2018 THRILLER Novels & Short Stories (16)

ACTOR NOVEL Transcript Reading – THE KA
January 2018 Reading
by Mary Deal
January 2018 Reading
by Eric J. Gates
January 2018 Reading
by JD Daniels
January 2018 Reading
by Michelle Weidenbenner
February 2018 Reading
by Jeff Dawson
February 2018 Reading
by Garon Whited
March 2018 Reading
by Howard Kaplan
April 2018 Reading
by Scott Lorenz
May 2018 Reading
by Linda Palmer

May 2018 Reading
by R.G. Renauld

June 2018 Reading
by Alexander Jayson

ACTORNovel Reading: S.A.M. by C.A. Jarest

ACTORNovel Reading: THE SANGUINARIAN ID by L.M. Labat STORYNovel Transcript: FORTRESS OF DECEIT by John Dzakovic
September 2018

STORYNovel Transcript: TORN BETWEEN by Stacey Lynn Patterson
September 2018

December 2018 Reading
by Wilson Jackson

Winning THRILLER Feature Screenplay: THE TWIN WITHIN by Gunnar E Garrett Jr

Genre: Thriller, Horror, Drama

The murder-suicide that left a thirteen-year-old girl without a mother and father triggers voices within encouraging her to kill.


Narrator: Julian Ford
Amy: Penelope Corrin
Kevin: Dan Cristofori
Morgan/Heather: Rachel Salsberg
Madison: Emily Weir
Matt: Steve Rizzo

 Get to know the winning writer:

What is your screenplay about?

This screen play is about a dysfunctional couple who adopts a deeply disturbed set of twin girls who’ve witnessed their mother murdered by their father, and then turning the gun on himself. Now untrusting of anyone, one twin will do anything to protect them both from harm, including ridding their life of anyone she considers a threat.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

This is a Thriller/Suspense, that also leans into the Horror Category.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Like The Sixth Sense and Fight Club, this screenplay gives the audience to feel as they’ve figured out the film, they know where its headed and what’s going to happen, until… Oh no! They were wrong. The fact that I’ve written this film in one location with no extras, and a small cast also allows it to be shot on a lower budget, but still at a high quality, giving the investors a larger ROI than most films. Not to mention it’s creepy as F@$& with a little humor sprinkled in.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Incredibly deceptive.

What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

The movie i’ve seen the most times in my life has to be The Slammin’ Salmon, with Hot Rod coming in a close second.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I’ve been working on this screenplay for about nine months, and have done a couple rewrites since this reading, tightening the script for better production values.

How many stories have you written?

I’ve written seven screenplays to date, one is currently in production, Riley’s Rainbow, and The Weak Outdoors, is currently in Pre-Production.

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Isreal Kamakwiwo’ole

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The largest obstacle in this screenplay was to hide the fact that there was only one girl, and the her twin sister was just a mental disorder… A genetic disposition passed down by her father. Since this table read, we’ve done another two rewrites, better adjusting for this, though once we bring in a Director, we expect him or her to add input resulting in , I’m sure at least one more rewrite.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Outside of writing, my other real passion is spending time with my children, watching them grow and learn through hard work and effort in whatever it is they are involved in.

What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

I entered the festival because, like every screenplay, rewrites are necessary, and without reputable feedback, the rewrites are useless. As far as the feedback I received for my work, even though no one is ever excited to her where they could have done better, it was all correct, and those adjustments needed to be made to take a film from being considered good, to great.


Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

2016 Novels & Short Stories

Watch the 2016 Winning Thriller/Suspense Winners performed by professional actors.

Submit your Thriller/Suspense Screenplay to the Festival: https://thrillersuspensefestival.com/


December 2016 Reading
Written by Quintin Peterson
September 2016 Reading
Written by Joseph Tsujimoto

September 2016 Reading
Written by Devin Klos

August 2016 Reading
Written by Oz Greek

August 2016 Reading
Written by Randall Krzak

August 2016 Reading
Written by Agata Zema

August 2016 Reading
Written by Lucian M.

ACTORShort Story Reading – CULT FAN
June 2016 Reading
Written by Gina Lee Ronhovde
June 2016 Reading
Written by Lucien M.

ACTORShort Story Reading – LORNA’S ISLAND
May 2016 Reading
Written by Louise Johnson

ACTOR1st Ch. Novel Transcript – WATER FOR BLOOD
May 2016 Reading
Written by Brett Bacon

ACTORNovel Transcript Reading – INTO THE SHADOWS
March 2016 Reading
Written by Marie Jones

ACTOR1st Chapter Reading – LIZARDIAN
March 2016 Reading
Written by Melissa R. Mendelson


Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Watch the Winning Thriller Short Story Reading of THE BABYSITTER, by Sean Hood

Watch Reading of THE BABYSITTER:

STORY Read By – Holly Sarchfield


The Babysitter” tells the story of Annette, a teenage girl who is possessed by a spirit who is forcing her to commit violent acts against animals, and eventually the children that she is charged with taking care of.

