This Email contains images, if you do not see them, please click here.       New Zealand Writers Guild 

Hi everyone

One of my all-time favourite quotes is “Politics is the art of controlling your environment” by Hunter S. Thompson.

Have a think about it. What is the environment like for screenwriters? What would you like to see changed?

Want to get on-board with making those changes? Operators are standing by…

The call for Nominations for positions on the NZWG Board will be going out at the end of the week.

Let’s get into it.

Steven Gannaway
Executive Director

In this issue you will find a range of opportunities for submissions of screenplays and completed short and feature movies to both local and international competitions and workshops. Not long ago a NZWG member had one of his scripts shortlisted as one of twelve finalists in the Nicholl Fellowship. He didn’t win, but on the basis of that ranking he received offers from three US agents, one of whom he signed with. The script became his calling card to several studios who expressed interest in his work as a writer. We urge you to take note of these annual competitions and festivals that are relevant to your work and enrol directly on their mailing lists.

With that in mind it’s particularly relevant that you list yourself directly on the NZ Film Commission mailing list. If not, we suggest you regularly follow the link below for NZ Film Commission media releases.

Here at the Guild we do our best to keep you informed of opportunities from the most reputable competitions through The Write Stuff as they arise. But we’re not able to include all the relevant details, and as a professional writer you need to keep yourself informed.

Dara McNaught

Please send contributions to

"You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you're working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success - but only if you persist."

-Isaac Asimov

Inside Issue 01 / 2010


1.1 In the Spotlight
1.2 Welcome to New Members
1.3 New LIbrary Items


2.1 NZFC Rewrite Workshop 2010 call for entries
2.2 NZFC announces new Writer Development Loan
2.3 Live Screenplay Competition - deadline Jan 31st
2.4 SHIFTY Masterclass and NZFC Low Budget Film Launch
2.5 Homegrown 2010, NZIFF Call for Entries
2.6 One day theatre seminar with Roger Hall - Auckland
2.7 Brainstorm Auckland
2.8 NZFC Professional Development Awards
2.9 2010 BlueCat Screenplay Competition CALL FOR ENTRIES
2.10 8th annual Script P.I.M.P. Screenwriting feature movie & Teleplay           Competition 2010 – call for entries
2.11 3rd Annual 2010 Script Pimp TV Writing Competition call for entries
2.12 New AFTRS Graduate Certificate in Screen Culture 2010
2.13 Los Angeles Film Festival call for entries
2.14 Auckland City Council to assist applicants for 2010 Hamburg International Short Film Festival


3.1 Wellington Writers Group meeting Tuesday 2 February
3.2 Canterbury Screen Industry Day 21 March




6.1 Rialto Cinemas discount - reminder
6.2 New York Times story no playwrights and theatres
6.2 "Send Them Your Scripts."
6.2 Playwrights do you belong to PANZ?


7.1 NZFC appoints new head of Sales & Marketing
7.2 NZFC newsletter December 2009


8.1 Notes on the Wellington Writers Group


Are you keeping a watch on the Guild website?

The latest news in events, opportunities, courses and industry news is regularly updated on Latest News and the Bulletin Board.

Guild Office

The office is open for walk-in service at 1/243 Ponsonby Road
Monday, Wednesday and Friday 11am-3pm.
Phone 09 360 1408.
P O Box 47 886, Ponsonby, Auckland, NZ.

Content Starts Here


1.1 In the Spotlight

Please send items for Spotlight to and include a photo of yourself where possible.

Awards & Festivals

Congratulations to Peter Jackson whose services to film and television were strongly acknowledged in this year’s New Years Honours list when he became a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Taika Waititi’s feature film Boy premiered to a sell out house on Friday night at the opening weekend of the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.  The Festival is widely regarded as the premiere US showcase for American and international independent film. Boy is screening in competition in the Festival’s World Cinema Dramatic Section. 

