Here at the Tracking Board, it’s our mission to support and encourage up-and-coming writers who are looking for avenues to showcase their unique voices. We’re constantly looking for ways to celebrate and acknowledge the talented and passionate screenwriters who are working their way to the top. To that end, we’re pleased to present the latest ISA Spotlight – Chicago.
Table Read My Screenplay is a screenwriting contest sponsored by the International Screenwriters’ Association, The Tracking Board, and Write Your Screenplay. The draw of this contest is that the winning screenplay(s) will be workshopped by an established director and table-read by professional actors. The contest is featured in cities such as Hollywood, Park City, London, Chicago, New Orleans and Austin, but reaches writers all over the world.
We’ve partnered with TRMS and the ISA to bring you the ISA Spotlight, which provides the opportunity for us to highlight the winning screenplays and to introduce you to these gifted writers, so by all means, keep reading!
Feature/Pilot Grand Prize Winner
Boulevard by Julie Pedersen
Logline: After her 12 year-old musical prodigy son is killed in a drive-by shooting in Chicago, his grieving mother’s failed attempt to sue the city launches her into the national spotlight as she wages her own war against violence.
Bio: Pedersen’s screenplays have placed as quarter-finalists in the Nicholl screenwriting competion, semifinalists in the Page and Austin Film Festival screenwriting competitions, earned her the “Best First 10 Pages” award from Fresh Voices, and a mentorship in the 2015 Tracking Board Launch Pad Feature competition. Her writing career began as a freelance journalist, which led to her writing human-interest feature stories for The Chicago Tribune. Her screenplays draw upon her journalism and philosophy backgrounds (she has a Ph.D. in Philosophy), and her fascination with human psychology. Pedersen lives and writes in Chicago, and is an Assistant Professor who teaches courses in philosophy ethics.
What she’s working on next? Pedersen is currently working on two scripts — Borderline and Confined. The former is a psychological thriller about a reclusive, work-at-home medical transcriptionist whose dark past is brought to the surface while transcribing psychiatric sessions. Meanwhile, Confined is a political/psychological thriller about a woman who is appointed to her husband’s U.S. Senate seat following an accident that leaves him with a rare psychiatric disorder that leads to his death, and her disturbing discovery that his death was not an accident.
Short Grand Prize Winner
In Case of Emergency by Molly Gardner
Logline: A reclusive mother teaches her overly dependent community to help each other when she secretly fills in for her superhero son while he’s on vacation.
Bio: Gardner is a professional video editor and writer based in Chicago. She has worked on educational and commercial content for the History Channel, Animal Planet, PBS and an international publishing house. She received an MFA from DePaul University in Film and Television, and completed her thesis in Screenwriting.
What she’s working on now: Currently, Gardner is writing documentary filmmaker Paul Lyzun’s next film We Love Lydia, and completing a female-driven action/adventure feature based on a true WWII story.
Tracking Board Staff