Debra Holland is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of the award-winning Montana Sky Series (sweet, historical Western romance) and The Gods’ Dream Trilogy (fantasy romance.) Debra is a three-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist and one-time winner. In 2013, Amazon selected Starry Montana Sky as one of the Top 50 Greatest Love Stories. When she’s not writing, Dr. Debra works as a psychotherapist and corporate crisis/grief counselor. She’s the author of The Essential Guide to Grief and Grieving, a book about helping people cope with all kinds of loss, and Cultivating an Attitude about Gratitude, a Ten Minute Ebook. She’s also a contributing author to The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing. Full Bio »
The new wave of indie publishing has taken the book industry by storm. Previously unknown and/or unpublished authors are making a living—sometimes a prosperous living--by writing. Traditionally published authors are also developing hybrid careers, where they write for their publishers as well as self-publish. Some successful indie authors are also catching the attention of traditional publishers, who are acquiring their books.
Screenwriters may struggle to find recognition for their work and make a living with their writing. Often screenwriters must have a “day” job in order to survive, which can leave little time and energy to pursue their dreams of success. Adapting screenplays into a books may produce extra income and recognition, as well as provide other benefits to a screenwriting career.
In this Stage 32 Webinar, Debra Holland will discuss her journey from an unpublished author to a NY Times Bestselling author. In her six years of indie publishing, Debra has sold more than a million books and has made a six-figure income for the last five. She’ll introduce you to self-publishing, provide some tips for adapting your screenplays into books, cover basics to get you started in indie publishing, and help you consider whether self-publishing your screenplays as books might be conducive to your career as a screenwriter.
My path from unpublished author to New York Times Bestselling Author
Why Self Publishing a Book or Books Can Enhance Your Screenwriting Career
A bonus to enhance your pitch
Expand your writing skills
Personal satisfaction of controlling your own project and launching it into the world
Building your fan base
Writing Your Material
Why write and publish a book or books?
Differences between writing a script and writing book
Picking your genre
Learning the Publishing Business
Indie or traditional publishing
Wider Distribution, including foreign markets
Using Kindle Direct Publishing
Uploading your book
What to do after you publish your ebook
Managing your expectations
Plugging into the Indie Author Community
Q&A with Debra
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Learn how to effectively network to improve your career as a screenwriter from Steve Desmond, the screenwriter of M. Night Shyamalan's KNOCK AT THE CABIN and a writer on the upcoming TRANSFORMERS ONE for Paramount Pictures! Plus! You'll receive a query letter template you can use to help you make the most out of networking! You want to be a professional filmmaker, but how do you make connections to get your foot in the door? We’re all in the business of telling stories, but we’re also in the business of building relationships. Without those relationships, the entertainment industry can seem daunting. So how do you meet new people and make meaningful professional connections? In this webinar, we’ll throw the stereotypical “networking” pretenses aside, and focus on what it takes to begin crafting real partnerships and collaborations, with the hopes of elevating each other’s careers. The old adage holds true - it’s not just about what you know, it’s about who you know too… But who you know is ultimately up to you. This is an industry that is built on relationships. But far too many aspiring filmmakers don’t spend nearly enough time meeting new people and building those relationships. Just like writing, meeting people takes time, effort, and focus. The onus is on you to reach out and stay in touch. It’s not just about meeting people who want to do the same thing as you (i.e. writers meeting other writers). It’s about meeting people that can be helpful to your career, and who you, in turn, can be helpful to theirs. The bottom line is that your chances of success improve exponentially when you combine skill with a network of like-minded colleagues. In this exclusive Stage 32 webinar, you will learn the skills and tools you need as a screenwriter to network effectively and build and maintain long lasting business relationships to help you shape your career. Teaching you everything you need to know about networking as a screenwriter is Steve Desmond. A longtime member of Stage 32, Steve co-wrote KNOCK AT THE CABIN, which was directed by M. Night Shyamalan and released theatrically by Universal Studios. It opened at # 1 at the box office, and subsequently #1 on VOD on Peacock. Steve is one of the writers on the upcoming Transformers franchise prequel, TRANSFORMERS ONE starring Scarlett Johansson and Chris Hemsworth, which will be released in theaters in fall, 2024 by Paramount Pictures. His screenplays have been voted onto the prestigious industry Black List four times, including THE SATURDAY NIGHT GHOST CLUB which he is attached to direct with Brad Fuller (A QUIET PLACE) producing. He sold his sci-fi adventure screenplay, HARRY’S ALL-NIGHT HAMBURGERS, to Warner Bros in a bidding war, with Oscar nominated producer Andrew Lazar attached. His short film, MONSTERS, that he wrote and directed, has amassed over two million views online and screened in over 100 film festivals worldwide, winning 46 awards. Steve is represented by APA and Ziffren-Brittenham LLP. In a information-packed webinar, you will learn how to make the most out of in-person and virtual networking events, how to utilize social media for networking purposes, and strategies to maintain relationships once you make them. Steve will teach you who you should be targeting when networking (hint: it’s all about who can actually buy your script!) and how you can research and get in touch with writers, producers, and reps in an organic way. PLUS! You'll receive a query letter template you can use to help with your own networking! In today’s ever connected world, it is easier than ever to network to improve your career, you just need to know how! Praise for Steve's Stage 32 Teaching "No wonder Steve's career has taken off. It's clear he has a strong sense of how to write and also how to handle the business of the industry. Learned a ton from him." - Anthony M. "Incredibly valuable webinar for everyone to take - not just writers. Networking is a tricky thing that I've never felt comfortable with, but Steve's approach and recommendations honestly make it way less daunting." - Laura L. "It's the well known truth that you have to network to make it in the film industry. But even approaching networking is a hard thing to do. Steve broke it down in a sensical and practical way that I think can work for everyone." - Matt C.