Barbara Sumner BurstynThis Way of Life, written by Barbara Sumner Burstyn (right), has been selected for the Berlin International Film Festival. “The star of the film Colleen Karena and star/narrator 12 year old Llewelyn (Wellie) Karena will be attending Berlin to help promote the film. And we signed a really good distribution deal with a Paris based company that even includes a healthy advance. Pretty good for a film made with no budget out of our own resources spread over a few years.” You can read about their road to Berlin on


Megan Brownhill wrote the Shortland Street episode that screens on Friday 5 Feb


Raewyn Alexander is happy to share her pitch to the Big Break competition:

Taika Waititi’s debut feature Eagle Vs Shark can be seen on TV3, Friday 29 January 8.30pm. Two lonely people discover the right match isn’t always perfect.

Theatre - Auckland

Donna Banicevich Gera and Neil Troost are among NZ playwrights selected to present their work at Short + Sweet. This competition open to international writers is being presented during the last two weeks of January at the Herald Theatre in Auckland.  You will find more about the Short + Sweet Festival of ten minute plays at There are entrants from Australia, USA, numerous cities round NZ, and Malaysia. 


Benedict ReidBenedict Reid (right) along with his co-writer Mark Prebble has written for the current series of "Newsjack" a BBC Radio 7 satirical radio show.


1.2 Welcome to New Members

Associate: Bradley Reeves, Sam Jhajri (Auckland); Colin Hodson, Matthew Nagel, Richard Finn (Wellington)
Rejoined: Jackie Owens (Christchurch)

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1.3 New Library Items

Written By magazine, Anniversary issue Jan 2010. Items from the Writers’ Guild of America first magazine (1934), on the witchhunt by HUAC that destroyed so many writers (‘The Judas Goats’ by Lillian Hellman), to articles on writing for future technologies and for cartoons: “There are benefits to writing for cartoons… Your actors, your drawings, never tell you, “My character wouldn’t say that”…And anything is possible on the screen…”

Written by magazine, Oct/Nov 2009. Theme: on the internet – making money from writing for it; storytelling for the net, and writing mobisodes for it; the battle to protect internet freedom; and a discussion with Spike Jonze and Maurice Sendak on Where the Wild Things Are.

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2.1 NZFC Rewrite Workshop 2010 – call for entries

The fifth NZFC Rewrite Workshop will take place in March 2010. The Re-write Workshop is a three day intensive script development initiative designed to facilitate writer/producer teams to devise a development plan for the next draft of their film with a view to making significant progress on their specific project. It is open to New Zealand feature film screenwriter and producer teams who have a project in development with NZFC that has already reached at least a second draft.

Application Deadline: Friday 12th February 2010 at 5 pm. 

Application requirements and more information are available in the download here:


2.2 NZFC announces new Writer Development Loan

The NZWG has long lobbied for direct development funding for screenwriters and welcomes the new funding initiative announced by the NZFC in their latest newsletter as a good starting point. (See item 7.2 below.) 

Of particular interest to writers is the section as follows:

New guidelines

We have recently introduced new development and production financing guidelines. Following useful discussions with the New Zealand Writers Guild we have made some adjustments and clarifications to the new Writer Development Loan.  The intention behind the loan is to provide some remuneration for early stage work on projects, work that screenwriters have historically done for free. The loan is seed money that will help writers to develop their careers; it does not represent the market rate we would expect producers to pay a contracted writer.

The main changes in the development and production financing guidelines are:

Please be aware that we are constantly refining and updating the guidelines and you should read them each time you apply for funding. If you have any questions feel free to contact Development Coordinator Jeremy Macey at or 04 382 7690.

Reminders when applying for funding

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2.3 Live Screenplay Competition - deadline Jan 31st

The Live Screenplay Competition is a Play Press/Playmarket partnership to find the Best Unfilmed Screenplay.  The winner will be given a professional public rehearsed reading in a theatre venue in Wellington, followed by time with a script advisor to help you with your new draft and, if needed, professional advice. 

While the absolute primary aim is to encourage screenwriters and to present your screenplay as faithfully as possible, there is also a secret agenda - to introduce a new audience to the potential of the stage as a way to share ideas - and to discover new theatre writing talent.

2009's winner was FUN RIDE, by Benedict Reidwhich had an excellent public reading in Circa 2 at 11am on 28th November, 2009, directed by Murray Lynch and with a great cast : - Kate Prior, Vaughan Slinn, Richard Falkner, Gavin Rutherford, Nick Blake, Amy Tarleton, Toby Leach, Ban Abdul and Kate McGill.

The deadline for submissions is January 31st 2010.

