139 episodes

The Manuscript Academy brings you conversations with agents, editors, and writers who can help you on your publishing journey.

The Manuscript Academy #MSWL

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 237 Ratings

The Manuscript Academy brings you conversations with agents, editors, and writers who can help you on your publishing journey.

    Live(-Recorded) Logline Workshop with Producers Eric Mofford and Keith L. Shaw

    Live(-Recorded) Logline Workshop with Producers Eric Mofford and Keith L. Shaw

    Join us for a free, live book-to-film event with producers Kim Williams, Edwin Stepp, and Jonathan Burkhart on Thursday, December 2, at 8pm ET / 5pm PT (introvert-friendly! We won't be able to see you).

    Get your FREE ticket here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/book-to-film

    Want to meet a Hollywood producer, director or showrunner? Consult with them about your logline and pages here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/meet-hollywood-producers

    We had a wonderful event with producers Eric Mofford and Keith L. Shaw, and wanted to share with you the fun of live pitching. Over the next hour, you’ll hear us reading the pitches everyone shared in the text chat—and learn about how a quick loglines summary of your work, along with a great concept, can open doors for you and your book-to-film dreams.

    OUR PANEL:

    Eric Mofford is a producer, line producer and budget consultant. He has been involved in over 150 film, television and web productions as well as numerous music videos and commercials. His credits include the Emmy-winning television series 24 and the iconic indie feature, Daughters of the Dust. Recently he served as Head of Production at Lone Wolf Media overseeing documentary projects for NOVA, Nat Geo, Animal Planet, Smithsonian Channel and PBS. Previously, he served as Head of Production at Lady of the Canyon where he produced projects such as the dramatic television pilot, Finding Hope, with Chris Mulkey, James Morrison, Darby Stanchfield and Molly Quinn; and the comedy documentary, We’ll Always Have Dingle, shot in Kerry County, Ireland. He also served as Head of Production at Unconventional Media, producing the Emmy-nominated award-winning documentary, Houston We Have A Problem, and the live action portions for the EA video game, Need For Speed: Undercover, with Maggie Q.

    Mofford, a member of the DGA, has written and directed projects for Disney Interactive, Saban Entertainment, The Discovery Channel, Image America, United Way and TBS. He co-produced Senior Year, a 13-part PBS documentary series on high school. He has sold two feature film screenplays and has various projects in development. His dramatic blues film, Travelin’ Trains, won a dozen national and international film festival awards and continues to play in art museum showcases over 25 years later. He has done schedules and budgets for both large studio productions and small indies and has shared that knowledge teaching numerous media workshops, both in the United States and internationally.

    Keith L Shaw is currently the Director of Operations for Jaigantic Studios. With over 27 years of experience as a Director, Producer and Assistant Director in both the television and the feature world, Keith has worked on projects for HBO, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, Comedy Central, YouTube Red and Teen Nick, to name just a few. Keith served as Director on Season 3 of the Sport-Docu, 3 Gun Nation and Director/Producer on the highly regarded Indie feature, Suicide Dolls. In 2006, Keith produced the feature film, Privileged for Glass House Productions. After a season on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Keith was accepted to the DGA's Director's Single Camera Program, and shortly after, directed on the PBS series, Madison Heights. Keith has filmed on many other projects across the United States and internationally, including Production Supervisor on ABC’s, Oprah Winfrey presents The Big Give, 1st Assistant Director on NBC’s, The Kenan Show, 2nd Unit-UPM/1st AD for the soon to be released Amazon Prime series, Jack Reacher and Field Producer for 5 seasons of The Apprentice. Keith also serves as Producer/Director and Co-Partner for Last Man Out Productions. The Company was recently nominated for an Emmy award for the Short Documentary, The Prohibition Chronicles: Echos of Point Place.

    • 51 min
    How (And When) To Roast Your Agent with Writer Jonathan Fredrick And Agent Renée C. Fountain

    How (And When) To Roast Your Agent with Writer Jonathan Fredrick And Agent Renée C. Fountain

    Content warning: Adult themes, childhood illness.

    We’ve never seen an author-agent relationship like this! Jonathan and Renee not only joke, but regularly roast each other—showing a level of comfort most can only dream of.

    We learn about their journey, from meet-cute (which Renee nearly forgot) to Jonathan playing hard to get (even though she was his top choice), and how they both liked that the other would fight for the work.

