Stephanie Bourbon: How To Use Acting Techniques for Writing

In this installment of her web series writing tips, Stephanie Bourbon hits us with one of the most important – yet little known – elements successful TV and film writers use – writing from the POV of the actors who will be saying our words. And guess what? It works for writing fiction intended for publication as well.

That’s right, kids, actors are more than a necessary evil. They’re the reason  TV and film writers exist, and, to quote a wonderful line from a wonderful stage play, “Attention must be paid!”

Let Stephanie tell you how and why.

Stephanie’s YouTube Channel is HERE

And her website chock full of further instruction is HERE

Former Larry Brody student Stephanie Olivieri Bourbon has found great success as a writer and illustrator. Now she’s branching out into video with a series of extremely helpful ones about – surprise! – writing and illustrating.


Music in the podcast provided by:
“The Builder” by Kevin MacLeod (
License: CC BY (

by Bob Tinsley


Why should you be interested in making audio fiction? Why should you be interested in making podcasts? Discoverability, that’s why.

The meaning of the word podcast is evolving to include any episodic, audio-only production whether nonfiction or fiction. Google now makes podcasts searchable, especially if they have transcripts (and why wouldn’t they). More people are using voice search, and voice search returns audio results.

Agents and major studios have started trawling through podcasts and ttheir creators for new content and talent. So PAY ATTENTION! Here’s the latest news.


Dr. Death, which we talked about last week, advanced to 73rd in the iHeart Radio Top 100 Podcasts and moving up.


If you needed any further proof that the Entertainment Industry pays attention to podcasts, the Austin Film Festival includes a Fiction Podcast track for at least the second year and maybe the third, I don’t remember. The conference happens October 24th through the 31st, 2019, in Austin, Texas.

They have invited Lauren Shippen, creator of the podcast The Bright Sessions, now in development as a TV series, to speak, among many others. In the Film Festival’s words,

In October, we’re going to bring some of the most creative minds in this emerging industry to you in Austin and let you hear for yourself about the art of writing a story for an acoustic medium, and about the need for great writers who will boldly go where few have gone before (emphasis mine).


The Infinite Noise: Interview with Lauren Shippen.

In addition to writing an audio fiction podcast series for Marvel comics, she talks about the novels she’s writing based on The Bright Sessions. This is called multiple income streams. It’s also called Licensing Out.

This happens when you are able to retain the copyright for your own work, which doesn’t happen in TV or movies. You do not write a book, a short story, or a script. You produce a piece of licensable Intellectual Property, and you better start thinking about it that way.


The Outlier Podcast Festival will be held in Los Angeles at Astroetic Studios, 224 E. 11th St, Suite 700 STE A & B, on September 13th and 14th. One of the sessions is titled, “Going Hollywood: Get Your Podcast Optioned By a Network or Studio.”

There will be five keynote speakers and 34 presenters in three tracks, Business and Marketing, Creative and Storytelling, and Tech and Innovation. The speakers will be podcasters and podcast network executives. There will be plenty of opportunities for networking.


In an article on Medium titled Three Ways To Survive Podcasting’s Existential Crisis, Tom Webster, Senior Vice President of Edison Research, presents a lot of data about how podcasting is changing along with some solid advice on how to make sure your podcast gets discovered.

Podcast listeners who once subscribed on dedicated websites or podcast clients such as iTunes or Podcast Addict now roam from Spotify and Pandora to FaceBook to YouTube and Instagram.

His advice: “You have to put success in your way, BE where they are, LIVE where they are, and have a plan to LOVE where they are.”


How To Make Money With A Podcast: Monetisation 101.

This article provides a terrific overview of one of the greatest questions of our time. Podcastwise at least. It starts with what you need to have in place before you start monetizing and walks you through all the options with lots of detail.

Unsurprisingly, the article recommends that you build relationships within the community as one of the very first things to do. Sound familiar?

You also get some guidance on one of the most frequently asked questions among new podcasters like the very popular “When do I start monetizing?”

Some of this article applies just to nonfiction podcasters, but I know many successful audio fiction podcasters who would, and have, given the same suggestions. This article will save you a lot of time.


How To Listen To Audio Fiction.

This article from Monkeyman Productions covers everything from what audio fiction is to how to find podcasts that interest you. Monkeyman switched from producing theater to producing audio fiction last year. An interesting choice.


August 2019 Audio Drama/Fiction Podcast Debut Releases.

A compilation of all the new audio fiction podcasts that began in August. Oodles and gobs of goodness here; everything from science fiction to mystery to mockumentary to romance to fantasy. If you like genre fiction this is the place to go.


September is International Podcast Month. IPM 2019 has its own webpage. Check it out.


For those of you on the East Coast, PodTales: A Festival of Audio Drama and Fiction Podcasting will take place in Cambridge, MA, on October 20, 2019.

Many of the biggest names in audio fiction will be there and available for schmoozing. Admission is free, so if you’re in the area, no excuses.


The Other F Word: What is Foley in the 21st Century?

If you don’t know what foley is and what it can do for you, it’s time to learn. And you can do it here.


Helping Your Discoverability: It’s Time For A Website.

It’s all about discoverability, a word that a lot of people shout out, but few know the hows. These people know. The article tells you in a short, chatty form what you absolutely need to have on the website for your show.