Adult animated TV is hotter than ever right now as shows like BOJACK HORSEMAN, SOLAR OPPOSITES, RICK & MORTY and BIG MOUTH are taking the genre to a new level. It's absolutely true that TV animation is an exciting world to dive into right now. Yet animated TV is written a bit differently than other types of series. In order to write successfully in this space, it’s important for you to understand the differences and challenges there are to writing animation and how the best animated series break story for an episode. This way, you’ll be able to fit seamlessly into any writers' room and begin an exciting career in prime time animation! Sivert Glarum is a veteran sitcom writer and story breaking whiz with 25 years of experience, who has written on both live action and animation series, including KING OF THE HILL, BEAVIS & BUTTHEAD, JUST SHOOT ME, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, and more. He has also served as showrunner for Marc Maron’s comedy MARON on IFC, animated series GLENN MARTIN DDS on Nick at Nite, and YouTube Red’s RHETT AND LINK’S BUDDY SYSTEM. When Sivert isn’t writing or running shows, he helps young writers develop their craft and trains new showrunners on breaking story and character. Sivert will teach you everything you need to know about breaking an episode of prime time animation, including how long an episode should be, breaking story, structuring your episode, and the difference between plot and story. He’ll take you through a case study of GLENN MARTIN DDS to show you how to find your A-Story beat by beat, then apply the same beats to your B and C story. He’ll also breakdown the three different types of sitcoms and how the breaking process for each works. Sivert will give you all his tips for properly executing an episode of primetime animation, highlighting the differences between animation and live-action, and prepare you to write and run an animation series. "I’ve spent several years writing on animated comedies. I’ve seen many scripts turn out great. I’ve witnessed many others suffer unspeakably grueling fates at network table reads. After a while, I realized the key was to make sure the script had a solid structure. Understanding the basic rules can make all the difference. I’m glad to share what I know and break down what really makes an episode of prime time animation work." -Sivert Glarum
Learn about the Hero's Journey and how your screenplays can use this imperative tool from the Academy Award nominated writer of TOY STORY, CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN, GOODBYE LOVER and more... Plus! A Hero's Journey Worksheet and Exclusive Script Downloads For You! STAR WARS, THE MATRIX, HARRY POTTER, TOY STORY... countless successful films use "The Hero's Journey," a storytelling archetype promoted by author and professor Joseph Campbell. You've likely heard or maybe even read about it, but Stage 32 is here to walk you threw what it takes to apply this essential archetype to your own writing! In this exclusive Stage 32 on-demand webinar, Oscar-nominated screenwriter Alec Sokolow will take you through the Hero's Journey so that you fully understand how to use it to elevate your scripts. Alec is a master of the Hero's Journey having applied it throughout his career to his blockbuster films, including TOY STORY, CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN, EVAN ALMIGHTY, and many more. He's also produced feature documentaries, directed animation shorts, and written children's books, successfully applying Joseph Campbell's mythical structure with his work netting over $2 billion in worldwide receipts. The Hero's Journey is bigger than Luke Skywalker, and following this archetype isn't about following a cookie-cutter story. It's about understanding dreams we all share and heightened realities. It leads to star-making roles that actors are dying to play. It's about raising the stakes and challenging your protagonist to change on multiple levels by pushing them beyond their limits. To truly understand the nature of your writing, it is vital to understand the heroic journey you are constructing for your protagonist and go on your own journey as you craft your script. In the process, you'll have a deeper understanding of how to write these journeys, be able to elevate your writing to something that grabs producers and talent, and prove that you're ready for a career in writing big-screen stories. Where else can you learn about this imperative story structure directly from a successful screenwriter who applies it to their work every day? Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to learn from Alec Sokolow and start your own Hero's Journey. PRAISE FOR ALEC'S WORK AND STAGE 32 EDUCATION: “Alec Sokolow is one of the world’s great storytellers, screenwriters, and teachers and that’s a wonderful combination for anyone to learn from.” -- An Award-Winning Producer "Wonderful insights. Made lots of notes. Thank you." "Alec is the best! What a world of knowledge!" "Great session with Alec. Thanks for the insights and wisdom from your storytelling experience. Oh, and for the films!"
