My Internship with Escape Artists Entertainment at Sony Pictures Studios

This past year, as I was going around asking other writers I know if they knew about any job openings, an opportunity arose. Not a paid opportunity, but an opportunity nonetheless. And as it sometimes can help to “know someone,” I was able to land an internship working for Escape Artists Entertainment who have a first look deal with Sony Pictures. Escape Artists Entertainment is the company that made movies such as Sex Tape, The Equalizer, and most recently Southpaw.

My Sony Studios Badge. I know, I look silly.
My Sony Studios Badge. I know, I look silly.

It was all very exciting. My job description focused on the usual office duties such as checking and refilling printers with paper, making coffee, refilling the fridge, greeting clients, retrieving and passing out mail, etc.. but the best part was being assigned to do “Coverage.”

Being assigned to do Coverage was awesome! All you did was read over scripts – both screenplays and pilots and the occasional book that is looking to be developed into a movie or television series. And we all know, that I love to read! So, again, I say Awesome!! After the reading, I had to then write up a report that consisted of a summary and comments section, which gave my opinion about whether ultimately the script should be considered, passed on, considered with reservations, or sometimes the writing was great but not the story therefore only the writer should be considered and the project passed on. This way, when the script was handed over to the appropriate executive, they could read my report, get a sense of what the script was about and they could then question me if they were unclear with anything and from there make their own opinions and decisions about the project and whether they wanted to go ahead and possibly move forward with it.

I really enjoyed working there and learned a lot. I familiarized myself with what a bad script looks like and what a great script looks like. In one instance, I had to read a book, and it was awful. I hated every moment of it but it was a great learning experience and of course, you can bet that I passed on it. With each coverage report I got better and better. I had to learn how to sometimes construct my reports to fit a slimmer structure with less summary and more commentary or a heavy fully loaded report, it all depended on the project and the executive that ordered the report.

The team I worked with was amazing. Everyone who works their was very nice and helpful. I worked under the assistants to the executives and alongside other interns that came and went as school let out. I of course, was the oldest. It was a funny feeling but I got passed it and smiled.

Eventually I had to leave, not because my time was up but because I needed to find a another paying job. I still work as a nanny, but another job would be great. My experience with Escape Artists really opened up my eyes to a whole new world of writing. I initially was afraid and I admit that a small part of me didn’t want to intern with them because scripts are so different from the type of writing that I normally do (prose, poetry and memoir). It was all very terrifying because I had this nebulous idea about this world and I didn’t think I could hack it. Yet, in the end I made it out alive and INSPIRED to possibly write my own script one day, because script writers are just as creative and really do create wonderful fanastic art like the writing that I strive to create and like all those that I admire. Plus, I love TV and films, so why not write for them. It isn’t a promise but it is an idea that could happen one day. I just need to sit down and write it. So who knows, maybe. Until then, I’ll remember to be open to different styles of writing and to stay positive.


P.S. I’m still looking for another job, lol.

Why I will NOT be watching SNL’s broadcast tonight and HOPE you won’t either

Although my site is mostly dedicated to my writing, sometimes a different type of posting can be quite satisfying, and seeing as the site can also be used as a platform to air out my views and the views of those smarter than me, then why not do it?

Tonight, SNL is slated to feature Donald Trump as the host of the 90 min show, and I for one will not be watching. I think it’s ridiculous that the show celebrates someone who has said such hateful things about the Latino community. If Trump or anyone else for that matter had sad anything about the black community, the gay and lesbian community, the asian community, etc.. then they would not be tolerated on the show. But because he’s said these very offensive, hate-mongering xenophobic statements about Mexicans and about all Latinos, it’s okay??? Why is that OKAY? It shouldn’t be. It’s not fair and NBC and SNL should have higher standards for the people that they bring on to the show.

I’m all for freedom of speech, after all, I’m a writer. However, when someone is running for president and intentionally says cruel things about a great percentage of the people he intends to represent and then gets celebrated for that, then we have to stop and wonder whats happening?

if you like, I’ve linked an NPR article that I feel really highlights some interesting points. “Would ‘SNL’ Have Donald Trump As Host If It Had Latino Cast Members?” 

