TVWriter™ Summer E-Newsletter 2016



As I write this, the news is coming in about the latest atrocity in our so-called civilized world – the car bomb deaths of at least 60 people celebrating Bastille Day in Nice.

As a human being living in this time in this culture, I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about the violence that has defined this month, July, 2016, so far.

As a writer, I know that I should have words to accompany the thoughts and feelings, express them not only so I can sort out the sense behind the senselessness but also so I can communicate my deliberations and conclusions to a wider audience, to help that audience deal with the situation.

That’s what writers are supposed to do, right? Plunge into the chaos and find the order that must, must, must be there and pull it out and express it so that the emotional inflamation so many others – readers, viewers, listeners, audiences all – are experiencing can be assuaged.

But I suck at that.

Writing about politics or psychology is not my thing. That’s reality, and I’m about as far from being a realist as anyone can get. I’m a dreamer, and my writing almost always has been a form of dreaming.

Fiction, springing from my imagination, expressing my dreams.

Earlier this week, Monday it was, I reached inward and posted about using my personal inner world as metaphor for life’s reality, and told of the feelings and events and memories and magical thoughts that have helped me stay strong and steady (well, kind of strong and sort of steady, if you squint) while, like everyone else, immersed in the miasma of real life’s chaos.

I didn’t realize that’s what I was doing, but that’s how it turned out.

It also turned out to be by far the most-read piece of the week at TVWriter™ – except, of course, for “Writing the Dreaded Outline” because, you know, this is a writing site.

People seem to have gotten it. To have taken from what I wrote more than I even knew I had given.

Your emails and your messages and your personal comments have been even more wonderful than the time a recently released prison inmate thanked me for writing a TV episode that he told me “saved my life.” (Actually, I didn’t really write that one, but evidently I did do a pretty good rewrite of it as producer of the show.)

You guys’ reaction has awakened me from a decade-long slumber and – uh-oh, you’re in trouble now – persuaded me to keep dreaming out loud so others can share my feelings. I’m not sure exactly how I’m going to do it, but my attempt to inspire y’all has rebounded to inspire me.

Starting next week, along with the usual TV writing fun and games and tips and tricks, I’ll also be posting some of the writing I’ve done that has meant the most to me. My poetry. And my newspaper columns from the early 2000s. And, if the synergy is right, newer musings on what goes on behind the politics and the violence. Considerations of our humanity and how it makes us while we make it.

Lots of stuff for me to look forward to, for sure. I hope you guys will as well.

And while we’re at it, don’t forget to read all the TV writing stuff. As so many recent TV shows demonstrate, there’s hope for the old medium yet. We can do glorious things for the world by putting the right words into the right mouths acting out the right stories.

And TVWriter™ intends to keep on pushing and shoving and when necessary dragging you, its visitors, into becoming expert creators of entertainment – entertainment that means something.

Words have power on their own. Images enhance the power. It’s all magic, gang. Magic that we can share.




The 2016 People’s Pilot opened for entries March 1st and will be open until the very last minute of November 1, 2016.

This year we’ve updated the PP to match recent changes in the entertainment scene and make the contest not just a “television writing” thing, but one for shows intended for any and all electronic entertainment media.

Whether the series you are creating is intended for broadcast TV, cable and satellite, TV, home entertainment/video game consoles, Big Media interweb outlets like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, or indie web channels and venues like YouTube, Vimeo, Funny or Die, or the show’s own website, it’s eligible for the new PEOPLE’S PILOT.

Similarly, we’re open for entries regardless of what length you envision the episodes being or how many episodes you foresee it having.

Genres also are entirely open. Whether you’ve written a drama, comedy, action, dramedy, anthology script for adults, for young adults, for children, or, what the hell, for opossums, the PEOPLE’S PILOT wants to see it. Is your pilot intended for live action? Great. And just as great if you see what you’ve written as being animated, or starring puppets, or little balls of clay, whateves. Are you hoping for your series to last forever? Envisioning it as a mini or limited series? It’s all good to us. We welcome everything you can think of.

Category-wise, we’ve expanded from two to three. These are:

1) Scripted Series 1/2 Hour or Less (no matter how much less)
2) Scripted Series Longer than 1/2 Hour (up to 1 Hour long)
3) Scripted Series Longer than 1 Hour

In other words, scripts for shows about anything. intended to be broadcast anywhere, and with a playing time from, oh, a few seconds to several hours long are cordially invited!

UPDATE!!! Especially welcome in the “Scripted Series Longer than 1 Hour category are series deliberately designed to be binge-watched. (Can any other contest say the same?)

Other changes include:


TVWriter™ is now offering over $20,000 in prizes and entry bonuses, including:


We’ve had free Feedback for awhile now and are constantly hearing how valuable it’s been. We think the Feedback alone is worth more than the price of admission and believe you’ll agree!


All entrants will receive a PDF file of Larry Brody’s Storytelling Patterns in Genre Films booklet. Available nowhere else, Storytelling Patterns is a guide to outlining your scripts by using timeless story patterns and scenes that have proven time and time again to be invaluable to successful storytelling.


The regular entry fee is $50 for each submission, with an Early Bird Special fee of only $35 for everyone entering in March and April. We also have a new Duo Discount that allows you to pay for 2 entries at the same time for a total payment of only $85 after the Early Bird Special expires. As in past years, we urge you to take advantage of the discounts even if your entry or entries won’t be ready before the discount period ends. You can upload your submissions at any time until the contest closes.

The PEOPLE’S PILOT website is HERE

The full list of Prizes is HERE

The Enter Page is HERE

Email LB personally with any questions HERE

Winners, Finalists, and Semi-Finalists of TVWriter™’s past contests are or have most recently been on the staffs of MOM, CHICAGO PD, CHICAGO FIRE, PERSON OF INTEREST, THE WALKING DEAD, RIZZOLI AND ISLES, COLONY, GREY’S ANATOMY, ONCE UPON A TIME, SMALLVILLE, ROME, THE LEFTOVERS, the upcoming WESTWORLD and recently departed THE BASTARD EXECUTIONER, to name just a few. We’d love to see you join them!


The next TVWriter™ Advanced Online Workshop, which is scheduled to start Wednesday, September 21, 2016 and considering how quickly it fills up, there’s no better time to sign up than right now.

This is the workshop for writers who already know the basics and have a specific project to workshop with LB. The Advanced Workshop is limited to 5 students, so if you’re interested in getting in on the fun, you really should have a look-see at the Advanced Workshop info and sign-up form

And if all goes according to plan Larry Brody’s next Master Class will begin in the second half of August, 2016.

The Master Class is the online workshop for professional level writers who want to spend an intense month perfecting your current work. That means you have a draft of 60 pages ready to be read and tweaked. Or revised, or, who knows, maybe thrown away, but we don’t want to scare ya. Let LB himself analyze your story, plot, and characterization just as he would if he were producing your masterpiece.

LB accepts a maximum of only 3 students at a time in this one so if you’re interested you definitely need to get more info and reserve your place ASAP

Or find out more about everything TVWriter University is currently offering HERE

That’s it for now. Our work here is done. The rest is up to you.

Team TVWriter™