Meet The Winners!
of the 6th Annual StoryPros Awards Screenplay Competition
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  Red Flag, by Robert Rhyne
1st Place - Action/Adventure/Thriller

During a tornado, a plane crashes -- and the only survivor is a teenage boy, who crusading do-gooder Sarah decides to help out. But is his amnesia genuine, or does it hide a shocking and twisted history?
The idea for this script came to writer Robert Rhyne while watching another of the seemingly endless parade of news stories about heroic souls rushing in to save a stranger's life. What if the person saved shouldn't have been saved? "It's a window of opportunity for good or evil. But what if that window let in the devil? What if you saved evil?"

There are few screenwriting competitions you could name in which Rhyne has not finished in the top 5% or won outright. While studying in UCLA's Film program, he gained representation and had a script optioned. Currently he works as a story analyst and screenplay competition judge.


  MACHINA by Thomas Radovich
1st Place - Comedy

Hapless high school Goth Machina (aka "Tim Price"), after proving a dismal failure at suicide, decides to start a band with his buddies Oblivion and Luminessa...and then things really start to get weird.

This script is NOT autobiographical, writer Tom Radovich hastens to point out. "We all try to discover who we are when we're young, and high school is an embarrassing and amusing time to do so." Laced throughout the black humor of the script is the element of heart and sympathy that distinguishes all good screenplays. Radovich felt strongly about framing the script as a suburban Midwestern comedy -- probably the only autobiographical element, since that is his own background.

Tom graduated from Columbia College Chicago's Film & Video program, and used that experience to land employment in a series of video stores, "when those were still a thing." He currently lives in Chicago, writing scripts.


  OHIO FINCH by Chad Parsons & Wolfgang Bauer
1st Place - Drama


Summoned to Vienna to settle her estranged gay son's estate, a bigoted prude meets her son's unconventional "family"... and comes to learn the real meaning of tolerance and unconditional love.
Ohio Finch was born when Wolfgang Bauer introduced Chad Parsons to the custom of the "family sauna" in Wolfgang's home town of Vienna, Austria. Chad got the culture shock of his life as he gazed upon naked, lounging, male and female neighbors of all ages…and sizes. In imagining the reaction of Chad's own puritanical American mother - a screenplay was born.

Chad and Wolfgang began writing together as undergrads at USC. Chad is a 2014 MFA candidate at UCR Palm Desert's Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts program. Wolfgang Bauer received his MFA from Otis College of Arts and Design in 2012. His socio/gender-political work is shown in Los Angeles, New York and Europe and can be seen at wolfgagnbauerart.com.


  LOCAL SUGAR by Andrew Garrett
1st Place - Family/Teen/Animation


Mouse mayor Mary Lou and her beau Sly Snake fight back when a slimy land baron frog threatens to wreck the little bayou town of Sugarville -- and their wedding.
Andrew Garrett grew up in rural and not-so-rural parts of Oklahoma, including the "underrated Art Deco paradise that is Tulsa".  After an abortive career as a scientist, he "came home" to English. A bout with Ewing's Sarcoma in 199 made him rethink his priorities - a stint in L.A. working in the video games industry made him rethink them further - and now he's at home in Tulsa, writing screenplays. Andrew likes writing for animation, though his themes run the gamut from animals to war and history, dramas and thrillers.


  THE DEAD MAN'S TALKING BLUES
by J.G. Edwards

1st Place - Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror

A preacher new to a Kansas town discovers a rift in time from the future to the past. When his renegade brother hijacks the rift to change history for his own benefit, the preacher must decide whether to flee the resulting catastrophe, or try to reverse the evil his brother has done.
J.G. Edwards is basically so busy writing, studying and learning, he never has time to get anything published or produced -- so you can be forgiven for not having heard of him yet. As the writer of four novels, scores of stories and 30+ screenplays, Edwards' focus is currently on science fiction -- "virtual reality, quantum theory, the many-worlds-interpretation of Hugh Everett, etc." DEAD MAN'S got its start as "a religious-parable-styled novella I wrote many years ago, about a new preacher in a Kansas town who gets taken up and dropped from the sky by some sort of angelic being". The story slowly evolved into its current shape, as Edwards himself continues to evolve - currently he's a career toolmaker/machinist, and resides in New Mexico.


