We hope you’ll feel inspired to sign up for one of these courses, or to seek out courses in your own area. There are many opportunities listed on the WEA website and on Eventbrite. Happy writing everyone!
April is coming up and there’s a lot going on in the worlds of Films, Fiction and Comics. We’ve pulled together a few events from the next month which we think are worth checking out:
April is a busy month on the Comic Con scene. We’re particularly looking forward to:
For a full list of conventions in the UK, check out ComicConventions.co.uk
There’s a couple of film festivals happening in April for those who enjoy independent film:
If you’re a film maker, the following are open for submissions with deadlines coming up in April or May:
You can find a comprehensive list of UK film festivals on the British Council website.
April is time for the London Book Fair (Tue 14th April – Thu 16th April, the biggest event in the publishers’ calendar. Also happening in April:
Plus, check back on Wednesday when we’ll be sharing a whole bunch of creative writing study opportunities in our local area of Bristol.
Short fiction that packs a punch! Microfiction Monday Magazine publishes a selection of snappy fiction of 100 words or less on the first Monday of each month. You can find a great selection of stories to enjoy in their archive stretching back through more than 30 editions.
They accept submissions in any genre, on any subject, so long as the piece tells a story. You can find out more about their submission guidelines here.
Editor Gayle Towell is a fiction writer, drummer, and college instructor from Oregon and has her own website at gayletowell.com.
Follow Friday is our weekly featurette where we highlight people and sites we think are worth following. Take a look at our past suggestions here.
The first session of Camp NaNoWriMo 2015 is just 10 days away! Writers, are you ready for camp?
Camp NaNoWriMo is run a little differently from the November challenge. Writers are invited to bring any kind of writing project they like, not just novels, and not just new projects but existing ones. If you’ve got a manuscript at the first draft stage, you work on revising and editing it; they even provide a handy conversion rate to equate editing time into a word count (1hr = 1000 words). Or maybe you fancy working on that script idea you’ve been toying with. How about a collection of poems?
Explore new writing territory this April. Get lost. Write.
You can choose to be assigned to a cabin with strangers or create a private one with people you already know. Either way, you get to share the whole adventure with people who share your passion and love for writing. What could be better than that?
Camp NaNo’s sponsors are offering up a whole bunch of cool deals you can take advantage of. For starters, you can get 20% off Scrivener which, if you don’t already use it, will change your writing life!
You can set your own target from 10,000 to 999,999 words, so you can choose a realistic goal. But even if you do you fall behind on reaching your target, just keep writing and loving what you are writing. Camp is all about having fun.
TGE’s Chrissey Harrison will be taking part with a lofty 60,000 word goal spread across 50hrs of revision/editing , 3 short stories and 30 pieces of micro fiction. You can follow her progress on her blog Chrissey’s Great Escape.
What project will you be taking to camp? Tell us in a comment below!
Film makers in Bristol and the South West should definitely check out CineMe. CineMe provides a platform for short and independent filmmakers to showcase their work both on-line and at regular screening events in the area.
Since they began back in 2008, founder James Ewen and his team have been slowly expanding CineMe to include film making workshops and interview/Q&A sessions with media professionals.
This April 2nd and 14th they have two special screenings of feature film Eliminate: Archie Cookson, which was shot locally in Bristol. Each screening will be followed by a Q&A with Director Rob Holder and his team. Find out more.
Follow Friday is our weekly featurette where we highlight people and sites we think are worth following. Take a look at our past suggestions here.
|Have you ever been up close and personal with a bunch of zombies? You might be surprised at how many opportunities there are! We’ve pulled together a few events from across the UK where you can run, scream and generally scare yourself witless.|
The original Zombie chase game is now in more cities, with more dates than ever. This month the undead will be terrorising Cardiff. What’s more, there’s new story elements and objectives, so even if you’ve run it before, there’s more to discover.
Are you more into chasing than being chased? You can also volunteer to be a zombie and receive full training at Zombie School.
This April in Weston-Super-Mare there’s a new Zombie chase game with a twist; an outdoor screening of Shaun of the Dead once you reach the safe zone at the end! Last we checked there were only 33 tickets left! Full details are available at zombie-chase.co.uk.