In the end, I don’t have the right to tell anyone else what they can and cannot do. But I do ask anyone reading this that tonight, when turning on SNL, that they remember those that have been affected and think about how wrong it is to celebrate this man and what he’s said. The intent is to make light of it all via comedy, but in the end it’s just another way to further make us feel inferior.  I’m a Latina, whats been said was hurtful and despicable. But we move forward by hopefully showing that we do not accept whats happening, we do not roll over and laugh, we will not watch. I will not watch.

You can also check out what these latino celebrities say on the issue here.

In any case, have a good Saturday night, whether you watch or not.



Hi everyone, I am pleased to announce that I have another wonderful piece out in the literary journal FRE&D (For Reader’s Edification & Debauchery). It is a poem titled, Bowling Alley Love.

This post comes late since the issue was officially released on April 19th, however there were some writing setbacks. In any case, here it is!

Like all my work, this piece is very dear to my heart and has been in the works for a very long time. Initially, I had a lot of trouble getting it onto paper. The concept of the whole narrative was there yet I struggled over and over in how to pull the images and ideas from my mind and onto the page.

My whole vision of the poem was in constant transition, never fully developed until one day it just came together. The aesthetic look and skeletal structure was a huge endeavor as I could never fully create what I wanted as it too was in constant flux. Bowling Alley Love originally started out as a prose poem yet eventually made its way into a more traditional piece of poetry, transforming into what it is today.

This is FRE&D’s second print issue and it features many other great writers, like Matthew Dickman, Ellen Bass, Jack Grapes, Richard Jones and others. Be sure to check it out if you can. The journal costs about $11.00. You can order a copy of through FRE&D’s website or through me and I will be sure that you get one, just leave me a comment or private message me via this site or directly contact me if you have my cell, or my private email.

Read Bowling Alley Love – feel pain, feel fear, feel love. I hope you enjoy the poem, now let’s go bowl!

Note** When I get a chance, I will be sure to post a PDF version of the piece for you to read.





Hi everyone! I am pleased to announce that my pieces, NIGHT BEAT and MEDUSA, LOVING are now out in the inaugural issue of the literary journal, Angel City Review.

Angel City Review aims to bring readers new and exciting pieces of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and art from both established writers and artists as well as emerging writers with an emphasis on those based in Los Angeles like myself. The journal is an Ebook (including PDF and ibooks/Kindle formats etc.) and it is FREE!!!

Heart Attack by Mando Castellanos
Heart Attack by Mando Castellanos

I hope that you enjoy MEDUSA, LOVING as well as NIGHT BEAT, they both mean a lot to me (as do all my pieces) but what I love about these pieces is that at the time of creation I was practicing a new exercise in writing that I had learned and I was able to come up with these different pieces. I am so glad to have been able to attain a home for the two of them in this up and coming journal. Please read, they await your eyes.

So stop by the Angel City Review and download your ibooks copy today or click below for the PDF version.

Angel City Review PDF

Angel City Review

Angel City Review Launch Party & Reading at Avenue 50 Studio

Come join me this Thursday, June 16th from 7pm to 10 pm at Avenue 50 Studio for the launch party of the inaugural issue of the Angel City Review. Avenue 50 Studio is located at 131 N Avenue 50, Los Angeles, California 90042

Two of my pieces, “Night Beat” and “Medusa, Loving” appear in the journals first issue and I am so proud and would love to share this experience with you all.

I will be reading along with a few other great writers featured in the inaugural issue such as F. Douglas Brown and Keith Niles.

The reading will be followed by some wonderful Jazz by the Alex Santos Quintet.

Check out the Facebook event here.

Angel City Review



Hey everyone,

I’ve wanted to report on this for a few weeks now but my internet has been on the fritz, still is actually ;( in any case, here we go!

Coffee House Press has published and released the full length book by my wonderful friend and mentor, Quintan Ana Wikswo, titled “The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far.”

It is almost indescribable to be able to hold this beauty knowing all the hard work Quintan put into creating it.IMG_0566

As writer’s we are often faced with the uncertainty of others and more frequently our own uncertainty. Those loud and annoying voices in our heads that convince us every so often that we’re not going to make it, that we’re not going to actually be able to produce anything let alone anything that is well received or dare I say successful. And yet, we continue, we dare everyday. We write. Which is why I am so proud and happy for Quintan.

