Headlines & Deadlines: The Christmas Beat by Jason K. Allen | Script Revolution

Headlines & Deadlines: The Christmas Beat

Hoping to revive a once promising journalism career, a struggling Chicago waitress gets the opportunity to run a newspaper in a small town where news is scare and journalism has no rules.

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97pp

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As the holidays arrive, Chicago waitress Meghan Wilson gets an unexpected opportunity: the chance to work for a newspaper and pursue her dream of a journalism career. But the new job requires that she leave her big-city home for the mountain town of Pine Bluff, Tennessee – where Christmas reigns supreme and journalism has no rules.

Furthermore, Meghan learns that her former college journalism professor has worked out a deal: If she does well in Pine Bluff, she will get the chance to return to Chicago and work for a big newspaper.

Upon arriving in Pine Bluff, Meghan discovers that her office is located inside a barn. She soon realizes that running a small-town newspaper paper isn’t as romantic as she’d imagined.

Meghan is quickly tossed into the fire as she learns of the Christmas Challenge, an annual contest for best newspaper in the county. Her paper, The Pine Bluff Tribune, has won the contest for 17 consecutive years. And now it’s up to Meghan to show off her skills, continue the town’s winning streak and keep bragging rights in Pine Bluff.

Unfortunately, Meghan has a difficult time finding news stories in Pine Bluff. Quite simply, there’s not much happening other than the town’s annual Christmas festival -- and perhaps an occasional cat stuck in a tree.

What’s worse, the editor of The Ridgetop Gazette – the rival newspaper in the county – is determined to make life miserable for newcomer Meghan and take the Christmas Challenge cup away from Pine Bluff.

On the bright side, Meghan finds a pleasant distraction in Cal, the local handyman who constantly bumps into her around town. Although curiously guarded around Meghan at first, Cal eventually warms to her, offering her tours of the town, making repairs in her office, and even helping her to find the Christmas spirit.

Yet despite Cal's friendship and support, Meghan faces an uphill battle in her quest to win the Christmas Challenge and fulfill her journalism dreams.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

Finalist, Nashville Film Festival Screenwriting Competition

Finalist, TSA National Screenwriting Awards

Semifinalist, Fade In Screenwriting Awards

* Coverage: Received a "Recommend" from Casey Silver Productions (Universal)

* Coverage comments: "Cute story... nice characters... good set-up for a TV series" - Gaylyn Fraiche, VP Development, Castle Rock Entertainment

Submitted: December 27, 2017
Last Updated: July 17, 2022

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This Script Is Loved By 2 Readers

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The Writer: Jason K. Allen

Jason Allen is a writer and filmmaker from Nashville, TN. He is also a wilderness guide, nature photographer and award-winning journalist. His first produced screenplay was the 2009 feature comedy Lucky Fritz starring Corey Feldman and Julia Dietze. Since then he's won Best Screenplay honors at the Nashville Film Festival, San Diego Film Awards, Mountain of Laughs Comedy Fest, TSA Screenwriting Awards, and Artlightenment Film Festival, and is a seven-time finalist of the Nashville Film Festival Screenwriting Competition. His scripts have also been finalists in the ScreenCraft and ScriptVamp competitions. His writing credits include the award-winning short films You Destroy Me , American... Go to bio

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