We’ll be keeping an eye on Weston’s Backyard Cinema to see what other events they come up with for 2015. Find their latest updates on their Facebook page.
This one is more hard-core. A 5k chase, complete with obstacles and mud, and of course, Zombies. Survivors have one chance to make their way to the safety of the base before they are caught and devoured.
The Mud Run, (part of The Milk Run), runs events throughout the year with different themes and challenges. All take place in and around the Arena Essex raceway in Purfleet. Check out full details on their website or Facebook page.
Are you a traditionalist? In true Dawn of the Dead style, Zed Events run a zombie survival experience in a disused mall near Reading! “The first part is a 2 and a half hour ‘movie experience’ in which you and your friends star in real-time, while the second sees you and your group pitted against the horde in a series of missions in a full-on ‘run and gun’ gore fest.”
They also run a survival weekend in the great outdoors, for those who prefer more room to spread out, and a Manor House experience for those who like the Resident Evil vibe – check out the teaser trailer below.
A Zombie prison break? 60-90 minutes to break out of disused HMP Ashwell, hounded by the undead. Pretty cool.
But wait, there’s more. Zombie Earth also run an overnight experience in the prison. This intense 13 hour survival experience will see you attempt to survive a night in the cells of the prison as a zombie apocalypse is raging around you. In order to stay alive you will need to work in a team to retrieve things for your survival. This has got to be one of the ultimate zombie experiences out there!
Zombie Earth run two other experiences. In Apocalypse you have to make your way across a city in chaos to the relative safety of your base, while in Origin you’re part of a team investigating the virus behind the outbreak in a post-apocalyptic aftermath.
Events2Scare is a zombie and scare actor rental service which also runs some truly exciting horror attractions. Based in Wolverhampton, their Zombie Experience is a 3 hour immersive experience where survivors delve into infected zones to carry out objectives.
Although it’s not zombie themed, we couldn’t resist mentioning that they also run a horror themed camping experience in Shropshire – Woodland of Terror – set among medieval ruins and spooky caves.
Monthly Mention is our new monthly featurette where we give a shout out to a bunch of great stuff and projects in the world of indie films, fiction and comics. It might be new, it might have been around for a while, but it is all cool.
Here’s some stuff we’ve come across recently that we think you should check out:
Two films currently funding on Kickstarter from film makers based in our local area; Joshua O’Connor and Philip Cook. Both look really good and are well worth checking out. Run has already blasted past it’s £600 target but Cold Caller is struggling a little.
|Run – In a dissipated Britain terrorised by mysterious creatures, one survivor must reach the coast and make it out alive.|
Cold Caller – An elderly lady reluctantly welcomes a door-step cold caller into her home with unexpected consequences.
Congratulations to Andrew Harmer, James Heath and the rest of the team at Dresden Films! The Fitzroy title sequence has been selected as a finalist for the South by Southwest (SXSW) ‘Excellence in Title Design Award’. Good Luck!
Newly released from North Bristol Writing group is North By Southwest, an anthology of 15 stories by 10 Writers from the Bristol area.
The stories are original, never-before published, inventive, and have a great variety. Here lies the strength of the book, showcasing as it does the work of the writers after a year or so of collaboration.
Join us for an eclectic and unlikely series of journeys through landscape and story.
On a related note, Bristol based writer Joanne Hall revealed the cover of her latest novel recently. Check out the amazing cover art from Kristell Ink!
The book is due for release later this year, so we’ll be watching out for it!
We crossed paths with comic writer and illustrator Rachael Smith at True Believers, Melksham last month and picked up a copy of Ask Flimsy, wherein a blue kitten who likes red wine answers questions about love and romance.
You can ask Flimsy a question too, on Racheal’s Ask Flimsy tumblr.
The Princess Who Saved Herself is a children’s book written by comics writer Greg Pak, based on the beloved song by internet superstar musician Jonathan Coulton, and illustrated by artist Takeshi Miyazawa. A digital version was originally created as a stretch reward for Coulton’s and Pak’s Code Monkey Save World graphic novel Kickstarter, and the creators are now funding a wider release.
