Stephanie Bourbon on How Writers Can Find Their Creative Selves

What does it really mean to be true to yourself? For that matter, who the heck is your true self? Clearly, this is a tough question for everybody, but writers seem especially prone to engaging in the search.

Sit back and click, young Jedi, as Stephanie Bourbon steps forward to help guide you through the maze

Stephanie’s YouTube Channel is HERE

And her Story Concierge 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.

What’s a “Fuck you” or two between friends?

Ever wonder just how valuable everyday politeness is? By which we really mean, ever wonder why the hell people keep telling you to be polite to strangers?

Productivity’s what our lives are all about this days, amiright? Well, how does politeness help you get your creativity out there and your work done? Huh? Is being polite going to get your work done? Should it?

Be Less Polite
by Nick Douglas

The nicest thing you can say to your friend is “Fuck you!” Not when you’re actually mad, but when you’re goofing around and they just got you good, and you’re acknowledging that yeah, you’re owned. That “fuck you” says “We are in a circle of trust and intimacy, and because of this we do not need to be polite.”

“Polite” is good, it’s how strangers and acquaintances and fellow professionals keep things running smoothly. But it has limits. To be polite is to maintain distance. It’s the tiny apologies we whisper when we accidentally brush against a stranger. It’s the “dear” that starts an email and the “sincerely” that closes it. It’s the invasive questions we don’t ask during small talk.

Dropping the politeness is an honor. It doesn’t mean being a dick. It means you trade “hello” for “hey.” You pee with the door open and you poop when your partner’s at home. You ask “Are you two planning to have children?” because you’re close friends and they could ask the same of you. You let them pick up the check sometimes.

It doesn’t mean you start being a dick—no, it means you’re nicer to the other person. All the pretenses you drop, they drop too. You let them ask you nosy questions. You let them impose. You still respect them, but now you also bring them closer.

CD Baby founder Derek Sivers calls it being meta-considerate. Being considerate, he says, means showering someone with attention and gifts to win their love. Being meta-considerate means treating them like your much-beloved equal, letting them chase you back.

There’s a balance, of course; there’s always a balance….

Read it all at

PJ McIlvaine: The Winding Road

Doesn’t get much windier!

by PJ McIlvaine

Everyone’s path is different. Sometimes it’s easy; you query a few agents and get an offer right away. Other times, it’s a near miss or outright passes, or, sadly, total silence.

You wonder what’s wrong and fall into an abyss of despair and doubt. Why hasn’t everyone fallen in love with your pretty, shiny, new bauble that you labored on for months, even years?

The short answer, it’s a crapshoot.

The long answer, it’s a crapshoot.

God must love writers because She made so many of them.

Back in 2017, I was at a crossroads in my writing.

A little backstory here: for several years, I’d been the 24/7 caregiver of my Mom. For much of that time, her Alzheimer’s was manageable. She forgot things. Getting her to the doctor was an exercise in futility. She couldn’t see too well because of her cataracts (surgery was a fiasco). Unfortunately, her decline was shockingly quick, and she passed away in Hospice.

I’d begun and put aside several novels during that grueling period, trying to juggle Mom, my family, a full time job, and other assorted family dramas that ate up my time and energy. Being a novelist had always been a personal goal. As a teenager, and then as a young wife and Mom, I went to bookstores and envisioned MY book being on display there one day.

Someday, I told myself. Someday.

With Mom gone, I finally realized that someday was NOW, and a project that had been collecting dust on my hard drive came back to life.

So this is a roundabout way of announcing that I’m thrilled to be represented by the amazing Heather Cashman of Storm Literary. I can’t wait for you to meet Charlemagne, Violet, and all the other characters that have been taking up space in my head for so long (in a good way).

I think Mom would be pleased.

Pj McIlvaine is a prolific writer/author/screenwriter/writer/journalist. She has been published in The New York Times, Newsday, and a host of other places. Her Showtime movie, My Horrible Year (with Mimi Rogers, Karen Allen and Eric Stoltz) was nominated for a Daytime Emmy. Find out more about Ms. McIlvaine HERE. This article first appeared in her most magical blog.


by Bob Tinsley

Why should you as a visitor to TVWriter™ 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. Agents and major studios have started trawling through podcasts and their creators for new content and talent. 

So here’s the latest news to help you and your podcast get discovered.

Music from
“The Builder” by Kevin MacLeod (
License: CC BY (


In an earlier edition we mentioned that the fiction podcast, Limetown, had been adapted into a “TV” series to be shown on Facebook Watch. The first episode premiered yesterday. As I am writing this a week beforehand I haven’t yet seen it, but from watching the trailer I will be. You should, too.


    Radio Ambulante’s Audience Is Worldwide. Listening Clubs Help Bring Them Together.

    Local listening parties or clubs are apparently on the rise for some shows. This is a fascinating article about another way to increase your audience. The article covers a nonfiction example, but there’s no reason this can’t be adapted for fiction podcasts. Did you know that Generation Listen even exists? I didn’t. It will take some organizing, but NPR has a free kit for organizing listening parties.

    https.//www.niemanlab. org


Audio fiction podcasts go international.

This article in Japan Today covers Hollywood’s fascination with audio fiction as a source of stories. It also mentions the fact that the big players in podcast networks are expanding beyond the US and the English-speaking world with English language podcasts. The big attraction, fiction podcasts aren’t crippled with the territorial rights associated with television and film.

Sound Design.

In this podcast from Fantastic Noise host Terry Lee interviews sound designer Sarah Myles about her role in making sound the best part of your podcast. You may not want to be a sound designer, but you do want to learn what role they play in your production.


Podcast Your Way to Hollywood: How Content Creators Can Find Success

Interviewed in this article, Travis Vengroff, one of the most successful audio fiction podcasters working today, gives an A-to-Z blueprint on how to produce and monetize a podcast. This year he and his wife and partner in Fool and Scholar Productions, Kaitlin Statz, began making enough money from their Patreon account to become full-time podcasters. It’s not easy, and it takes time, but you can, too.



Dart is a fiction podcast about a traumatized food delivery driver trying to find normalcy.

From the website: “But when a fellow driver turns up dead and a sticky darkness starts to seep into Boston, Jenny might be reluctantly pulled back into the world she left behind.” Each episode is three to five minutes long. Amanda McColgan wrote, produced, and performed the role of Jenny.

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


Did you know that all audio fiction entries in TVWriter™’s PEOPLE’S PILOT 2019 pilot script competition are eligible for the two major category prizes plus special prizes and a reduced entry fee?

Learn all about it at:


For those of you who may have wondered what makes Steven Universe so unique (and beloved by parents!).

by Laura Dale

When it comes to TV designed for children, Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe is one of the most progressive, thoughtful, and generally important shows being made today. Following the story of a young boy with the power to protect and heal, the show frequently introduces children to complex emotional topics in easy-to-understand ways.

One of the most impressive topics that Steven Universe as a show regularly tackles is the concept of consent and the role it plays in interpersonal relationships, from the good to the bad.

A little background on the show: in Steven Universe, there are a species of sentient alien rock women called gems, who are all named after various precious stones or minerals and have varying strengths and weaknesses. When two gems are in perfect sync, and properly aligned with each other, they are able to fuse and become a totally new being together, which is frequently used in the show as a stand-in for telling stories about various kinds of intimate relationships. Sometimes it’s love between friends, sometimes it’s romantic love, and sometimes it’s used as a child-friendly stand-in for sexual interactions, an act considered the height of trust-based intimacy between two people.

One of the first really impactful examples of a consent discussion in Steven Universe revolves around the character of Garnet, who is a permanent fusion of two other gems….

Read it all at