Screenwriters’ Workshop Newsletter: July 8, 2019

“The Future of Story” National Event on July 31st at Playwright Center
Screenwriters Workshop is teaming up with Michael Wiese Productions to offer a spectacular social hour with 9 nationally renowned panelists—including Minnesota’s own Tom Pope. The event will take place at Playwright Center on Wednesday, July 31st, 2019.  We’ll kick off the evening with a meet and greet at 6:30 PM followed by the panel discussion from 7:00-9:00 PM.  Tickets are $10 for members and $15 for non-members on sale at Eventbrite.

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.

“Build-a-Story Workshop” on August 3, 2019 at Dakota County Arts in the Park
Screenwriters Workshop will be sponsoring a booth at Dakota County Arts-in-the-Parkon Saturday, August 3, 2019 from 1:00-4:00 PM at Thompson County Parkin West St. Paul.  Our “Build-a-Story Workshop” will be an outreach effort to inspire kids and their parents to write scripts.  Our booth will allow both kids and adults to build a story off a bare bones script with randomized prompts, then encourage them to create videos at the park.  Please email us at mnscreenwritersworkshop@gmail.comif you are interested in volunteering. If you have kids, bring them to the event and engage with a variety of arts activities and, of course, Mother Nature.

SWW Team’s 48 Hour Film Screening at the Riverview
For the second year in a row, SWW fielded a team for the 48-Hour Film Project, an annual contest that challenges filmmakers to write, film and edit a short film in 48 hours. The SWW team, composed of several of our screenwriters, talented local actors and crew members, successfully completed their short film,  “Watch Over Me,” on June 2. The film, a suspense/thriller involving a misunderstood flooring repairman,  starred the intrepid 6-year old Savanna Adams, daughter of SWW member Beth Adams. It premiered at the Riverview Theater in Minneapolis along with other competing films.  If you are interested in participating in this or other similar projects in the coming year, please email us at

Myrtle Says Why Screenwriters Should Make a Movie
For the second year in a row, Screenwriters’ Workshop has sponsored a team for the 48 Hour Film Project. Below, first time 48’er Myrtle McGovern shares her take on why this is a valuable experience for any screenwriter:

“Whether you are a novice, emerging or established screenwriter , the 48Hour Film Fest challenge has something for you. The Fest brings together a team of creatives to work over one weekend creating a 5-7 minute short film.

For me, a novice screenwriter, I learned:
1. How my voice contributes to the writing team ideation process
2. How a genre/topic can generate so many diverse stories
3. How working to storyboard the elements visually is so important for flow and consistency
4. How different your words are interpreted by the producing, directing and editing teams
5. How important it is to have someone from the camera crew and/or director be a part of the writing team
*Note: Those great words may not translate to the proper angles
6. Teamwork, compromise and trust are key

I created new relationships with my team and as a novice screenwriter making these connections were just as valuable as the writing and film process.  I look forward to having a chance to work with my great team again in the future.

P.S. For the emerging and established screenwriter, the fest pushes you in a controlled span of time and limited resources to push the creative envelope on thought and execution.  No better way to keep your skills sharp!”

You Really Should Join Us on a Committee (It’s Fun!)
If any of the activities and events of Screenwriters’ Workshop intrigue you, come to a committee meeting and help us plan.  It’s a great opportunity to meet people, network, and hone your creative skills. Our next committee meetings are Saturday, July 13, 2019 from 11:30 to 12:30.  Then we hang out and talk over lunch for a half hour.  If you like it, you can even stay for the board meeting from 1:00-2:30PM.  The meeting is held at FilMNorth at 550 Vandalia in St. Paul.  We know you are busy, so commit to only those things you can follow-through on.  All members are welcome!

Bragging Rights
Congratulations to SWW Board Member Kelly Lamphear-Dash who (for the second year in a row!) has made the quarter finals of the CineStory Foundation Feature Contestwith her script Slumming It.

Don’t forget, Screenwriters Workshop members get public shout outs for placing in major contests or production efforts.  Keep us in the loop at:


Screenwriters Workshop Newsletter June 10, 2018

SWW Feature Contest 2018 Results

The winners of the SWW 2018 Feature Contest are:

1st     Tim Franz The Queen’s Messengers
2nd    Matt Belcher Screwdriver
3rd  (Tie) Randy Holland Big Buck Bally Hoo
3rd  (Tie) Troy Kelley Indian Country

Thank you to those who participated.

