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www.austinscreenwriters.org is the
website of the Austin Screenwriters Group.
The Austin Screenwriters Group is a
resource to serve local screenwriters, providing guidance and support
in all areas of the field. We offer networking and marketing
opportunities, critical feedback on works-in-progress, and a sense of
community for our members. We are open to screenwriters of all levels
of experience. Script readings are specifically designed to help our
members hone their screenwriting talent.
ASG CALENDAR 2014
1st Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at Austin History Center, 810 Guadalupe St
3rd Sundays from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30
p.m. at Opal Divine's Davenport, 3801 Cap of Texas Hwy
Please email Wendy Wheeler
with your loglines, if they're not
posted. To get onto the schedule, contact the scheduler above. Please note that you MUST be a paid member
of the ASG to be scheduled, and have attended at least 4 meetings.
More details on the ASG
requirements are on our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
WHO / WHAT
Saturday, Sep 5
10:00 am-1:00 pm
|Austin History Center
||No meeting; holiday weekend. Happy Labor Day!
|Sunday, Sep 20
|Opal Divine's Davenport
3801 Capital of TX Hwy North
|Ron Presnell - Body or Soul
|| It really doesn't matter if renegade Deputy Alison Wynn is dead or alive. She's going to kill everybody anyway.
Saturday, Oct 3
10:00 am-1:00 pm
|Austin History Center
||Contact our scheduler to book this date.
|Sunday, Oct 18
|Opal Divine's Davenport
3801 Capital of TX Hwy North
|Rick Bee - The Fastest Loser
||A free-spirited mountain biker switches to off-road triathlons to help his sister's new company get off the ground, but his arch rival switches over too.
Wednesday, Oct 28
|Location TBA (need help with venue)
Austin Screenwriters Group brings a special guest panelist to AFF 2015, so we get an evening with him just for our group! His topic, presentation or 1-on-1 approach will be worked out. We need help deciding and arranging a venue, dinner. But save this date! All will be invited, not just members and not just attendees of AFF.
Sebastian Twardosz - a TV/film executive and an adjunct professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, he's also a partner in Circus Road Films. Check out his project for indie filmmakers at The LipTV - http://thelip.tv/show/the-insiders/
|Oct 29 - Nov 2
Austin Film Festival 2015
Sign up for the conference, even if just for one day (Saturday is best if you do). It's the best chance you'll get all year to get up-close with Hollywood movers and shakers. Chat them up when you see them in bars or standing in line for the movies! It's all good! Plus, the conference panels and presentations themselves are really worthwile and educational. We are so lucky to have a screenwriter-focused conference right in our front yard.
Do you want to have a
table reading? Contact Diana McManus, our scheduler, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need to reschedule/cancel your reading?
Contact Diana right away so we have time to find a new screenplay and the weekend meeting won't be wasted!!
- July 2015: Dana Cowden coordinated a Hollywood pro to come to Austin for Austin Film Festival, partly paid by Austin Screenwriters Group. Sebastian Twardosz is a TV/film executive and an adjunct professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, as well as a partner in Circus Road Films. AFF will be using him on panels (and we get points for supporting the conference) while we will have a special event with Sebastian on Wednesday night before AFF. Many thanks to Dana!
- June 2015: We had a great field trip to the Witliff Collections at the Alkek Library at Texas State University in San Marcos. ASG member Katie Salzmann is the librarian for this movie- and TV-themed collection for Southwestern Writers. Plus we saw a collection of Armadillo, cosmic cowboy and other Austin-themed movie posters from the 70's to 90's that Katie had curated. We'll do this again when we can get more people too...
- January 2015: With his writing partner, erstwhile Austin Screenwriter Group member Scott Miles just became a Nicholl's Fellow with their comedy script, UNITED STATES OF F****** AWESOME. Congrats to Scott! (We knew him for his zombie and high school band scripts)
- September 2014: Congrats to Dana Cowden and Wendy Wheeler for advancing to the Second Round script contest at Austin Film Festival. Scott Miles, an erstwhile member, got into the finals in the Nichol Fellowship Contest this year. Wendy is also a quarter finalist (so far) in Final Draft's Big Break contest.
- July 2014: David Kassin Fried has optioned DANCES WITH FAT, the screenplay he workshopped with ASG. And the local horror film he was co-producing filmed this summer; check out FOUND FOOTAGE 3D.
- June 2014: Many thanks to Kat Albert for handling the ASG scheduling for the past 5 years! She's stepping down to concentrate more on filmmaking. Now Diana McManus is taking over the volunteer role.