If you would like to submit a screenplay (TV dramas also eligible), please contact Jean Betts for entry details at, or

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2.4 SHIFTY Masterclass and NZFC Low Budget Film Launch

In an auspicious piece of synchronicity the team behind UK micro-budget film sensation SHIFTYwill be in New Zealand at the exact moment that the NZFC launches a new $250,000 low budget film initiative. Curious Film (local distributors of SHIFTY)will join forces with the NZFC to present a series of masterclasses on the making of SHIFTY as part of the launch of the new scheme. The launch will take place in February in Wellington, Auckland and in the South Island, location TBC.

SHIFTY was made under the Film London Microwave initiative for feature films with a production budget of £100,000 (NZ$225,000). In the UK the film was released on 50 prints and then sold over 50,000 units on DVD. What the UK press said:

The British urban movie may still be in its infancy, or rather its ungainly adolescence, with more pose and front than actual script and performance. However, first-time director Eran Creevy kicks things up a notch with this shrewd and engaging drama, achieved on the smallest of budgets. (Guardian)

The British drama Shifty, made under Film London’s tiny-budget Microwave scheme, has two ace performances and an intriguingly low-key quality - we’re never quite sure where it’s heading. (Daily Telegraph)

This promising writer-director debut from former commercials and pop-promos director Eran Creevy shows how a knowing eye and a sympathetic vision can reinvigorate the stale conventions of our own recent cycle of (sub)urban dramas such as ‘Rise of the Footsoldier’ and ‘Kidulthood’.  (Time Out)

Shifty will be released in NZ cinemas on February 11 by Curious Film. 

Director Eran Creevy and producer Rory Aitken will talk about the making of the film: the real-life experience that inspired it, the development process, selection for the Microwave scheme, production, and finally the local and international release. Come along and learn how to adjust your thinking to embrace the ethos of film-making on a micro-budget.

Representatives of the NZFC will be on hand to introduce the filmmakers and to launch...  

In 2010 the NZFC will be funding 4 x $250,000 films. Details of the scheme and how to apply will be available at the launch and staff will be on hand to answer questions.

Auckland                  8 Feb                       Academy Cinema (fully booked)*
Wellington               11 Feb                      Paramount Cinema
Dunedin                  13 Feb                    Hutton Theatre, Otago Museum                          

The launch & masterclass will run from 9am to 5pm, followed by drinks.
Please note: The South Island masterclass is numbers dependant - so please do reserve a seat.

Information on the launch can be accessed here:

And the dates and locations are as follows.
Auckland           8th Feb           Academy Cinema (Fully Booked)*
Wellington        11th Feb          Paramount Cinema
Dunedin            13th Feb          Hutton Theatre, Otago Museum

*The NZFC advises that “It is unfortunate but the Auckland venue only has a capacity of 200. However all the information presented at the launch will be available for download from our website post the launch.” 


Entry to the workshop is free but places are limited.
To reserve a seat please send an email to  with your city preference in the subject line and full name, contact details (including address) and job title (e.g.Writer, Director, Producer, D.O.P, Actor etc…) in the body of the e-mail.

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2.5 Homegrown Call For Entries - New Zealand IFF 2010

MIC Toi Rerehiko in collaboration with the New Zealand International Film Festival 2010, is pleased to announce the first call for submissions for Homegrown 2010, New Zealand’s premiere showcase for local short films, video and animation.

MIC Toi Rerehiko has been curating the Homegrown programmes of short films and videos by New Zealanders for the New Zealand International Film Festival since 1997.
Fourteen years on, Homegrown is an established and always dynamic platform for bringing the innovative work of the independent film and digital media community to a diverse national and international audience.

Homegrown consistently attracts the most cutting-edge and innovative works from both established and up-and-coming Kiwi filmmakers. From the poignant to the skillfully irreverent, the Homegrown programmes present a uniquely contemporary New Zealand cinematic vision.

We are interested in receiving submissions from filmmakers who would like the opportunity to have their works screened to a diverse and discerning Film Festival audience.

Please download the Homegrown entry form online at:
The form includes all entry details and technical requirements.

Submissions must be received by MIC Toi Rerehiko no later than Wednesday 14 April, 2010.
To be eligible for Homegrown selection the filmmaker has to be a New Zealand citizen, permanent resident, or studying at an NZQA authorised institution.