    * * * * *

Deadline: SHORT STORY Festival. Get your story performed at the Writing Festival. FULL FEEDBACK on all entries.

WATCH the Recent Winning Short Story/1st Chapter Readings:

Watch FIX FACTORY, Thriller Feature Screenplay Reading

FIX FACTORY, Feature Script by Kyle Jenkins
Reading of the full screenplay:


“After an all-night bender, alcoholic, wannabe family man Lawrence Tijman wakes up in the hospital sporting a mysterious bite mark and a sudden resolution to start his life all over again. During Lawrence’s journey to kick the bottle and become a responsible adult, he’s confronted by an orphaned child, a girlfriend who’s had enough and a guilt-ridden stranger determined to teach Lawrence how to live with his newly discovered thirst for blood, which proves to be far worse than his thirst for booze.”


NARRATOR – Frances Stecyk
LAWRENCE – Dan Cristofori
WILLIAM – Jason Martorino
BRENDA – Silvina Andrea D’Alessandro
STEVE ALLEN – Neil Bennett
ALEX – Gabriel Darku
WENDY – Cindy Landerman

10 Questions from the September 2014 Feature Screenplay Winner Kyle Jenkins:

1. What is your screenplay about?

My screenplay is about Lawrence, a down on his luck, hopeless alcoholic who’s hit rock bottom and has decided to pull his life together. As soon as Lawrence makes some progress and feels like he’s cleaning up his act, he’s confronted by a thirst within himself that’s far worse than the first: a thirst for blood. After Lawrence’s blood lust leads him to murdering a seemingly innocent man and kidnapping that man’s orphaned child, a stranger named William steps into the picture to help Lawrence harness and control his thirst as Lawrence gradually absorbs the lifestyle of a vampire. As Lawrence attempts to develop some kind of control over his new affliction and to accept that his survival depends on denying life to others, his own life and everyone else in it is sucked in by a rapid downward spiral and spat out by a violent climax that they’ll never be able to forget.

2. Why should your script be made into a film?

I believe my script should be made into a film because it’s an original and uncompromising tale about the destructive reach of addiction that’s woven into a mythology indirectly tied to that addiction, which is a growing epidemic in our country due to the widespread abuse of prescription pills (and how easy it is to get them) and, of course, abuse of alcohol and other drugs. I’ve also seen movies where vampires suffer and despise/feel guilt over the horrible things they need to do in order to survive (such as Interview With the Vampire and Let The Right One In) and that’s something I wanted to be present in this script. These vampires are people, first and foremost. They rationalize things in order to convince themselves that they deserve to survive, despite that their survival is costing the lives of others. Lawrence’s thirst for blood, when unsatisfied, is as relentless and unforgiving as an alcoholic’s thirst for the sauce. Satisfying that thirst becomes as important to an addict as oxygen. And they’ll do anything to get it. Anything.

Being that addiction is such a massive affliction on our country right now, I believe that audiences would be able to relate to Lawrence’s struggle as well as to the struggle of those in his life who are forced to suffer the consequences of his addiction. The story could certainly help non-addicts begin to understand what drives an addict and how an addict’s actions during active addiction don’t make them terrible people. Despite that addiction is one of the oldest diseases on the planet, it’s still widely misunderstood by those who don’t suffer from it.

And, not to mention, who doesn’t love vampire movies?

3. How long have you been writing screenplays?

I think I wrote my first screenplay during my junior year of high school. I was on a trip to Florida to visit colleges I was planning on applying to (ironically, the one college I decided not to visit in Florida on that trip, The University of Miami, is the one I ended up attending) and I was spending a lot of time on the road. For whatever reason, I picked up a notebook and started to write a short script. Couldn’t say why that was the beginning but it ended up being so nonetheless.

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Jaws. Hands down. I used to watch Jaws every time I went over to my grandmother’s house as a kid. She would make me popcorn, melt butter and pour it all over the popcorn for me. Haha so healthy, I know. But I could never get enough of that movie. Not then and not now (I might have to go watch it after I finish these questions). To this day, Robert Shaw’s death scene terrifies me more than just about any other death scene in film history. Not to mention, the USS Indianapolis scene remains my favorite movie scene of all time. It never fails to give me chills.