- June 2014: Our summer workshop on 21 June on scriptwriting craft went great! Many thanks to Emily McDonald for inviting and organizing TV Script Doctor Sarah McLaughlin for Writing for TV. That's Sarah on the right and Emily on the left... Congrats to Sarah on her new baby (Jan 2015)!
- April 2013: Congratulations to Kathy Swift Albert whose short film A PERFECT COCKTAIL was accepted into the Cannes Film Festival!
- February 2013: Pilar Alessandra, author of The Coffee Break Screenwriter, has offered ASG a 10% discount on her webinar screenwriting classes. Read more about her approach and see class schedules at OnThePage.com. More as she tells us how to invoke the discount...
- June 2012: GREAT workshop with Karl Iglesias! We liked him so much we brought him back again. He surveyed our group for topics we wanted to investigate deeper, so it was a really effective presentation. Many thanks to Jill Oleson for coordinating and wrangling, Tracy Boyd for handling all the registrations and inquiries, Karen Cupp for finding us a large, wonderful space at the Goodwill Community Center, and Angela Lee for locating a lovely home (Dr. Bill Milner's) to have our party in. My role this year was doing the notices and communications and craft services.
2012: Karl Iglesias with Wendy Wheeler (me)
- August 2011: We had a great workshop with author, script consultant and UCLA screenwriting instructor Karl Iglesias. He focused on lessons from his wonderful book, Writing for Emotional Impact. Plus he made himself available for dinners and lunches, and did one-on-one consultations most of Sunday. He was impressed with our group too! Thanks to the many people who chased down projectors and venues, collected money and brought coffee, etc. Especially to Karen Cupp who handled all the registration!
It was a sold-out room for the ASG Karl Iglesias workshop.
Karl makes a a point during the workshop.
- October 2010 : An amazing evening with Franklin Leonard, Director of Development at Universal Pictures and co-founder of The Black List. Nancy Smith (First Look Scripts) worked with Maya Perez at the Austin Film Festival to help us find a wonderful guest for the group who could also work the AFF panels and roundtables. Franklin met with ASG and listened to pitches, gave very helpful notes. Our event location, food and details were coordinated by Kathy Alberts. Great job, everybody!
Franklin Leonard and Nancy Smith
- May 2010: Had a great Saturday workshop with writer/consultant/producer Tim Albaugh on "Building a Script from the Ground Up" and "The Art of the Pitch." Plus he gave us his insights as a UCLA instructor and long-time writer in Hollywood. Many thanks to Tim, who also made himself available for social, dining and consulting time with the members of ASG! And thanks to those who coordinated him, took registrations, found us a workshop venue, etc. Here's Tim teaching to the class of 32 folks:
- December 2009: Jill Oleson created a page on YouTube to collect and display works by and with and associated with Austin Screenwriters Group members.
- June 2009: We had a great Story Mastery workshop with Michael Hauge, followed by a fun, social potluck BYOB with Michael that evening at the home of Peggy Schatz in Spicewood. Michael Hauge is a well-known and respected story consultant for all the major production studios and best-selling author. He spent most of Sunday morning doing one-on-one consultations for us too. Here's Mike reacting to the camera during the last hour of the class:
- October 2008: In connection with the Austin Film Festival, the ASG had some wonderful networking opportunities. Our thanks to the folks from Hollywood who met with us, in receptions and dinners: Robert Markovich, Director of Original Programming at Starz Entertainment; Curtis Burch, producer with Latitude Productions; and Tim Albaugh, UCLA screenwriting instructor and producer/writer with Popular Films. Your Website editor forgot to bring a camera to most events, but here's one of the ASG with Curtis Burch at Stubb's BBQ the Saturday night of the conference:
- July 2008: Screenwriter and craft guru Blake Snyder (Save the Cat) came to Austin to teach an intensive workshop on July 12-13. The ASG took Blake to dinner again, at Threadgills South, again.
Randy Brown, Blake Snyder, Jill Oleson (and others) at dinner at Threadgill's.
- May 2008: The ASG Spring Workshop the weekend of May 31-June 1 was coordinated by First Look Script Analysis (Nancy Smith) and brought in the amazing Dave Trottier. Dave presented his seminar "Four Keys to a Salable Script," gave tips on pitching, listened to members' pitches, and joined us in a wine and cheese party. He also chose the First Annual Hook Contest Winners from our 8 finalist scripts. More information about the events on the Spring Workshop page. Congrats to the winners: 1st place: KITTYHAWK by Julie Kenner. 2nd place: BECOMING QUANAH PARKER by Steve Warren. 3rd place: LIFE WITHOUT FATHER by Anton Diether.
