There are many people out there who dream of becoming published writers, and for most of these individuals of all ages, their creative writing pursuits never develop into anything substantial. Two businesses out there help writers establish their names in print. Cowrite is developing a community-sourced screenplay with multiple writers, and Tikatok lets kids of all ages publish their own storybooks.
Cowrite is a screenplay writing competition which is a pet project of Benderspink, a management and production company whose credits include popular films like The Butterfly Affect and A History of Violence. For a fee, Cowrite requests that screenplay writers submit 10-pages of a script that fits the established storyline, and the picks and posts the best version each week so the next portion of the movie can be developed until it is complete.
The current script in process is described as a Jason Bourne style feature with a geeky teenage protagonist who finds himself in a world of danger, with the ex-CIA agent he enlists by his side. The first 10 pages of the script have already been posted, which means that one lucky writer already gets to see his name in print, and let's not forget that $2,000 prize. Once the complete script has been compiled, one writer will be chosen to rewrite all submissions to make one cohesive storyline; because while the idea is to have a community-source screenplay, it still needs to maintain one style and flow to be production-ready.
Writers interested in contributing to Cowrite's script don't need to be professionals; in fact, for judging purposes they request that no name, status or contact information appear on the document submitted itself, so that decisions aren't swayed based on recognized names, and decisions remain impartial considering only creativity and talent. Writers contributing to Cowrite's script are also welcome to make multiple submissions at each step of the process; so there's no such thing as "three strikes you're out" as long as you're willing to dish out the fees to be considered. Cowrite's program can help satisfy an individual's writing bug, while giving them exposure to a major production company; however, there is no denying that with rates ranging between $10-$75 USD they are also running a profitable business.
Tikatok caters to the younger writing crowd, since there is no age minimum for prospective writing talents. In order to make the story development process easier for young creatives, Tikatok provides a template guide that walks kids through their writing; including naming characters, choosing a theme and more. Hand drawn pictures or non-copyrighted graphics can be scanned and uploaded to the website to enhance the story, including cover designs; and font and format throughout the book can be customized.
Similar to Cowrite, Tikatok also encourages the community-sourced style of writing, since children can save their progress and use the website to invite one or more friends to make their contributions to the story. Although, with no formal rules or moderation, mom or dad may need to step in so that any creative differences can be resolved before the name calling begins. Tikatok's services are free to a point; since they only charge to publish and print the storybooks in hard or soft cover. All books, printed or not, are available online for viewing and can be ordered by interested readers. Storybooks are also categorized by Featured Books, Popular Books and Most Active Books for easy browsing. Of course, writers of the purchased books are notified, so they can feel like true, published authors. It's never too early to past your child's ego after all, right?
While one of these businesses assures publishing, both of these organizations help writers see their names in print and expand their portfolios at any age. Happy writing, now go and get creative, and maybe one day you'll see your name in lights (or type).