For further information please contact:

Paul Rose
Homegrown Film Co-Ordinator, MIC Toi Rerehiko.
Phone: 09 379 9922

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2.6 One day PANZ theatre seminar with Roger Hall Auckland

Roger Hall tells us how to do it!  We are indebted to our Patron for giving us his time; as advised earlier.  The date is set at Sat 17 April; the venue the Northcote Pt Senior Citizens rooms, 119 Queen St, Northcote Pt, Auckland. Committee member, Diane Francis has agreed to be convenor for this event.  There will be a modest charge for members, and somewhat more for non-members.

Diane’s contact details are:    or ph (09) 576 0697

Please contact Diane at any time to register for the day long seminar.  We are suggesting a lunch break at Sausalito Café across the road (next to the Bridgeway Theatre). Diane would appreciate help in promoting the seminar through your own community newspaper and your local library.

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2.7 BrainStorm – Auckland

“Yoga for Your Brain”

Need to be creatively invigorated?

Hankering for a fresh idea?

Brain Storm is a regular creativity session that will kick-start your grey matter.  A right brain workout for creative people whether they’re absolute beginners or dedicated professionals.  Perfect for writers, poets, actors, designers, songwriters, artists, directors or anyone who needs ideas and likes being stretched.

When: Tuesday nights 7pm – 8.15pm  (Feb 9 – April 13)

Where: Alleluya Café foyer, St Kevin’s Arcade, Karangahape Road

Cost: $10 per class (no booking necessary – just drop by)

Bring: Pen and something to write on.

Instructor: Kathryn Burnett

For further information or instructor bio:

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2.8 NZFC Professional Development Awards

This new NZFC initiative intends to offer up to 10 Professional Development Awards per year to filmmakers and film professionals across the industry. Applicants who have feature film credits in their chosen field may apply for up to $5,000 to help cover the costs of a significant professional development opportunity in their area of expertise.

Applicants must demonstrate how their nominated activity or attachment will help them develop their skills. Producers may apply, but not if their application falls within Producer Market Assistance funding parameters. Please note also that while these Awards may be used to cover international master-classes and workshops, the funds are not intended to
pay for general tertiary training costs. NZFC will only accept one application per person for each call for applications.

NZFC will be making 2 calls for applications for these awards each year; one in summer and one in winter. Each call will give applicants around 3 months before the deadline to properly investigate and document their nominated opportunities.
Applicants may only receive one Professional Development Award per year

Funding specifications

Successful applicants will receive a grant of up $5000 to assist with direct costs, travel and accommodation expenses.

Application Requirements

Applicants should provide a proposal that contains:

Successful applicants will be required to provide a cost report and description of their experiences on completion of their

Applications must be made via email to the NZFC by 5pm on Friday 26 February 2010. Please send your application in
a single document to Development Coordinator Jeremy Macey at For further information please
email Jeremy or call (04) 382 7690       .

Please note that a winter call will also be made in June 2010 with an application deadline for the end of August.

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2.9 2010 BlueCat Screenplay Competition CALL FOR ENTRIES


Since 1998, we have built a large community of writers passionately committed to writing original, unforgettable work.

This starts with our exchange of feedback to each writer who enters BlueCat.
This year, we’ve created two new awards for international screenwriters, expanded our early analysis deadlines and resubmission programs and brought back our popular title contest to further our support and find the new writer.
Winner receives $10,000
Four Finalists receive $1500 each.
The best screenplay from the UK will be awarded the Cordelia Award and will receive $2500.
The best screenplay outside the USA, Canada and the UK will be awarded the Joplin Award and receive $2500.
The screenplay with the best title submitted in November and December, as voted by the public, will receive $1000.
Feb 1 - receive analysis by March 1
March 1 – receive analysis by March 20
March 1, 2010 with an entry fee of $50.
LATE:  April 1, 2010 with an entry fee of $60.
Any screenplay submitted early and having received our early analysis can be resubmitted by April 1, 2010 for the reduced fee of $35.
Email:  info @

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2.10 8th annual Script P.I.M.P. Screenwriting feature movie & Teleplay Competition 2010 call for entries

EARLY DEADLINE: March 1st, 2010

* FINAL DEADLINE: May 1st, 2010 *

$20,000 overall CASH to winners - $80,000 in prizes

Former winner Slammin' sold for six figures

2008 winner Evan Daugherty secured writing assignment with Warner Bros.

