The Pursuit Studio’s End of the Year Review (2021)

A Successful Fundraiser & Internship Program During COVID, Screenplay Finalist Award-winner & Top Status On Screenwriter Web Site!

Family, friends, former students, colleagues, and other supporters, I hope you and your loved ones are safe and well as we begin 2022!

The Pursuit Studio had quite a busy 2021 claiming a number of achievements with your support! Here are some of the highlights (primarily in chronological order):

CLICK HERE to read a web page version or select the download button below to read a PDF version!

“Back Up the Truck” Short Story On Slate to Be Adapted to Short Film and/or Feature Film

To retaliate against his mother’s boyfriend who beats her, a precocious pissed-off 10-year-old recruits his best friend to help punish him. Based on a true story.⠀

Listen to a short audio recording of the flash fiction short story written in 15 minutes.

“Thorn Trees” is Top Ranking Script in Four Categories On Coverfly International Screenwriting Competition Website

Unfortunately, we did not progress to the Titan Awards Quarterfinalist round. We realize that different readers look for different things based upon their backgrounds, experiences, and storytelling interests, so making Finalist status for one screenwriting competition (Vail Screenwriting Competition) and not moving forward in another is taken with this perspective in mind.

But there’s GOOD NEWS resulting from our submission. According to Coverfly, the script service facilitating the Titan Awards submissions, our script score was significant enough for them to increase the script ranking on their website to the TOP 12% of ALL SCRIPTS on their site:

Your COVERFLY rank received a BOOST for this submission because the underlying scorecard data was strong.”

So, something to put in the kudos checklist!

#witches #witch #witchcraft #thecraft #magic #magick #salemmassachusetts #salem #salemwitchtrials #horror #screenwriting #storytelling #thorntreespilot #pagans #pagan #goodreads #tvseries #tvstreaming #coverfly #contests #competitions #finalist #finalists #topscripts #screenwriters #creators #England #UnitedKingdom

Hot Off the Press! “Rachel’s Gazette” (5TH and Final Edition), Focuses On Samhain & Halloween, History, Photography, Fashion, Music, Plus More Arts, Entertainment & Global News


What’s Inside This Issue?

Welcome to Rachel’s Gazette!
Rachel Speaks!

Merry Meet!
Blessed Samhain!

It has been an honor to share my thoughts with you, and to share stories and news about our beliefs, craft, and vision from various times and spaces in this gazette. The purpose has been three-fold: to create a sacred space for sharing what has gone before, is happening, and becoming in our own voices; to shine a light on how we are perceived and represented in the entertainment industry and news media; and to invite you to discover and support my story–and those of my loved ones–through the telling of Thorn Trees.

This is the last issue of the gazette as much work needs to be done to bring Thorn Trees to you in the realms of television, streaming, or film.

The main themes in this last issue concern Samhain & Halloween, the history of witches, and the craft as it has evolved to modern time; news about plans and policies that respect and protect us from discrimination and hate crimes; how we have influenced the art and culture of fashion, a special photography focus on portraits of witches and a special witches songs collection music video, plus book reviews and more stories and videos that reflect our perspectives.

I wish to thank everyone who has supported and shared this Thorn Trees-inspired publication in whatever ways you have done so and invite you to continue to help the creators and producers manifest its success. Currently, they are seeking a female showrunner for the series.

May the highest and most divine good for all be accomplished. So mote it be!

Blessed Be,
Rachel Gare
Executive Editor

Discover more about and help support Thorn Trees in our Facebook Community. Visit us on Instagram and Twitter.

Read the Gazette!


“Thorn Trees” Is Finalist Official Selection in 2021 Vail Screenplay Competition

More Good News!

The Thorn Trees script progressed to FINALIST status in the Vail Screenplay Competition!

Jacob Larch and Valerie Mich’El Oliver were one (1) out of nine (9) finalists chosen in the TV Pilot category (see below).

The top winning television pilot genres are included below as an FYI.

Have a great day, and thanks to all who assisted with script development, “happy thoughts” and other support!


