CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: 2015 Fellowship to theOffice

Office_verticalLooking for a writer’s sanctuary? A place where you can leave the distractions of life behind and just sit down in peace to put words on the page? That’s what we offer here at theOffice – a quiet, communal workspace on the westside of Los Angeles. We have a roster filled with A-list screenwriters, novelists and more, but sometimes the cost of membership can be too much for up-and-coming writers. That’s why five years ago we started our free fellowship to theOffice. And we’re happy once again to offer it to you.

Announcing our 5th Annual Free 6-Month Fellowship to theOffice.

It works like this:

You send us an example of your best piece of writing along with a paragraph or two explaining why this fellowship would help you. We select one winner who will receive 6 months of free 24/7* access to the space. This is equivalent to a Premium Membership, the highest level of membership we offer, worth upwards of $2500. Winner gets his/her own door code to the space with the ability to come and go even when staff isn’t here. You wanna write at 2AM on a Wednesday night? The space is all yours. You also get all the other perks of membership including unlimited, free coffee & tea, wifi, ergonomic workstations with Aeron chairs, a small reference library and all the peace and quiet you can handle.

The fellowship starts May 1st and goes through October 31st, 2015. It is completely free to enter. Winner will be announced the last week of April. Contest is open to all new/aspiring/struggling writers who are looking to kick their productivity into overdrive.

Here’s what past winner, Omar Singer, had to say about his experience.p5 (2)

Think of this as your very own writer’s retreat right here in the city.

Here’s what we need from you:

  • An email with your contact information: Full name, phone, and email address. We will contact the winner via email.
  • In the body of the email, please explain why you need this fellowship and what you hope to gain from it. (200 words or less, please)
  • A 10 page .pdf writing sample of your work. Attach this to the email. Your best 10 pages. Do not submit pages that need to be set up or explained. Send 10 pages that stand alone. Only pdf submissions. All other attachments will be deleted.

Email to: theOfficeFellowship(at)gmail(dot)com by April 15, 2015. That’s it. You’re done!

Some important points to remember:

  • Do your research on theOffice. Don’t submit if you’re not local, if you’re not sure you’ll be available, if you don’t like writing in a room with others. Be honest, if you live in Pasadena and won’t want to drive across town to write every day, then this fellowship isn’t for you. If you don’t flourish in a quiet space, skip it. We want this to be of major value to the winner. Serious submissions only please.
  • If you’ve never been to theOffice and would like to try it out before submitting, please do! You’re welcome to do the FREE WEEK. Just be sure to call first for availability. Contact info here. More photos of the space here.
  • The field is open to ALL new writers. Submit 10 pages of your screenplay, play, short story, novel, memoir, poem, article etc. We’ll read it all.
  • By “new writers” we mean you can have no feature film credits as a writer on IMDb (short films are okay) and no more than 1 hour of television credit as a writer on IMDb. For fiction writers, we just want to make sure you’re not someone with a three book deal and money to spare. Key words here are new/aspiring/struggling.
  • DEADLINE to enter is April 15th, 2015. No submissions accepted past midnight PST.
  • You must have sole writing credit for the sample pages you submit. This fellowship is for one (1) free membership and is non-transferrable.
  • If you have any questions, please comment here, email the fellowship gmail address listed above or ask us on Twitter: @theOffice_LA. theOffice staff will NOT be able to assist you with the fellowship so please DO NOT call, email, or drop by theOffice with questions.
  • Winner will be announced and notified by April 30th.p2

This fellowship is an opportunity to take your craft and your career to the next level. If you are looking for a place to be inspired, a place to write with the big guns, a place to GET IT DONE, submit now. We look forward to reading your work!

*theOffice is closed to ALL members Mondays 6PM-11PM, Saturdays 8AM-10AM, Sundays 8AM-10:30AM due to outside rentals. Otherwise, the space is yours.

Links for Writers: Fun Stuff to Read this Week

The Electric Typewriter // It appears that someone put a lot of time into this compilation of “articles and essays by the world’s best journalists and writers.” A lot of good stuff to be found here.

That Way We’re All Writing Now by Clive Thompson // You’ll see a lot tweets and status updates starting with the phrase, “That moment when…” “Or that awkward moment when…” It’s not technically a sentence. Where does it come from, and why is it so effective, or at least, so popular?

How to be a writer by Paul Duginski, Jon Schleuss, Joy Press and Carolyn Kellogg // Here’s cute “game” the LA Times created to take you on the path of the life of a writer. Roll the dice!

Did a Human or a Computer Write This? // Take the quiz – guess which sentences were written by humans and which were written by computers. The scary part… it’s really hard to tell.

Watch Me Write This Article by Chadwick Matlin // This article looks into the app, Draftback, who’s creator, “hacked Google Docs to play documents back to their authors, materializing on the screen with every stutter-step inherent to the writing process… Draftback can reach deep into the archives of any Google Doc you have editing rights to, make sense of all that writing and rewriting you innocuously poured into it, and beam it right back to you, backspaces and all.” It’s an interesting read, and at the end, the author allows us to see the playback of entire writing process behind this article.