5. What artists would you love to work with?

Oh man, too many to list. Most of my choices are pretty obvious but they’re obvious for a reason: they’re among the finest filmmakers in Hollywood. But number one for me would be David Fincher. He’s my favorite director of all-time. The amount of control he has over his stories is unprecedented. Some people give him flack for the “ridiculous” amount of takes he does. But, forget that! The guy is there to make the best movie he possibly can and he certainly succeeds every time. So if it works for him (and everyone else involved in his movies), then why hate on it? Aside from David Fincher I would say writer/director John Carpenter, writer/director Quentin Tarantino (obviously), writer/director Scott Frank, writer/director Matthew Vaughn, writers/directors The Coen Brothers, writer/director Christopher Nolan, writer/director Kathryn Bigelow, writer/director James Cameron, writer/director Eli Roth, writer/director Michael Mann, writers/directors The Twisted Twins and, uh, yeah I’ll stop now.

6. How many stories/screenplays have you written?

Well, I don’t really count my first 2 screenplays as screenplays because I wrote them before I really had any idea of what the hell I was doing. So, not counting them I’ve written 4. I’ve written 3 of my own original screenplays and I was hired to rewrite a screenplay for somebody else.

7. Ideally, where would you like to be in 5 years?

I understand that it’s not realistic to be a bigshot in Hollywood within the next 5 years for just about anybody, although I am working towards that haha. But right now I am pursuing a career in journalism and I’m writing for an online magazine. In my free time, I’m still developing screenplays and hoping that I can eventually sell them to Hollywood.

8. Describe your process; do you have a set routine, method for writing?

I usually start out by putting together a detailed outline for the screenplay. I get ideas all the time and I’ve never had an issue with writer’s block. If anything, my issue is having too many ideas and not being able to decide which one means enough to me to revolve an entire screenplay around. But I generally get an idea and then I put together a detailed outline. And it’s always detailed, maybe too detailed, because I can’t resist writing everything down. Once I have the outline complete, I write the first draft of the script at a pace of between 5 to 10 pages a day (depending on my work schedule). Once I finish the first draft, I revise, and revise and revise and revise and revise and revise . . . until I’m semi-happy enough with it (I’m really hard on myself) and I’m ready to submit it to a competition.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about learning to live a simple life, about not letting the problems of the world determine my level of contentment and about doing the next right thing every day. I’m also passionate about Lyme Disease awareness because I have been afflicted with this disease (the largest epidemic in the United States) for about 20 years of my life now.

10. What influenced you to enter the Script Contest?

Was influenced by a random tweet from the WILDSound Twitter account to join the contest. After putting off contests for years (I’m very self-critical) I decided to take a chance and enter the contest. I’m happy I did!

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Keep at it. If you’re meant to do it, you’ll know it, especially if you stop doing it. When you’re meant to write and you stop writing, you feel that void. And it’ll always be there until you write again. Don’t listen to the critic in your brain that’s constantly telling you “this is crap and you should just quit now.” Even if it is crap, just know that we all have to write crap in order to learn how to not write crap. Just like we all make mistakes in order to learn how to not make mistakes. That’s life. And if you’re afraid of “failure,” just know that as long as you try, there’s no such thing as failure.

Watch Thriller Feature Screenplay Reading of SHOOTING STAR

Deadline to Submit your THRILLER/SUSPENCE Screenplay to the Festival:

WATCH – SHOOTING STAR, Feature Script Reading by Richard Harrison:


When the love of your life has the keys to your heart and the keys to your money, it’s hard to kill her!


NARRATOR – Becky Shrimpton
KELLY – Andrew Farr
QUAID – Dan Cristofori
CASSIDY – Shailene Garnett
CRAWLEY – Lucas James
VARIOUS ROLES – Anjelica Alejandro

Get to know writer Richard Harrison:

1. What is your FEATURE SCRIPT about?

Shooting’ Star’ is a ‘rock n roll’ road movie, a story of love and revenge. A beautiful, young female grifter, realises the the guy she’s in love with is more committed to their lifestyle than her, and in desperation steals the only thing he has of value that could be her chance of security ( the key to a safe deposit box) and leaves him. We start the film three after this event with her ex-boyfriend, Kelly, hunting her down across New Mexico for the key. The obvious motive is ‘money’ but its really about ‘love’ and recapturing that one moment you had in you life with someone you love.

2. Why should your script be made into a film?

This script should definitely be made into a movie because its an hour and forty minutes of pure escapism! Its got heart, its got desire, it will make you cry and it will make you laugh. It makes you lose yourself for that moment in time, which is what a great film is about.

3. How long have you been writing screenplays?

If I am honest, about fifteen or sixteen years. Its been a long, long road, and its very hard to get recognised. So, to be selected as one of your winners is a great compliment. As a very experienced Editor, friend of mine said, “filmmaking is not a science. There’s no exact way. There’s no definition, no precise formula”.

