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

Bluecat Screenplay Competition   

September 17th, 2013

  • The Fall Goalpost, Or: How to Write 90 Pages in 30 Days
  • Facebook Free Entry Contest 
  • An Angry Letter from Raymond Chandler to Alfred Hitchcock
  • Heroines of Cinema: 10 Female Screenwriters You Should Know
  • 46 Writers' Room Facts About Your Favorite TV Shows
  • Photos from Inside the BREAKING BAD Writers' Room 
  • Tips from Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright, and Nick Frost
  • Un-Rules of Screenwriting 
  • Tell Their Secrets: Creating Memorable Characters
  • Selected Script: WHEN HARRY MET SALLY
  • New Workshops: Kansas City and Rochester
2014 Call for Entries
We are now open for submissions!

Official Call for Entries 
Next Deadline: Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Entry Fee: ($65 Features, $50 Shorts)
All entry fees increase after October 15.

This year, BlueCat establishes one of the largest cash prizes in the world for a Short Screenplay, with a Grand prize of $10,000, along with an increase in our Feature prize to $15,000.

Students will be eligible to submit their short screenplay at a discounted rate of $29 for the duration of the competition.


Each Short Screenplay submission will receive one written analysis, while each Feature Screenplay entry will receive two.


All submissions will be eligible for a Resubmission entry if received by the October 15th deadline.



Best Feature Screenplay

 $15,000 Grand Prize
Four Finalists

$2,500 Prize


Best Short Screenplay

$10,000 Grand Prize

Three Finalists

$1,500 Prize


The Cordelia Award

Best Feature Screenplay from the UK

$1,500 Prize


The Joplin Award

Best Feature Screenplay from outside the USA, Canada or the UK

$1,500 Prize



Recent achievements by BlueCat Alumni include:
  • Young Il Kim's script, RODHAM, a 2012 Blacklist Script, recently attached director James Ponsoldt (THE SPECTACULAR NOW). Young recently won the 2013 Alfred P. Sloan Commissioning Grant from Sundance, where he will write a biopic on Stephen Hawking.

  • Elijah Wood produced Ana Lily Amipour's A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT, set for release in late 2013.

  • Aaron Guzikowski's PRISONERS, starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal and Melissa Leo, will be released September 2013.  The Sundance Channel recently bought Aaron's TV pilot, THE DESCENDANTS, making it their second scripted show after RECTIFY.

  • Ashleigh Powell sold her script, SOMACELL, to Warner Brothers, with David Goyer attached to produce.

  • SOMACELL, along with RODHAM, were two 2012 Blacklist Scripts written by BlueCat Alumni.
The Fall Goalpost 
Or: How to Write 90 Pages in 30 Days

Many of us hear tales of screenwriters who lock themselves in a room and blast out a screenplay in a matter of days.


These stories make it easy for us to believe we are capable of the same feat. Kudos to the few with this ability, but for most of us, the reality of our lives prevent this method of creation from happening. 


To be an aspiring writer means that there is always an obligation somewhere else - work, school, family, etc. - and most of our energy and attention is diverted away from actually writing our screenplay. 

Author Ray Bradbury shares the most common tip given by professionals to aspiring writers: "You must write every single day of your life." With all of life's responsibilities, attaining this level of discipline is difficult. But it is certainly within reach for everyone.

That is why BlueCat Screenwriting is starting its Fall Goalpost. Write 90 pages in 30 days. No, you don't have to buy something or do anything unreasonable. There is no secret, really-you've probably figured it out after reading the title. All you need is thirty minutes a day and the writing tool(s) of your choice.

For directions on participating in the Fall Goalpost, follow the link below the BlueCat Blog.

The Writer Speaks: Robert Towne  
From the Writers Guild Foundation
Here's another educational post from
Indiewire. The subject today is female screenwriters. It's safe to assume that most people have heard of the likes of Nora Ephron and Callie Khouri, but what about those female writers who worked in the early days of the industry? This list should shine a light on a few of the lesser-known personalities. 