For registration, visit:

**Writers may also request general script notes for an additional $40**

The 2010 Script Pimp Screenwriting and TV Competitions are accepting entries for feature film and TV scripts—all genres, styles, and lengths accepted.  This is an international competition and non-U.S. writers are welcome. 

$20,000 in cash to the finalists/winners, and over $80,000 in prizes given away to ANYONE who enters.  Finalist loglines/scripts are sent to 200 companies.

Four (4) Grand-Prize winners receive:

--$14,000 total cash ($3,500 each)
--$1,000 toward the "Think Tank" program at Writers Boot Camp ($4,000)
--Winning script recorded by iScript ($800)

Plus ALL the finalist prizes listed below. . . .

Top 20 Finalists receive:

--$3,200 total cash (16 finalists receive $200 each)
--Guaranteed circulation to 200 companies
--Mentor teleconference meetings with an industry exec to discuss the finalist's script
--Additional, one-on-one analysis and mentoring from a Script Pimp reader on the winning entry, as well as other screenplays
--5-year memberships to Script Pimp's Writers Database ($10,000)
--Featured 'Script Pimp Recommend' listing on Ink Tip
--$100 "Creative Currency" for Writers Boot Camp ($2,000)
--A seat to Chris Soth's Million Dollar Screenwriting Teleseminar (appx. $250/seat)
--A seat to Philippa Burgess' Million Dollar Screenwriting & Content Career Teleseminar (appx. $300/seat)
--A seat to Steve Kaplan's Comedy Intensive Course (appx. $250/seat)
--$250 travel voucher and invitation as recognized finalist to attend the Script Pimp Awards Ceremony at Writers Boot Camp in Santa Monica, CA in July 2010 where the winners will be announced

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2.11 3rd Annual 2010 Script Pimp TV Writing Competition – call for entries


$1,500 Cash to Best Overall TV Script; Top 10 Finalists chosen

The 3rd Annual Script Pimp TV Writing Competition:   

Acceptable entries: Specs (current or former TV shows); Original Pilots; Reality/Game Show Proposals. Any length or genre.

Grand prize is $1,500 to the best spec, pilot, or reality series proposal.  Nine (9) other finalists receive $150 each, as well as guaranteed circulation to 200 companies and other prizes.

Contact with questions or to request more information. 

To submit:

Script Pimp Home Page:

***All new Writers Database members get one FREE entry into either competition!***
Sign up here:

*miscellaneous prizes are given away at random

About Script Pimp

Script Pimp, LLC is a full-service screenplay analysis and resource hub designed for writers, producers, and film industry professionals.

To visit Script Pimp’s IMDB page:
To join Script Pimp’s free monthly newsletter:

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2.12 New AFTRS Graduate Certificate in Screen Culture 2010

Dear Colleagues,

I'm writing to you about the new AFTRS Graduate Certificate in Screen Culture which is starting next year (2010) - it is a very exciting new course for the school, and it would be great if you could pass forward the information below to anyone who you think may be interested - artists, screen industry practitioners, administrators, journalists, students, academics, or anyone with an interest in the ideas that shape our culture.

"Ideas are the most powerful force shaping our screen industry and culture. This unique AFTRS Graduate Certificate is all about ideas– where they have come from, how they have changed over time and their impact on the screen work we make and view. The course gives students the opportunity to discover and contribute to the ideas about stories, creativity, audiences and process that shape screen production. It develops students to function in a range of roles, including: critics, commentators, dramaturges, festival directors, teachers, administrators or project officers. It also strengthens and sharpens the creative and analytic skills of practitioners, particularly creative producers and directors, developing their understanding of the broader culture in which they work, and the forces acting upon them as they perform their roles. Through discussions, screenings, exercises, guest presentations and seminars, students encounter, debate and develop their own ideas about shaping our screen culture."

for more information, go to

or drop me a line, I'm happy to answer questions for prospective students.



