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What's New, BlueCat?                                          
The Official Newsletter of the

Bluecat Screenplay Competition   

June 5th, 2012 

Attack The Block

Here's a situation all writers have dealt with at some point: You're hammering away at your script, trying to finish it up in time to send it to your agent, or your friend, or maybe a certain screenplay competition that starts this month, when you hit a brick wall. The ideas stop flowing. You stare at the blank page for hours, endlessly writing and deleting lines that you deem not good enough.


You've got writer's block, and chances are you've had it before. It happens to everyone from time to time - the creative process is difficult, and sometimes all that strain can burn the lightbulb out. Writer's block is especially merciless because it can strike without warning, usually when you need your creativity the most. And unlike some other writing-inhibiting ailment such as a headache, there isn't a pill you can take to get rid of it.


(Well, maybe that's not true - were he still alive, Hunter S. Thompson would probably argue that there are a number of pills and other substances you can take to fight writer's block, but we here at the BlueCat Newsletter do not in any way endorse that type of behavior.)


While writer's block has no cure, treatment is available, and that's what we're offering in this week's newsletter. So whether you're afflicted or not, take a look at what we've got - hopefully it'll be of some use to you when the block finally does come a-knockin'.

-The BlueCat Team 

Don't Write In A Straight Line
Advice On Beating Your Blockage 
Pen Densham at offers up some of his own home remedies for fighting off writer's block, influenced by everything from childbirth to World War II US military strategy. Densham previously wrote for television, so these tips probably grew out of his dealings with writer's block as he tried to keep up with the grueling weekly deadlines of TV scriptwriting.  
How Screenwriting Broke My Writer's Block
It's About The Simple Things
Writer's block affects everyone - even those odd specimens who don't write screenplays. This article from chronicles the journey of a blocked writer from prose to screenplays, and how screenwriting, with its emphasis on careful planning and structure, put an end to his five year writer's block. Take a look, and see what focusing on the details can do for you!  
Selected Script: Adaptation
Charlie Kaufman Writes About Writer's Block

Charlie Kaufman was a hot commodity in Hollywood after his first screenplay, Being John Malkovich, turned out to be a highly regarded critical darling. This put him under a lot of pressure to write a great followup, which resulted in a crippling case of writer's block as he tried to adapt Susan Orlean's novel, The Orchid Thief, for the big screen. His work stagnating and the deadline bearing down, Kaufman wound up writing a zany, fictionalized account of his attempts to adapt the book. That script, Adaptation, went on to become yet another critical darling and get nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. Give it a read and see whether you can mine your misfortune the way Charlie did.    
Free Entry To BlueCat 2013!
Details Below!

The 2013 BlueCat Screenplay Competition is getting closer and closer, and to celebrate we're going to be giving away free submissions to a few lucky contest winners over the next three weeks! Keep an eye on our Facebook page and Twitter feed, where we'll be announcing the contests and giving you a shot at entering BlueCat, getting two pieces of feedback on your script, and a shot at a $10,000 prize all for free!      
5 Tips To Help Avoid Writer's Block
Don't Let Writer's Block Win

Isn't it always more convenient when the help you need comes in easy to digest list format? Alexander Schumake lays out five simple activities to help clear the blockage between you and your completed screenplay.     
Video: Screenwriters On Writer's Block
Thank The Academy
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences does more than just throw lavish parties and give golden statues to Jack Nicholson - they're actively involved in helping writers and fostering new talent through fellowships, lectures, and education. One such example is this video, where a number of successful screenwriters sit down and talk about their methods for beating writer's block. Some of these folks won Oscars, so they probably know what they're talking about.    

"Who is more to be pitied, a writer bound and gagged by policemen or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing more to say?"
Kurt Vonnegut

"Writer's block" is an overused term. When a writer claims to be suffering from it, he is usually wrestling with some combination of three common problems: procrastination, perfectionism, and fear. "Writer's block" is a romanticized catch-all that distracts from these real issues."

John August    

BlueCat Videos  

Over our history, BlueCat's often been asked questions from our community, topics ranging from script formatting, improving dialogue or finding representation. BlueCat founder and judge Gordy Hoffman attempts to answers your questions in our video feature, Ask BlueCat.  
BlueCat Interviews    

Miss an interview? Don't sweat it! All of our interviews with 2012's winners - along with some other interviews from BlueCat's past - are available on our website. It's a great opportunity to tap into the psyches of our winners and figure out what makes them tick - and, more importantly, what makes them write good screenplays! 
BlueCat Workshops


  We're coming back to New York on Sunday, July 1st for one day only. If you've attended a workshop in NYC in the past, you can register at a discount price.  


Are you in Philly? We still have room on June 30th.

We only have one spot left for LA, and we're sold out in San Francisco.  


Can't make it to a workshop? Try our online workshop!   

      About Our Workshops    




We write screenplays for people.    


The relationship between the story on the screen in the theatre and the people sitting in the seats makes or breaks the artistic and commercial success of the movie.


What does a screenplay do to authentically engage an audience? What compels a reader to keep turning the pages? Why do specific elements elicit stronger emotional reactions to our stories? How does a writer write this into their screenplay? Where does this come from within the writer?


An award-winning screenwriter, Gordy Hoffman founded the BlueCat Screenplay Competition in 1998, having since presided over the evaluation and adjudication of over 10,000 screenplays. This unique combination of writer and reader of screenplays has allowed Gordy to develop and evolve a keen eye and feel for how a screenplay works successfully, and the intuitive, personal ways to address the  problems of a screenplay through a writer's approach.


Full Script Workshop (Limit 7 Writers)

Participants read seven screenplays in advance of the workshop. Screenplays can be first drafts or rewrites, with first time writers and veterans all welcome. During the workshop, Gordy provides direct and in-depth feedback on each screenplay, with everyone encouraged to contribute his or her own thoughts and concerns. Gordy provides brief written notes to each writer after the workshop. Audit option available.


What if I don't have a script ready, but I'd like to attend?

Do you want to participate, but do not have a script to submit at this time? You can audit the workshop, which allows you to attend without submitting written material, read the scripts in advance and still participate in the discussion.


Full Script Workshop (Limit 7 writers)
Saturday, June 16th, 9:00AM-6:00PM 
Full Registration $225 (SOLD OUT) 
Audit $45

Los Angeles

Full Script Workshop (Limit 7 writers) 

Saturday, June 23rd, 9:00AM-6:00 PM

  Full Registration $175  (ONE SPOT LEFT!) 

Audit $45  
Register Now

Full Script Workshop (Limit 7 writers)
Saturday, June 30th, 9:00 AM-6:00 PM 
Full Registration $225 
Audit $45 
Register Now

New York City
Full Script Workshop (Limit 7 writers)
Sunday, July 1st, 9:00 AM-6:00 PM 
Full Registration $245
Workshop Returnee $215 
Audit $45  
Register Now 
Full Script Workshop  
Saturday, August 25th, 9:00 AM-6:00PM 
Full Registration $395 USD 
Audit $75 USD 
First Ten Pages Workshop (Limit 12 writers)
Sunday, August 26th, 9:00AM-6:00PM 
Full Registration $150 USD
Audit $75 USD
Register Now

September Online Workshop
Full Script Workshop (Limit 7 writers)
SCRIPTS DUE: September 6, midnight PST
COMMENTS RELEASED: September 23rd, 6:00 PM PST
Full Registration: $195
Audit: $40  

Register Now

Full Script Workshop (Limit 7 writers)
Saturday, September 29th, 9:00AM-6:00PM
Full Registration $225
Audit $45
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