Lessons learnt from a year of writing by Colin Walker // This fellow wrote every day for a year and lived to tell the tale. Check out what he learned from the experience, and where he’s at now. I think there are some fresh perspectives in here.

Another video from the Academy’s Creative Spark series. Watch Dustin Lance Black’s incredible & exhaustive writing process. He is relentless it is inspiring.

Writing Quote of the Day

david_sedaris_detail“I started writing one afternoon when I was twenty, and ever since then I have written every day. At first I had to force myself. Then it became part of my identity, and I did it without thinking. It helped to have jobs that involved running around, pushing things like dish carts and wheelbarrows. It would be hard to sit at a desk all day, and then come to sit at another desk.

Also, it helps to abandon hope. If I sit at my computer, determined to write a New Yorker story I won’t get beyond the first sentence. It’s better to put no pressure on it. What would happen if I followed the previous sentence with this one, I’ll think. If the eighth draft is torture, the first should be fun. At least if you’re writing humor.”

-David Sedaris

Writing Quote of the Day

tumblr_mu6scnghwa1qb47plo1_250It is a delicious thing to write, to be no longer yourself but to move in an entire universe of your own creating. Today, for instance, as man and woman, both lover and mistress, I rode in a forest on an autumn afternoon under the yellow leaves, and I was also the horses, the leaves, the wind, the words my people uttered, even the red sun that made them almost close their love-drowned eyes.

Gustave Flaubert

Good Reads of the Week

Here’s a collection of great recently published reads.

A writer and avid reader, Dallas Taylor noticed a bias in the books he was reading – they were all written by dudes. So he challenged himself to spend a year reading only books by women. His reflections on this experience are interesting and will make you reconsider your own reading habits. Article here.140430-poenisch-obama-430a_0b8ce7fa80edefc2cebbffdde6bab8ef

Scott Budnick, one of the producers of “The Hangover”, stepped away from his Hollywood career to become an advocate for prison reform in CA– and his efforts have been hugely effective. Article here.

There’s this lovely fantasy of an “Idea Person” who swoops in a solves everyone’s problems with their brilliant plans. But an idea can you only take you so far. Find out more here.

08ATTENTION-articleLargeThis writer talks about how so much of our attention is taken up by advertisements. Once-quiet public spaces are now inundated with ads vying for our awareness. The writer asks, “What if we saw attention in the same way that we saw air or water, as a valuable resource that we hold in common?” Article here.

Creative accomplishments come in incremental steps and hard work – not in a sudden flash of genius. “Geniuses,” the writer argues, “are a myth”. The rest here.

These are all fairly quick reads, and the longer ones (like the Scott Budnick article) are well worth your time.

theOffice is a communal workspace in Los Angeles created expressly for writers and other professionals seeking an inspirational work environment, free from the distractions of home and office. Right now, we’re giving away a free six month 24/7 membership to our space. Find out more here

Quote of the Day“But most of all, I like to watch people. Sometimes I ride the subway all day and look at them and listen to them. I just want to figure out who they are and what they want and where they are going. Sometimes I even go to Fun parks and ride in the jet cars when they race on the edge of town at midnight and the police don’t care as long as they’re insured. As long as everyone has ten thousand insurance everyone’s happy. Sometimes I sneak around and listen in subways. Or I listen at soda fountains, and do you know what? People don’t talk about anything.”

                     -Ray Bradbury

Writers, here are some things to read this week!

First things first – if you’re a writer in LA, check out our Call for Entries for theOffice’s 5th Annual Fellowship. One awesome writer will receive a free 24/7 membership to our coworking space for 6 months.

Next, the story of a produced screenwriter’s descent into homelessness. I don’t want to give away the ending – just read it!Medium.com_

Anyone can contribute articles to the site Medium. It’s an interesting experiment. And one that works. The site is beautifully simplistic, and set up with ratings systems, and rankings so that the cream rises to the top. There’s a lot of good content here – and tons of articles about writing (by Robert Merki) & creativity (by Jason Zook).

Maybe everyone has read this former MFA teacher’s essay , “Things I Can Say About MFA Writing Programs Now That I No Longer Teach In One,” because it seems to be popping up everywhere, but I thought I’d share it here just in case. He makes some REALLY bold statements that have angered a lot of people.


This Vulture article makes the argument that huge movie stars who can guarantee big box office numbers are a thing of the past.

Daniel Jones, editor of the NY Times Modern Love column, takes a look at how people write about love.

New Yorker piece on the problems with House of Cards’ recently released third season.

Here’s a video made by Sundance on the day jobs of independent filmmakers:

Quote of the Day

IMG_3093“When you wake up, you have this gift of a blank brain. You could fill it with anything. But for most of us, we have this kind of panic. Instead of wondering what should I do, we wonder what did I miss. It’s almost like our unconsciousness is a kind of failure and we can’t believe we’ve been offline for eight hours.”

Michael Harris, from What it feels like to be the last generation to remember life before the internet.