    They both needed a creative partner who’d tell it like it is—and, as you’ll soon hear, they very much found it.

    We also talk about his experience working with Audible, how his third book made his narrator *and* the sound engineers cry, and what’s next for his characters.

    Jonathan Fredrick is the author of the Cain City Series (Cash City, Hum Little Birdie, and the newly-released Bad Men Will Come), which were inspired in-part by his hometown of Huntington, West Virginia. After spending 15+ years living in Los Angeles and working as a writer, filmmaker, and actor, Jonathan now resides in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and three sons. You can find his work here: https://www.audible.com/pd/Cash-City-Audiobook/B06XX1WTC1?qid=1636417545&sr=1-1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=83218cca-c308-412f-bfcf-90198b687a2f&pf_rd_r=4Y83FRQSK0JYTBJYWP8X

    In addition to being on Faculty here at the Manuscript Academy, Renee C. Fountain is President of GH Literary. A publishing industry veteran, Renee is a former reviewer for Kirkus and New York Journal of Books, and spent five years as a story analyst and book scout for The CW Television Network.

    During her almost decade-long tenure with major houses (Harcourt Brace and Simon & Schuster), Ms. Fountain had the great fortune of working with some of the best writers and illustrators in the publishing world.

    Additionally, with more than ten years of licensing and branding experience, she has been involved in creating book-related merchandise including iconic favorites such as Raggedy Ann and Nancy Drew; as well as brokering film and television options.

    Renee is looking for all types of adult and YA fiction and non-fiction. She prefers: thrillers, horror/dark fantasy, urban/contemporary fantasy, humor, pop-culture, memoirs, and narrative/commercial.

    She DOES NOT represent screenplays, previously published books (including self-published), Westerns, Hard Science Fiction, Space Opera, Middle Grade, Picture Books, Erotica, Poetry, Novellas or Short Story Collections.

    You can learn more about her here: https://ghliterary.com/agents/renee-c-fountain/ and meet with her here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/renee-fountain

    • 31 min
    Elevator Pitches, Wednesday’s FREE Live Pitch Workshop, and Book-To-Film Producer Eric Mofford

    Elevator Pitches, Wednesday’s FREE Live Pitch Workshop, and Book-To-Film Producer Eric Mofford

    Join us Wednesday, October 27, 8pm ET / 5pm PT, for a FREE panel with book-to-film producers Eric Mofford, Marilyn Atlas, and Keith L. Shaw.

    Get your free ticket here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/live-pitch-workshop. Replay available at the same link, starting at 10pm ET.

    We are thrilled to have Book-To-Film producer Eric Mofford join us to answer all of our questions about elevator pitches, his favorite loglines—and why describing your work quickly is useful even if you never want to see your name in lights.

    We talk about how pitching works in Hollywood, why book-to-film titles are consistently strong sellers—and why actors may be the animating force behind these new projects.

    Eric Mofford is a producer, line producer and budget consultant. He has been involved in over 150 film, television and web productions as well as numerous music videos and commercials. His credits include the Emmy-winning television series 24 and the iconic indie feature, Daughters of the Dust. Recently he served as Head of Production at Lone Wolf Media overseeing documentary projects for NOVA, Nat Geo, Animal Planet, Smithsonian Channel and PBS. Previously, he served as Head of Production at Lady of the Canyon where he produced projects such as the dramatic television pilot, Finding Hope, with Chris Mulkey, James Morrison, Darby Stanchfield and Molly Quinn; and the comedy documentary, We’ll Always Have Dingle, shot in Kerry County, Ireland. He also served as Head of Production at Unconventional Media, producing the Emmy-nominated award-winning documentary, Houston We Have A Problem, and the live action portions for the EA video game, Need For Speed: Undercover, with Maggie Q.

    Mofford, a member of the DGA, has written and directed projects for Disney Interactive, Saban Entertainment, The Discovery Channel, Image America, United Way and TBS. He co-produced Senior Year, a 13-part PBS documentary series on high school. He has sold two feature film screenplays and has various projects in development. His dramatic blues film, Travelin’ Trains, won a dozen national and international film festival awards and continues to play in art museum showcases over 25 years later. He has done schedules and budgets for both large studio productions and small indies and has shared that knowledge teaching numerous media workshops, both in the United States and internationally.