  • Disasterman by Mark C. Spera
  • 1st Place: Don’t Fear the Reaper by Erin Burchard
  • 3rd Place: Dragoness by Samantha Duncan
  • 2nd Place: Hartline by Chuck Driskell
  • In Utero by Gina Scanlon
  • The Mâr Chronicles by A.S. Templeton
  • THORN TREES by Jacob Larch, Valerie Mich’El Oliver
  • XCHANGE by Scott Hawthorne, Jim Goode
  • You’re Doing Great by Sharon Spell

1st Place: Don’t Fear the Reaper by Erin Burchard
Genre: Not Given (looks like a Thriller from the title)
Logline: Not Given

2nd Place: Hartline by Chuck Driskell
Genre: Thriller
Gage Hartline, a former special operations soldier, is targeted by the French mob after he uncovers a set of diaries written by Adolf Hitler’s Jewish lover.

3rd Place: Dragoness by Samantha Duncan
Genre: Adventure
When she finds a clue that her father may be alive, a tenacious, mixed-race high school student hurls herself into Chinatown gang life to uncover the truth about the incident that broke up her family ten years earlier, inadvertently impressing the city’s lone superhero and becoming his sidekick.

#thorntrees #thorntreespilot #witches #witchcraft #magick #magic #England #Scotland #Wales #Ireland
#thepursuitstudio #screenwriting #tvpilot #tvseries #awards #competitions #finalist #storytelling #femalefilmmakers #femaleentrepreneur #producers #drama #historical #salem #salemwitchtrials #british #development #occult #suspense #family #faith #spirituality #adventure #diversity #Spain #Salem #salemwitchtrials #witchhunter

“Thorn Trees” Progresses to Semifinalist in 2021 Vail Screenplay Competition

It’s been said that “a picture speaks a thousand words” so there are not so many words in this post. We are one of five TV Dramas selected, and one of two 60 minute TV Dramas. Deep gratitude, and keep those happy thoughts for Thorn Trees flowing as the finalist selections will be soon!

Also, congratulations to Lili Bordan for achieving Best Director at the Cannes Artisan Festival International World Peace & Tolerance Initiative at Cannes Marché du Film for her “One Night Only” short film, and other awards there as well!

#thorntreespilot #witches #witchcraft #magick #England #Scotland #Wales #Ireland 
#thepursuitstudio #screenwriting #tvpilot #tvseries #awards #competitions #semifinalist 
#storytelling #femalefilmmakers  #femaleentrepreneur #producers #drama #historical #salem #salemwitchtrials #british #development #occult #suspense #family #faith #spirituality

“Thorn Trees” Selected Quarterfinalist in 2021 Vail Screenplay Competition

We hope you all are doing well!

Jacob and I received a notification about the Thorn Trees script:

“We want to congratulate you on being a Quarter-Finalist in the 2021 Vail Screenplay Competition!”

We are one (1) of seven (7) selected in the Television One-Hour category. And one (1) of three (3) in the Television One-Hour DRAMA genre category!

Vail will announce the Semifinalists on July 23rd, and the winners during the first week in August.

Let’s all “think happy thoughts” that the script continues to progress. If not, that’s OK. We’re very happy to to have been chosen among who knows how many submissions as the number of screenplays being written is massive these days.

As some you know who are in this industry, winning selection status in film & TV screenplay competitions can attract cast, crew, investors and distributors.

Thanks to you ALL for your contributions to and/or interest in and support for Thorn Trees! We’ll keep you posted!

“The God Games: Heaven & Hell” (Interview & Excerpts with Author, Davalene Hirsh)

“The GOD Games: Heaven & Hell” is an allegorical Fantasy/Science Fiction/Magical Realism tale & Memoir that finds ANN NELSON, who is in Heaven, preparing her new Life Game (one lifetime on the planet of your choice – Ann choses Earth).

DAVALENE HIRSH, the author, says the main message of the book is: “God loves you just as you are right now.”

Welcome to “The GOD Games: Heaven and Hell” Book Launch (Part I) with author DAVALENE HIRSCH being interviewed by host Valerie Mich’El Oliver (The Pursuit Studio) and reading excerpts from the first two of four parts of her book.