How Often Should I Release New Podcast Episodes?

This article gives a good background on a perennial question. Bottom line: consistency builds trust.

If you have to record and produce the entire season of your show before releasing the first episode to ensure a regular release schedule, do it. You won’t be the only one.

So, until next week, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel, keep listening and keep creating.

Music from

“The Builder” by Kevin MacLeod (

License: CC BY (

Bri Castellini: Be Professional – @brisownworld

Professor Castellini!

by Bri Castellini

Since college I’ve had a folder on my laptop called “Be Professional,” where I keep the various versions of my resume, my professional headshots (a thing I never thought I’d need), my business card InDesign file, and my cover letter templates.

Since childhood, I’ve had a pretty clear understanding of what my professional path would be. It was gonna be great- I’d go to a small liberal arts college somewhere in Oregon or Washington, graduate with a creative writing degree, write novels, and work as a barista until I was published.

It’s misleading to say that was always the plan, I guess. I had a brief flirtation with law school after my first year doing speech and debate in high school, and I dabbled with graphic design because I was an early (and young) adopter of Photoshop and rudimentary web design. In both cases the plan was still to be a published novelist (and maybe YouTuber- John Green I’m comin’ for ya), but I knew I needed a survival job that paid well in the meantime.

I didn’t really have ambitions in the film realm, and I certainly never imagined myself working for a series of exciting media start ups where I’d use skills I’ve cultivated as hobbies for literally two decades, but here we are.

In an attempt to explain to my family what exactly the fuck I do for work, and in an attempt to showcase how the strangest things end up being professionally important, I wanted to go through the steps that brought me to where I am now. Unpack my career path as it were….

Read it all at, Bri’s always informative blog.

LB’S NOTE: Yes, we usually run Bri’s blog posts in their entirety, but this one is, well, pretty darn long. In a nutshell, what’s coming up is Bri’s resume. One that would make TVWriter™ hire her in an instant! I urge everyone interested in an indie film or TV career to click on the link above.

Bri Castellini is an indie filmmaker and Film Community Manager for Seed&Spark, a film crowdfunding platform, as well as an adjunct professor for two MFA programs. Watch the remarkable Ms. Castellini’s award-winning web series, Brains, HERE. See Sam And Pat Are Depressed HERE. This post first appeared on Bri’s wonderfully refreshing blog.

Stephanie Bourbon on How To Write Strong Dialog

Stephanie Bourbon is right on target once again with excellent advice on a subject that just may be the most necessary yet problematic skill writers need to master.

We’re talking dialog here. AKA “dialogue.” AKA good talk. So, as John Wayne so often said, “Listen up, pilgrims!”


Stephanie’s YouTube Channel is HERE

And her website chock full of further instruction is HERE

Former Larry Brody student Stephanie Olivieri Bourbon has found great success as a writer and illustrator. Now she’s branching out into video with a series of extremely helpful ones about – surprise! – writing and illustrating.

Troy DeVolld’s Take on the Ultimate Reality Show

It’s been awhile, AKA a couple of years, since TVWriter™ pal Troy DeVolld graced this site, and, boy howdy, are we glad to see him here again.

by Troy DeVolld

Someday, someone will make a reality show about the making of a reality show and finally put an end to well-meaning friends telling me that someone should make one.

Episode summaries:

101: The field team runs out of pushpins for their index cards. Also, tensions run high over Fred’s use of a lava lamp in an energy-efficient office space.

102: With no clear style directives, the DP pitches a knockoff of something he saw in a movie for the transitions. Also, lost footage from a reformatted card is blamed on Tammy, the post coordinator.

103: When Fred replaces his lava lamp with candles, the office manager has a tough call to make. Also, the network is concerned about an uncorrected, no-context-provided ninety-second preview of the DP’s work that looks like it was shot through a pair of pantyhose.

104: When the story assist starts coughing, everyone on the tightly-scheduled show is afraid to go near her. Also, things take a turn for the worse after the post team arrives to find their Avid workstations won’t be connected until the following Monday.

105: Fred tries to keep it together when a new story producer with a penchant for take-out curry moves into his bay. Also, the office develops a mysterious mildew issue in the bullpen.

106. A shortage of crafty throws post into disarray, and all eyes turn to Mack, the office PA. Also, rumors of an extended run leave Fred with a hard choice to make regarding his September schedule.

107. The first note pass seems suspiciously light for being three days late. Also, a review of the deliverables reveals an alarming surprise that it may be too late to resolve.

108. When Katie reveals that she has to leave for ten days to be a bridesmaid at her roommate’s wedding in Barbados, Tammy finally admits that hiring her for the gig based on their college friendship was a mistake. Also, an incoming head of alternative at the network is concerned that the show might be too much like something that failed in 2016.

109. Post needs to find a way to make up for a production deficit in the field. Also, Katie finally returns from a three hour lunch.

110. Will episode one lock in time for broadcast? Also, who stole Fred’s salt lamp?

Troy DeVolld is a Larry Brody buddy, former senior story producer of Dancing with the Stars, and all-around true master of the reality TV genre. He knows whereof he speaks,  which is why we heartily recommend his bestselling book, Reality TV: An Insider’s Guide to TV’s Hottest Market