Online Writing Student Success Stories
Helen Townsend, of Fort Scott, Kansas, publishes six poems in anthology
Poet Helen Townsend, of Fort Scott, Kansas, had six poems selected for inclusion in Chatter House Press's 2012 Reckless Writing Anthology: The Modernization of Poetry by Emerging Writers of the 21st Century. The anthology focuses on the evolution of poetry in the 21st century and showcases over 125 poems from new and previous published authors. Helen is a recent graduate of the online class "Taking the Poetic Leap," taught by Angela Rydell. Congratulations, Helen!
Diego Pérez Giménez of Reus, Spain, publishes short story in anthology
Reus, Spain, writer Diego Pérez Giménez recently published his story “Encuentro afortunado” ("Lucky encounter") in the Spanish anthology Cuentamínate, coming out this autumn. Diego wrote his story while enrolled in our online course “How to Write Compelling Fiction,” and emailed instructor Angela Rydell when his story was accepted: “I'm glad and proud to say that a short story that I wrote has been selected to be published in an anthology here in Spain (in old style paper). I would like to thank you because you're responsible in part for this success. Your workshop has been very helpful.” Congratulations to Diego and Angela!
Pat Fitzgerald finals in script contest
Kudos go to Pat Fitzgerald for her fine showing in the contest sponsored by the Table Read My Screenplay Contest, www.tablereadmyscreenplay.com. Formerly of Racine, Wisconsin, Pat now lives in rural Capitan, New Mexico. Finalists are chosen based on their loglines. Here’s the logline for her script, “Millard Does the Martian Mash”: A bumbling Earth man must travel into outer space to rescue an abducted hometown gal, a feat he can’t accomplish without the aid of an alien—who arrived on Earth to assassinate him. …Good logline! Pat’s a graduate of Christine DeSmet’s online screenwriting course, and Pat’s attended many of our Writers’ Institute conferences and other programs.
Kyle Fleishman’s screenplay to be honored at upcoming 2010 Canada Film Festival
Calgary writer Kyle Fleishman’s screenplay, “Chasing Thunderbirds,” was selected as an Honorable Mention in the screenplay competition sponsored by the Canada Film Festival, March 19-21, 2010. Congratulations, Kyle!
Kyle wrote his screenplay in the UW-Madison Continuing Studies online course called, “Screenwriting: Write Your First Draft Fast,” taught by Christine DeSmet.
Kyle said, “Christine DeSmet's course helped me improve my screenwriting immensely. Christine is at turns encouraging and a tough critic, just what I needed to stop writing mediocre screenplays that I would abandon after 30 pages and finish a screenplay I can be proud of. I am sure that my screenplay would not have received any of the accolades it has were it not for this course and Christine's fantastic help. It would probably not even be finished.”
JoAnne Mills, Oshkosh, WI, finals in screenwriting contest
Congratulations! JoAnne Mills is among five finalists in the Wisconsin Screenwriters Forum annual contest with a screenplay she worked on in the UW-Madison Continuing Studies online screenwriting course taught by Christine DeSmet. Christine earned an Honorable Mention in the same contest. JoAnne’s script is “Papa’s Hand.” Logline: When a white drifter poses as black to legally marry a mixed-raced woman in segregated 1920s Virginia, he experiences bigotry from whites and blacks for the first time. He fights back by using the town’s superstitious fears against them, but it all unravels when his past crime of murdering a white man is uncovered and the Klan seeks revenge.
Karen Bryson in screenwriting finals
Karen Mueller Bryson, of Gold Canyon, Arizona, has placed in the top 20 of this spring's Phoenix Film Festival screenwriting contest with her romantic comedy script, "Zak Goes Back to School," the story of a famous boy band member who can't shake his past when he returns to college. Winners will be announced March 18, 2009. Karen is a graduate of the UW-Madison online screenwriting course, "Write Your First Draft Fast," in which Christine DeSmet mentors writers on their scripts from the idea stage through the finished script's FADE OUT. Congratulations, Karen, and good luck in the finals!
Malta screenwriter and UW online student is semi-finalist
Philip Spiteri, of St. Julian's, Malta, is a semi-finalist in the Screenplay Festival contest in the action-adventure category with his feature film script, "The Cost of Redemption." Philip wrote his script in the UW–Madison online course taught by Christine DeSmet, "Screenplay: Write Your First Draft Fast." Philip's script is about a reclusive medical doctor who discovers his new neighbor and her young son must go on the run because of what they know about a murder plot implicating the White House. Congratulations, Philip!
Screenwriting student wins award from BBC
Martin McSweeney, Cork, Ireland, a graduate of our UW online course in screenwriting, won a writing award from the BBC on Oct. 31, 2007, for a TV script based on his novel, Two Weeks In June. Martin now gets into BBC workshops and gets a chance at a commissioned script. Congratulations!
Writer Lisa Holewa finds agent and a sale at Writers' Institute
Lisa Holewa had a pitch meeting with agent Marilyn Allen (Allen O'Shea Literary Agency) at the 2006 Writers' Institute. That turned into a sale for Lisa's and Joan Rice's book, Elephant Ears and Marshmallow Feet, a guide for parents that takes tricks and activities developed by teachers and translates them into techniques parents can use at home to get their children organized, listening, and cooperating. The book sold to Maria Gagliano at Perigee (Penguin Group). Congratulations, Lisa!
Online screenwriting course grad tops in two contests, options script
Mike Mason, Norwich, England, has finished in the top ten in the 2007 Scriptapalooza contest with his script, "LA Coincidental," a comedy send-up of film noir detective movies. He optioned the script to Hero Pictures. Mike wrote the script in our UW online course, "Write Your First Draft Fast," with Christine DeSmet. An interview with Mike is online at the Scriptapalooza website. Mike also won first place in the Wisconsin Screenwriters Forum contest, where second place went to another of Christine's students, Pat Fitzgerald. Her script is "Kid," the true story of Billy the Kid.
Screenwriting and short story news from Christine DeSmet
Christine DeSmet has learned that a romantic comedy she wrote with writing partner, Peggy Williams, made the top ten percent semi-finals in the annual Austin Film Festival contest. Called "Anyone Can," the story is about four slacker guys who think they can get rich quick by writing a romance novel but instead end up in the cross hairs of a real romance writer out to destroy them. Christine teaches the UW's online screenwriting course, and welcomes new writers anytime. Also look for her Saturday, Feb. 23 introductory workshop in Madison.
Christine DeSmet has two new short stories published this fall, including her first ghost story, "When the Dead People Brought a Dish-to-Pass," in the book, Shadows in the Heart/A Jewels of the Quill Halloween Anthology, published by Whiskey Creek Press. The light-hearted romantic mystery is about what happens for a troubled young woman when her dead relatives from centuries before decide to cheer her up by giving her a Halloween party and bringing food from each of their eras, as well as a possible suitor. The story takes place in fictional Moonstone, Wisconsin, on the south shore of Lake Superior.
Christine's other story takes place in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. "Stolen Pleasures," is in The Object of Romance Anthology, from new publisher, Beacon Books Publishing. In that romantic mystery, an art shop owner's bad luck with dating gets worse when the most recent guy turns up dead after eating her maraschino cherry cake.
Excerpts of Christine's stories are at www.JewelsoftheQuill.com