This book is made up of a collection of short stories, all of which are evocative and masterful works, beautiful poetic pieces that peel back layers of our humanity and expose their truths, our truths.

On Tuesday June 23, I was lucky enough to be able to make it out to the Los Angeles book launch party for “The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far.” It was held at Monk Space in K-Town and it was absolutely fabulous. Quintan read selected pieces from the book and each piece was accompanied by a live music composition, it was both lovely and haunting. The whole ensemble was so beautiful I even cried. Afterwards, Quintan signed autographs and took pictures with her adoring fans like me ;)

IMG_0945 IMG_0946

Me and Quintan

This whole experience was so eye opening and inspiring. I hope to one day achieve this success and have a book published. In the mean time I will continue writing and celebrating others like Quintan.

You can check out Quintan’s website or purchase a copy of Quintan’s book on Coffee House Press or Amazon. Happy reading & once again, CONGRATULATIONS to Quintan!

New Publication: The Housekeeper’s Daughter in Lunch Ticket

Hi everyone!

Today I am pleased to announce that my piece, “The Housekeeper’s Daughter” has been published in Lunch Ticket, a literary journal from the MFA community at Antioch University Los Angeles.

This piece means a lot to me because it is my Truth.

I hope you read it and whether you hate it or love it, I hope that it speaks to you.

The Housekeeper’s Daughter

Los Angeles - A tear in the sky?
Los Angeles – A tear in the sky?


New Publication: SEVENTEEN in Burningword Journal

My poem, SEVENTEEN has been published today – fresh for your eyes and ears, hurray!!

I originally wrote this poem at the age of seventeen. I’ve carried it with me for so long as I am now 30 and with each new year the poem underwent significant changes, morphing into what it is today.

The process of revising, editing and polishing the poem was in many ways intense. Every so often I added to it, deconstructed it, removed elements from it, spliced other writings to it, renamed it, massaged it, locked it away for long periods of time, carried it with me on outings, hated it, and loved it…

And after all those changes it has now reached it’s final form and has been published. Seventeen has made its new home in Burningword Literary Journal. Burningword is a quarterly publication focussing on emerging writers of poetry and short fiction, I am proud to have my piece featured in it.

Seventeen is dedicated to my very great longtime friend, T. Rodriguez – I love you and I hope that you know that always.

Please feel free to check it out and share the piece with others. It is viewable via three different formats – for free online (link below) as well as in digital format for iPad and for $15 in print form (both digital and print are accessible via the Burningword website.) Which ever way you experience it, I hope you like it!

Seventeen in Burningword


NEW Publication – Hybrid piece: TONIC featured in DUENDE

Hi everyone, I am very pleased to announce that I have a new piece out today titled, “Tonic” and it is featured in the prose – hybrid section of DUENDE, the literary arts journal from the amazing team of the BFA in Writing program at Goddard College.

Tonic is a surrealism piece very close to my heart and I am just so honored and proud that the editorial team at Duende has chosen to feature it in their second issue. It’s an amazing feeling for me to see another one of my pieces in published format.

Tonic falls under the genre of hybrid because of the poetic language and the use of surrealism which gives this creation so many layers. Weaving fiction, memoir and poetry together and splicing the different elements is what in many ways makes this piece a tonic, to be consumed, devoured, ingested allowing it to bubble and brew within the canals of your stomach. A tonic to stimulate the senses, the mind, a tonic for the soul. Who doesn’t like a sip of a hybridized work of art. I hope you all enjoy it. Cheers!

Freshly Brewed


Freshly brewed TONIC


Hi everyone,

I know, it’s been a while (about a year and a half – I think). So I figured it was time to pay attention to my blog and give it a facelift, let it catch up to where I am these days. I’ve done some reflective thinking and an overhaul of who I am and what this blog means to me was in order.

Here goes it:


Since finishing school (December 2013) things have been going fairly well for me. First off, I finally I earned my B.A. in English Creative Writing. It was tough – 10 years TOUGH. But I did it and I am proud.