Take June Mathis, for example. Her screenwriting career led her to become one of the most powerful women in Hollywood, and one its highest-paid executives.

Follow the link below for the full list.

From the

"...female screenwriters in Hollywood, where 88% of screenplays produced last year were written by men, must contend not only with the usual entrenched sexism, but enduring fears and prejudices towards any script with identifiably 'female' themes (should this be what they choose to write).

Despite this, many women have succeeded in grappling successfully with the Hollywood beast, since the earliest days of the industry. This article is not intended as a list of the 'greatest' female screenwriters of all time - always a dubious exercise in an industry so rife with structural prejudice - but simply as a very short introduction to ten names more than worthy of attention.


46 Writers' Room Facts You Might Not Know About Your Favorite TV Show  
It's hard to imagine that there's a better show out there about the creative process behind some of today's most popular television shows than Sundance Channel's

The show is hosted by Academy Award-winning writer Jim Rash. In each episode, Rash interviews the creative team behind a popular TV shows, such as BREAKING BAD or GAME OF THRONES.

In this article from Pajiba, the author shares facts mined from each episode of Rash's show. Follow the link below to find out some little-known facts about your favorite shows on TV. 

"If you haven't been watching Sundance Channel's THE WRITERS' ROOM, you're seriously missing out. It's a simple premise; each week Academy Award winning writer (and COMMUNITY star) Jim Rash hosts writers from some of our favorite shows. Rash asks mostly the usual questions ('What are the show's origins, how do you approach the source material [if applicable], did you have the series planned out ahead of time...'), and the writers wax poetically, sharing great anecdotes about their personal successes and failures within each show's framework

There are also cool pop-up factoids presented throughout the episodes. In the entertainment industry, we hear so much from the actors' points of view; they're the 'stars' and presumably, everyone wants to know their approach to a series. But it's just as-if not more-interesting to hear how things were conceived and developed even before actors came on board, and to listen to a writer tell how a crazy news story set off an idea in his head that later became one of television's best series." 
Tell Their Secrets   
From The New York Times 
This piece is from The New York Times' "Draft" section, which is a series on the art and craft of writing.

In this piece, novelist Silas House discusses creating fully-formed, multidimensional characters. While he specifically addresses novels, his ideas could easily be applied to screenwriting.

From "Tell Their Secrets":

"As writers, one of our ultimate goals must be to create flesh-and-blood characters that readers come to care about or despise - but always feel as if they know. 


Unfortunately, it's harder to create a memorable character than most people think...Despite popular opinion, writing is hard, and creating a character that will become three-dimensional to readers is a true feat."


Hey, Whaddya Say? 
Facebook Free Entry Contest
Connect with BlueCat 
We're offering you a chance to enter your short or feature screenplay for free!

All you have to do is "like" our Facebook page, where we share screenwriting tidbits and treasures from all corners of the internet. 


There is absolutely nothing to lose, so what are you waiting for? Your chance at a free entry awaits!

An Angry Letter from Raymond Chandler to Alfred Hitchcock  
The BlueCat Blog
In the late 1940s, Raymond Chandler, detective novelist and co-writer of DOUBLE INDEMNITY (a.k.a. the greatest film noir of all-time), was hired to write Alfred Hitchcock's classic STRANGERS ON A TRAIN. Ol' Hitch eventually fired Chandler due to creative differences and got the film rewritten elsewhere.

After reading the final script, Chandler wrote a bitter (yet fascinating) letter to Hitchcock.

For those who have seen the film, do you agree with Chandler's sharp review, or is he too emotionally invested to judge? Follow the link below to the BlueCat Blog to read the letter and post your comments.

Screenwriting Tips from Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright, and Nick Frost 
Scriptwriting Tips From Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright And Nick Frost 
Scriptwriting Tips From Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright And Nick Frost
Thanks to for today's video of Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright, and Nick Frost providing some helpful screenwriting tips.