Dr Karen Pearlman
Head of Screen Studies
Australian Film, Television and Radio School
(61-2) 9805-6491

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2.13 Los Angeles Film Festival – call for entries

Now in its 15th year, the Los Angeles Film Festival showcases the best of American and international cinema. Drawing an enthusiastic audience of more than 85,000, the Festival screens more than 100 feature films - narrative and documentary, alongside gala premieres, panels and seminars, short film programs, music video showcases, free outdoor screenings, live musical performances and unique signature events such as the Filmmaker Retreat and the Spirit of Independence ceremony. Final Deadline - Short films and music videos: January 15, 2010; Feature-length narrative and documentary films: March 2, 2010. Details for submitting films for the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival are now available here:

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2.14 Auckland City Council to assist applicants for 26th Hamburg International Short Film Festival

The Hamburg International Short Film Festival 1–7 June 2010 is a popular meeting place for filmmakers from Germany and abroad. The festival stages several competitions, which present a selection of recent national and international short films, ranging from no budget films to three-minute quickies. Alongside the film programmes are a range of seminars, workshops and panel discussions on special topics.

Submissions for the 2010 festival are now open. As part of the strategic alliance signed between Hamburg and Auckland in 2007, Auckland City Council would like to encourage local filmmakers to enter their work in the competition, which has over 30,000 Euros in prize money up for grabs. Council may be able to facilitate meetings with Hamburg film producers and companies for any Auckland filmmaker attending the festival. If interested, please contact Birgit Hermann at

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3.1 Wellington writers group (with Steven Gannaway) meets Tuesday 2 February

The first NZWG Wellington writers group meeting for the year will be held on Tuesday 2nd of February (not this Tuesday, the following Tuesday). As usual, the meeting will be held at Blondini’s bar, upstairs at the Embassy theatre, from 7pm.

The topic for this meeting is “What do you like about the NZWG’s services? What do you think could be improved for the future?” Steven Gannaway (the NZWG Executive Director) will be attending the meeting and is keen to hear your thoughts.

Steven will also be available during the day on the 1st and the 2nd should anyone wish to see him regarding any issues they may be having. Please email him at to make a time.

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3.2 Canterbury Screen Industry Day 21 March

Mark your diaries! On Sunday 21 March, the NZWG, Script to Screen, WIFT NZ, SDGNZ, Screen Canterbury and the New Zealand Broadcasting School CPIT, will be providing a screen industry day. Confirmed presenters include NZFC CEO Graeme Mason, and television writer and producer Rachel Lang (Outrageous Fortune). Further details available soon.

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Kia ora koutou. My name is Maria Makarena Owen, more commonly known as Rena. Born and bred in rural Northland, my tribe is Ngati Hine/Ngati Pakeha. Although I am best known as an actor, few know that I have also been a writer for most of my life.

Why did you decide to become a writer?

It was in my genes, pre-determined, meant-to-be, destiny or whatever words you use for when it is not necessarily a conscious decision. Writing occurred naturally. I loved it in school and was first published when I was eight years old. I entered a Children’s Poetry Contest, won it, received a whole $5 and my poem was published in the Sunday News!

What’s your favourite genre/area to work in?

I started my professional writing career in the theatre and thus am a published playwright. I also loved being involved in theatre group collaborations, improvising and devising plays. Currently, my favorite genre is writing drama for feature films.

Your best writing experience to date?

Deciding to surrender my own will and follow a character I had not thought of, nor wanted! I already had too many characters and I was in the process of killing characters off! But with each draft I wrote I could sense this character standing behind my right shoulder. He just wouldn’t go away. So eventually I found a scene he could be in. Once I let him into the story, I was amazed to watch the character’s role not only grow with each draft, but he ended up becoming ‘the character’ who linked all the pieces of the story together in its final draft. Amazing what can happen when we follow rather than force!

Writing experience you would never do again?

I would not start work on anybody else’s project without a clearly written understanding.

Your worst ever day job?

Cleaning someone else’s toilet.

Your favourite writing prop?

Currently a bad one; a cigarette!

What aspect of the industry would you most like to see changed?

The financial rewards.

Currently working on…

A New Zealand epic pre-colonial feature film based on a novel called Behind the Tattooed Face. And a small contemporary Samoan family drama In Your Art which starts and ends in New Zealand but the bulk of the story happens in Los Angeles.

Your hot tips for other writers?

