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Betsie's Literary Page Newsletter
  Newsletter Subtitle April 09, 2004  

in this issue

Featured Article

Rebeca's Recipes & More

Books Reviews & More

For Aspiring writers

How to write Radio Drama

For Screenwriters

Publishing News & More



Featured Article


SO, WHO'S BEEN PLAYING CHICKEN IN THE FOX COOP? - With Nielsen expected to announce later today that it will yield to the immense pressure building from broadcast, political and consumer advocacy groups to delay the rollout of people meters in the Big Apple, you'd think that the people behind the successful campaign would be tripping over themselves to take credit for it. And maybe they are, the problem is nobody seems to be able to tell the us exactly who's responsible for it. The code of secrecy surrounding the marketing effort - unprecedented in the history of a Nielsen ratings debate (and there have been plenty of those) - has all the earmarks of high-powered political intrigue: sealed lips, lots of finger-pointing and virtually no paper trail to speak of. This is surprising for such a public campaign that has involved speeches and statements by legislative leaders, direct mail and ads in major daily papers. But BLP has seen this kind of cloak- and-dagger media spin before and if our deduction is correct, the trail likely ends with an old master of political spin and corporate positioning, Fox News Channel chief, Roger Ailes.


IT MAY BE THE GREAT WHITE NORTH, BUT WHERE'S THE RED AND BLUE? - BLP frequently feels as if it were a alone in the world, but we're feeling especially so after reviewing the findings of a Harris Interactive study of other nations' views of the U.S. and its policies. It's not that we were surprised to learn that major European industrials like France, Germany, Spain, Italy and even Great Britain have a relatively negative attitude toward the States, it's the fact that our next- door neighbors do. Generally speaking, Canadians appear to be just as sour on the U.S. as the Western Europeans about almost all things American, except one, our media content. In fact, our northern neighbors apparently think more highly of American films and TV programs than Americans do. While only 48 percent of Western Europeans and 44 percent of Americans think positively of U.S. media content, 60 percent of Canadians do, according to the Harris Interactive survey. Perhaps it's the fact that so many Canadian actors appear in American TV shows and films, or maybe it's all those reruns of SCTV. The only other area where Canadians appear to have any affinity with American culture is our cuisine. More than half (53 percent) of Canadians have a positive view of American food, vs. only 17 percent of Western Europeans.


Yahoo! Revs Up Brand Campaign: 'Life Engine' - Yahoo!, a brand born on the Internet, shows its grown- up side in a comprehensive new brand campaign that broke out yesterday with four 30-second TV spots positioning the Web powerhouse as a life engine that enables people to get more out of their lives.

The initial four spots will run primarily on cable channels, including Discovery's TLC, The Travel Channel, Bravo, FoodTV, Viacom's VH1, and Comedy Central; some network television is also planned. The effort also includes online rich media and banner advertising throughout the Yahoo! network, and a special micro-site where consumers can engage with the subjects of the TV commercials and interact with highlighted services.

Yahoo! plans to make online media buys outside of its network, although it declined to name the properties: "It's very important for us to be leaders in the space and to show advertisers to really use this medium to its full potential," Dunaway notes.


Sci Fi Channel's Upfront: More Than Just Space -Sci Fi Channel isn't just about aliens and humans in far-flung reaches of the galaxy anymore.

That's evident when you look at what the channel has in store for the next year or so. Sure, you'll still find some spaceships, lasers, great special effects, and all the other requisite science-fiction staples. But Sci Fi has loosened the strict bonds of the species, focusing on more down-to-earth locales with a twist, as Sci Fi chief Bonnie Hammer said.

In other words, Sci Fi has seen the future--and it isn't necessarily the future.

It's hard to argue with the success--the network is among the top 10 in cable households and key demos, and is breaking into the top five for some of them. Sci Fi had a record-setting year in 2003, and the first quarter of 2004 continued the trend. It's done that with miniseries like "Taken"--a 10-parter that ran in December 2002--and last year's "Battlestar Galactica," along with original movies, series, and a new thrust in reality-based programming that is pulling in the adults ages 18-34 compared to the 25-54s that had been the channel's core.



GUERILLA MARKETING

How to Increase the Power of your Testimonials

Are you using testimonials in your marketing? If not, you are missing one of the most successful forms of marketing ever used. Adding a testimonial to your current marketing material can not only increase your sales but also more importantly increase your credibility! Adding testimonials can greatly increase the power of your marketing program if done correctly. Done correctly? How hard can it be to add a testimonial you say? Read on and learn how you can increase the power of your testimonial by ten fold and avoid the most common marketing mistake many top on-line sites make.

Browse around some of your favorite web sites and see how many testimonials from satisfied customers are prominently displayed. I bet many of them are lacking the most important part. Contact! How many times have you come across a page full of testimonials that are listed like the following example:

Great products and services! I will recommend you to everyone I know. Your services are fantastic.
D.S. - Wilkes Barre, PA

Wow that's believable...Not! Who is D.S. and why should I believe this person? When you are using a testimonial on your site or for any form of marketing for that matter include as much information about the person as you can.

