New Work by Now Write! Nonfiction Contributors

Found four diverse nonfiction books released in the last couple of years and one novel written by Now Write! Nonfiction contributors.  Pretty fascinating lineup here.  – Laurie

Kingdom Under Glass: A Tale of Obsession, Adventure, and One Man’s Quest to Preserve the World’s Great Animals by Jay Kirk
Henry Holt and Co., 2010
A sweeping historical narrative of the life of Carl Akeley, the famed explorer and taxidermist who changed the way Americans viewed the conservation of the natural world. During the golden age of safaris in the early twentieth century, one man set out to preserve Africa’s great beasts. In this epic account of an extraordinary life lived during remarkable times, Jay Kirk follows the adventures of the brooding genius who revolutionized taxidermy and created the famed African Hall we visit today at New York’s Museum of Natural History.

The Secret of Chanel No. 5: The Intimate History of the World’s Most Famous Perfume by Tilar J. Mazzeo
Harper, 2010
The unauthorized biography of the world’s most famous, seductive, and successful perfume.  A blend of evocative history and thoughtful research, here is a glittering account of where art and sensuality mingle with dazzling entrepreneurship and desire.

The Secret Lives of Boys: Inside the Raw Emotional World of Male Teens by Malina Saval (you can download her Now Write! Nonfiction exercise here)
Basic Books, 2009
This unprecedented look into the lives and social groups of boys across America is a parent and teacher’s key to understanding the hidden hopes, fears, pains, and passions of their sons and students. This book asks the pertinent questions: Who are these boys? What do they think of themselves? How can we advise them properly in a way that they will not resist? Saval digs deep to uncover what binds these boys, what makes them different, what they want you to know.

The Silent Season of a Hero: The Sports Writing of Gay Talese
 Walker & Company, reprint edition, 2010
Chronicling Talese’s writing over more than six decades, from high school and college columns to his signature adult journalism and including several never-before-published pieces (such as one on sports anthropology), a new introduction by the author, and notes on the background of each piece.

Habit of a Foreign Sky a novel by XuXi
Haven Books, 2010
Somewhere between Hong Kong and New York, life does an abrupt shift for Gail Szeto when her last family member is killed in an accident. For Gail, a mixed-race, single mother who had buried her young son less than two years prior, all she has left is a hard-won career at a global investment bank. Life rapidly goes into free fall for this woman with a complicated past, who was once so sure of her direction in life. An international cast of characters in New York, Hong Kong and Shanghai.


New Work by Now Write! Screenwriting Contributors

Six tomes for every screenwriter’s library, a novel-writing guide and two novels written by Now Write! Screenwriting contributors in the last few years.   – Laurie


The Screenwriter’s Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script, 5th Edition, Expanded & Updated by David Trottier
Silman-James Press, 2010
 One of the most popular, authoritative, and useful books on screenwriting, this is a friendly guide through the Hollywood morass. The new edition offers expanded coverage of dialogue writing and character development, the latest in proper screenplay format, a new section on jumpstarting your career, new advice on creating and delivering pitches and much more.

 Mind Your Business: A Hollywood Literary Agent’s Guide To Your Writing Career byMichele Wallerstein
Michael Wiese Productions, 2010
A former Hollywood literary agent explains the secrets of maneuvering in the world of Hollywood screenwriters. This book includes chapters on the agent-client relationship, how to network successfully, how to write the right query letter, and more.

 Story Maps: How To Create a Great Screenplay and Story Maps Booster Pack #1 by Daniel Calvisi
 Act Four Screenplays, 2011
Learn the secrets to writing a great screenplay from a major movie studio Story Analyst. Master the structure and principles used by 95% of commercial movies by studying detailed breakdowns or “Story Maps” of several recent and classic hits in all different genres.

 Rewrite: A Step-by-Step Guide to Strengthen Structure, Characters, and Drama in your Screenplay by Paul Chitlik
Michael Wiese Productions, 2008
Professional screenwriters know that the rewriting process is what separates the money-makers from the neophytes. This illustrated, step-by-step guide shows the process of re-writing and why it is so essential.

 Your Screenplay Sucks!: 100 Ways to Make It Great by Will Akers
Michael Wiese Productions, 2008
A lifetime member of the Writer’s Guild of America who has had three feature films produced from his screenplays, Akers offers beginning writers the tools they need to get their screenplay noticed.

Novel Writing

The 90 Day Novel: Unlock the Story Within, 2nd edition by Alan Watt
The 90-Day Novel Press, 2010
Get the first draft down quickly! The 90-Day Novel is a day-by-day guide through the process of getting the first draft of your novel onto the page. The 90-Day Novel was workshopped at LA Writers’ Lab over three years and has helped hundreds of writers complete their work. Some of Watt’s students have gone on to become bestselling authors and win major literary awards.


