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:

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:

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!


Screenwriters Workshop Newsletter December 31, 2019

This Year, We’re Really Acting Out!
Being a screenwriter can be a lonely existence. You go to work, come home, spend a little time with the family, and then it’s just you and the laptop. Together. For hours. With no internet and no distractions. Then when you’re done, it’s a long, winding road to market the script. Our goal this year is to bring a little more community and fun back into your writing—and to support you on the way to your goal.

We’re still working on plans for our annual meeting in mid-February, so plan to bring a logline or 3 sentence synopses to be acted out by our talented improv group. The loglines that inspires the best performance will win a prize (and a heck of a lot of admiration!). We’re also acting out in our new, short script contest with a staged performance for the winners. See below for details!

We’re Changing Things Up in Our Programs

We’re making some changes in our script group schedule. Saturday morning script groups will continue as always—reading scripts on a weekly basis, five pages at a time. The Sunday group, however, will review scripts ten pages at a time but ONLY on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month. As announced previously, non-members can try out script groups for up to three times before deciding on whether to become a member. Click here for more information on our script groups and check on any schedule changes.

We’re freeing up some time for new, innovative programs. By opening up the 2nd, 4th, and (sometimes) 5th Sunday in the month, we are looking to offer opportunities to engage with and advance your work, such as a night to review treatments, pitches, loglines, or marketing your script. We may want to push a board or committee meeting to a Sunday to offer speakers on a Saturday. We could have a group writing jam session or work together to plot a concept. We have a million (well, maybe not quite that many) ideas, but now we have a little more time to do them. We will be posting an events calendar on the website, so check it out if you’re in the mood for something new–or watch the newsletter for upcoming programs offerings.

Give Me the Treatment!
Our first new program will be reviewing treatments for presenting and marketing your screenplay. We will meet on Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 6:30 PM at FilMNorth (550 Vandalia Street in St. Paul) to share treatments in the same way we share script pages in our script groups. Bring a treatment for a script you have completed or one you have yet to write. See examples of treatments for the work of others. Treatments can be one to ten pages in length. Don’t know what a treatment is or what it’s for? Check it out here.

Minneapolis Community & Technical College logoWe’ve put 2nd Tuesday on hold to work out a few kinks. With the restructuring of MCTC’s screenwriting program, we are temporarily putting a hold on 2nd Tuesday. It might come back as 2nd Sunday or stay on Tuesday with a different venue. We’re still working on it, so stay tuned.

AND behind the velvet curtain… We’ve formed an ad hoc (that means, in Latin, for a specific purpose only) committee of dedicated board and committee members who are working with an operations consultant to improve the member experience. From websites to member sign-ups, our egghead crew is looking at ways to better systematize our processes, so look for more changes in the coming year.

We’re Paying YOU to Write: Our First Ever, “Reverse Fee,” For-Love-Or-Money, Short Script Contest (for Members Only)
You may think we’re crazy, but we’re going to pay you to enter our short script contest this year. You see, we really, really want you to write, so we are paying you $5 to enter. Here’s how it works:

  1. You write a script that fits the criteria on our website. It must be on this year’s theme: “For Love or Money.”
  2. Send it in according to the instructions on the 2020 Shorts Contest page on our website. NOTE: It must be in by midnight, March 15th, 2020.
  3. Our team of judges will review the scripts anonymously.
  4. The top five scripts (as rated by our judges) will be read at a free, professional public reading—and you can invite your friends to show them how talented you are.
  5. Everyone meeting the criteria gets paid $5 cash when they show up for the reading!

Note: Only one entry per member, and your membership must be paid in full by the time you enter.

January 5th is National Screenwriters Day
Did you know that screenwriters have their own special day? They do. It even says so on the National Day website which has some ideas on how to observe this day just for you. This Sunday, kick back, relax, go to a coffee shop or a quiet place in your house and start on your New Year’s resolution to just write. Or join us at a script group. We’re always happy to see you!

Bragging Rights
Even though there hasn’t been a newsletter for a while, it doesn’t mean our members have been resting on their laurels. Here’s some of the exciting things going on with our members:

  • Two scripts by Elyse Forbes advanced to the second round of the Austin Film Festival’s 2019 Screenwriting Competition. They are: Grace & Frankie: The Plot – Comedy Spec category and Project S.I.R.E.N. – Drama Pilot presented by AMC category. See here for details. Congratulations, Elyse!
  • Long-time SWW member Peter Groynom and wrote and directed “Jane’s Comet” earlier this year and screened at this year’s Twin Cities Film Fest. They were in “The Present is Female” block of shorts on Monday, 10/21 at 8:30pm and Tuesday, 10/22 at 12:30pm. Way to go, Peter!

Don’t forget, Screenwriters Workshop members get public shout outs for placing in major contests or production efforts. Keep us in the loop by sending an email to “Braggin Rights” at: Thanks!

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!
Thanks to Beth Adams, Fernando Almeida, and Myrtle McGovern who each used their $500 employee contribution from Optum/UnitedHealthcare to donate to Screenwriters’ Workshop. Their company donates to organizations when their employees volunteer a minimum number of hours with a nonprofit.

If your organization has a matching grants program, consider making an end-of-the-year contribution to Screenwriters’ Workshop. As a 501c3 organization, all contributions are a tax write-off. Thanks again!


Submit for 2nd Tuesday Reading Series

Seeking submissions of scripts for features, shorts, TV pilots, and web series for the 2nd Tuesday table reading series at Minneapolis Community & Technical College. The 2nd Tuesday reading series occurs on the 2nd Tuesday of the month (7 to 9 pm) September through May. All current SWW members are eligible. All scripts will receive live feedback and written coverage from MCTC cinema and screenwriting students. This is a valuable opportunity to hear your script read aloud from beginning to end in one session, allowing you to hear issues with dialogue and gauge audience reaction. Contact us through email or Karen Frank through Facebook for more details.


2nd Tuesday Table Reading – “Mother Of All Liars” by Cheryl Conway and Paulette Lindquist

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 · 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Executive Conference Room, Minneapolis Community and Technical College

“Mother Of All Liars” (Dark Comedy) by Cheryl Conway and Paulette Lindquist

In a fervent effort to ferret from her current problems, her parent’s double suicide and monetary doom, Lou, a single and barren middle-aged woman, stumbles upon on a Web site where adult children are hunting for their bio mothers. Lou is drawn to her new role as “mommy” in this caper like a moth to a flame and flagrantly defrauds her fake children. Her plans begin to go awry when [ Read More ]