  SAYING HELLO TO THE DEVIL by BJ Williams
2nd Place - Action/Adventure/Thriller

A hit man journeys to rectify the past that haunts him by waging war against an overzealous gangster to protect the life of an innocent young girl.
BJ Williams credits a night by the fireplace with a bottle of scotch and a book on notorious serial killers for inspiring Lucien in SAYING HELLO. The story developed around the idea to humanize someone that we all fear, and was motivated ultimately - like all good scripts - by the desire for a good story, well told. Currently BJ is working on a feature length horror film set to be released soon. He's also working on a feature length comedy spec and is in the development stages of a new short film. Follow his exploits at www.writtenbybj.com.


  CRYBABIES by Marianne Wilner
2nd Place - Comedy

A fractured, eccentric family crosses the nation to attend a memorial for their beloved Grandma Honey - and in the process, they gradually find their way home to each other.
This script, says Marianne Wilner, "was born on the cliffs of Kauai while hiking with my buddy and co-conspirator Ann Randolph." After a varied career in public service, and an undeniable love for the literary life, she finally bowed to the inevitable and took on the literary world. Two days after submitting her first novel, she was signed by a top New York agency. But Marianne was attracted by the brisk concision of screenwriting. Now, there's no looking back. "I’ve now written a script based on the novel, as well as an historical drama that's reached the finals and semi-finals of a few international screenwriting contests, and I'm beginning a new comedy. And maybe a horror film because my daughter loves to be scared."


  THE CRACK IN PEGGY SUE'S FLOOR
by John Woodard

2nd Place - Drama

In racist 1944 Georgia, a black drifter saves a white recluse from her lecherous neighbor -- setting in motion a chain of deadly events and uncovering secrets better left hidden.
Born and raised in San Jose, CA, John Woodard graduated from a performing arts high school, then travelled the country as an actor doing children's theatre. "Before I knew it, I was writing the shows, and even recently became a published playwright! Who knew?" After settling in L.A., John turned to stand up comedy, and penned a few sitcom pilots and feature comedies. But he knew he wanted to tell deeper, more character-driven stories...and eventually took the plunge. "To my surprise, I started winning screenplay contests and haven't looked back since."


  FINDING DISTANCE by Jodi Levitan
2nd Place - Family/Teen/Animation

An angry, one-handed fourteen year old finds the world a hostile and confusing place...until she discovers the sport of competitive fencing.
The road to this script, reports Jodi Levitan, literally began on the road. “My son is a competitive fencer and we’ve spent hundreds of hours travelling to events. We used that time to discuss and develop a story about his sport.” With degrees in theater, her background includes film, television, theater and ten years as a clown with The Big Apple Circus. Jodi's other scripts have placed in the top 15% of the Nicholl competition, and have achieved distinction in other top screenplay contests as well.


  THE FAD by Michael E. Bierman
2nd Place - Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror

In a dark future where people self-harm for fame and glory, one "Painer" searches for the ultimate stunt to win his girl -- and uncovers a sinister government agenda.
An attorney with a BS from Penn State in Genetics and Molecular & Cell Biology, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas, Michael Bierman based this script on a short story of the same name written over 25 years ago. Intended as "a commentary on media, social pressures, and governmental control of people's lives," it's his first feature screenplay and has garnered numerous awards and placements in recent contests. He's currently shopping, and working on, several other scripts.


  STRIKE A MATCH by Ross Raffin
3rd Place - Action/Adventure/Thriller

When an underground group of arsonists target a doctor for experimenting on animals, he must choose between his family's safety -- and research that could save millions of lives...
This kind of script, a difficult and thought-provoking story that offers no easy answers or pat solutions, is Ross Raffin's forte. As the son of a university doctor involved in animal research and a mother who vociferously opposed it, Ross Raffin was inspired early on to write a script dealing with these mutual oppositions, and incorporating actual real-world events. Raffin received his MFA at the American Film Institute and his Bachelor's degree at Stanford University. His screenplays focus on mixing thematic and character-driven complexity with entertainment ("preferably involving explosions"). His scripts have placed well in many prominent contests.


