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Are Aspiring Writers Being Lured With Promises Fade In Can't Keep?

In the summer of 2007, Patrice Williams said she received a call from Audrey Kelly, the publisher and editor-in-chief of Fade In Magazine.

Williams had won first place in the magazine's screenwriting competition, in the "Thriller" category, she was told. She would be receiving $750, script coverage by a WGA-affiliated writer, a subscription to Fade In and a Waterman pen.

And most important, Williams said she was promised her screenplay would be introduced and promoted to producers and agents and her win would be announced in an ad in Variety or the Hollywood Reporter.
But six months passed, and Williams had yet to receive her cash prize or see an ad in the trades. So she called Kelly.
"I contacted Audrey and said, 'It would be really nice if you were able to send out the award money as promised,'" Williams recalled. "She took that as an attack, that I was demanding the money." Kelly, she said, sent an email: "'You'll get it when all of the other winners get it.'"
In July 2008, a full year after the original call, Williams got tired of waiting. She took Kelly to small claims court. They settled in November 2008, but while Williams finally got her money, she still hasn't seen the promised ad.

"It felt good to take first place in the competition," Williams said, "but then it turned into this ugly, nasty thing. I think they like collecting money but don't like paying out."

And Williams is far from the only disgruntled Fade In winner.

Others say that the contest gives a false impression that it will promote them in Hollywood and give them access to top screenwriters, including Eric Roth, James Gray and Scott Rosenberg -- who are listed among 10 members of the Fade In Advisory Board on the contest's web page and in the magazine's house ad for the contest... (read the full article here).

Courtesy of

Written by: Amy Kaufman
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