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

Bluecat Screenplay Competition   

May 23, 2014

  • Welcome to the 2015 BlueCat Screenplay Competition!
  • Advice from Tina Fey 
  • Ken Burns on storytelling
  • Three Selected Scripts: FROZEN, RUSH, and THE BLING RING
  • An interview with Francis Ford Coppola from The Rumpus
  • Tips from the top screenwriters of last year
  • TOY STORY 3 writer Michael Arndt on screenwriting
  • Advice from screenwriting guru Robert McKee
  • Screenwriter Tina Gordon Chism on her creative process
  • Workshop information

Every screenplay will receive one written analysis, 

with our best screenplays receiving 

over $40,000 in cash prizes.


Submit by June 15th and receive your written analysis by July 1st




 For full competition details, please visit the Rules & Guidelines page.


Storytelling (1 + 1 = 3)
Ken Burns discusses his views on storytelling in this fascinating short film.
Michael Arndt on Screenwriting
Check out this amazing short clip featuring Michael Arndt (writer of Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3) in which he discusses the importance of THE BEGINNING.
Francis Ford Coppola Interview
From The Rumpus 
"Oh, I'm very critical of it, but I have a rule. When you write six pages, you turn it over and don't read it until you've written the whole thing. A young person, any person really, has a hormone injected into their blood stream that makes them hate what they've just written. It gets better a few months later when you read it. Do it, write it, and turn the pages over and feel good about it. Then the next day pick up from where you left off. A lot of times when you're writing you can get lost in making revisions to things that later you're just going to cut out later. If you decide halfway through the character isn't a man but a woman, then just change it later. But don't go back. Go forward because you have no idea where it's going to go. Let it tell you what it's going to be."


Francis Ford Coppola


Hey, Whaddya Say? 
Board that story out as if it costs a million dollars a frame. Because you're always gonna be able to come up with jokes and texture, but it's that story that will kill you if you don't have it. 
- Tina Fey 
The Creative Process

Screenwriter Tina Gordon Chism (Drumline, ATL) discusses her creative process in this short video from the Academy.

Three Screenplay PDFs


by Sofia Coppola



by Jennifer Lee


by Peter Morgan


From The Big Think

McKee discusses the destructiveness of formulaic screenwriting. 



From The New York Times  
Quick interviews with some notable screenwriters of last year, including: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Nichole Holofcener, Danny Strong, and Jeff Nichols.  

What's the trick to writing a gripping story? 
Find a way to get around linear thinking. Stories, even ones with jumbled timelines and time periods, are linear. They start, stuff happens, they end. When working out a story, I try to stay away from traditional outlines. Trying to sit down and begin by listing the scenes in order seems overwhelming. My answer is to use notecards that I spread out on the floor. Ideas for scenes go on a card and initially aren't required to work in concert with other scenes. This process ends up creating connections and story lines that might not have been discovered otherwise. You never know where a card might land on your floor. 
- Jeff Nichols (writer/director of Mud)
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BlueCat Screenwriting Workshops
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.



June Online - June 19th - REGISTER
Los Angeles - June 29th - REGISTER
Brooklyn - July 19th - REGISTER


Portland - July 31st - REGISTER
August Online - August 14th - REGISTER 


Los Angeles - September 14th- REGISTER   


Please let us know if 


you'd like the BlueCat Workshop 


 to come to your town!


See you soon.  
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