“Thorn Trees” Continues as a Top Ranking Script in Four Categories On Coverfly International Screenwriting Competition Website in 2023 New Year! (02/02/23)

We are very encouraged and happy with our earned Coverfly accolades success continuing in 2023. In particular, this is gratifying because we haven’t submitted to a competition there since November 2021.

Congrats! You’re 11th in the Mixcloud Global Bossa Nova Chart! And, are now 61st in the global Easy Listening chart!

SLAVE TO LOVE is 11th in the global Bossa Nova chart! And is now 61st in the global Easy Listening chart!

Choice selections from a number of genres: easy listening, pop, adult contemporary, blues, bossa nova, soft rock, jazz, big band featuring Frank Sinatra, and an out-of-this-world swinging duo with Louis Armstrong and ‘Ella Fitzgerald’–all expressing and embracing the lover’s heart. Consider this a pre-Valentine’s Day Cupid’s Hunt mix. Love and romance always!
~ Valerie Mich’El Oliver

#1 TOP CONTENT | Best Story Content Grounded In Our Past & Current Life

I ATTENDED ONE OF THE FIRST “alternate” high schools in the United States in New Jersey. The Team School was innovative and unique at that time because the students, teachers, and parents worked together to determine the courses, type of government to address conflicts and issues, and handled the daily operations. The mornings were dedicated to academic courses necessary for college preparation, and the afternoon courses were electives taught by parents who were professionals in their chosen fields.

LISA SANDERSON’S DAD TAUGHT the creative writing elective, and he drilled into our heads the following regarding story content: Write about what you know, what you are experiencing in your own home environments and communities. You will never go wrong with paying attention to what often goes unnoticed, and how these events and relationships affect you and those around you. 

Nick Lupi and Jimmy Nice, of Spit Syndicate. 

Image Credit: The Sydney Morning Herald. Photo: Nic Walker

MR. SANDERSON TAUGHT US TO PAY attention and mine for gold in our own hearts, thoughts (and those of others), and locations grounded in our daily experiences of life. 

I CHOSE THESE TWO ARTICLES BECAUSE they remind me that there’s so much value in the wealth of content in my past and current communities that I used to take for granted before taking Mr. Sanderson’s class. As a storyteller, screenwriter, film producer, healing artist, content specialist (and award-winning writer/blogger, editor, art director, and marketing specialist) I know from past experience and successes that unlike Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, I don’t have to travel to realize that “there’s no place like home” for stories and other content.

FOR EXAMPLE, THE FLASH FICTION STORY, Back Up The Truck, is inspired by a domestic violence true story from my childhood. Many of us grew up in a war zone of domestic violence that impacted our lives in those moments and beyond.

ONE DAY MY BEST FRIEND WHO LIVED next door came running to my house to get my help. His “uncle” was beating his mother and we needed to find a way to distract him. First, we tried to physically pull Uncle Charlie off his mom, but he was too strong. So, we decided to distract him by taking as much of his clothing as possible from his room, putting the clothes into a pile in the backyard, and soaking the clothes with liter fluid to create a bonfire. We then ran back into the house and started yelling “Fire!” It worked!

THE SHORT STORY “GIFTS” is also inspired by a true story about a highly-anticipated first date gone wrong and what happens as a result.

Image Credit: Medium.com    

Creative Strategy: How I See Using This Story

1) USE THIS FLASH FICTION STORY in an anti-domestic violence campaign focusing on how it impacts children. Create a number of story scenarios to drive home this point to attract and engage audience stakeholders.

2) USE THE STORY IN A RAW, EDGY marketing campaign about childhood friendships that survive traumatic situations and endure the test of time that leads to happiness in some form–a product, event, fine arts project, or service they share (an antithesis to the traditional “Hallmark” variety content). My friend and I had to instantaneously come up with an intelligent, creative and practical solution under intense stress. The physical approach failed, so we quickly moved on to save his mom from that attack. We worked together to accomplish it. We were both about 11-years-old. 

THERE’S A LARGER MESSAGE in these stories for us: If two 11-year-old children are capable of these types of creative and practical solutions under this kind of duress, then certainly we can (or can learn how to) access these qualities within ourselves.

THIS STORY IS JUST ONE IN A SLATE that are either already written as short stories (some written under strict time constraints as the creative structure model) that are to become short film scripts or expanded into larger formats for film, television and theater.

MAY YOU DISCOVER MORE CREATIVE ideas and storytelling support now (and in the future).  


“Things are only impossible until they’re not.”
“Make it so.”
Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation


THE PURSUIT STUDIO is a creativity & storytelling excellence sanctuary. We are passionate about the art and architecture of creativity and storytelling in service to the Creator and humanity. Valerie is a Tisch School of the Arts (New York University) and The Mystery School (Sacred Center for the Healing Arts) graduate. | Imagine, innovate, create, be generous, love this life, and dare to shine.

“Thorn Trees” TV Script Semi-Finalist Status

THORN TREES was selected as a Semi-Finalist by the International Screenwriters Association’s Family & History Genre-Busting Screenwriting Competition!

The International Screenwriters Association (ISA) is seeking classic and genre-busting family or holiday material in the feature and tv pilot categories. This contest is a celebration of traditional and idiosyncratic family narratives.

Congratulations to JACOB LARCH and VALERIE MICH’EL OLIVER (creators and screenwriters), and thanks to everyone who contributed to this most recent success via development meetings and any other support!

Keep the good vibrations coming!

#thorntreespilotupdates #thorntreespilot #thorntrees #screenwriting #scripts #producer #producing #writinglife #awardwinner #awardwinning #semifinalist #success #producerlife

THORN TREES Script Selected As Quarter-Finalist

THORN TREES was selected as a Quarter-Finalist by the International Screenwriters Association’s Family & History Genre-Busting Screenwriting Competition!

The International Screenwriters Association (ISA) is seeking classic and genre-busting family or holiday material in the feature and tv pilot categories. This contest is a celebration of traditional and idiosyncratic family narratives.

Congratulations to JACOB LARCH and VALERIE MICH’EL OLIVER (creators and screenwriters), and thanks to everyone who contributed to this most recent success via development meetings and any other support!

Next up is the Semi-Finalist round. Keep the good vibrations coming!

#thorntreespilotupdates #thorntreespilot #thorntrees #screenwriting #scripts #producer #producing #writinglife #awardwinner #awardwinning #quarterfinalist #success #producerlife

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