submit, but non-members must join in order to be eligible to have their films shown.

To enter, send us an email with a link for viewing and download, completed and in .mp4 format. Eligibility requirements and guidelines:

  • Writer, producer, or director must be a current, dues-paying member of SWW.
  • Film can be in any genre and be 20 minutes or less.
  • Certain offensive language is never acceptable, such as racial slurs, homophobic language, etc. Any profanity which is included for the sole purpose of being shocking and making the audience feel uncomfortable will not be allowed.
  • Number of shorts will be determined by submissions and time available for showing. Slots are limited. Organizers will try to fit in as many films as time will allow.
  • Entrants must provide copyright/sign-off for permission for one-time use showing.
  • Film must be available for download thorough link (Vimeo, Dropbox, YouTube, etc…).
  • Priority will be given to more recently completed films.
  • Members may submit multiple entries.
  • Deadline for entry is June 30th.

Need a Getaway in the Fall? Go to the Catalyst Festival in Duluth for September 29th – October 3rd

Mark your calendars now. The Catalyst Content Festival is a 5-day annual event in Duluth, Minnesota where selected pitches, scripts, and produced pilots/series are showcased to the general public & industry audiences. The festival also includes live panel discussions, industry social events, and an awards ceremony. Screenwriters’ Workshop is working with the Catalyst Story Institute and Content Festival in Duluth to announce special promotions in the coming months just for our members. Watch the SWW newsletter, website, and social media for details.

There is deadline of July 5th to submit a pilot script, series pitch, filmed episode, etc., for the festival. For details, go to: https://www.catalystories.org/submit.

Note: This festival is limited to narrative/episodic/serialized content of any genre, style, and type: comedy, drama, thriller, scripted, unscripted, documentary, social media, influencer, short form, “half-hour”, “hour-long”, radio, podcast, reality, talk show, game show, animation, kids, gaming, VR, mobile, etc. Feature films are NOT accepted for pitching.

Second Sunday on Summer Slack—Submit for September!

Okay, we’re not really slacking (we’re writers and we need a little alliteration in our lives), but Second Sunday is taking a break over the summer. If you have a completed script and want a full table read to assist with plot, structure, and character development, sign up for Second Sunday to think through those bigger questions that you can’t handle in the weekly script group. Shoot us an email with a name and description of the script, and we will work it into the lineup as availability permits. Second Sunday works best for scripts that are on their second draft and have already gone through script groups for dialogue and page level analysis.
Note: Complete screenplays receive first priority, but we are now accepting “stuck scripts.”

UPDATE:  Our Mini-Challenge Winner, Our Next Reading, and Our Next Challenge…

Congratulations to Karen Frank who won our March Short Script Mini-Challenge with her script “The Driving Lesson.” She will have the choice of either an SWW t-shirt or $20 and be eligible to compete with other mini-challenge winners for $250 at the end of the year.

Our Stitch-in-Time Challenge Mini-Challenge Entries will be read online at Zoom (see link below) at 6:30 PM on Sunday, June 27th. The deadline for members was on June 15th at midnight. Non-members may attend the public online reading and voting events.

Our NEXT mini-challenge deadline will be September 15th for the “Twisting Tropes Mini-Challenge” that requires writers to write against (contrary to) a common movie troupe. In your entry, you must identify which trope you are writing against. Here are some, and there are many more if you just google. In addition to following the general rules of our short script contest, each entry must follow the parameters of the particular challenge.

Voting for each of these will be done in a public, online reading. Winners of each mini-challenge will choose between an SWW t-shirt and $20. They will also be entered into the final juried award at the end of the year for a chance to win $250. Members only are eligible to enter.

Wednesday Writers’ Workout

Kick start your writing with our quarterly exercises to test your skill. Our next Wednesday Writers’ Workout will be on Wednesday, July 7th at 8:00 PM. Take some time on hump day after the kids are tucked in and the cat is curled up at your feet to relax with some writing to stretch your skills. Our next workout will practice coming in late and leaving early. You won’t have to share what you wrote (so don’t feel you need to come late and leave early). After the exercise, we will talk about what we’ve learned in the process. Join us at the Zoom link below.

