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Celebrated Author Joyce Maynard to serve as Grand Prize Judge for NHFF Screenplay Competition / Grand Prize Winner to Receive Weeklong Writer’s Residency at Fabulous Star Island Retreat Center

Portsmouth, NH – The New Hampshire Film Festival (NHFF) is pleased to announce that in addition to the existing prize package, the Grand Prize Winner of the NHFF Screenplay Competition will now receive an all-inclusive weeklong writer’s residency at the Star Island Family Retreat and Conference Center.

Thanks to a generous sponsorship package offered by Star Island Corporation, this year’s top screenwriter and a guest will receive room, board, and ferry transportation to Star Island, which sits among the Isles of Shoals in the ocean off the coasts of Maine and New Hampshire.

“We are pleased to partner with the film festival, and intend for this to be an annual commitment to NHFF and the beginning of a long tradition,” said Vicky Hardy, Chief Executive Officer for Star Island Corporation.

The festival, which runs the weekend following Columbus Day every year (this year: Oct. 11-14), is committed to supporting the art of filmmaking, which includes what is often the first step in a film: the screenplay. Founded in 2001, NHFF began as a small, grassroots organization to support local, regional, and student filmmakers. It now holds a place as a viable and recognized festival that showcases the brightest talent on the international film festival scene.

In addition to the already generous weeklong package at Star Island, the writer and a guest will receive a lobster dinner, internet access, parking at the secure dock in Portsmouth, NH, a $100 gift certificate to the retreat’s snack bar, plus massages for two. The residency’s Saturday to Saturday dates are to be worked out between the winning scribe and Star Island staff, something that this year may have to be scheduled for the 2013 summer season since the Center closes in mid-September, just as the judging process concludes.

The NHFF Screenplay Competition is accepting entries via Withoutabox through August 5, 2012. Those writers who already submitted screenplays are automatically entered for a chance to win the Grand Prize Writer’s Residency Prize Package, valued at approximately $3500. The winning scribe will also receive accommodations for two (in the same room) to the Festival, two NHFF Filmmaker passes to attend Festival screenings and events, and a “Granny”—a ten-pound granite brick sourced from a NH quarry.

Celebrated Author Joyce Maynard to serve as 2012 Grand Prize Judge

Selecting this year’s Grand Prize Winning Writer is noted author Joyce Maynard, who will join attendees in Portsmouth at the October 11-14, 2012 festival. A native of Durham, NH, and a longtime resident of Hillsboro and Keene, NH, Maynard has also been a Writer-In-Residence on Star Island with the Southern New Hampshire University MFA program. She first rose to national attention with the publication of her 1973 New York Times cover story, “An Eighteen Year Old Looks Back on Life,”when she was enrolled as a freshman at Yale.

Since then, Maynard has been a reporter and columnist for the The New York Times; a syndicated newspaper columnist whose “Domestic Affairs” column appeared in more than 50 papers nationwide; a regular contributor to National Public Radio (NPR) and national magazines, and a performer with “The Moth” in New York City.  She is also a fellow of the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, NH.

Maynard is the author of fourteen books, including the best-selling memoir, At Home in the World, which has been translated into fifteen languages. Her novel To Die For was adapted by Buck Henry for the award-winning film of the same name, starring Nicole Kidman and directed by Gus Van Zant in 1995. Maynard’s novel Labor Day, a story with a New Hampshire setting, was adapted for the screen by Jason Reitman, who is also directing the film, starring Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet.

The mother of three grown children (all proud New Hampshire natives), Maynard has taught at writing programs around the country, and she runs workshops in both fiction and memoir.  Her newest novel, still unnamed, is due out in the summer of 2013; Maynard is currently adapting it for film. She can be found at her website.

Both NHFF Executive Director Nicole Gregg and NHFF Screenplay Competition Director Dana Biscotti Myskowski are thrilled to be working with Joyce Maynard and with Vicky Hardy of the Star Island Corporation to bring screenwriters this incredible offer.  The deadline to enter this year’s NHFF Screenplay Competition is August 5, though the Withoutabox Extended Deadline is August 15; the site can be accessed Here.

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