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

That’s easy, The Big Lebowski, followed by Some Like it Hot and then Casablanca. I remember dragging both my kid brothers to see The Big Lebowski when they were about fourteen and thirteen years old, there were seven of us in the cinema at the most. When they came out they said they had never seen a movie like it. It must have been some four or five years later when it started to catch on, and and over the last fifteen years we have watched with a sense of irony, joy and wonder at how its caught on and got recognised. If you re-watch certain scenes, there are more and more jokes in there than most people recognise and more than most films, literally dozens of them. Its a masterpiece! But having said that, what’s the screenplay of Casablanca? Eighty pages max on the paper, no fat on the bone there and possibly the most perfect script ever written, “Where were you at 3 O’clock this morning?” “That’s so long ago I can’t remember”. That’s a line and they come at you every minute. Watch it again!!

5. What artists would you love to work with?

Its certainly changed. For most of the 90’s its been the same as most people , Tarantino, Rodriguez, and then gradually I graduated to Alexander Payne, who is a true, true filmmaker of the highest order. But most recently David O’Russell. Those three films over the last few years have been incredible. To go from ‘The Fighter’ to ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ to ‘American’ Hustle’ in today’s climate is not only incredible bravado, it really is a true artist that can entertain an audience with three films that are essentially all character driven, its rare, its a hark back to the old greats such as Billy Wilder and Alexander Mckendrick. On an acting front, they blow in the wind, which isn’t their fault, its mainly down the films. But Christian Bale has prevailed, Ryan Gosling never disappoints, but I think there’s more exciting women actors out there than ever before, dozens of them with so much to give, and I am not talking the young babes, look at Robin Wright, Gillian Anderson on stage here in the UK, Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep still knocks them dead and if she got her act together, Sharon Stone could knock them all out the park……women actors are a power to be unleashed in the cinema and I think their time is coming!

6. How many stories/screenplays have you written?

‘Shooting Star’ is my fourth feature length screenplay and I wrote, directed and produced one, award winning, short film, ‘Sweet Thing’. My third feature film script, ‘THE HONEY KILLER’, I wrote, produced, and directed on a shoestring budget and won three international film festivals, and I had it called ‘a cult movie’ by Warner Bros, but I could never find a Distributor. I’ve seen it screened and succeed in over half a dozen countries at film festivals, but no international audience has ever seen it: http://www.thehoneykiller.com, http://www.razorfilms.co.uk. I would love to get it out there! Again, like ‘Shooting Star’, its essentially a road movie with a femme fatale as its lead.

7. Ideally, where would you like to be in 5 years?

That’s easy, Hollywood, and Directing my next movie, which is already written and ready to go.

8. Describe your process; do you have a set routine, method for writing?

Its a little unusual: I usually think of really outrageous and provocative scenes and scenarios. Then, when I have three or four really unusual scenes that excite me, I start thinking, ‘who is in them and what is their motive’. So, I invent set-pieces that really stand out, then invent my characters and storyline, so kind of back to front. Or the other way is I invent a really good opening scene, then think to myself, ‘where the hell would this go?’ And I find that really exciting as I don’t know where the script is going to go. I make it up as I go along and surprise myself til I get to the end. From that i surprise others.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

This will bore everyone reading this but mainly exercise; running, working out, cardiovascular, yoga, keeping fit. If I feel good exercising, I can generally achieve more creatively, but that’s just me! A bottle of brandy might work for others, but I have also written some of my best stuff sunk into a bottle of red wine….’hypocrite!’

10. What influenced you to enter the Thriller Script Contest?

I think what influenced me the most was the full appraisal of my what I had written. None of us know what we’ve written, we think we do but we don’t, no idea, we’re clueless. We’re just sunk in our own vision, and when I saw the full appraisal as part of the competition, I was sold. Then, I got my appraisal and it was possibly the best I have ever received, not because it was good or complimentary, but because they had obviously read it, and I mean completely and they properly criticised it! So their comments were not only ‘left of field’, but they were an accurate observation and they actually improved the script, not matter how hard they were to swallow. It was so worthwhile it was worth the price of entry just to get that feed back…..let alone winning, that was a real surprise. Winning didn’t even cross my mind, I needed to know’ what professional people thought of it. Me and the guy who I created the story with, Dave Powell, are over the moon.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Yeah, of course! You haven’t nailed it, re-write, re-write and re-write it. Get advice and comments from others, disregard the ones you know are nonsense, assess the one’s that annoy you, react quickly to the ones that make sense! Only you know where this screenplay is going, but make it the best it can be, no matter what it takes, because at the end of the day you wrote it…..but the outside voices and comments could be the ones to make your day.