Death by Sunshine by Allison Burnett
Writers Tribe Books*, 2011 (*Alan Watt’s new micropublishing company)

B.K. Troop is an aging, erudite, chemically imbalanced, gay, alcoholic novelist living in Manhattan. His life is turned upside down when he is invited to Los Angeles to adapt one of his novels into a screenplay. Soon after his arrival, B.K. is thrust into the heart of a mystery that only he can solve.

Whirly Bird byWesley Strick
 Amazon Kindle edition, 2009
Spring, 1980. A fugitive from justice flees L.A. for Europe. As Duncan Hull tries to stay one step ahead of Interpol, a pair of CIA operatives comes to suspect he’s an opposition agent, sent abroad to disrupt the imminent Delta Force rescue of U.S. hostages from our Tehran embassy. What follows is a blackly comic collision of cultures, motives, secrets and lies.

My Breakfast With Aditya Pt. 1 & 2

I recently had the opportunity to interview Aditya Ezhuthachan, Head of Development for Palomar Pictures.

Aditya works for Sigurjon Sighvatsson, a veteran producer with over 40 feature films and television series to his credit, including BROTHERS, ARLINGTON ROAD, WILD AT HEART, KALIFORNIA and BASQUIAT.

Offering rare insight for aspiring screenwriters, Aditya was kind enough to share his honest perspective and advice.

In Part 1 of the interview we discuss the craft of screenwriting from a development exec’s point of view. In Part 2 we discuss the business side of screenwriting, some of the ‘dos and don’ts’ and what to expect if your script is accepted by an independent movie producer.

Part 1 and Part 2 are now both available on  Talentville is a resource and on-line community for screenwriters and the brainchild of Final Draft co-creator, Ben Cahan.

To read My Breakfast With Aditya, Parts 1 & 2, join (it’s free), go to the University and search for professor: Now Write. – Laurie Lamson


Now Write! Screenwriting workshop Dec. 3

Laurie Lamson will be offering a free writing workshop with Now Write! Screenwriting contributor Mark Sevi on Saturday, December 3 at Showbiz Expo Burbank.  Register for free.

This is a chance to learn and practice one of the writing exercises from Now Write! Screenwriting directly from the author.  Laurie and Mark will discuss his exercise Write Truthfully In Imaginary Circumstances: The Mythology Inside You and why it’s important for screenwriters.  Then Mark will guide participants to try it themselves.

Mark Sevi is a professional screenwriter and founder of the Orange County Screenwriters Association.  He has nineteen produced screenplays including ARACHNID and PTERODACTYL for SyFy Channel, and the soon-to-be produced DEVIL’S KNOT, the true story of events leading to the unjust arrest and conviction of The West Memphis Three (just released from prison after 18 years).  He also teaches screenwriting and writes articles about the business and art of screenwriting for books and periodicals like and Writer’s Digest.

Workshop Title:  Now Write!  Screenwriting
Workshop Date & Time:  Saturday Dece. 3, 2011, 12:00 – 12:45PM

Saturday December 3, 2011 10 AM – 5 PM
Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport (Convention Hall)
2500 North Hollywood Way
Burbank, CA 91505
PARKING – Parking is available for the Expos’ negotiated rate of $9 (and on the street).

Register for free.

Now Write! Screenwriting Sept. Panel


As part of a 2-day event ($119 per day), Sherwood Oaks Experimental College is hosting the next Now Write! Screenwriting panel on Monday, September 19 at 11am in Santa Monica.

This panel is part of a two-day seminar: Making It in Hollywood: Screenwriters, Directors & Producers Speak. The seminar offers an opportunity to hear from some of the top names in show business on how movies are created, produced and distributed.

The Now Write! Screenwriting Panel includes contributors: Allison Burnett (new FAME), Paul Guay (LIAR, LIAR), Bonnie MacBird (original TRON) and Wesley Strick (CAPE FEAR), and is moderated by Laurie Lamson, co-editor of the Now Write! Screenwriting book of writing exercises.

Former panels featured other prominent Now Write! Screenwriting  contributors: Amy Holden Jones (MYSTIC PIZZA), Christina Kim (Lost, NCIS Los Angeles), Michael Ajakwe Jr. (Martin, Eve), David Atkins (NOVOCAINE), Chris Soth (FIRESTORM) and Marilyn Atlas (Manager, Producer, Real Women Have Curves).