Nancy Smith and Dave Trottier
- ASG Goods to Buy: Thanks to Helen Cates, the Austin Screenwriters Group now has t-shirts, mugs and more on CafePress you can buy with our ASG logo on it. Wear 'em proudly!
ASG MONTHLY MEETINGS & DIRECTIONS
- 1st Saturdays and 3rd Sundays of (almost) every month and cost nothing to attend
- Saturdays are from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at the Austin History Center, 810 Guadalupe Street (the southwest corner of Guadalupe + 9th), which is between the main public library building and the gazebo park. The City parking meters start charging at 11am, so just buy time until 1pm (about $2.50).
- Sundays are at the Opal Divines in Davenport, the store in the shopping center at the intersection of Westlake Dr and Loop 360 aka Capital of Texas Highway South. Please come ready to buy brunch to pay them back for the use of the room! Note: you cannot get food ordered until they open the kitchen at 10:00 a.m. even though our meeting starts at 9:30 a.m.
- Typical format: Networking and
introductions are followed by an out-loud reading of the
screenplay to be critiqued that day
- Anyone with an interest in screenwriting
is welcome to the meetings! To have a script read and critiqued,
however, you must be a dues-paid member of the ASG and meet a few simple
rules, which are
covered in the FAQ.
ASG MAILING LIST
The Austin Screenwriters Group has a mailing
list on Yahoo. We highly recommend that you sign yourself up! We
share networking, news, upcoming events, etc. Last-minute schedule
changes are posted there, and are often the only way you'll know
about them. Joining the list is easy, and you don't have to be a
dues-paying member for it. Please note you must subscribe
before you can post emails. The listserver software will bounce back
emails that come from unregistered email addresses. (And there is a 2nd YahooGroups list for dues-paid members, where we work out group business and give pre-announcements on events. Dues are a mere $36/year...)
- Start from within the mailing address you
wish to register, and send an email to: email@example.com. (The reference line and content aren't important
in the message.)
- You'll get a confirming email from the
listserver at YahooGroups. Just follow the instructions (usually,
it just asks you to respond and be sure to type at least a quick message to prove you're not spambot), and you should be on the
list for the moderator to approve you. Sorry it's not one-step, but it's an anti-spam precaution.
- Once you get the message from Yahoo
saying the moderator has approved you, you're registered on the
listserver software and can then send emails easily to everyone on
the ASG list by addressing them to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
ASG FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) List
The FAQ list is on another page, and contains instructions on signing up for a
reading, preparing your script for the reading, conducting the
reading, and the feedback session. We suggest you visit the page and
print it out. You can also get a copy of the information if you
download a copy of the ASG brochure as a Word document, click here for
LINKS TO OTHER USEFUL WEBSITES
We keep a list of helpful writing and
screenwriting books on another page.
How to format a script? It's a question at the top of the mind of many
beginning writers. Here's
a good discussion with samples
written by a fan of Austin (he comes regularly to the Heart of Film
Conference) Greg Beal, who coodinates the prestigious Nicholl
Writers Guild of America is the group that lobbies and negotiates on behalf of
American screenwriters. It's also the place to register your scripts
for protection, and if you live in Texas you should use the WGAw
(West). The U.S. Patent Office issues
copyrights for more-formal
protection. Most of the screenwriting contests require that your
script submissions be registered, in fact.
another useful site which also features a listing of the many
screenwriting contests each year, along with their open and closing
dates, as well as other information.
Another wonderful host (this time, on the
Internet) for the ASG is Randy Martin, who has the Web design and Web
hosting company, Chili
Design. Check out the awesome portfolio
on his website! (And please note he
had nothing to do with the dorky design of the ASG website!)
The ASG enjoys a very close relationship with
the Austin Film
Festival and Conference. What an awesome opportunity for education and
networking they provide for local screenwriters! Originally called the Heart of Film, it
was the first screenwriter-specific conference (now it has many
imitators). It's a can't-miss event that happens in Austin each fall.
Many of us submit scripts to the Heart of Film competition. Many of
us also volunteer to be HoF readers each year--be looking for
announcements on that to come from the HoF folks each spring. And the
AFF provides other wonderful cinema-related events throughout the
The contents and
graphics of this website are © 2001-2015 by the Austin
Please don't copy
without permission. All other trademarks and service marks are
If you are a paid
member of the ASG, you may copy the ASG logo at the top of the page
to display on your own website.
For any problems with
this website, contact the volunteer
webmaster. Last revised on 2015-0819.