Calendar Through 2021

In addition to Saturday Script Groups, Sunday Script Group, and 2nd Sunday Script Readings, see below for a list of SWW events through the end of the year:

  • June 27th –A Stitch in Time Mini-Challenge Reading and Voting at 6:30 PM
  • July 7th—Wednesday Writers’ Workout on Coming in Late, Leaving Early at 8:00 PM
  • July 11th—Second Sunday at 6:30 PM
  • August 8th –Second Sunday at 6:30 PM
  • September 12th—Second Sunday at 6:30 PM
  • September 15th –Twisting Tropes Mini-Challenge Deadline at Midnight
  • September 26th—Twisting Tropes Mini-Challenge Reading and Voting at 6:30 PM
  • October 10th –Second Sunday at 6:30 PM
  • November 14th—Second Sunday at 6:30 PM
  • November 15th –Medium Inspiration Mini-Challenge Deadline at Midnight
  • November 28th—Medium Inspiration Mini-Challenge Reading and Voting at 6:30 PM
  • December 12th –Second Sunday at 6:30 PM

Except for the Saturday morning script group, all online events are available at:

Join Zoom Meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/533859616?pwd=OWF5MTJkOFk3Y1Z4aHVVS0p1R3ZUdz09

Meeting ID: 533 859 616:

Passcode: 848149

Call in:

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for our big events!

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Screenwriters’ Workshop Newsletter for January 1, 2021

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Annual Meeting, Procrastination Short Script Challenge, Planning for the Year

January 5th is National Screenwriters’ Day. That’s where family and friends are obliged to make you a drink before sit down at the laptop and tirelessly tap out the next Queen’s Gambit. Here at Screenwriters’ Workshop, we are extending that to a whole month with events and activities. Why not make 2021 the year to kickstart your writing. After all, we’re still in quarantine and you know you’ve always wanted to do it!

Online for Annual Meeting on Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 3:00 PM Featuring Panel Discussion “How to Have a Career in Film While Still Living in the Twin Cities”
The Screenwriters’ Workshop Annual meeting will be on Saturday, January 9th at 3:00 PM online. In addition to a few SWW announcement and business details, this online event will feature three professionals in the film to discuss “How to Have a Career in Film While Still Living in the Twin Cities.”

SWW Board Member Kelly Lamphear-Dash will facilitate a discussion between:

  • Alison Guessou, writer/director/producer of two short films “911” and “Happily Married After” and producer of indie feature film “Black in Minneapolis.”
  • Andy Froemke, who has sold scripts to production companies, written for a local TV show, and was the writer of two short films “Strike” and “Nighthawks.”
  • Aleshia Mueller, who is an accomplished script supervisor for numerous Hollywood film and TV productions.

The event will also feature trivia and prize drawings. To attend, access this through the link at the end of this newsletter. Newcomers and non-members are welcome!

Don’t Procrastinate on Our Procrastination Short Script Challenge for January
For all out there who have made “write more” part of your New Year’s resolution, this short script challenge is for you!  The topic for our January challenge is on procrastination. Scripts are due on January 15th at midnight.  Please follow the rules of our contest as outlined on the website (10 page, 4 character maximum, must be a member of SWW, etc…), writing a short film on the subject of procrastination. DEADLINE EXTENDED! Scripts must be received no later than midnight on Saturday, January 23, 2021 and will be read and voted on online on Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 6:30 PM.

Winner of this challenge will win a Screenwriter’s Workshop t-shirt or $20 and the opportunity to compete with other challenge winners at the end of 2021 for a larger cash prize.  More details will be announced at the annual meeting.

Tribute to Al MigromA Tribute to Al Milgrom
The Twin Cities film community lost a giant on December 20, 2020 with the death of 98-year-old legend Al Milgrom.

Founder of the U Film Society and the Rivertown Film Festival (which later became the Film Society of Minneapolis-St. Paul and the Minneapolis -St. Paul International Film Festival), Milgrom worked tirelessly to bring independent and international films to Minnesota while supporting local filmmakers. He even made an appearance at the SWW “Future of Story” event in July 2019 at Playwright’s Center.

SWW Board Member and longtime friend and documentary collaborator of Milgrom’s, Kelly Lamphear-Dash said of Al, “The outpouring of admiration and loss in the community has been overwhelming. His absence at the festivals and DocuClub will be a palpable void. I have always been in great admiration of his being a prime example of being a true lifelong learner. He is a wonderful example of ‘it’s never too late’ by changing careers in his 80s from being in charge of a film festival to creating documentary films seen at film festivals all over the country.” Screenwriters’ Workshop offers our condolences to family and friends of this local legend.

Help Us Plan in 2021
If you love planning events and activities but have been COVID-frustrated in 2020, become involved with the board in planning for 2021 in one of our open meetings.  Our next meeting will be online on Saturday, January 16th at 3:00 PM.  Though only board members are allowed to vote, any member is encouraged to participate and support SWW through committee membership.  See below for access details.

