Screenwriters’ Workshop Newsletter, April 9, 2019


Big News: Shorts Contest Winners, National Conference Coming, Opportunity for Pitching

As You Read On, Think of Getting Involved in Board Committee Meetings
With all the exciting events and opportunities you will read about below, know that you can be a part of it. Join an SWW Board Committee to pitch in to plan, meet new people, and learn more about screenwriting. There are opportunities on our Educational Programs, Member Services, Marketing & Public Relations, and Grants & Fundraising Committees. Our next committee meetings will be on Saturday from 11:30-12:30 followed by lunch and casual conversation. You can even stay another hour for the board meeting—but only if you want to. Meet at:
Saturday, April 13, 2019 at 11:30 AM at FilMNorth, 550 Vandalia

Congratulations to the Winners of Our Shorts Contest
The results are back on the Screenwriters’ Workshop 2019 Shorts Contest, and our judges came back with a tie! The two first prize winners are Tiffa Foster with her script, “Wait, What?” and Karen Frank with her short screenplay, “You are Here.” Congratulations to both of you and a great thank you to all the writers who submitted their short scripts.

National Conference Coming to Minneapolis This Summer
The 2019 University Film and Video Conference will be at Augsburg University in Minneapolis and will run from Tuesday, July 30 through Friday, August 2, 2019. The theme of the conference is “Land of 10,000 Tales.” The UFVA Conference and members will be showing and telling, analyzing, and explaining their stories in the screening rooms and classrooms of the Augsburg campus. Screenwriters Workshop is working with the conference to create special opportunities for SWW members.

The Educational Programs Committee is coordinating a panel discussion on the second night of the conference entitled, “The Future of Story.” This will include Minnesota’s own screenwriting guru Tom Pope. Watch future newsletters for times and locations.

Prepare Your Pitches!
As part of “The Future of Story” event on Wednesday, July 31, 2019, members of Screenwriters’ Workshop will have the opportunity to pitch to the panel. Five members will be able to have there best pitch critiqued by the presenters. You never, know, there could be some secret scouts in the group (but the important thing is that you learning, right?). To make it fair and square, a board member will draw the five names from those interested and attending The Future of Story event. You have to be there, though, be a member of SWW, and be ready to throw out a game-winning pitch!

48 Hour Film Project
Again this year, SWW will sponsor a team for the 48 Hour Film Project. The team will compete with other local teams in the Twin Cities to create a film in 48 hours the weekend of May 31-June 2, 2019. There will be an information session later in the Spring, so watch for details. If you are interested in being a part of this event, email us at:

Longtime SWW Member Interviewed, Gives Shout Out to Screenwriters’ Workshop
Member Russ Meyer was recently interviewed on the St. Paul FilmCast podcast. In the interview, he discusses screenwriting and his new novella, After the Fedora (available from and about a private investigator who, after being knocked out by a home run ball, must save the life of a street musician who stole his beloved fedora. Thanks, Russ, for the shout out you gave to Screenwriters’ Workshop!

Screenwriters’ Workshop Newsletter, January 14, 2019

Contest Deadlines Coming! Short Script Deadline Extended.

If you still haven’t finished on your script for the Short Script Challenge, good news—the deadline has been extended to February 15, 2019 at midnight.  There will be a cash prize of $500 with an entry fee of $15 (free for full time students). You can enter up to three scripts.

For longer scripts, check out the Feature Contest.  Awards are $500 for 1st Prize, $300 for 2nd Prize, and $200 for 3rd Prize.  Scripts must be between 90 and 120 pages in standard script format.  The entry fee is $60 ($25 for students) and you can enter up to two scripts.  These must be submitted no later than March 15, 2019 at midnight.

To be eligible for a contest, you must be a paid member of Screenwriters’ Workshop.  See the website for additional information and how to submit.

Thank You for a Wonderful Annual Meeting

The Screenwriters’ Workshop Annual Meeting was held on Saturday, January 12th.  Thank you to the Trylon Cinema in Minneapolis which hosted us.  Thanks to our board and committee members who made it possible, especially Paul Coleman, Beth Adams, and Ed Leschke.  We also want to give a special shout out to our “Writing for Production” panelists Frank Anderson, Patricia Fox, Kelly Lamphear-Dash, David Buchanan, and David Erickson, who shared their experiences in bringing their scripts onto the screen.

Join Us for 2nd Tuesday (on the Third Tuesday of January)

This month the 2nd Tuesday Reading is on the third Tuesday of the month, January 15, 2019 at Minneapolis Community and Technical College in the Technical Building on the 4th Floor in Room T-4020.  Readings start at 7:00 PM.  If you have a feature length script completed, 2nd Tuesday gives you the option to have your complete script read at one sitting.  Film students in the MCTC program provide coverage for all scripts.  You must be a member of SWW to have your script read, but non-members can participate in the readings.  Feel free to bring your friends.  Actors are especially welcome.