How much more credible do you think the above testimonial would be if it had the full name, email and URL if available of the author? 10 times or more! If you are concerned about people blasting your customers with email asking about your business, don't. Most people will not bother emailing them. Just the fact that they could is all the support your testimonial needs. When you receive a testimonial from your customers or a happy visitor, respond and thank them! Ask them if it would be ok to use their kind words on your site. Be sure to tell them you will give them full credit for their testimonial with a link.

Leery about asking for your customer's permission?

Most people will be glad to let you post their testimonial. In fact I bet most will appreciate the link. Always ask before posting comments on your site or including them in your marketing material.

You will be surprised at how far a testimonial can go in the eyes of your prospects. One great bonus is the fact that there is absolutely no cost! Nothing beats a personal recommendation.

I hope you re-evaluate your use of testimonials and if you never used them, start. It could make you rich!


Catching Opportunities

You have missed hundreds, possibly thousands of opportunities. Don't feel too bad about it, though. We all have. In fact, every time we choose to do something, by extension we are choosing NOT to do something else. It's a fact of life.

The trick is to catch those opportunities that are best for us. Sometimes, we don't even see them until after they have passed. How many times have you seen what someone else did and said, 'Why didn't I think of that?'

Here is the secret to catching those opportunities before they slip past you: Teach your brain to make connections. Connections between related items. Connect between items that don't appear to be related to Connections that are 'unexpected' to the untrained brain.

Training your brain to make connections will help you to catch opportunities to create new products, package and repackage your products and services to attract new markets, find marketing opportunities others have missed, get publicity, and provide high-quality service to your customers. Plus, it's fun!

Here are a few exercises to help train your brain:

Go through your Rolodex(tm) or address book. Pick a person at random, and look for connections between the two of you. What do you have in common? How do your differences complement each other? Could you come together for a purpose that would benefit them and you? Don't stop at the obvious. Could they introduce you to a market you haven't pursued? What could you do for them?

When you're surfing the Web, look for connections between your business and the sites you visit. Is there a site that offers products or services to the same market you serve? Could you work together to build your businesses? How could your products and services be packaged with theirs?

Work puzzles and play games. I love to work puzzles-- word puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, all kinds of puzzles-- because they get my brain humming. When your brain is active, you'll start to see possibilities you didn't see before. Also, working puzzles gets you to look at things in new ways, from new angles.

Look at a calendar. How can you associate your business with holidays? Can you come up with a promotion for each season, or each month? One website which sells baby products did a special Valentine's Day promotion. At first glance, you might not see the connection but, as they said, 'We know where babies come from.' Cute!

Get together with a couple of friends, and brainstorm. When you get a freewheeling session going, the ideas are flying and the free associations get made. Bring in a couple of wild and crazy friends, and see what you conjure up!



MOVIE REVIEWS


Hellboy - 5 out of 5 points

Released from the underworld in 1944 by evil Russian puppet master Grigori Rasputin (Karel Roden) and a crew of Nazis as part of Hitler's plan to use occult powers to turn the tide of World War II, Hellboy is rescued and raised by kindly Professor Broom (John Hurt). Years later, in present-day Manhattan, the big red demon (Ron Perlman, who at this point must have spent more of his life in a makeup chair than out of one) smokes cigars, tosses off wisecracks, and fights otherworldly baddies for the secretive Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. He's joined by the water-dwelling Abe Sapien (played by Doug Jones, voiced by David Hyde Pierce) and fresh-faced FBI agent John Myers (Rupert Evans), the professor's designated Hellboy handler-in-training. When Rasputin resurfaces and unleashes a horde of evil spirits on the city in an attempt to finish what he started back in the '40s, Hellboy and Co. (including fetching pyro Liz Sherman, played by Selma Blair) must face the dark magician in a no-holds-barred supernatural showdown that (naturally) will determine the fate of the world.

All the digital enhancements and red makeup in the world couldn't make Hellboy a sympathetic character if the actor underneath wasn't appealing.

Del Toro fans have come to expect slick, moody action from the man behind Mimic and Blade II, and they won't be disappointed with Hellboy. From gloomy, dripping subway tunnels to stark Russian graveyards, Del Toro has created a more convincing comic book world than almost anyone else who's brought a graphic novel to the big screen in recent years (Spider-Man's Sam Raimi and Bryan Singer's X-Men flicks are notable exceptions).