Write the stories that only YOU can tell!
Always have a hunger to learn! And let your intuition be your best guide. If you think you know it all, you’ll be closed to learning and evolving. We can’t o.d. on learning!

Gain new skills and strengthen your craft by doing it; write, write, write! Take classes, workshops, etc. Listen to those who have successfully trodden the path. Also check out-

You may not be able to get to any of the numerous workshops or seminars on offer but they do sell the DVDs at very affordable prices! You can also sign up for their regular email newsletters which provide great articles, industry updates, etc, etc.

Finally, I am available to be your script doctor or script consultant at modest rates!

Films you wish you’d written:

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
A Street Car Named Desire
To Kill A Mockingbird
It’s a Wonderful Life
Heavenly Creatures

And so many more!

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From time to time the Guild publishes individual producer profiles. A full list of all producers profiled in The Write Stuff may be found on our website under Services/Producers Directory. Please email to request any or all of the profiles.

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6.1 Rialto Cinemas discount – reminder      

Rialto Cinemas has formalised the discount offered to members of New Zealand film industry organisations including the New Zealand Writers Guild. Members will now receive $10 tickets Monday to Friday.

To receive the discounted rate, simply present a copy of your current membership card. This rate excludes Beyond Film presentations, film festivals and special screenings.

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6.2 New York Times story on playwrights and theatres     

Denis Edwards has sent this link to a New York Times story about the relationship between writers and theatres, which he thinks might be of interest to the theatre writing members.

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6.3 Send Them Your Scripts    

The NEW EDITION of Producers And Agents Who Will Take Your Script Or Query Unsolicited is Here!

"Send Them Your Scripts" is now an annual subscription, renewable at YOUR option.

If you buy now, you will receive both the brand new edition and an update in about six months for this one low price of $19.95.

Click Here to Order
Access is the hardest thing to find in Hollywood.  It is also absolutely essential to any successful writing career.

So, instead of worrying about it, let us kick down that door for you.

Our brand new directory, Send Them Your Scripts (Or Queries) in PDF format, is a list of production companies, agencies, and management companies which are willing to read your unsolicited query letters and/or scripts!

This invaluable document can serve as your gateway into Hollywood. Rather than cold-calling random companies, we've done the hard work for you. You have the listings and their contact info.

These detailed listings provide you with:
- Company contact information, with the individual contact name for those which provide it
- How to contact them (some prefer mail, some email)
- Kind of contact the company requires: query first or send script
- The kinds of projects they are seeking (genres, feature or TV, etc.)
- Their credits

As a bonus, the document also includes How To Write and How NOT To Write a Query letter to give you the best shot at success.
This new PDF publication is available now for only $19.95. Upon purchase, you will receive the download link almost instantly!

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6.4 Playwrights do you belong to PANZ?   

Join the Playwrights Association of New Zealand for only $25 a year.
Contact President June Allen
From their latest newsletter:

“Play assessments. We want to remind you that one of the benefits of being a member of Playwrights Assn of NZ is that we have experienced writers who will assess your play for free, just asking $5 for postage and ‘handling’ costs.  We are setting up a panel of qualified members who would look at your play; two readers per script, and give you constructive advice. This can be a completed play, or one in progress. Do contact myself or Stephen Bowkett for further details.”

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7.1 NZFC appoints new head of Sales and Marketing

NZFC CEO Graeme Mason is pleased to announce the appointment of James Thompson as NZ Film’s new Head of Sales and Marketing with immediate effect. 

“I am extremely pleased that James has accepted this new position.  Previously James was Business Affairs Executive at the NZFC, and worked closely with his predecessor Kathleen Drumm on many international deals.  He has the ability and experience necessary for the increasingly important role of selling and marketing our films; and the commitment and enthusiasm for the constantly changing sales and marketing environment.”

James has been at the NZFC since May 2006.  He has been actively involved in financing and distribution arrangements for NZ films including Dean Spanley and Under the Mountain, which included closing domestic and international distribution deals for those films with the likes of Paramount, BVI and Miramax.

Prior to joining the NZFC, James was a senior manager with a high-profile international legal network based in Paris, France, and had worked in various capacities within the NZ film industry.

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7.2 NZFC Newsletter December 2009

Kia ora Filmmakers!