    • 19 min
    Magic, Romantic Tension, And Your Perfect October Read with Author Lana Harper

    Magic, Romantic Tension, And Your Perfect October Read with Author Lana Harper

    We loved this book! If you’re also a fan of Practical Magic, Hocus Pocus, and books both spooky and pretty, Lana’s newest work, Payback’s A Witch, is a beautiful, fun, sexy rom com for your October.

    We discuss how to know when you’ve written *just* enough description (and the fact that many readers don’t want to smell characters), writing villains we can’t stand (who are just charming enough to be believable), and the creation of a magical system (which is somehow, at once, beautiful, believable, and escapist).

    Lana studied psychology and literature at Yale University and law at Boston University. She is a graduate of the Emerson College publishing and writing program and the author of YA novels Wicked Like a Wildfire, Fierce Like a Firestorm, Blood Countess, the forthcoming Poison Priestess, and the adult rom-com, Payback's A Witch, from Berkley Books. Lana was born in Serbia and lived in Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania before moving to the United States. She lives in Chicago with her family.

    • 27 min
    Gorgeous Sentences, Scary Topics, and Justifiably Angry Protagonists with Author Amanda Jayatissa

    Gorgeous Sentences, Scary Topics, and Justifiably Angry Protagonists with Author Amanda Jayatissa

    We talk about putting language to uncomfortable encounters, “I see what you did there” moments that are streamlined and brilliant, and why you don’t need (and probably shouldn’t have) a strict schedule for yourself as a writer.

    We also discuss vibrant settings, happy accidents, and how Amanda became an entrepreneur.

    Amanda Jayatissa grew up in Sri Lanka, completed her undergrad at Mills College, CA, and lived in the UK before moving back to her sunny little island. She works as a corporate trainer, owns a chain of cookie stores, and is a proud dog-mum to her two, spoiled huskies.

    Amanda is represented by Melissa Danaczko from Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency, Inc.

    • 25 min
    Agents, Illustrators, and Nurturing Creative Collaboration with Author Janet Costa Bates

    Agents, Illustrators, and Nurturing Creative Collaboration with Author Janet Costa Bates

    We are so happy to welcome Janet Costa Bates, award-winning author of several titles including, most recently, the picture book Time for Bed, Old House.

    We talk about Impostor Syndrome, selling books with *and* without an agent, and collaborating with your creative partners (wait until you hear how well her illustrator tapped into her story).

    And, yes, Julie met Janet at SCBWI Whispering Pines the same year Jessica was there--and this was also the site of Janet's life-changing meeting with editor Christian Trimmer.

    Janet Costa Bates is the author of picture book TIME FOR BED, OLD HOUSE which received starred reviews from the School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, and the Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books. She drew inspiration from her Cape Verdean-American background to write her first picture book, SEASIDE DREAM, winner of a Lee and Low New Voices Honor Award as well her RICA BAPTISTA chapter book series, to be published by Candlewick Press starting in Fall 2022. She lives in Massachusetts with her family. www.janetcostabates.com

    • 24 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
237 Ratings

237 Ratings

Ginnyjs ,

Excellent resources for querying writers

Useful topics thoughtfully curated and presented by engaging and supportive publishing industry professionals. I feel like I ought to grab a cup of tea before listening then immediately work on my submission materials.

SarahGuill ,

Maybe its not them its me ?

But Julie please enunciate all the syllables in every word. It makes for easier listening. There is a wide variety of guests which is good but anything too far out of the writing sphere (agents and writers) makes it too ambiguous for my taste. Maybe Ive outgrown it

Lizzysarai ,

Review for August 25th upload

For a while now I have been following the podcast, and the hosts are engaging, the topics interesting and while the guests are a hit or miss I’ve never had any problem listening to them.
But the guest author they had on for this week, was so so annoying. It was very hard to listen to her, and the fact that “she can’t mention the book she used as a resource because it’s a spoiler”-if you have to do that, then don’t mention anything about it. Just annoying, the type to want to be helpful, but she had to be prompted in order to give actual tips, instead of them naturally occurring in the discussion, it was very narcissistic.
Her comment that her work is “organic, and not a formula” is so pretentious, anyone who has a prolific writing career- from the biggest writers to the smallest- have one form of formula. It’s inevitable, even while writing over a vast majority of genres. So yeah, this author has put me from ever reading her books, and seriously considering unsubscribing from the postcast.

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