Learn directly from Mark Allan, who currently works in TV Talent development at one of the "Big Six" Hollywood agencies! He'll give you specific insider knowledge of the how to find agency representation if you're a foreign actor. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, you will learn how you can increase your chances of finding an agent as a foreign actor new to the U.S. market. Using his experience working in the talent department at one of the "Big Six" Hollywood agencies, Mark Allan will guide you through what it takes to secure representation if you're hoping to make the jump. First, he'll cover what you should currently be focused on before arriving in the U.S. and building your career. He'll examine why agents prefer talent that is already established elsewhere over new foreign unknown actors and how you can use your old representation to get U.S. agency attention. Mark also plans to give an overview of the visa process, including the challenges of doing it alone, getting a sponsor or hiring an attorney. Mark will then give you an overview of what to your agency will expect from you. He'll tackle the issue of working on improving your accent to appeal to wider audiences and why this is so important to your chances of securing representation. As well as how you can use your accent to your advantage and how the growing need for diversity can improve your chances as a foreign actor. You will walk away knowing how to approach building your career as a foreign actor seeking to establish yourself in the U.S. marketplace.
In this Executive Hour, Screenwriting Jon Stahl talks about moving from production on projects like Young Adult to the Writers' Room of the HBO award-winning series, "VEEP." Jon has in writers' rooms for NBC, Nickelodeon, and HBO. Jon talks about his next creative endeavor, writing and producing a podcast radio play starring Tony Hale of "Arrested Development" and "VEEP"!
You have an idea for a screenplay. Something burning inside of you to get on the page. Or perhaps you have a screenplay (or 20) sitting in your desk draw in need of a home. Of course you know to make sure that material is primed, ready, and locked and loaded to give yourself the best chance of being read from FADE IN to FADE OUT. But you also need to make sure it's market ready. And further still, you'll want to identify where the best home is for this material and how to pitch them in a manner in which gives you the best shot to be optioned or sold. Most writers understand that taking your idea from a good concept to an excellent screenplay takes many rewrites and much polishing. In today's ultra-competitive landscape, it's more important than ever to fully flesh out your characters, locales, and plot. But thinking about the business side of things as it relates to your screenplay - understanding budget constraints, for example - is something that can give you power in a room. But first you need to get in that room. And to do that, you need to identify the proper (and realistic) homes for your material and understand what they are looking for. Further, you'll need to craft an effective pitch which may just change from one production company (or producer, financier or rep) to another. Rachel Crouch is the Director of Development for Cold Iron Pictures, Miranda Bailey's financing and production company. She's worked on films such as Sundance's Swiss Army Man starring Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano, the Independent Spirt Award-winning The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Don't Think Twice starring Keegan-Michael Key and Gillian Jacobs, Norma staring Richard Gere and Steve Buscemi and many more. Prior to Cold Iron Pictures she worked as a producer's assistant raising film financing and helping bring films into production. Rachel will take her experience on over a dozen films and give you a behind-the-scenes look at what production companies look for when considering material. Rachel will teach you how to develop your idea from a good concept to a strong story that will grab the attention of financiers and production companies. She'll help you break down your story to figure out your project's main audience and lead you through the tropes you'll want to exploit in order to leave that audience satisfied. You'll find out how to determine your story's budget range and see how letting go of those HBO dreams might help you find a better home for your project. She'll teach you how to hone your pitch including information you must include when pitching production companies. She'll even discuss rejection and finding the power within so that your next pitch is even better and more productive than the last. In short, Rachel will put you in a position to get the read, get in the room, and get the sale or job! PRAISE FOR RACHEL'S TEACHINGS: "I appreciate Rachel's openness and willingness to share her knowledge and experience with us." - Susan S. "Very practical advice that I can apply right away." - Brian G. "I thought it was very professional and informative." - Chris R.