SWW 48 Hour Film Project Team Has Successful First Experience

On June 1-3, a Screenwriters’ Workshop-sponsored team of 16 writers, actors and technical crew members competed for the first time in the 48 Hour Film Project competition.  Their short film, titled Hero Maker, will be screened on June 14, 7:00 pm at the Riverview Theater in Minneapolis.  The team was assigned the genre of “superhero or martial arts” film on Friday night.  The team wrote the script from scratch Friday night, filmed it Saturday, edited it the remainder of the weekend and managed to turn it in on time by 7 pm Sunday evening.  Team organizer Dick Zonneveld accomplished all three goals he set out for the team:  don’t kill or maim anyone, have fun, and get it done on time.  After the successful event, the SWW board agreed to sponsor at 48 HFP team every year.  If you missed participating this year, stay tuned for information about next year’s team.

In Memoriam: Alvin Easter

Our hearts were broken earlier this week when we found out that longtime friend and Sunday Script Group member Alvin Easter had died. Those familiar with Al’s work agree that he was one of the best screenwriters to pass through SWW.  For years a faithful contributor to Second Tuesdays, Al had a deep, resonant voice and could read narration flawlessly.  An avid filmgoer, Al saw more films that most could imagine and published a booklet of his own award winning films going back to 1963.  At one time he even published his own film magazine and had many letters from famous stars across many decades. Mostly, however, he is remembered for his flawless scripts which made him a runner up for the Nichols Fellowship several times, and even earned him a trip to Dubai as one of six finalists in an international screenwriting competition.  To honor Alvin, SWW will be sponsoring an open house in the Fall complete with readings of his work.  Watch for further details.

Board and Committee Meetings—July 14th:  Join Us!

If you want to get involved in exciting, upcoming screenwriting activities, come to FilMNorth (550 Vandalia in St. Paul) at 11:30 AM.  We will start with lunch for half an hour of networking, then break into committee meetings (Member Services, Fundraising, PR, and Educational Programs) for an hour.  The SWW board meets at 1:00 PM.  The board will be looking for new members in the months to come, so if you are interested in having a voice in the direction of our organization, the committees are a place to start.

Haven’t Checked Out Our New Website Yet?  Give It a Gawk!

The Public Relations Committee just completed an overhaul of its website.  The first thing you will notice is it features videos of short film winners the SWW sponsored “Script-to-Screen” Contest.  It offers members one more opportunity to highlight their projects.  Other features have been added to make navigation easier and update functionality behind the scenes.  Many thanks to web administrator Randy Holland for spending more than 100 hours on the overhaul!

Haven’t Renewed Your Membership in a While?  You’ll Want To!

With all the exciting changes going on, you will want to be part of a collaborative community that will support you in your work.  Whether it is professional development, contests, or simply companions with you on your writing journey, come be a part of Screenwriters’ Workshop.  Contests and some events are only available to members. We can help make your dreams a reality. Go to our website and click on the PayPal button to start your $50 annual membership fee.  It will be worth your while.


RSVP details for 48 Hour Film Festival

Hello Screenwriting Community:

Dick Zonneveld here, from the Screenwriters’ Workshop Sunday writing group and PR Committee.

As you may have heard, I’m coordinating SWW’s 48 Hour Film Project team. The SWW Board has graciously agreed to pay our entry fee. Now all I need is your talent!

What is the 48 Hour Film Project? It’s a fun competition where teams are assigned a genre, a character, a prop and a line of dialogue, from which they must craft a short film — all in 48 hours! This year’s event takes place June 1-3, 2018.

Several of you have already answered the call — thank you! — but we could always use more creative heads like yours.

We are looking for screenwriters, actors and other folks with film production experience in areas such as sound, editing, graphics, makeup, props, craft services, etc. If you have equipment you’re willing to share, all the better. (Of course, persons with no production experience or equipment are welcome, too.)

Each team member will be asked to contribute his or her time, talents, ideas and a few bucks (about $10, depending on team size) to defray incidental costs for things like memory sticks, food/coffee/water, props, etc.

If you are interested in participating, please contact me by this Sunday, May 6, at the following email address:

If later on you still want to join us, our final RSVP date is May 25. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Happy writing,

-Dick Zonneveld