Pen & Globe

And Action!

Like a Hollywood agent sending an aspiring actor out on his first cattle call, I just entered my novel “A Simple Game” in a contest designed to uncover the next blockbuster movie or TV show.

The 3rd annual Book Pipeline Competition aims to “deliver unique, compelling stories to the industry – with the specific intent of getting them on the fast-track to film and television production.” The grand prize winner, announced this spring, will receive $5,000 and free airfare to LA for meetings with development executives, agencies, and literary reps. Pretty cool…

Other winning entries get wide circulation among companies searching for new literary material, including the studios that produced such hits as “Pride and Prejudice” and “Million Dollar Baby.” I’m hoping my international thriller about a group of terrorists who tries to hold the world hostage by systematically killing our sports heroes and the one man who might be able to stop them will catch the judges’ eyes.

Pipeline also holds a similar Screenwriting Contest, with a March 1 deadline this year to submit your script.

While I’m under no illusion my “client” will get a callback, I have been told by many who read the book they could see it being made into a movie. I suppose this is no accident, since when I set out to write it – too many years ago to admit – I really didn’t know what I was doing. I had studied script writing, though, and had even tried my hand at a screenplay – even more years ago than I care to remember – so I applied my understanding of that craft to my book.

As you will see (no spoilers here, I promise), “A Simple Game” is divided into four nearly even sections, which corresponds to how most Hollywood movies are set up. The first plot point, or major turn of events, comes about a quarter of the way in, or at the half-hour mark of a two-hour film. It’s followed by the midpoint, at roughly one hour, and then the second plot point, which propels the story toward its climax.

Like the best movie thrillers, many of my chapters also end with cliffhangers, giving you time to reach for your popcorn between scenes. Now, if the judges see it that way, too, I’ll soon be on my way to LA!


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  • Kirk Wolcott on 01/11/2017

    J. Rutherford, thanks for your comment and vote of confidence. I would be in paradise if “A Simple Game” ever did get made into a film, especially if they let me on the set while it was being shot! C’mon, it’s a new year, let me dream. And, should you happen to know any powerful people in Hollywood, feel free to recommend my book!

  • J. Rutherford on 01/03/2017

    Hope the judges see it that way. It WILL make a good movie. Fandango, here I come!

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Kirk Wolcott’s First Novel

  • Politics, terrorism, and sports collide in this riveting debut novel by American diplomat and former sportswriter Kirk Wolcott, prompting a crucial question for our time: How far is too far when trying to change the world?

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