The first and third parts of the book are Memoir; the second and fourth parts are Fiction/Fantasy/Science Fiction/Magic Realism.

Purchase on Amazon:

– The GOD Games: Heaven & Hell” Facebook Page & Messaging

– Contact the Author via email:

– Contact Valerie Mich’El Oliver via email:

#books #author #inspiration #inspirational #spirituality #spiritual #spiritualgrowth #spiritualjourney #fantasy #sciencefiction #magical #memoir #heaven #hell #religion #newbook #goodreads #davalenehirsch #DRHirsch #thepursuitstudio #podcast #seniors #writing #seniorsmatter #love

LIVE Interview & Reading with Author, D.R. Hirsch of “The God Games: Heaven & Hell”

for Author, D.R. HIRSCH
SUNDAY, JUNE 27 at 12pm ET

All the info you need to join this event (via Zoom, Facebook or phone) and to win a FREE copy of this “SPIRITUALLY-CHANNELED” thought-provoking story about ONE (aka God and other names), why we are on Earth, our purpose for being here, and why God & games go together can be accessed via –

Or… Join Zoom Meeting –


“Did any of the galaxies stand out for you, Ann?” asked Glenna.

“Well, when we came to the Milky Way galaxy, several planets seemed familiar: seemed to tug at my heart.”

“That’s not surprising Ann, you’ve spent many life games on the planets in that galaxy; MX-11, Earth and Sylvan. When we go back in, we’ll take out the videos of those planets and see if you’d be interested in choosing one of them for you new life game.”

We’ll discuss why many of us who have spiritual experiences and write about them don’t feel “safe” or supported promoting them as #MEMOIRS; instead, we categorize our stories as #FANTASY, #SCIFI and/or #SUPERNATURAL for publishing. It’s the same issue for those of us who are screenwriters for film & TV.

#storytelling #bookrelease #livereading #goodreads #booklaunch #fiction #memoir #fantasy #sciencefiction #womenauthors #faith #heaven #hell #adoption #games #spirituality #God #mentalillness #novels #publishing #bookevents #newreleases #intellectualproperty #thepursuitstudio #DRHirsch #literature #PTSD #childabuse

CLICK HERE to Join via Zoom

CLICK HERE for the Facebook Event Page and Discussion

Hot Off the Press! “Rachel’s Gazette” (4TH Edition), Focuses On Meaning & Expressions of Spirituality, Plus More Arts & Entertainment News


What’s Inside This Issue?

Welcome to Rachel’s Gazette!
Merry Meet!

This issue is shorter than usual due to editor and Assistant Producer intern Rachel Kaufman graduating, Assistant Producer intern Clarissa Labady graduating, and Valerie Mich’El taking a break from The Pursuit Studio’s Internship Program this summer semester.

During the summer, it’s most likely that the Gazette stories may be included as a section of the quarterly “Creativity & Storytelling ‘Zine curated and published by Valerie. Her main focus this summer is producing the Thorn Trees TV series pilot by working on the series bible with Jacob Larch (creator/screenwriter/producer), Clarissa Labady (Assistant Producer) focused on graphic design, and Irene Krawzuk (Associate Producer) focused on copy editing.

Our top stories in this 4th edition are: Top 70 Witchcraft Blogs & Websites To Follow in 2021, Editorial: What is Spirituality?, In Her Portraits Of Witches, Frances Denny Challenges A Stereotype, and Pagan Voices: 25 Years After The Craft. Also included are more stories curated from the web featuring photography, book reviews, audio podcasts, and videos from Youtube and more!

We wish you a enjoyable and healthy summer season!
Blessed Be,

Rachel Gare, Executive Editor
Rachel Kaufman, Editor
Rachel Kaufman, “Editorial: Rachel Speaks”
Bernadette Montana and Valerie Mich’El Oliver, Contributing Editors
Irene Krawczuk, Copy Editor
Clarissa Labady, Graphic Design

Discover more about and help support Thorn Trees in our Facebook Community. Visit us  on Instagram and Twitter.

Read the Gazette!