Mini Calendar Through January

In addition to Saturday Script Groups, Sunday Script Group, and 2nd Sunday Script Readings, see below for a list of SWW events through the end of January:

  • January 5thNational Screenwriters’ Day
  • Saturday, January 9th— Annual Meeting, including a panel speaking on how to make it in screenwriting living in Minnesota (non-members welcome)
  • Friday, January 15th—Procrastination Short Script Challenge deadline at midnight (members only eligible to submit)
  • Saturday, January 16th—SWW Board Meeting Online, 3:00 PM (all members welcome)
  • Sunday, January 24th—Procrastination Short Script Challenge Reading and Voting (non-members welcome for reading)

Except for the Saturday morning script group, all online events are available at:

Join Zoom Meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/533859616?pwd=OWF5MTJkOFk3Y1Z4aHVVS0p1R3ZUdz09

Meeting ID: 533 859 616:

Passcode: 848149

Call in:

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

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Screenwriters’ Workshop Newsletter for November 8, 2020

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For Love or Money or 2nd Sunday or Annual Meeting

Don’t Miss Ed Leschke’s 2nd Sunday Script Reading Tonight
Join us online tonight for a reading of Ed Leschke’s feature length script The Cocktail Party.  A political romantic comedy, the logline is:  “In an attempt to gain an ambassadorship, a Washington D.C. Republican lawyer and socialite throws a cocktail party charity fundraiser for her Republican friends. But the party and ambassadorship are threatened by the only Democrat present. Her husband.”

 “For Love or Money” Short Script Contest Winners’ Reading Online on Friday, November 20th, 2020 at 8:00 PM
With the pandemic disrupting our plan for a live, in theater reading, it’s been a long time coming, but we are finally ready for the unveiling of our “For Love or Money” Short Script Contest scripts.  And these scripts are fantastic!  On Friday, November 20th at 8:00 PM, grab a glass of wine or a cold beer and settle in, to listen to professional actors read the following:

  • The Finder of Lost Things by John Gigrich
  • The Day the Box Arrived by Daniel Polsfuss
  • Albert Wants a Shirt by Tiffa Foster
  • The Road Home by KT Perleberg
  • Caveat Emptor by Kelly Lamphear-Dash

Give yourself the opportunity to simply enjoy wonderful writing!

Congratulations to Tiffa Foster and All the Writers Who Participated in the Halloween Short Script Challenge
Those who joined the reading for the Halloween Script Challenge reading were trick-or-treated to four creepy and sometimes funny short scripts.  The scripts were “Bit-O-Honey Bite” by Charlton Metchalf, “Late Night Fright” by Kelly Lamphear-Dash, “Uninvited” by KT Perleberg, and “Knock Yourself Out” by Tiffa Foster.  Tiffa’s script about two old women at a funeral on Halloween won in the voting process, and all the scripts were truly delightful.  Thanks again to all the writers for an enjoyable evening!

Save the Date for the SWW Annual Meeting with a Panel of Speakers on Succeeding in Screenwriting While Living in the Twin Cities
The Screenwriters’ Workshop Annual meeting will be on Saturday, January 9th at 3:00 PM online.  In addition to a few SWW announcement and business details, board members are putting together a panel from the local area to talk about succeeding in screenwriting while living in the local area.  You will have an opportunity to submit questions to the panel.

The January date allows you to celebrate a belated National Screenwriters Day and set your New Year’s resolution for 2021.

Announcing Our Procrastination Short Script Challenge for January
Still procrastinating on your writing?  Let it inspire you!  The topic for our next short script challenge is on procrastination.  Document your ditherings.  These scripts are due on January 15th at midnight.  Please follow the rules of our contest as outlined on the website (10 page, 4 character maximum, must be a member of SWW, etc…), writing a short film on the subject of procrastination. Scripts must be received no later than midnight on January 15, 2021 and will be read and voted on online on Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 6:30 PM.

Winner of this challenge will win a Screenwriter’s Workshop t-shirt or $20 and the opportunity to compete with other challenge winners at the end of 2021 for a larger cash prize.  More details will be announced at the annual meeting.

The Wednesday Writing Workout
Our first Wednesday Writing Workout in September was a success, so we will be continuing with the program, tentatively set for Wednesday, December 2nd at 8:00 PM.  This online workshop offers simple, fun writing exercises to keep you going and stretch your skills.  Unlike a script group, you don’t have to share what you wrote, but you can discuss how it might affect your future work.  Watch your email for further updates!

Challenge Yourself with NaNoWriMo
Harper Lee said, “Writing is a process of self-discipline you must learn before you can call yourself a writer.”  NaNoWriMo is National November Writing Month challenge to see how many words you can write in one month.  In honor of NaNoWriMo, check out our various writing groups for support in developing the habits of writing.  Get encouragement to pursue your goal.

