Reflections on a Busy and Successful Year of Writing
As the year comes to a close, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on all that I've accomplished in the past year. It's been a busy and successful year for me, with many new projects, accomplishments, and opportunities. Here's a look back at the highlights of my year. Thank you for your support and for following my journey as a writer. I couldn't do it without you!
I adapted three Christmas romance novellas from Melissa Hill. These scripts were produced by Vast Entertainment in collaboration with Breakthrough Entertainment for the UPtv platform and were shot over the summer in Canada. They will be released in Canada in November 2023 and are available now on UPtv and the frndly app. This brings the number of my produced credits as a writer on IMDb to 8.
The highlight of my year was being invited to an artist residency in Mandelieu de la Napoule in France, where I lived in a castle for a month and had the opportunity to start writing my memoir based on "Love Letter to Laos." It was an absolute dream come true, and I am so grateful to the La Napoule Foundation for making it possible. I was also invited to return during the Cannes Film Festival in May 2023, which I am excited to plan for upcoming year.
Update on Love Letter to Laos
I made significant progress on "Love Letter to Laos," the script about my experience in Laos. The script didn't place in the Nicholl Fellowship but made the NEXT 100 (Top 7%) So close! Here are some of the Readers' comments:
"Meaning&Magic - There is much meaning and magic in this story -- it is truly special. The journey Isabella takes the audience on is full of emotion, meaning, heart, tears, and sweat."
"Dialogue is nuanced and authentic. The writing voice is distinct, lush – exquisite – with something to say on self-acceptance and the joy of simplicity. The prose is infused with a rich vocabulary and colorful adjectives in order to paint a picture in our mind’s eye. With its cinema, excellent writing, charismatic characters, and uplifting catharsis, the script holds tremendous promise. This beautiful, emotionally-resonant film will appeal to many. And overall, it’s a superior script and a standout piece of writing for the author."
The script also placed Semifinalist in the ScreenCraft Feature Competition 2022. It was also a Quarterfinalist in the WeScreenplay Diverse Voices Spring 2023 competition, and I was invited to attend two more residencies in 2023.
I also wrote my first Family Christmas Adventure in the vein of The Christmas Chronicles and will be looking to find a home for it in the next year.
The first draft of "I Know Everything," the coming-of-age based on my life as a teenager, placed as a Semifinalist in the WeScreenplay Diverse Voices Fall 2022 competition, as well as a Quarterfinalist in the Emerging Screenwriters Genre Screenplay Competition 2022 and the ScreenCraft True Story & Public Domain Competition 2022.
I was shortlisted for the Whistler Film Festival Screenwriters Lab. While I didn't ultimately made the cut, it was an honor to be considered.
Keep in touch!
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I started exercising regularly on my treadmill, and while it was challenging at first, I have seen improvements in my energy levels and mental health as a result.
I have been incorporating meditation into my daily routine, which has helped me to reduce stress and improve my overall well-being. I have discovered EFT (Emotional Freedom Therapy) this year and it was the key factor in getting rid of some limiting beliefs. I'm super excited to see where this new chapter will take me.
In the past year, my son graduated from middle school and is now in high school, while my daughter found an internship as an art studio assistant where she is able to embrace her passion for painting. Even though being a single parent is always a challenge, it has been a joy to see them both pursue their interests and grow as individuals.
I joined HUSSLUP, an app that connects artists and creatives with opportunities and resources, and was invited to become an ambassador for them. I am excited to represent HUSSLUP in the future.
In October, I took the plunge and joined TIKTOK. I have been creating daily content and have received an impressive number of views. Thank you for all the messages and interactions. This has been a confidence boost and has helped me overcome my anxiety about being filmed.
I was invited to be a guest on three podcasts and a radio show, sharing my experiences and insights to a wider audience.
Establish a clear roadmap toward directing my first feature film. This will be the main focus of 2023. More on this soon!
Secure representation and build a strong team to support my career.
Build my network, and showcase myself through interviews, conference speaking gigs, and other opportunities. Continue to build my brand, solidify my social media presence, and attend retreats/workshops to learn and grow as a writer.
How can we help each other?
PRODUCERS: If you are in need of a rewrite on something you've optioned or are searching for the perfect script to fit your vision, I'd be happy to help you develop that property. With my writing experience and dedication to finding unique and compelling stories, I believe I can bring value to your project. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you think I could be a good fit for your team.
SCREENWRITERS/FILMMAKERS: Whether you're just starting out or have been in the industry for a while, we all know that navigating the film and television world can be a challenge. That's why I believe it's important to build a community of support and collaboration. If you ever find yourself in need of help or guidance, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. I'm always happy to connect with my peers and see how we can support each other in our respective journeys.
PODCASTERS/BLOGGERS: Looking for a dynamic and engaging guest? As a produced screenwriter and world traveler, I have a wealth of expertise and stories to share. I'd be thrilled to be your guest and contribute my unique perspective to your audience. If you're interested, please don't hesitate to email me to set up a time for us to talk. isabeldrean @ gmail (dot) com.
Thank you for reading my year-end newsletter. If you enjoyed this update on my writing career, consider signing up for my newsletter to receive regular updates on my projects and accomplishments. You'll also get exclusive access to behind-the-scenes content and early access to new work. Don't miss out on the opportunity to stay connected and up-to-date on my writing journey. Sign up today! Thank you!