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Story Expo 2016

September 27, 2016

Well, this got pushed back a bit, thanks to still trying to adjust to my new life schedule, but managed to scrape some time together to put some thoughts at my time a couple weekends ago at Story Expo 2016.  For those unaware, Story Expo is an annual event in Los Angeles that focuses on writing and story, and sees attendance from novelists, screenwriters, writers and all types of storytellers (veterans and amateurs alike).  This year was the fourth year of the event, and the second time I attended in consecutive years with my partner-in-crime Alex Willging (follow him over on his WordPress).

While I can still say I’m glad I went, I can’t help but feel the weekend was somewhat lackluster in comparison to the previous year’s whirlwind of activity.  Last year featured many panels, including a few classes by industry veteran Pilar Alessandra, whose On The Page seminar I attended with Alex was extremely helpful in breaking down our original sci-fi pilot.  In addition, the pitch sessions were abuzz with many hopeful screenwriters, all standing in line excitedly supporting each other and practicing their own pitches with each other.

Not only did attendance feel much lower this year, it just lacked the heart of the event I loved in 2015.  No books on sale, no booths out in the hallway, no networking mixers.  I’m not sure what happened that caused attendance to drop or if something happened behind the scenes that cause the event to scale back, but I just can’t help feeling it was a wasted opportunity.  Regardless, I still registered for the event next year, but I’m going to make an effort to attend other events for networking and such as I think Story Expo no long holds the appeal it once did.

Despite all that, there were quite a few panels that made me very satisfied with my decision to attend this year.  The two standouts were a class on nailing the all-too-important first 10 pages of a story with DMA (I caught a class at the Expo last year, and highly recommend her if you get the chance), and a sci-fi genre seminar from long-time script doctor Peter Russell which I enjoyed immensely.  The sci-fi class was in particular of great interest to me, not only for bringing up Battlestar Galactica as an example of great science fiction in modern television but because I’ve co-written a sci-fi pilot with my friend and am aiming to break ground on a new one.

All in all, I had a very good time.  Even if Story Expo itself didn’t impress as much this year, it represents something even more important- a fresh start towards the dream.

Until next time!

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