Walking Tall - 4 out of 5 points

When retired U.S. Special Forces Soldier Chris Vaughn (Johnson) returns to Kipsat County, Wash., it's only to find his hometown overrun with crime, drugs and violence. The old mill where Chris's father (John Beasley) worked for most of his life is closed, and the town's only thriving industry is the Wild Cherry casino. Even Chris' high school sweetie, Deni (Ashley Scott), couldn't resist the Wild Cherry's lure; she's become a peepshow dancer to "pay the bills." But Chris really loses it when he discovers the casino's dealers are using loaded dice--and he starts a brawl that ends with the security team carving up his chest and abdomen with a rusty Exacto knife. Chris also learns that that his old high school rival, the casino's owner, Jay Hamilton (Neal McDonough), has transformed the mill into a crystal meth lab and is using the casino's menacing security staff to sell the drugs to innocent kids. Chris strikes back by running for sheriff, firing the entire police department on his first day and, with the help of a cedar two-by-four and his deputy and buddy Ray Templeton (Johnny Knoxville), restores peace to the Pacific Northwest.

Johnson, looking buffer than ever, is well cast in the role of Chris: He's a fearless and determined soldier with beyond-human fighting skills. But while the film takes advantage of Johnson's brawn, it fails to take advantage of his brain.

A WWE production with Vince McMahon serving as executive producer, Walking Tall has none of the subtlety of director Kevin Bray's last film, All About the Benjamins, and all the elements of a wrestling match. As with wrestling, the film begins by melodramatically establishing the story (Chris and his family's lives are devastated by the mill's closure) and, just like rival pugilists who publicly taunt the favored wrestler, Chris challenges Jay--not for the world title, but at least for control of Kipsat County--in a never-ending battle between good and evil that mimics wrestling to a T.

Bottom Line: Walking Tall could have used more intelligent storytelling and less wrestlemania; it reeks of SmackDown!, but it never fully exploits its champ, The Rock.


The Prince & Me - 3 out 5 points

Paige Morgan (Julia Stiles) is under a lot of pressure. She's a pre-med student at the University of Wisconsin, so she's got class all day, a minimum wage job tending bar in the evenings, and she burns the midnight oil filling out med school applications through the night. She's driven, she's got goals, and by golly, she doesn't have time for love. Prince Edvard (Luke Mably), on the other hand, lives a charmed existence: He'll be king one day, and he lives in a castle in Denmark, travels the world, races fast cars, has a butler (Ben Miller) to tend to his every need, and his exploits in love are emblazoned on the pages of nearly every European tabloid. But when the royal mum and dad (Miranda Richardson and James Fox) demand that Edward start acting like a guy about to become king, he's feeling some pressure, too. Miraculously, an infomercial featuring hot Midwestern college girls baring their breasts inspires him to head for the dairy capital of the world--penniless, but with butler in tow--where he meets Paige. He introduces himself simply as "Eddie," then asks her to bare her breasts. This tack, naturally, gets him nowhere fast, so he decides to woo this coed spitfire by learning to be a little more like her and a little less like the pampered prince that she, as yet, doesn't know him to be: He gets a job, tutors her in Shakespeare, and helps with the chores when they visit her parents' dairy farm. Love blooms, but what the future holds for these star-crossed lovers, from two such different worlds, remains to be seen.

With The Prince & Me, Stiles adds another lightweight coed romance to a growing list that includes Save the Last Dance and A Guy Thing, and as usual the talented actress adds more to the role than she gets from it. When her character's in her element, especially on the family farm in Wisconsin, Stiles comes off as genuine and the performance is relatively natural, although her accent still carries vestiges of the posh 1950s school girl she played in the recent Mona Lisa Smile, which rings a little false.

Throughout the movie, one wonders how director Martha Coolidge and writers Jack Amiel and Michael Begler will end the fantasy: Will Paige be queen? Or will she stay true to her own dreams? Will Edward give up the throne to be with Paige? Or will The Prince & Me overcome all the obstacles of its formulaic plot setup and be--gasp--original? The filmmakers don't seem able to decide, and there are at least three stuttering codas at the conclusion of the movie, none of them particularly memorable or fulfilling.

Bottom Line: It's trite, it's contrived, but hey, it's romantic, and it's a great teenage date movie.



Betsie's News

Saturday I responded to an article that gnawed at me like a dog on a bone. At the same time I decided to use my response to do a liitle PR.

Sunday the Globe Correspondent emailed me back saying that she forwarded my email. I said hmmm ok

Monday the Globe called wanting to publish my response to the article and asked for additional info. I said ok - it's not what I wanted, but sure why not - knock yourselves out.

Twenty minutes later I got a call from a radio station whom I had contacted sometime back wearing a sign: "help out a struggling author day"(one hand open for any handouts) They wanted to meet Thursday.

After yesterday's discussions, we opted for another meeting next week. Here's the scoop: A special for authors - to promote your book. They own 80 stations across the country. Can you see the potential here? Is it gonna be free? Of course not silly! But I'm working on getting it down to something that even my dog can afford - well of course I would have to pay for the dog !

So for any who are interested in this promotional deal raise your hands up high and scream PIXIE DUST!!!!


***

We appreciate and hope you continue to send us your comments, opinions, articles and suggestions. Remember if you submit anything to our newsletter - include a link back to your site.

