Mini-Wins!

Two to share. First up, I was a quarterfinalist in the SWN Goldman Awards with my comedy feature, Snitch.

They sent me a laurel, which was lovely of them. I’m particularly pleased, as the judges in this include Ed Solomon, screenwriter of the Men in Black, Bill and Ted and the Now You See Me franchises (there’s a third one of NYSM being developed now), and Fleur Costello, former BBC comedy producer with over 20 years in the industry.

Next up – and this only happened this week – the BBC called out for submissions to their Upload Festival (May Day weekend) and I thought I’d give it a go (bear in mind I’m a writer not a performer) so dug out an old poem (a short old poem) with a twist ending. Off it went, and made it onto Radio Kent, so yay me!

You can listen to it here, from 27.23 in to the broadcast.

Finally – not so much a mini-win for me personally (but fundraising for my charity) – I’m taking part in my third Firewalk next Friday. As you know, I manage a small community space and we’re looking to begin opening up again in the next two months – slowly at first, as our people are elderly and/or vulnerable and the priority is to keep them all safe.

But we’ve almost all had our second jabs now, so confidence is growing that we can get back to some semblance of normality. If you’d like to help us get our programme underway again, this is the link to share (or you can sponsor me, that’d be fab!) Thank you!

Five months later …

.. and I did manage to get my hair cut – in August, so nothing’s changed there, really.

But brilliant news on the hub front, as I secured the funding to get the new kitchen installed – here it is:

I nominated them for the Cooperative Charity of the Year for 2021, and just found out we were accepted, so yay! The hub ended up with over £6k in 2019, so fingers crossed WALT will get close to that too. If you’re a member, please choose them as your charity – thank you 🙂

I’ve also some small successes on the script front. No big wins or options or anything, but Umbilical was a second rounder at Austin, making the top 20% out of over 13,000 entries. They sent me a laurel!

It’s also still under consideration with three producers so y’know, there’s still hope.

My short, Serena, has done well for me – Top 25 in the Table Read My Screenplay competition, and a semi-finalist in the Filmmatic Short Screenplay comp.

Lots more to do though, with comedy currently keeping me busy. My feature with the NFTS graduate is being dissected, rewritten, and new ideas filtered in, and I’ve various scenes and sketches being written for new opportunities. It’s all very exciting and also a bit panicky because, deadlines *eek*.

Next post due … ha ha, no, don’t hold your breath!

Making the most of the lockdown

Additional success since my last blog post!

It’s a shame the rest of 2020 has turned to shit, but there you go. This is actual footage of my hair at the moment:

straw-1674951_1280

Photo: Gerhard Gillinger

Following placing in the top 15 of Clive’s opportunity, I made the shortlist (Top 8) for the 26th Euroscript Screen Story Competition 2020, so yay me! Happy with that for two reasons A) the obvious but b) Umbilical (then known as The Bond) was the first script I ever wrote.

It was at my first London Screenwriters’ Festival (2017 – there’s an online version at the moment, check it out) that I had a script surgery with Euroscript’s Ian Long. He loved the logline and tagline – all I had at that moment – and so, encouraged, I went away and wrote it within one month.  Rewriting followed and it’s also now under consideration with three producers.

I’m still learning though – particularly thanks to seminars at the latest festival – so I’m going to rewrite again and elevate it further.

For another WIP – my comedy-thriller called ‘Snitch’ – I’ve been chosen as one of the scriptwriters to work with an NFTS script development student, as part of their coursework.  It’s so important to get fresh eyes on your work and this is a whole other level since it involves six months of feedback and discussion with the same person – I’m a big fan of consistency.

I’ve also submitted Snitch to another opportunity from the wonderful WFTV, who run writers table reads, with six writers for a six week stint (via Zoom, of course). The three writers we’ve read so far seem very happy, so I can’t wait for my turn.

I completed the Raindance courses – with the final three sessions taking place online because of you-know-what. But the Net Community Hub, for which the courses were being undertaken in order to produce a short film, has had to close its doors for the foreseeable future.  With our clientele being elderly and vulnerable, we’ll be the last place to open up again 😦

hub

Having said that, I’ve the time to research and write the film , plus look for funding – for the film, for the loss of income, for the match funding for next year but also – always looking on the bright side – to get a new kitchen fitted. It’s something we’d never be able to do without closing for a week so that’s my priority for the moment, work wise. There’s a link to the hub above – if you want to donate towards our kitchen and reopening, please do and I’ll love you forever 🙂

That was a lot of news in one go. I shall try to cultivate some consistency with regard to my blogging.

Stay safe and well x

Back to the 60’s

Olivier Award winning show, Sunny Afternoon, based on the story of The Kinks, is showing at Dartford’s Orchard Theatre this week.

I was delighted to review the show for WOW magazine, which you can read here, and it reminded me of a lovely chat I had with a local singer, Tony Ellingham.

Tony fronts of a swing band called 5intheBar, who regularly gig to raise money for the Parkinson’s disease charity. The last one raised £550, as they performed to a packed house. Their next charity performance is March 4.

Under the stage name of Dorian Gray, Tony had a hit song in the 60s, which is still requested today – enjoy hearing all about that, and more, from the man himself.

18 tips to extend your Facebook reach

With Facebook throttling the organic reach of posts so that very few (approx. 15%) of those who’ve liked a page will actually see them, are paid ads the only way to go?

Facebook

There are certain benefits:

  • they practically guarantee many more visits and likes
  • they allow you to target your audience more thoroughly
  • the comparative cost of a Facebook ad is much lower than traditional methods

You do need to spend money to be widely discovered – but then you need to bear in mind that the more ‘likes’ your page has (50k plus) the more FB will throttle, bizarrely.

So promote to a specific and targeted audience, define your goals and approach, and remember, quality not quantity, always. (And don’t forget to end the campaign – Facebook will continue to collect payment!)

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Reaper

Reaper Goth on My Keyboard Sophie Lancaster

Indigo eyes of the exterminating angel
Forewarn of potential danger
A wreath of barbs in the tear garden
Create a fiendish tangle

Her grimy soul in isolation
Catches rain within her hands
Weeping song drips through her fingers
And sings a note of salvation

Pity their ignorance in the joy of diversity
Forgive their joy in the pursuit of bigotry
Refuse to kow tow to conformity
The Reaper will have her revenge.

This is a new piece of artwork by Richard Jefferies in his Goth on My Keyboard series.

After contributing poems responding to Richard’s wonderful character for his Goth on My Keyboard charity book, Richard produced a new image for a reading I gave at a Seasonally Effected evening. The result was the Reaper poem above, which doesn’t appear in the book.

If you’d like to contribute to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, you can find a link to the book in my original blog post here, which gives you more information on the charity.

Is your small business on-line yet? If not, why not?

SMEs, charities and community groups today require a digital mindset if not to be left behind by the competition.


Digital marketing wordcloud

Everyone is on the internet nowadays, aren’t they? Open 24/7, 365 days a year, it’s hard to avoid.

But you’ve been putting off creating your own on-line presence. Why? Time? Money? You don’t see the point of social media – why would you want to know what other people had for breakfast? Trust me, it’s so much more than that!

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