Get Involved!  Dip Your Toe in the SWW Water on One of Our Committees

If you have great ideas for projects and events that Screenwriters’ Workshop could do but are not sure about how to get them in place, our board’s committee meetings are a great place to start.  We have openings on Educational Programs, Member Services, PR & Marketing, and Grants and Fundraising Committees.  Our first meeting of the year will be on Saturday, January 19, 2019 at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, on the 4th Floor of the Technical Building (in the Cinema Division area).  Look for our members or follow the signs.  Committee meetings only last an hour, followed by lunch at 12:30.  If you can’t make it on Saturday, the other quarterly meetings for the year are April 13th, July 13th and October 12th.  Committee work is designed around people with busy schedules.


Celebrate National Screenwriters Day — Today and Throughout the New Year!

Below are the Top 10 ways to celebrate National Screenwriters Day and plan for a successful 2019!

Check out the resources for National Screenwriters Day from their official website with plenty of videos and virtual events.

Set your goals.  Are you really going to diet anyway?  If you’ve resolved to go to the gym, you may as well resolve to take a notepad and jot your ideas down while on the bikes or treadmill.  Multi-task.  Just resolve to write.  Make your goals Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based.  Hey, that’s SMART, isn’t it?

There is even a Screenwriters Journal out there to help you set those goals and stick to them!

Join a script group.  SWW Script Groups meet weekly on Thursday evenings, Saturday mornings, and Sunday evenings.  Script groups are the most effective way to assure that your scripts are ready for contests and producers.  Check out the website for more details.

Write a short script.  The deadline for Screenwriters Workshop Short Script Challenge is January 15, 2019 at midnight.  But you have to be a member to join–but that part’s easy.

Write a feature length screenplay.  If you do it by March 15, 2015 at midnight, you can submit it to our Feature Script Contest.  (Of course, you will have to be a member, so check out our website on how to join.)

Join our team for the 48 Hour Film Project We’re gathering a team this year, so get your ideas brewing for short scripts in a variety of genres.  Actors and producers invited as well.  It’s coming up in June, so set aside some time for a weekend of fun.  Watch your email and the website for more details.

Get involved.  We’re always looking for people who have great ideas for how to put on excellent events and make our organization better.  Our new committee structure makes it easy to get involved without a huge time commitment–giving you time to get to your writing and life-ing done as well. If you are interested in getting more involved, email us at


Go to the annual general membership meeting of Screenwriters’ Workshop will be on January 12, 2019 from 9:30 to noon at the Trylon Theater in Minneapolis at 2820 E 33rd Street in Minneapolis.  The topic this year’s annual meeting will be “Writing for Production.”  Bring a friend (if they’re a screenwriter) and get up-to-date information about what’s going on with the group, have a chance to share with the board what you would like to see in the next year, and discover ways you can get involved with the group.  All are welcome!  Check the details on the website for the latest updates, and see you on the 12th!

Get writing. (Of course!). Keep your dream alive.  Believe in yourself, believe in the story you have to tell, and just do it.  Now!

Annual meeting Saturday, January 12th

Greetings to All Screenwriters,

The annual general membership meeting of Screenwriters’ Workshop will be on Saturday, January 12, 2019, from 9:30am to noon at the Trylon Theater in Minneapolis at 2820 E 33rd Street in Minneapolis.

Bring a friend (if they’re a screenwriter) to our annual general membership meeting where you can get up-to-date information about what’s going on with the group, have a chance to share with the board what you would like to see in the next year, and discover ways you can get involved with the group. All are welcome!

The topic this year’s annual meeting will be “Writing for Production.” With the studio system committed to sequels and superhero franchises, it is harder than ever to get a screenplay produced through Hollywood. Advances in film production and distribution, however, make it easier to produce your work independently. Local screenwriters and producers will share their insights with writers on how to write for production—especially with independent production in mind. They will seed your imagination about what is possible for special effects, production design, and storyboarding and give you guidance about bringing your work to reality.

See you there!

FREE Pop-Up Screenwriting Studio final details

Saturday, December 15, 10am – noon at Diamonds Coffee Shop at 1618 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis MN.

Need an excuse to plant your seat to the chair and just write? The Pop-Up Screenwriting Studio is the ultimate writer’s jam session, designed to help you just do it. You can bring your laptop or yellow legal pad and write by yourself, sipping a latte, or you can pull in experts who will be wandering the floor, ready to help you improve your work. Free drink coupons for the first 25 to arrive!

You don’t need to be a current SWW member. Long-time screenwriting instructor and former SWW president David Grant will be our floating mentor you can ask questions!

Click here to RSVP (not required) on our Facebook group.