Betsie's Literary Page is where readers and shoppers are respected, books are cherished, aspiring writers are encouraged and authors are adored.

Copyright by Betsie, 2004 All contents of this email are for the use of Betsie's Literary Page subscribers and may not be reproduced in any way and/or posted on websites without prior express written permission. If you would like to have friends or associates receive our emails, rather than forwarding this, please have them subscribe.

Thank You for reading, see you next week!




  


Greetings Dear Readers!

WOW! Its been a another great week, hope the same has been happening in your part of the world.

We have lots of exciting news to share as well as information.

1st BLP has somehow made it to Italy!!!

Yep - you heard right - Italy. I received several emails requesting a translated version of the newsletter. Not sure how this came about though. To top it off my Italian is a bit rusty - I sure hope they understood my response LOL


2nd On behalf of everyone I'd like to give a warm welcome to our newest subscribers. It is my hope that the information provided is entertaining and helpful - in some way or another.




  • Rebeca's Recipes & More
  •   


    Mexican Dessert - Apricot Almond Empanaditas

    Ingredients :
    1 sht frozen puff pastry sheet thawed
    1/4 cup slivered almonds
    1 cup apricot preserves
    1/8 tsp cinnamon
    2 tbl ground almonds for topping

    * Yields 16 Empanaditas.

    1. Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a cookie sheet with vegetable cooking spray. On a floured board, unfold and roll out puff pastry sheet to a 12-inch square. Cut pastry into 16 3-inch squares.

    2. In a small bowl, mix apricot preserves with almonds and cinnamon.

    3. Top each pastry square with a heaping teaspoon of apricot preserve mixture. Fold squares in half to form triangles. Brush edges of triangles with water and press edges together with tines of a fork. Place triangles on prepared baking sheet. Bake empanaditas for 15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and dust with ground almonds.

    * Serve warm.


    BLP's WEEKLY JOKE


    THE FBI REPORT

    The phone rings at FBI headquarters. "Hello?"
    "I'm calling to report my neighbor. He is hiding marijuana inside his firewood."
    "Thank you very much for the call, sir."

    The next day, FBI agents descend on the neighbor's house. They search the shed where the firewood is kept. Using axes, they bust open every piece of wood, but find no marijuana. They swear at the neighbors and leave.

    The phone rings at the neighbors house. Hey, Adrian, did the FBI come?"
    "Yep."
    "Did they chop your firewood?"
    "Yep."
    "Great, now it's your turn to call. I need my garden plowed."



    NEW FOR KIDS

    Singing Great Gray Owl Plush Toy - an adorable plush toy has an added bonus! Squeeze the owl to hear the luring call of the Great Gray Owl. Great gift for kids. Measures 6" high. Available at the Nature Store - Price: $ 7.95


    Fingerpuppets To Win A Little Girl's Heart! - Three amazingly detailed little fairies from the famous Folkmanis collection, are right out of the pages of a fairy tale! Great for bringing story time to life . . . or adding a very special touch to a little girl's fairy tale bedroom decor! Available at DaddysToyShop.com - Price: $21.95 + shipping


    Collectible Military Vehicles - Cold Steel 32x is a new series from 21st Century Toys based on their plastic 32x vehicles. Using the tooling from the 32x line, they have added metal and die cast parts with all new paint schemes to these vehicles making them comparable to Forces of Valor. Available at Michigan Toy Soldier - Price:$ 21.95


  • Books Reviews & More
  •   


    Title: Killer in Pair-A-Dice
    Author: Dennis N. Griffin
    Publisher: Writers Exchange E-Publishing (2003)
    Genre: Murder Mystery/Suspense
    ISBN: 1920741577
    Ebook Format; $3.00
    CD; $15.95
    Paperback; 201pp $12.99

    Rating: Highly Recommended

    Night Phantom dulls glitter of Vegas

    In the fabulous city of Las Vegas just past 10pm Juanita Hernandez is leaving her job as a manager of a women's clothing store. Juanita is excited and looking forward to taking her daughters for a joyride in her new convertible mustang.

    Having parked at the distant end of the parking lot she checks her new vehicle for what she thinks is a scratch. So engrossed is Juanita, that she is unaware that a night predator has his eye on her. Before she can react, she is in his grasp!

    In fear for her life she unwittingly decides its best not provoke him and allows her captor to take her to a secluded area where she believes he is going to rape her. When he reaches the destination - he savagely and repeatedly rapes and worse. Juanita soon realizes this was a mistake.

    By 6am Juanita is wrapped in a sheet and left at a well- traveled intersection in the city.

    Metropolitan Detective Steve Garneau and his partner of a few months Terry Bolton are assigned to the case. Discovering there is little to no evidence and no witnesses to the crime. Lt. Daniels, Garneau's superior is receiving pressure from the press as well as from city officials to catch the predator before he can strike again.

    This is a first for the stalker, and he is genuinely satisfied with his handiwork. As the press glamorizes his crime, his ego is over inflated and is convinced that he is unstoppable and can and will paralyze the city with terror.

