August Challenge 2018: TV Talk

What Storybird would be like if it were a TV Show:


The office is in disarray. Phones ring unanswered and workers shout at each other as computer engineers frantically type at their keyboards. Everyone is in panic-mode.

We follow Storybird cofounders MARK and KAYE, two business-savvy industry leaders, as they walk and talk down the halls of their company, ignoring the chaos around them. NORT FLIMPER, their nervous office intern, tries to keep up with his bosses while briefing them on the current crisis.

What are we looking at, Nort?
(Drops and picks up random papers)
We’ve got an 80% spike in sector D, several backend filters are leaking, and Jeff in marketing ordered milk chocolate instead of dark.

Typical Jeff.

A worker runs past in the opposite direction. Her suit is slightly on fire.

What’s going on here anyway?

You don’t know?! The August Challenge comes out today! 

If you haven’t guessed, for this month’s challenge, we want you to write a scene of dialogue for TV. Do you think you could write a captivating conversation? Well here’s your chance!

Before you start writing, ask yourself, who’s talking? Who are your characters? Are they fighting, flirting, or just having a laugh? It can be a conversation about anything you want.

To help you with this challenge, we have unlocked a How to Write guide for everyone to access this month only. Learn the Screenwriting Basics to make your TV conversation that much cooler.  

If you want to take your script to the next level, look out for our course on Television Writing with Degrassi: Next Class Showrunner Sarah Glinksi. 

Here are some things to consider when writing your TV Conversation:

  • Do your characters have a distinct way of talking? Do their words reflect their personality?
  • What about your descriptions? What are they telling the person who will film the scene? Remember, this is for TV, not for pleasure-reading, so keep descriptions short. 
  • Are people cutting each other off? Are they lying? Are they speaking in slang or in incomplete sentences? That’s how people talk in real life!
  • Have you read it out loud? This always helps when writing dialogue.

For this challenge, we want you to create your conversation in a SINGLE LONGFORM CHAPTER of less than 1000 words. Make sure to follow these Screenplay Guidelines for your TV conversation:

  • When a character speaks, their name is in a new paragraph and in ALL CAPS, and their words go directly underneath their name.
  • Start the scene by telling us where you are, like this: “INT. STORYBIRD HEADQUARTERS.” INT.  means “Interior.” If you’re conversation is outside, write EXT. (“Exterior”).
  • When you introduce a character, make sure you very briefly explain who they are. 
  • If a character does anything while talking, put it in parentheses directly above their words, like this:

(Writes something down)

  • Note: In the TV business, screenplays are always written in Courier font and dialogue is centered on the page. But since this is Storybird, just use new paragraphs (Longform formatting does not allow for centering.)

Do the Challenge


1. Theme of the month: TV Talk – Your challenge this month is to write a SINGLE CHAPTER LONGFORM in less than 1000 words. It must be a conversation in Screenplay Format. How do your characters speak? Does your conversation sound like a real? Have you read it out loud? 

Remember, all stories submitted to the challenge must follow our community guidelines.

2. Choose your artwork – Browse our library of images to find the artwork or artist that inspires you, or search for a specific theme (like “family“). Select the LONGFORM format.

3. Submit – When you have finished your book, select “August Challenge” on the details page before you publish publicly. Choose the option for Single Chapter Longform. You may only submit one entry to the challenge, so make it great!

4. Eligibility – Any Storybird member with a Regular account can participate in our writing challenges. Students are not eligible. Paid membership is not required but it will allow you receive beautiful printable certificates for each challenge.

5. Moderation – Paid membership ensures your work is reviewed within 1-2 days. Otherwise, your work will be reviewed on a first-come, first serve basis and can take up to several weeks to be visible in the public library. We try to accelerate Challenge entries because of the short timeframe, but there are no guarantees. You may redeem Crowns for Express Moderation.

6. Due date – To be eligible to be featured, your book must be submitted to moderation on or before August 24, 2018. Selected entries will be featured on the Storybird blog on September 1.

Approved entries will receive this badge:

Do the Challenge

Please note: You must have a Regular account to enter the challenge—Student accounts are not eligible. Books must be published from Regular accounts to appear in the public library and to be featured on our blog. Books published from Student accounts are only visible to members of their class and do not appear in the public library.

Featured art by inkymum, Badge artwork by nidhi

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