Mini Calendar Through January
In addition to Saturday Script Groups, Sunday Script Group, and 2nd Sunday Script Readings, see below for a list of SWW events through the end of the year:

  • Sunday, November 8th—2nd Sunday Reading of Ed Lescke’s script The Cocktail Party (non-members welcome for reading)
  • Friday, November 20th—Five “For Love or Money” Script winners reading online at 8:00 PM
  • Wednesday, December 2nd (Tentative)—Wednesday Writing Workout at 8:00 PM
  • Sunday, December 13th—2nd Sunday Reading TBD (non-members welcome for reading)
  • January 5thNational Screenwriters’ Day
  • Saturday, January 9th— Annual Meeting, including a panel speaking on how to make it in screenwriting living in Minnesota (non-members welcome)
  • Friday, January 15th—Procrastination Short Script Challenge deadline at midnight (members only eligible to submit)
  • Friday, January 16th—SWW Board Meeting Online, 3:00 PM (all members welcome)
  • Sunday, January 24th—Procrastination Short Script Challenge Reading and Voting (non-members welcome for reading)

Except for the Saturday morning script group, all online events are available at:

Join Zoom Meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/533859616?pwd=OWF5MTJkOFk3Y1Z4aHVVS0p1R3ZUdz09

Meeting ID: 533 859 616:

Passcode: 848149

Call in:

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

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Screenwriters’ Workshop Newsletter for September 23, 2020

Join Us for Our First Ever “Wednesday Writing Workout” at 8:00 PM Tonight!

Karen Frank, facilitator of Second Sunday reading series

Tonight, Wednesday, September 23rd from 8:00-9:30 PM, Screenwriters’ Workshop will host an online workshop offering simple, fun writing exercises to keep you going and stretch your skills. Unlike a script group, you don’t have to share what you wrote, but you can discuss how it might affect your future work. 2020 McKnight Fellow in Media Arts Karen Frank will host the first session.

There is no need to sign-up for this first session, and there is no fee for this event. Join us at 8:00 PM on our programs link below:
Join Zoom Meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/533859616?pwd=OWF5MTJkOFk3Y1Z4aHVVS0p1R3ZUdz09
Meeting ID: 533 859 616:
Call in: +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
Passcode: 848149

Congratulations to Our “Charlie Chaplin Challenge” Participants and Winner!
We had six writers participating in our “Charlie Chaplin Challenge” for short scripts that have ten lines of dialogue or less. The quality of these entries were excellent and were brilliant examples of visual storytelling.

The entries were:

  • “The Balcony of Dread”–about a sickly old man searching through his memories.
  • “One Egg or Two”–telling of a man vs. chicken struggle for peace.
  • “The Story of My Life”–based on a poem by Raymond Carver by Dick.
  • “Backyard”–the story of growing up told through through the metaphor of a backyard.
  • “Dreamsicle”–a young boy’s story of connection with his parents.
  • “Pain”–bout an artist, struggling to make a living.

The winner of the Screenwriters’ Workshop tee-shirt was “Dreamsicle” by Karen Frank. Thank you to all who entered. Please join us for our next script challenge…

The Halloween Short Script Challenge
If you missed our short Charlie Chaplin Challenge, please consider our Halloween Short Script Challenge. Please follow the rules of our contest as outlined on the website (10 page, 4 character maximum, must be a member of SWW, etc…), writing a short film that is Halloween themed. While this could mean hour or ghost stories, it could also include Halloween themed comedies and dramas. Scripts must be received no later than midnight on October 15th, and scripts will be read and voted on online on Sunday, October 25th at 6:30 PM.

The winner of this challenge will be able to choose between a Screenwriters’ Workshop tee-shirt or our Haunted Typewriter Halloween decoration (see above). Also, on the 25th we will have bonus prizes for those who show up in costume or have Halloween themed virtual background.

Mini Calendar Through the End of 2020
In addition to Saturday Script Groups, Sunday Script Group, and 2nd Sunday Script Readings, see below for a list of SWW events through the end of the year:

  • Wednesday, September 23rd—”Wednesday Workouts” pilot 8:00-9:30 PM
  • Friday, October 9th—Five “For Love or Money” Script winners reading online
  • Thursday, October 15th—Halloween Short Script Challenge DEADLINE
  • Saturday, October 17th—SWW Board Meeting Online, 3 :00 PM
  • October 25th—Halloween Short Script Challenge Reading, 6:30 PM
  • Week of November 16-21st—Annual Meeting, specific date dependent on speaker availability
  • December—regular events only

Except for the Saturday morning script group, all online events are available at:

Join Zoom Meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/533859616?pwd=OWF5MTJkOFk3Y1Z4aHVVS0p1R3ZUdz09
Meeting ID: 533 859 616:
Call in: +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
Passcode: 848149

Don’t forget to FALL into your writing!

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