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Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Open House
Tuesday, February 1, 2022 - 4PM PDT

January 2022 Residency

Our first-year cohort gathered for their first all-Zoom residency, and came away with lots of great wisdom and encouragement for the year ahead! The second-years completed their final residency, and start out on the road to graduation!

Our guest speakers and mentors represented many different productions and publications, including those pictured above. We thought we'd share some tidbits of what the students learned...

Meg LeFauve
Inside Out (2015), Captain Marvel (2019)

"More than a mere journey, your character needs to undergo an emotional transformation."

Kathleen Rowell
The Outsiders (1983), Malibu Shores (NBC)

On adaptation, "find something that you can connect with enough to get it done."

Reinaldo Marcus Green
King Richard (2021), Monsters and Men (2018)

On writing real-life stories, you are "speaking in film language, working within a truth, enhancing the truth" of someone's life.

Sahar Jahani
Ramy (Hulu), The Bold Type (Freeform), Class of 2018

"Don't ever do anything out of fear! You will get the next job!"

Jessica Sharzer
Nerve (2015), A Simple Favor (2018), Nine Perfect Strangers (Hulu)

When writing, "make friends with the fear and see where it lives in the story."

Morgan Collins
First Wives Club (BET), Harlem (Prime)

On general meetings, "it's about 20% about the story and 80% about yourself. Make sure your personality is reflected on the page!"

Amy Straus
Friends (NBC), Stephens MFA Mentor

Amy broke down the elements of a pilot episode. On taking story ideas to the page, "make sure the story matches the medium," in this case, TV.

Mickey Fisher
Extant (CBS), Reverie (NBC)

"Write the things you haven't seen yet. If you have seen it, what's a twist or a unique spin on it? Is it surprising?"

Laura Brennan
Goddess of Structure

"Your logline is your True North, the promise of the experience of your movie."

"The difference between TV and a movie is an insurmountable obstacle that keeps us coming back week-to-week."

Jule Selbo
Young Indiana Jones (ABC), Film Genre for the Screenwriter

Film genre "helps when about 25/30 pages in...providing story elements" that typically occur in that genre. 

Thomas Dean Donnelly
Conan the Barbarian (2011), Sahara (2005)

"There are two voices in our head while writing: the creator and the critic." Thomas then laid out a process of balancing the two called Super Draft.

Bri Castellini
Ace and Anxious (2017), Breaking out of Breaking In

What makes a great digital series? "A show that knows what it is."

Lauren Hynek & Elizabeth Martin
Mulan (2020)

"Being in a writing partnership is a little bit like marriage --and requires as much commitment and understanding."

Aron Gaudet & Gita Pullapilly
Beneath the Harvest Sky (2015), Queenpins (2021)

"Research makes the difference in your writing."

Diane Johnson
The Shining (1980), Le Divorce (2003)

"If you don’t see yourself as a writer, no one will."

Dana Chan
Alma's Way (PBS), Santiago of the Seas (Nickelodeon)

"The only difference between writing for kids and adults is that kids are smarter."

Sheryl Anderson
Sweet Magnolias (Netflix)

"In a writers room all ideas are on the table."

Lisa Seidman
Cagney & Lacey (CBS), Dallas (CBS), General Hospital (ABC)

"Never quit on yourself."

Check out Meg LeFauve's podcast!

The Inside Out writer and Lorien McKenna (Up, Brave) welcome you to The Screenwriting Life. From dialogue to delivery, Meg and Lorien will guide you through the process, offering inside tips and tricks to help you become the best writer you can be.

Ready to start your new journey?
Apply Now!

"Join in our mission of bringing more female writers into mainstream Hollywood, while studying film with a female gaze."

Dr. Rosanne Welch

Executive Director
Stephens College MFA
in Television and Screenwriting

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