    An over zealous reporter overhearing a private conversation between Lt. Daniels and Det. Garneau releases a story that insights the stalker to target Det. Garneau. Steve races against time before the killer can harm one of his loved ones.

    Mr. Griffin's, Killer in Pair-of-Dice instantly captures and holds reader's attention. For this reviewer it is the one of two books read by this author, having read the second book in the series first (One-Armed- Bandit), finding that these novels will make a wonderful collection to your library, and a must for avid Detective story fans.

    Reviewed by Juanita Reynolds


    ***


    *** Books NOt yet Released ***

    Title: Fire in the Ice
    Author: Katlyn Stewart
    Publisher: Publish America
    Genre: Contemporary Romance Fiction
    ISBN: Pending

    Rating: Recommended

    Deedra Elizabeth Marlan is the sole owner of the Fireside Inn, only after her husband's untimely death and for which she becomes involved to fill the void in her life. Building an outer shell, not allowing love to venture back into her life, with a matter of time her employees dub Deedra "Ice Princess".

    Her sincerity, and her flaming self-respect serve well to ward off any potential suitors.

    Until one day a stranger with a familiar face walks in. Although, she would soon find out that Joshua Tyler McKenzie was no ordinary man. His gentle smile, that could melt stone and flashing eyes, maelstroms into which a woman could fall happily forever and never once question where she was headed.

    In a standoffish game of Cat and Mouse, Deedra, and Joshua, search out one another. Fascinated by their attraction, Marcy Tomlinson, Deedra's best friend takes matters into her own hands. In order to help things along, Marcy sets up a surprise dinner that turns into much more than expected.

    What can readers expect form Fire in the Ice? A lush and spellbinding story of passion and betrayal that grandly sweeps readers. Hot and sensual scenes, as well as interesting enough characters to sink your teeth into.

    Katlyn Stewart's writing style is a little raw in this genre and the plot moves at a slow pace, finding a couple parts to be slightly sappy and corny. The worry for this reviewer had been that the author, might not be able to pull everything together to give this romantic tale the ending it needed to be worthwhile. But alas, worry not dear readers.

    Fire in the Ice is for anyone who loves a detailed story taut with physical attraction and fascinating characters. Makes for a good relaxing read.

    Reviewed by Betsie


    Comments or questions about book reviews may be sent to: betsiesbooks-books@yahoo.com


    ***



    LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

    Linda Pannett, author of "Silent Killers" recently received some wonderful news:

    Dear Ms. Pannett:

    Thank you for your March 20, 2004 letter and enclosure regarding your new book "Silent Killers." I have ordered a copy of the book and after I have finished, I will share the same with my probation officer and his assistant. Additionally, I will certainly encourage my wife to read the book, as she is a very valuable reference for determining how someone outside of the court system would respond to the book.

    As you are aware, I have been in office a little over three years. In preparing to take office and during my tenure, I have commenced several projects. One of the projects, which I have been interested in, is a victim conciliation, which can particularly important in Operating While Intoxicated cases.

    Again, thank you for your suggestions and I will be back in contact with you. Thank you.

    Sincerely,
    James A. McEntarfer
    Judge, Perry Circuit Court

    Betsie, isn't this wonderful? Maybe the Judge will make "Silent Killers" a mandatory reading for all drunk drivers who come before him. I am so excited I just had to share this with you.

    Sincerely,
    Linda Pannett

    Well Linda,

    Here's what I say: Scientists have often used the word "uncertainty" to describe the enormous possibilities of one thing, and uncertainty is truly what dreams are made of. So dream big!!


    ***


    Shirley A. Roe after obtaining our review for "Of Dreams and Nightmares" included it with a query and summary to Harper Collins and Bantam, along with several agents.

    Her efforts paid off!!!

    A HUGE Congratulations to Shirley! For having received a request for her manuscript from Harper Collins. I'm sure she must still be dancing on cloud nine.

    Can someone help her down... ^_^


  • For Aspiring writers
  •   


    MANUSCRIPT SUBMISSION

    For those of you who are unaware of how to submit to the big houses here's the low down on standards:

    1. I strongly urge you to query by e-mail first.

    2. Use the word "Query" as the subject of your e-mail.

    3. Your query should be brief, no more than a two-page description of your book. Do not send chapters or a full synopsis at this time. You will receive a response -- either a decline or a request for more material -- in approximately one to two weeks.


    Once the manuscript has been requested, ensure the following:

    1.Title page - Don't number the title page. Begin numbering with the first page of the text of the book, which usually will be the introduction or chapter one.

    2. Don't put any copyright information on the manuscript. It's copyrighted when you write it, and the editor knows this.

    3. Manuscript should be submitted as a hard copy unless otherwise requested.

    4. Double-spaced on one side - on standard 8" x 11" paper

    5. Margins - 1 inch to all sides

    6. Font - Times New Roman or Courier 12 font

    7. Italics or bold are accepted within the manuscript to emphasize. DON NOT use fancy lettering - this will be up to the editor/publisher.

