A friendly reminder to our professional visitors:
A friendly reminder to our professional visitors:
As we used to say way back in 7th Grade at Sharp Corner Junior High School in scenic Skokie, Illinois, “Awriight!”
As in, “I am so damned excited!”
Why? Because it’s one of my favorite times of year, the time when I take a preliminary look at the entries of my favorite writing contest in the whole world and find myself – as always – with a wide grin spreading across my usually dower face.
(Okay, so I’m lying about the “usually” part. And the “dower” thing. But I d have a face.)
To quote myself from last year’s People’s Pilot reconnaissance, “Here’s what I’m smiling about”:
Our plan for announcing winners remains the same as we say on the People’s Pilot “About” page. We hope to announce Semi-Finalists, Finalists, and Winners between mid-January and mid-February of next year.
And, of course, I’ll probably have an announcement or two between now and then so keep checking back with us. Wouldn’t want anybody to be a Winner and not know it. After all, what good is a victory if you don’t use it to make your big career move? (Or at least rub it into those who didn’t believe?)
Thanks again to everyone for taking part and being so talented! More to come!
Assistant Professor, to be precise, which, of course, all writing should be. Considering that the location of Hofstra University – Long Island! – is a fave of the Big Money Literary Scene in these United States of A, competition for the gig probably will be fierce. But if you’ve got the cred, this looks like a good one.
Here’s the lowdown:
Faculty Position in Television Writing
The Herbert School of Communication Announces an ANTICIPATED OPENING IN THE DEPARTMENT OF RADIO, TELEVISION, FILM for a FULL-TIME TENURE-TRACK POSITION BEGINNING FALL 2017
The Department of Radio, Television, Film anticipates an opening beginning in Fall 2017 for a tenure-track appointment for a full-time assistant professor to teach television writing. The successful candidate must demonstrate the ability to teach introductory and advanced undergraduate courses in television writing in areas such as: short-form and long-form television formats, series writing, and producing for television and new media. The candidate should further demonstrate familiarity with a variety of genres, including comedy, satire and drama. Professional experience in writing for television and emerging media forms (streaming content, web-based interactive/immersive) is considered a plus.
Ph.D., MFA, or MA with significant professional work experience and ongoing creative production over which they have principal control. Tenure candidates are expected to engage in scholarly research and/or creative activity and be available for departmental service, academic advisement, and mentoring co-curricular activities. University level teaching experience is preferred. Salary range is competitive, with excellent fringe benefits.
Please email cover letter, CV, and the names/addresses/phone numbers of three references to Professor Phil Katzman, Chair, Department of Radio, Television, Film, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please submit all documents in .PDF format only.
Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until position is filled.
Hofstra University is an equal opportunity employer, committed to fostering diversity in its faculty, administrative staff, and student body, and encourages applications from the entre spectrum of a diverse student body.
Hofstra University is the largest private, liberal arts institution on Long Island, NY. It is located 25 miles east of Manhattan and includes the following schools: Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Frank G. Zarb School of Business; Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine; Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies; Lawrence Herbert School of Communication; Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; School of Health Professions and Human Services; Maurice A. Deane School of Law; and Hofstra University Honors College. There are approximately 500 full-time faculty members; 6,900 full and part-time undergraduates; 2,900 graduate students; 800 law students; and 350 medical students. For more information about the University please visit www.hofstra.edu
All in all, pretty damn cool beans, yeah?
As usual, we’re asking anyone who applies to tell us how the experience goes. Nobody’s ever actually done that – tell us how the experience went – but we’re writers; we live in hope!
That’s the key to a good story. Doesn’t matter if it’s a script or a novel. Suspense is what draws the reader/viewer in and holds on tight.
So is creating suspense one of your skills?
It’s fascinating to watch a real master build suspense and there are many ways. One great example, especially for screenwriters is Alfred Hitchcock. If you haven’t watched his movies you should.
That said, one I’m referring to in particular for his example is a film that wasn’t as well known as his others, called Rope. In it two men commit a murder as the first thing the audience sees, then they hide the body in a big wooden chest in the living room where the pair is about to host a dinner party.
If that set-up doesn’t grab you by the throat you need to check your pulse.
Of course, guests enter the apartment immediately on the heels of the murders stashing the body in the chest. This is true suspense right from the beginning.
The murder might not have been shown, it could have happened off-screen as I understand the original play had it. But Mr. Hitchcock gave it another twist.
Now the audience knows there’s been a murder – it won’t be a surprise at the end – and everyone in the audience is on the edge of his or her seat anticipating when or if the dinner guests will find out they’ve been setting their drinks on the chest that contains a body and that they’ve sat down to dinner with a pair of murderers.
Genius, no? Instead of hiding the fact of the murder and doing the complete set-up with just the dinner guests arriving and the hosts entertaining – saving the ‘big reveal’ for the end the murder was made perfectly plain along with the fact that the body was in the chest.
From that moment on it’s in the air as to what might happen next, where this story can carry the audience.
The imagination of the viewers is set loose like a wild thing. At any moment things can go terribly wrong. It’s like being in on a deadly secret.
Mr. Hitchcock’s brilliance with suspense is showcased in that film. He did what he did with the script because he knew he was exchanging a shock at the end of the film for prolonged, edge-of-your-seat suspense throughout the entire movie. It thrilled audiences then and if you watch it now it’ll thrill you too.
The same thing can be done in a novel as with the script. As a writer of suspense remember not to hold back on information that could create dangerous situations for your characters. Open up. Give that information as soon in your story as you can.
Once it’s out there the reader or watcher with be biting fingernails through your entire story, waiting for ‘the next shoe to drop’, imagining all the ways things can go very wrong and thrilling to your conclusion.
The mystery in that case has become not what has happened to cause the situation, but rather what’s going to happen next!
Seriously. Watch some of Mr. Hitchcock’s films. Steal some of his methods. Then add your own twists for an edge-of-your-seat tale that’ll really get the blood pumping.
Peggy Bechko is a TVWriter™ Contributing Editor. blog. Learn more about her HERE. Peggy’s new comic series, Planet of the Eggs, written and illustrated with Charlene Brash-Sorensen is available on Kindle. And, while you’re at it, visit the Planet of the Eggs Facebook page and her terrific blog.