Please follow the link to read the latest edition of the NZFC Newsletter.

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8.1 Notes on the Wellington Writers Group

New NZWG member Matt Middleditch asked some members in the Wellington Region, about first impressions and the support the Guild provides to members. 

Matt says: “As a new member to the Guild I was overwhelmed by the initial support offered. I waited until I had completed a script before joining and after reading the advice, provided in the substantial documentation, quickly registered it. The following Tuesday I went to my first "Writers Group Meeting" perfectly situated at Blondini's Bar in the Embassy Theatre.

“It was a wake up call, but a good one. The group discusses all aspects of a writer's lifestyle, from where the initial ideas come from to who you can contact to get your work made. I've found that most of the information "out there" provided to the budding writer, through varying media, is primarily all based around Hollywood. The Tuesday meetings, organised by Sean Molloy with substantial support from Benedict Reid, clarify the huge difference between how we do it here and how they do it there; the point being that whether your intentions are local or international the advice provided by the members in these discussions is invaluable.

“Writing is a very solitary art form, occupation, or hobby so the contact and stimulus provided by each meeting has been a very good driving force for me to improve my writing, improve my outlook, and reduce that sense of isolation I used to have before joining the Guild. I'm not too sure whether my scripts will produce a No 1 hit or whether they better resemble No 2s but thanks to the advice and continued encouragement provided by Sean and Ben's meetings, it's greatly reduced the chances of me producing the latter.” 

Martin Burton says: “I think it's interesting to know how I heard about the Wellington group that meets regularly. I joined the Guild to register a script and was pleased to get an email from Dara about the NZWG group in Wellington one Christmas, and met up with them at a bar, and they got my email address to invite me to their regular meeting. Maybe there could be a link or note on the NZWG website that says where the time and place of the regular meeting of the NZWG in Wellington is.

“Sean sets a theme or topic for each meeting which is great to stimulate discussion. I have learned a lot especially from Sean and Ben who have that combination of crazy optimism tempered with cynical realism that new members like myself need. From this group we have spawned a sub-group that meets rarely to review each others' work. To get feedback from other writers is fantastic and has really helped my writing. Thanks Sean and Ben for organising the regular meetings!”

[Note: A notice about upcoming Writers Groups is placed on the WG website Forum]

Stephen Stocks: “I recently joined the Writer's Guild because it then enables me to be part of a group that’s focus is to contribute to and be part of an art form that is normally very solitary. I have written 3 feature film scripts and a TV series and that was it, sitting in my bookcase gathering dust. I joined the guild and realised that my passion for writing is shared by other people I wouldn't have gotten to meet. I have new motivation and have completed one more script and am a quarter way through another. The regular meetings give us all a voice to pass on information and feel that we aren't alone. Sean and Ben add a professional and personal touch that is helpful, reassuring and encouraging.

Final Note from Matt: The Wellington Guild Members now meet once a month on a Tuesday night at 7.00pm in Blondini's Bar at the Embassy Theatre. I would encourage all those who have not yet attended to do so. The items and issues discussed suit both new and veteran writers and may, if needed, help set off that wild spark that could light your fuse of creativity.
For queries about the group contact

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31 Jan deadline for 2010 Play Press Live Screenplay Competition.


26 Feb Applications for NZFC Professional Development Awards close. Email or tel (04) 382 7690.


1 Mar closing date for Bluecat Screenplay competition

1 Mar closing date for Script P.I.M.P. feature movie & teleplay competition

7 Mar deadline for AAA Screenplay contest


11 Apr Last rewrite deadline for AAA Screenplay contest

14 Apr entries for Homegrownshort films and videos to NZ International Film Festival close.

17 Apr One day PANZ theatre seminar with Roger Hall contact or tel (09) 576 0697.

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The Write Stuff is published by the New Zealand Writers Guild, PO Box 47 886, Ponsonby, Auckland. Phone 64 9 360 1408. Fax 64 9 360 1409.

The Write Stuff goes to over 800 Guild members and other industry contacts. The Write Stuff is published fortnightly on a Thursday and all information for the upcoming issue must be received by 5pm the previous Tuesday. In between issues of The Write Stuff Extra! may be published at the Guild's discretion. All submissions should be sent to: Dara McNaught

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