    8. Cover letter - Include your name, address and telephone number.

    9. Your manuscript should be error free. This goes for grammar as well as spelling and typos. Follow the writer's guidelines. You may need to submit a few chapters rather than the entire manuscript.

    10. Submit the manuscript loose-leaf in an envelope or box. That's why the slug and page numbers are there. If the editor wants to put it in a binder, he will do so.

    11. Keep an original copy for yourself. Keep an original copy both on your computer hard drive and on a separate storage medium kept in a secure place, such as a fireproof safe.

    **Note

    From a reputable NY agent: If you are already published the best way to get big house attention is by either making the bestsellers list or selling 5,000 copies of your book.


  • How to write Radio Drama
  •   


    While there are hundreds of books on writing film screenplays and stage plays, radio scripting isn't a widely known form. However, because radio is produced with the script in hand, it is important that the various cues for dialogue, music, and sound effects be able to quickly and clearly communicate the writer's intentions to the cast and crew for rehearsals and performance.

    PAGE HEADINGS

    The purpose of page headings is to indicate what program or episode you're working on and what page you are on in the script. These go across the top of the page.

    The page number should be in the top right hand corner, so actors can easily see it as they page through their scripts in rehearsal and performance. Old time radio scripts would use a period after a number or put dashes to either side of it. I suggest you include program and episode titles on your script in case somebody drops their script pages in a production featuring several sketches or commercials. Many troupes don't use staples to hold their scripts together, so pages can get out of order. I use one staple in the top left corner and instruct my actors on how to turn script pages quietly--slowly flip the page over. Don't ruffle the paper and make a sound..

    For drop-in ads or announcements, I suggest creating separate pages with their own numbering scheme. This way they can be altered or added at the last minute and not effect the page numbering scheme of the dramatic script. All spacing is up to you. For these headings, use a small plain font (like 8-point Arial) and give the page heading a bit of space separating it from the script text so actors won't get confused as they turn to a new page and begin speaking their lines.

    Footers

    Footers at the bottom of the page can be used to indicate the production company, the writer's contact info, or to display the date or revision number of the script. Make sure there's sufficient space between the script text and the footer. Again a small 8-point Arial font here will help differentiate the footer from the scripted cues.

    Typical Footer Example: Production Co. Name 12345 Main St. Radioville CA 90019 - email@something.com

    SCENE HEADINGS

    Radio scene headings are based upon standard Hollywood film screenplay format. They indicate the scene number, description of the scene's location, and time of day. You can also include info such as (Flahsback) or (Montage).

    A scene is some dramatic action that takes place somewhere. If one scene ends, then there is a narrator who leads you into another scene, put that narrator in the middle. SCENE 4---NARRATOR---SCENE 5. If we switch from one location to another and then the narrator begins speaking, put that narrator in the latter scene. SCENE 5--SCENE 6 (with Narrator).

    NOTE: Like all other script text (as opposed to headers and footers) this is in a 12-point New Courier Font that has been bolded to photocopy better. Other fonts can be OK, but I strive for the traditional look of old-time- radio scripts, plus the New Courier font has enough serifs to make for easy reading in a live performance. All cues for dialogue, music and sound effects are double- spaced, to allow for easy reading on the fly and notes or new lines added in rehearsal.

    Example: SCENE 4: INT. ZORG'S EARTHSHIP - DAY

    Scene Numbers

    Scenes are numbered to easily identify them. There may be six scenes set on Zorg's Earthship. Numbering scenes keeps them distinct from one another for discussions, rehearsals, and direction. For example, a director could say to a sound designer, "Zorg's Earthship in Scene 44 has just suffered a power failure. I need the background ambiance of beeps and such to be greatly reduced from all the other scenes set on that Earthship..."

    Environment Descriptions (Where and When)

    Scene headings such as, EXT. EMPTY BATTELFIELD - NIGHT may seem too "visual" for a radio drama, but they are very important to quickly and easily establish the setting for actors, composers, sound effects artists, sound designers, engineers and directors. Without this brief description, everybody must try to figure out the setting and time of day based upon dialogue or sound effects cues. The listener may never hear these scene headings in your drama, so some writers think it's unnecessary. However, when this information is missing in the script, it must be supplied verbally in meetings and rehearsal--sometimes repeatedly. I've had to score or create sound effects for many student scripts missing the scene headings and had a hard time determining where a scene takes place. Don't make anybody have to guess the setting. They could guess wrong and thus misinterpret your drama. Save time and trouble by describing the setting here--and make it brief.

    Indicating INT. or EXT. (interior or exterior) can help an engineer or director determine the micing or reverb settings. This instruction may suggest background sounds that are not indicated in a sound effects cue-- like crickets for an outdoor scene at night. The DAY/NIGHT/30 MINUTES LATER style info can suggest to a sound designer that crickets or coyote howls be used for background ambiance. It also keeps the timeline straight for actors trying to imagine the scene in their heads. The idea here is be quickly set the scene for the players and technicians. Be brief.

