L.A. screenplay pros to share trade secrets

Two screenwriting gurus are coming to Chicago within the next two weeks, under the auspices of Linda Frothingham’s ChicagoHollywood.com, whose mission is to share the trade secrets of Hollywood script buyers with Chicago talent.

First up is scriptwriting guru, Julie Gray, founder of L.A.’s premiere coverage service, who will lead a two-day “From Idea to Page to Screen” workshop, April 17-18.

Following Gray on May 1 is Pilar Alessandra, the director of the L.A. writing program, “On the Page,” who will lead a one-day rewrite intensive.

“Being in Chicago, it’s all about making the material the best it can be and making the right connections to get the material read,” Frothingham says, “and that’s what these Hollywood gurus can help our writers achieve.”

As the author of the award-winning blog and upcoming book, “Just Effing Entertain Me,” Gray will give screenwriters tools for idea testing, effective outlining and writing unforgettable characters.

In 2006, Gray founded “The Script Department,” which has coached hundreds of writers who have won and placed in competitions and scored representation at big studios. She also runs the Silver Screen screenwriting competition, now in its third year.

“At each workshop, there will be intensive pitch coaching, and a free follow-up call for every participant,” Frothingham says.