The creative team behind THE WORLD'S END, HOT FUZZ, and SHAUN OF THE DEAD, provide some useful insight into their creative process.
Follow the link below for the video. 

Also worth watching:

"Edgar Wright's 10 Amazing Movies You've Probably Never Seen":
Edgar Wright's 10 Amazing Movies You've Probably Never Seen 
Inside the BREAKING BAD Writers' Room  
If you ever wanted to peek into the world of a writers' room, this post from provides a glimpse inside. 

Uproxx recently shared some photos from author Brett Martin, who wrote Difficult Men, Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad. While researching his book, Martin visited the writers' room of BREAKING BAD. The photos provide an illustrative peek into the collaborative process behind the show.

From Difficult Men:
"It was an all-time record hot day in the San Fernando Valley...In an anonymous building across from an Auto Zone, the lobby directory showed the offices of a private eye, a dental supply company, a handful of financial companies, and, in suite 206, something blandly mysterious and vaguely sinister called Delphi Information Sciences Corporation. The plastic nameplate on the suite's door did little to illuminate the nature of what such a corporation might do. Certainly it offered no clue that behind the door, under the dropped ceilings, the fluorescent lights and the hum of air-conditioning of the onetime data services office, was the most coveted workplace in Hollywood: the BREAKING BAD writers' room."


Did you like this article? It originally appeared on our Facebook page. Follow us and don't miss out on similar content! 
Un-Rules of Screenwriting 
From L.A. Screenwriter 
Screenwriter Karen McCullah
Here's a few tips from screenwriter Karen McCullah, via the blog L.A. Screenwriter. They're short and sweet, but still informative. 

From L.A. Screenwriter:

"We at LA Screenwriter have found that novice screenwriters often struggle with the problem of 'the rules,' erring either on the side of formula or of complete disregard for structure. With that in mind, we've asked working writers what rules-either flexible or inflexible-guide their writing.

We're excited to have a new list of screenwriting principles this week from Karen McCullah (@KarenMcCullah1). Karen and her writing partner Kirsten Smith (who shared her own list of rules here) are the team responsible for such hits as
Selected Script:

Written by Nora Ephron  
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BlueCat Screenwriting Workshops
Preston Sturgess
BlueCat Screenplay Workshops are an intensive opportunity to certifiably improve your script in a small group environment, led by award winning screenwriter and BlueCat founder Gordy Hoffman.

Your script will be read in advance both by Gordy as well as the other workshop participants; everyone receives in-depth feedback on their script from a number of different perspectives.

Winner of the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the Sundance Film Festival for LOVE LIZA, Gordy Hoffman has taught screenwriting at the USC School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles, as well as led workshops all over North America, Poland, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. He has served as a panelist for the IFP Script to Screen Conference in NYC, Women in Film's Script DC Conference in Washington, DC, and the George Eastman House Film Festival, as well as a judge for the McKnight Screenwriting Fellowships in Minnesota. Gordy Hoffman founded the BlueCat Screenplay Competition in 1998 and remains its judge.




Participants read all screenplays in advance of the workshop. 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.


Each writer will leave with a great sense of what they can do specifically to improve their screenplay, as well as a better awareness of where they might properly develop as a professional screenwriter as a whole. Writers benefit from the direct focus placed on their screenplays by the workshop, along with the analysis of the other scripts.


Screenplays can be first drafts or rewrites, incomplete or partial, with first time writers and veterans all welcome. Scripts are due 10-14 days prior to the date of the workshop.


Note: Screenplays submitted to the workshop are not eligible to be entered into the BlueCat Screenplay Competition.



Regular Registration Option

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


Online Workshop - September 26th - REGISTER 
Kansas City - October 3rd - REGISTER
Rochester - October 15th - REGISTER 
Los Angeles
- October 26th - REGISTER
Austin - October 30th - REGISTER 
Austin - November 3rd - REGISTER 
Los Angeles - November 24th - REGISTER


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