Stephanie Bourbon on Copyrighting Your Work

One of our fave writer-illustrator-screenwriting-vloggers, Stephanie Bourbon, answers a question on a subject that just may have crossed your mind. (In other words, of course you’ve thought about this!


Do I Need To Copyright My Novel/Work?
by Stephanie Bourbon

The other day in a massive FB group a new writer posted the question when do I need to copyright my book? And as FB is always a place for arguing it got heated so I decided that it was needed to write a quick blog about it to help you!

The answer is that you do NOT need to copyright your work. 

There are many reasons. 

1. No one is trying to steal your story. It’s great that you think it’s so perfect that lines of people are waiting for you to show it so they can steal it–this simply isn’t true.

2. There are only 5 stories anyhow—in other words, there are NO NEW STORIES—-so no matter what you write, someone else is either writing it now or has in the past. This is a fact.

3. You can not copyright a story idea, only the words so you will have to copyright every time you do a revision or make any changes. This will be expensive.

4. Your work is automatically copyrighted the moment you write it. 

5. It’s seen as amateur hour. If you submit to an agent and mention that this is copyrighted it is as if you are saying “you better not steal this” SIGH

6. The publisher you go with will take care of this for you. Even if you self-publish unless you own your own press….

Read it all at stephaniebourbon.com


Former Larry Brody student Stephanie Olivieri Bourbon has found great success as a writer, illustrator, and expert consultant. This article first appeared in her new blog at stephaniebourbon.com.

Herbie J Pilato Talks ‘Star Trek: Picard’

Here’s TVWriter™’s pioneering Consulting Editor Emeritus with his perspective on the latest incarnation of Jean-Paul Picard AKA Everybody’s Favorite Father Figure. “O captain my captain…!”


by Herbie J Pilato


Writer/producer Herbie J Pilato is the host of the TV talk show THEN AGAIN WITH HERBIE J PILATO, now streaming on Amazon Prime and the author of several pop-culture/media tie-in books. He has been part of TVWriter™ for over 20 years and is Contributing Editor Emeritus. Learn more about Herbie J HERE.

Racism and ‘Bewitched’

Why has the most potent entertainment medium in history failed to stop racism in the U.S.? Well, it ain’t for lack of trying. Take this example from days gone by.


‘Bewitched’ Star Erin Murphy Remembers the Episode of the Series That Took on Racism 50 Years Ago
by Ed Gross

Like many Classic TV sitcoms, a show like Bewitched would seem to be very much of its time; a prism through which to view the past and see how different that world is from ours today. But given the racial unrest that has so consumed the country, it’s necessary to take a look back at an episode of the show from 50 years ago that drives home the point that as much as things have changed, the underlying issues remain prevalent.

Titled “Sisters at Heart,” it originally aired on December 24, 1970, and focused on the friendship between little Tabitha Stephens (Erin Murphy) and her friend Lisa Wilson (Venetta Rogers). They’re upset when they decide they want to be sisters and bullies mock them saying they can’t be, because Tabitha is white and Lisa is black. The other storyline in the episode is that when an advertising client — representing a million-dollar account — stops by the Stephens’ household, he mistakenly believes that Darrin (Dick Sargent) is married to a black woman, actually Lisa’s mother (Janee Michelle) and tells Larry Tate (David White) that he doesn’t want Darrin on the account.

The latter story concludes with Larry actually doing the right thing and telling the client that he won’t do business with a racist, and Samantha taking things a step further by invoking a spell that causes the man to see everyone (including himself) as black. When the spell wears off, he changes his ways and repents his racism. And with the kids, to make them sisters, Tabitha weaves a spell which results in her having black polka-dots on her face and white polka-dots on Lisa’s. Thankfully she reverses the spell by the time Lisa’s parents (Don Marshall plays her father) come back to the Stephens’ home to pick her up….

Read it all at closerweekly.com

NOTE FROM LB: My answer to the question that starts this post. TV didn’t stop racism because it couldn’t mount a sustained effort. There was no war, not even a genuine battle, just occasional skirmishes like the episode described above. The real question should be, why couldn’t TV make a sustained effort? Those of us who worked in TV during the ‘Bewitched’ era asked that question of the networks daily, and the answer from those at the top always was a lot of mumbo jumbo that translated as, “Sorry, can’t say. It’s above my pay grade.” Even from those making (notice that I didn’t say “earning,”) millions.

Herbie J Pilato on 1971’s ‘The Jimmy Stewart Show’

Gather ’round, friends and neighbors. Herbie J has a  new story to tell ya. It’s all about a very big H’wood star that all too few of us remember, and how things turned out for him when he left movies – where he was HUGE – and dipped his toe in that crazy little biz could TV.


by Herbie J Pilato


Writer/producer Herbie J Pilato is the host of the TV talk show THEN AGAIN WITH HERBIE J PILATO, now streaming on Amazon Prime and the author of several pop-culture/media tie-in books. He has been part of TVWriter™ for over 20 years and is Contributing Editor Emeritus. Learn more about Herbie J HERE

Stephanie Bourbon on Writing When All Hell is Breaking Loose

One of our fave writer-illustrator-screenwriting-vloggers, Stephanie Bourbon, returns to the interwebs after a hiatus with some words of encouragement for us all.


How to Stay Positive & Porductive–Still WRITE–During Dystopian-Er, I Mean, Tough Times
by Stephanie Bourbon

OMG, what a couple of months right? F*%$!! 

What is going on in the world? Is it ending? 

Do we all need to channel our inner Katniss? 

I seriously have never wanted to live in a Cormac McCarthy novel and I don’t intend on starting now!

So…how do we stay positive and continue to write when the world is crashing down on us?

Well, I have a few tips for you! 

The first one is just to FOCUS ON THE GOOD—whatever it is, focus on it, grab it, and hold on. Seriously it’s so easy to get wrapped up in the chaos and devastation happening and walk down that doomsday path but rather it’s best to stay focused on the good or have gratitude.

The second one is to remember why we write. You may do it just for your own pleasure and if that’s the case, see above. But most of us write because we have something to say to the world. If you write for children it is your job to help them come into their own with a sense of security, hope, and understanding. This is why we do it. TV and film have such a HUGE impact on the world–even fiction.

My life changed drastically because of THREE films—you want to know which ones?

FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF–taught me not to take things so seriously and enjoy life a lot more than I had been. I went from being a Jeannie to being a Ferris that summer and I’ve been MUCH happier ever since….

Find out the second and third films that changed Stephanie’s life and see some cooler pics than we’ve shown you, at stephaniebourbon.com.


Former Larry Brody student Stephanie Olivieri Bourbon has found great success as a writer, illustrator, and expert consultant. This article first appeared in her new blog at stephaniebourbon.com.