    Characters in the Scene

    I suggest you also include the names of any characters appearing in the scene. This way the actors, who may be sitting away from the microphone, can see that their lines are coming up and get to the microphone in time. In live radio, actors missing their cues really harm the show.

    Example:

    SCENE 14: INT. UNION HALL - DAY
    (Mary, Stewart, Babbo, Cuthbert)

    ** This should get you started!

    written by Tony Palermo - is a radio dramatist, composer, educator and sound effects artist living in Los Angeles, California. He operates Encyclo-Media, a small, multiple (but not multi)-media production company. Since 1996, Tony has been writing, directing and scoring radio plays for Public Radio,

  • For Screenwriters
  •   


    SCREENPLAYS WANTED!!! - As of 4/5/04

    ------ 1) Acrobat Films ------

    We are looking for a completed character driven comedy/romantic comedy script with a unique and fresh concept.

    Note: Only writers who have one of the following may submit:

    a) Top finalist in screenplay competition, and/or
    b) Have notable coverage

    Budget range is $5-10 million USD - WG and Non-WG writers welcome to submit.

    Our most recent credit is titled 'Low-Fat Elephants' and we are currently in pre-production with three other films.

    Please email a logline followed by a synopsis and the information on your screenplay award and/or coverage information in the body of the email (no attachments or scripts will be read) to: Phillip Marzella - Phillip@acrobat-films.com


    ------ 2) Zinkler Films ------

    Zinkler films is looking for screenplays to replace option's let go from development. Also looking for projects for co-producing if talent, funds, and strong working producer are attached. Zinkler is looking for the following: writers from Canada, and U.K. Intelligent comedy, drama and smart and clean urban films budget from 200,000 to 8 million. from US and European writers. Send synopsis to: submissions@zinklerfilms.com


    ------ 3) BP Filmes ------

    New portuguese independent film company is looking for scripts suitable for low-budget telefilm productions. Romantic comedies and dramas on exotic locations preferred. We will also consider intelligent, well-writen thrillers. Please send your synopsis (1-3 pages) to the address given and do not forget to mention "synopsis" on the subject field. Do not send any attachments as they will not be read. Is there money upfront? - MaybeBuyer Name: Jose Rendeiro - Email: jpedro@ibercel.pt



    Looking for Screenwriters

    Need screenwriter who is willing to work with some of my ideas to develop screenplays. I have several good ideas that I am having problems writing. If you would like a screen writing partner, please respond to the add and see what happens. Take a chance and maybe we would make a great team. Please send sample of your writing. Chris at Four02films@yahoo.com


    Director/Producer's looking to collaborate with talented writer with a few script's written and many more on the way. I have nearly a hundred idea's I am determined to turn into feature length screenplay's just seeking a director/producer to have faith take a chance and realize that the sky is the limit. Email: Rudy0719@aol.com


  • Publishing News & More
  •   


    PUBLISHING NEWS

    Major generic promotions hailed at BML conference - INDEPENDENT MARKETING CONSULTANT, Alastair Giles, likened the UK book trade to the MCC at this week's Book Marketing Limited (BML) Conference, describing it as "exclusive, elitist and self- obsessed", more "concerned about 'which' book someone might want as opposed to whether they want a book at all". However, rather than continue a broadside against the industry, he went on to hail initiatives like the Richard & Judy Book Club (R&JBC), The Big Read and World Book Day as examples of generic promotions in which the trade has successfully worked together with results that benefited everyone.

    The statistics are impressive. The R&JBC has led to sales of some 400,000 units of the 10 titles, worth nearly 3m. Sales of one of the titles, Joseph O'Connor's Star of the Sea (Vintage), now stand at 215,000. The Big Read top 21 accounted for 2.3m units, worth 15.4m, while World Book Day's sales were 7.9% up in volume on the WBD week in 2003. # Meanwhile, BCA Chief Executive Christian Friege, presenting data at the conference, showed how book club advertising provides an important source of information about books to members and non-members, with 56% of general book buyers "very often" or "sometimes" persuaded to go to bookstores after seeing club promotions. The data also indicated that book club members spend heavily on books but buy from all channels.

    "People's perception of the sales channels has led to some very interesting findings," said Friege, using data to show that independents are perceived to offer as wide a selection of books as online booksellers and that book clubs and independents offer the worst deal in the eyes of non book club members.

    Such research, conducted by Synovate for BCA, presents its own challenges to the club and Friege said, "We need to communicate the value of our deals to more people."

    # HarperCollins General Books MD Amanda Ridout praised the creative thinking of libraries, "which puts some publishers' marketing departments to shame".