As school was nearing its end, I was planning my journey into furthering my education.  I originally was ready to jump right into an MA or MFA program and after being accepted into the CSUN Creative Writing MA program I was very excited. However, I ultimately decided not to make that jump just yet, and to take it slow and explore all other options. I was really enjoying not having to go to class, plus, the lack of money for tuition was a big influence on my decision.

However, no worries here because I am still a student, in truth forever a student. As a graduation gift, my boss who is also one of my many mentors gave me a semester’s worth of classes with the poet and teacher, Jack Grapes in his Method Writing class in Los Angeles. It has changed my writing – it has changed my life. It had been so long since I had last written for myself or for the sake of art or for the sake of writing. For a very long time now, I had been writing for a grade, writing to impress a professor, writing to impress my peers, writing to get into  a graduate program. This change really allowed me to relax and actually focus on what I want to write and to really invest myself into plans and project ideas that I’ve allowed to sit on the back burner for too long a time. I have now been in Jack’s class for more than a year and am learning so much and am feeling very good about it. He provides 4 semesters a year, each 6 weeks long. It is so different and just what I needed.

I of course will always value the education I received at CSUN in the traditional school setting and still use what I learned. It is after all what further ignited my passion for writing. However, it’s good to have a break from the academic side of writing so that I may focus on the creative side. Who knows if I will end up doing an MFA program in the future. I still very much want to and if I do, then great, bring it on! But as of right now, I am fine with where I am. I realized, that I don’t need that degree to be a writer – I already am one. Yes, the MFA could give me a leg up in the professional world with job hunting and such but for now I am happy just taking Jack Grapes’ Method Writing Approach. In the end, I shall see what the future holds in regards to school and my writing, after all she is a fickle mistress.

Another new development is that I have decided to change my name when it comes to being published. Dont get me wrong, I LOVE my name. I love my WHOLE name – I love the way it sounds and the way it looks when its all spelled out, each name with its double letters creating a snakelike force to be tangled with. I originally published under Alessandra Rebekkah Castellanos. But let’s be honest here – that’s a mouthful for people to say. I’m really just begging for people to butcher my name. Alessandra is hard enough for people, half the time they call me Alexandra or Alejandra and if we add Rebekkah and Castellanos to the mix, I’m afraid peoples mouths would spontaneously combust. I’ve had people suggest that I remove my middle name to make it easier  but I feel that it’s just as important, I don’t know, perhaps I’m vain when it comes to my name. In any case, I am fully aware that there are many people who can say my name just fine, but I feel like ultimately what I want is for people to focus on my writing, on what I have to say, on the art that I create.

Therefore I have abbreviated my first and middle names and will now (hopefully if I continue to get published in the future) be known as  A. R. Castellanos. I really think that this allows the reader to focus on the piece. I also feel it adds mystery and ambiguity to whether I am female or male, and it doesn’t allow the reader to make any snap judgments before reading the actual work, which often happens as the literary world is still at times one sided when it comes to gender. I’m not saying I’ve been a victim to this kind of treatment but I unfortunately do know those that have been, I just feel that this change was needed and it feels right. So in regards to my writing, A. R. Castellanos it is!

Here’s a look at a chapbook I created for Jack’s class with my newly minted professional writer name. I think it looks pretty cool.

Final project in Method Writing for the beginner level. Artwork: "Dark Connections" by Mando Castellanos (My Bro).
Final project in Method Writing for the beginner level. Artwork: “Dark Connections” by Mando Castellanos (my brother).

Lastly, and therefore in keeping up with these developments, I have tried to update this site. Aside from the theme (the look and experience of this blog which I feel is now giving off a nice clean writerly mood), I also changed the web address. So from now on, it is instead of I will still be keeping up with the theme of AlessandraWrites because I am still just me and I am still just writing. I’m not a huge success (although I would love to be someday) and I want to keep it relaxed, so although I strive to be a professional writer, I do also very much enjoy just keeping it simple. And ultimately, if anyone wants to look me up after reading my work they would be able to do so by searching under my published name. Who knows if anyone will bother, but nonetheless, the option is there. I hope that all makes sense. Remember, it’s still me writing.

Until next time,

– AlessandraWrites

P.S. I have a few publications coming out soon, so stay tuned.