It tells the story of an awesome kid who lives with her pet snake and plays rock ‘n’ roll all day to the huge annoyance of the classical guitarist witch who lives down the road. Hijinks, conflicts, and a fun reconciliation ensue, all showcasing determination, bravery, and understanding.
There’s just over a week left to grab yourself a copy – The Princess Who Saved Herself
The Great Escape recently joined forces with new and upcoming theatre company I’ll Be Right Back to produce a trailer for their forthcoming stage production, Faustus.
Here at TGE we’re really excited about I’ll Be Right Back. The new theatre company features several amazingly talented actors we’ve worked with on productions of Gabriel Cushing: David Curtis, who plays Gabriel himself, and Serena Chloe Gardener and Kate Danbury who both feature in our most recent production, Gabriel Cushing at the Carnival of Sorrows (Coming 2015).
Faustus is a dark, brooding re-imagining of Christopher Marlowe’s classic tale of demons and sin. Set in a corporate office, rife with ambition and back stabbing, the play takes a new look at the meaning of repentance.
I’ll be right back are currently raising funds for the performance which will début at the Etcetera Theatre in Camden on 29th, 30th and 31st October as part of the London Horror Festival 2014. You can support them on Kickstarter and choose from rewards including a download or DVD of the performance video and tickets to a special, intimate, dedicated performance, complete with goodie bag and a chance to meet the cast and crew.
Tickets to the main festival performances are available from the London Horror Festival website.
Our apologies for the lack of updates on the film shoot and the campaign – it turned out the strain of filming left no-one to write updates on what’s been happening! So, here’s the summary:
Over the course of the next few weeks, we hope to bring you regular news on our progress, behind-the-scenes updates from the shoot, and much more – many of these will be exclusive to our Kickstarter backers so, if you backed us, make sure you check out our Kickstarter page as well!
Once again, thanks to everyone who supported this production. We hope to make you proud.
Mark, Felek, Rich, Chrissey, Ben, and the rest of the team.
Hello again, especially you wonderful people who supported us on Kickstarter. We may have been quiet for a while, but rest assured that since we’ve last posted a huge amount of work has gone on about our latest production, Gabriel Cushing at the Carnival of Sorrows – so much so that we are actually now through pre-production and are now filming! So let’s recap what’s happened since we last spoke…
Between September and March, we ran three full casting calls, one recall session and a few one-on-one casting sessions. Thanks to everyone who applied for a role, but in the end we only had a certain number of roles to fill – so congratulations to all! (If you are a Kickstarter backer, check out the updates on the Carnival of Sorrows page for more details about the castings!)
There have been several rewrites to the script since the Kickstarter began all those months ago, including a beautiful day in August where the entire script was taken to pieces, inspected and rebuilt to make sure we had a script better than anything we’ve ever had before. Honestly, everyone loves it and we hope we can do a good job to convert this passion to the screen.
A huge amount of planning has been happening behind the scenes, with shot lists, breakdowns, storyboards contracts, insurance paperwork, receipts and endless department plans raining down on us like the British weather.
To say this is the most complex production we’ve ever done is an understatement – this really is the biggest shoot we have ever done!
We’ve also acquired several new crew members (including several new faces to our make-up, sound, and production departments)! Sadly, some previously engaged people have found themselves unavailable, but luckily we’ve managed to work around the issues faced and come out the other side bright and smiling!
We’ve scouted, located, locked-in and bolted shut many of the locations required for the shoot, with a small number of locations for later in the shoot still to get.
As we said at the start, we actually began filming this week! Last Monday provided 2 and a half scenes completed – strangely, due to the way production has panned out, the first scene filmed was actually the last scene in the film.
We hope to be bringing you regular updates from the set along with behind-the-scenes photos (avoiding spoilers, of course!), inside news, cast and crew updates, and much more … but only for backers! Everyone else – you’ll get less frequent updates, but we’ll keep you updated on exciting news too big to hide!
So stay tuned for more from the Carnival of Sorrows!