    Nobel Peace Prize Winner Desmond Tutu Challenges Bush, Blair and Other World Leaders to Follow God's Dream

    Ten years after he helped to defeat apartheid, Archbishop Desmond Tutu is again generating controversy by saying God belongs in world politics. Archbishop Tutu articulates that dream in his own rich voice in the Audiobook version Of "God Has a Dream," Published By Maui Media (www.GodHasADream.com).

    His new book "God Has a Dream," praised by the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, and Jimmy Carter. The book, published by Doubleday on March 16 is already in its second printing.

    Introduced as "the foremost moral authority of our time" by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Anan, Tutu recently told a standing room crowd at the U.N., "Arafat and Sharon, Bush and Bin Laden belong in God's family."

    At age 73, Tutu continues to challenge world leaders by:

    * Calling on Bush and Blair to apologize for misleading the public and saying that as a result of the war, "The world is a great deal less safe than it was before." He says, "President Bush and Mr. Blair would recover considerable credibility and respect if they were to say, 'Yes, I made a mistake.'"

    * Claiming President Bush was oversimplifying when he labeled Iran, Iraq and North Korea as an "axis of evil." "People buy into that because they don't want to sit down and work out the complex nature of things," Tutu said.

    * Visiting a death row inmate in Texas and claiming that the death penalty is "an absurdity that brutalizes society." Death row inmate Dominique Green, Tutu says "is a remarkable advertisement for God. This is not the monster that many would wish, or think, that is on death row."

    * Proclaiming that God's Word belongs in world politics while warning against the rise of fundamentalism and religious warfare. "Religious faith is resilient and not easily destroyed.... Religion is a potent force, but it is in fact morally neutral. It is neither automatically good nor bad. It can be either depending on what it inspires its adherent to do."

    Speaking to people of all religious backgrounds, Archbishop Tutu's message resonates personally as well as politically in these times of terrorist attacks, war, and economic hardship.


    Publisher cancels reissue of racy novel by Lynne Cheney - A publisher has canceled plans to reissue a racy novel by Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, after she said the book did not represent her "best work."

    New American Library, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), was going to reprint Sisters, a historical romance published in 1981 that includes brothels, attempted rapes and a lesbian love affair.

    But according to Cheney's attorney, Robert Barnett, she did not even know about the reissue until receiving calls last week from the media. Barnett then contacted the publisher, which agreed this week to pull the novel.

    Perl and Barnett said no legal action was threatened. Although New American Library had the rights to reissue the novel, Perl said, there was no desire "to put out a book that the author was not happy with."

    Cheney has been active in publishing over the past couple of years, releasing the best-selling children's book America: A Patriotic Primer, and sponsoring a literary prize, the James Madison Book Award, for the best history written for young people. She was a featured speaker in February at the Association of American Publishers' annual meeting.



    LOOKING FOR A LITERARY AGENT?

    Don Gerrard
    The Bookworks
    Del Mar , California 92014
    Phone: (619) 481-6048
    Fax: (619) 481-6048
    Email: DonGerrard@aol.com
    Home Page: http://members.aol.com/dongerrard/

    Areas of Specialization:
    Adventure, Contemporary Fiction, Mainstream Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction and Suspense

    Description:
    Long-time agent Don Gerrard is seeking exciting science- and technology-based commercial adventure novels in any genre. Completed manuscripts only. New writers welcome. Call or e-mail for submission details.


    Barbara J Harris
    Harris Literary Agency
    PO Box 6023
    San Diego , California 92166
    Phone: (619)697-0600
    Fax: (619)697-0610
    Email: n@adnc.com
    Home Page: http://www.HarrisLiterary.com

    Areas of Specialization:
    Adventure, Contemporary Fiction, Feminist Fiction, Mainstream Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction, Suspense, Other Fiction, General Nonfiction, Health/Medicine, Psychology and Other Nonfiction

    Description:
    I am seeking new or established writers to add to our client list. No fees for reviewing work. Query first, please. Contact us by E-Mail, fax or regular mail only. Please refer to our website for additional information. HarrisLiterary.com


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    FOR AUTOGRAPH SEEKERS -CELEBRITY ADDRESSES

    YOUNG, JOHN, c/o NASA, Mail Code AC 5, Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX 77058-3696

    Michael Jackson, c/o Neverland Valley Ranch - 5225 Figueroa Mountain Rd - Los Olivos, CA 93441

    WOOLFORD, DONNELLE, c/o Chicago Bears - Halas Hall 250 N. Washington Rd. Lake Forest IL 60045

    WINSLET, KATE, 31/32 Soho Square London W1V 5 DG England

    WILLIAMS, BILLY DEE, 1240 Loma Vista Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

    WHITE, VANNA, c/o WOF, 3400 Riverside Drive, 2nd Floor, Burbank, CA 91505

    WHITE, BETTY, P O Box 3713 Granada Hills CA 91344

    WELCH, RAQUEL, 540 Evelyn Place, Beverly Hills, CA 90210


    ** Authors remember you too can request a celebrity read your book!


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