  MY MAN HAROLD by Paul Gulino
3rd Place - Comedy

Wealthy playboy Harold, sleeping off a partying binge in a car in a bad part of town, encounters Eva, a beautiful, idealistic social worker, who mistakes him for a homeless man -- smitten by her beauty, Harold decides to play along...
“I arrived early for my carpool early one morning,” says Paul Gulino, "and decided to put the seat back and catch some sleep, and it occurred to me -- what if someone were to mistake me for a homeless person?" This script springs from that inspiration, and allowed Paul to explore issues of social justice, human aspirations and human connection that have long interested him. Gulino studied screenwriting at Columbia University and currently teaches at Chapman University in California. His book, Screenwriting: The Sequence Approach is taught by screenwriting teachers across the globe. He frequently writes for the one act play series at the Ruskin Theatre in Santa Monica, California.


  THE BED by Palmer White
3rd Place - Drama

An American widower travels to France, and begins a passionate affair with a local woman. But their love is threatened by the ghost of his jealous ex-wife and the troubling revelation that his beautiful lover has many secrets of her own...
Palmer White studied literature at Oxford and Yale, and is a "recovering ex-attorney "living in Atlanta.  Palmer's passion is for visually striking and psychologically insightful art house films, especially works by Bergman and Tarkovsky - and his goal is to write such films for a modern audience. "THE BED is similar to Oshima's Empire of Passion (a tale of an adulterous couple haunted by the murdered husband), and explores themes of obsessive love and memory."


  DARBY PETTY & THE LOST TREASURE
by D.C. Sayre & W.G. Zahner

3rd Place - Family/Teen/Animation

Held captive by an underground clan of Celtic warriors, a sticky-fingered, young girl races against time, monsters, and murderers, to steal St. Patrick’s harp from a museum and save the world.
D.C. Sayre, a long time "migratory film worker", recently completed work on two big budget pictures, and spends all his available time writing screenplays and novels and promoting DARBY PETTY around Los Angeles. The script recently won the Grand Prize at the Gasparilla International Film Festival in Tampa and took the top spot for Sci-Fi/Horror/Fantasy at the inaugural Big Star Screenwriting Competition in Dallas.


  SUPERIOR CONJUNCTION by Philip Sedgwick
3rd Place - Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror

After a communications blackout, two deep space astronauts discover that earth has been destroyed -- and they are the only humans left alive.
With multiple prizewinning screenplays under his belt and several in development, Philip Sedgwick is something of a renaissance man. As a professional astrologer, he uses his insights into human behavior to inform the characters in his scripts. This script came about as "a weave of a self-imposed writing exercise to limit characters and the number of set locations with the developing story of recruiting candidates for human habitation of Mars." Not one to let the grass grow under his feet, he's currently at work on any number of upcoming scripts.
6th Annual International Screenplay Contest WINNERS CIRCLE Click the link above to read excerpts of all these winning scripts!
  LEARNING TO DRIVE
by Linda Manning
Grand Prize Winner

15-year-old Louise, a budding beauty but socially isolated, escapes her intolerable home life with a job at a local country club restaurant. There she meets a much older ex-pro golfer, plagued by his own demons. Attraction blossoms into an unlikely affair, launching Louise on a voyage of self-discovery and empowerment.
Linda Manning drew on her own experiences to craft this coming-of-age story, set in the plains of western Colorado in 1978. The result is a deeply affecting, surprising and heartfelt script greatly deserving of our 6th Annual StoryPros Awards Grand Prize.

An award-winning playwright, Linda began her acting career and wrote her first plays at the University of Colorado in Denver. After receiving her Master's from Trinity Rep Conservatory, she moved to New York, where she co-founded The Invisible Theatre. Linda's play "GUY" was a semi-finalist for the 2007 Eugene O'Neill Theater Center National Playwrights Conference. Linda has acted in numerous theater productions and independent films in New York and regionally.

Linda eventually branched out into screenwriting. Her scripts have won prizes and kudos in several noted competitions, earning her acclaim and fellowships. To learn more, visit her website at www.LindaSManning.com.