Master Class

The objective in the Screenwriters’ Master Class is to finish a feature-length screenplay outline/treatment or a screenplay draft by the end, although it is not a requirement. This workshop is designed for writers of all levels. In fact, students who have previously taken the Master Class are encouraged to return when they have new projects they’d like to take through the workshop process, and returning Master Class students always receive an alumni discount.

In the Master Class, we’ll focus on a different element of the craft every week. There’ll be weekly film-viewing assignment and in-class writing exercises, and participants can submit scripts, treatments, and story pitches for in-class review. Class time is a combination of lecture, discussion, in-class writing exercises, professional script excerpts, and critiques of participants’ story outlines and screenplays via our exclusive critique tool, “the two-way mirror.”

Here is the syllabus week-to-week:

  1. Screenplay story structure (the difference between a story and a situation & our revolutionary Nutshell Technique which will forever change how you watch and write for film)
  2. Plot development
  3. Character development
  4. Formatting and scene & action description
  5. Dialogue
  6. Scene and sequence construction, pacing, and transitions
  7. “Mini-slug” action writing
  8. Advanced dialogue writing
  9. Advanced topics (i.e., tone, theme, imagery, voice)
  10. The business of screenwriting

Participants will use screenwriting software for all writing submitted for critique (access to free screenwriting software will be provided). Most writers prefer, however, using a pen and paper for the in-class writing exercises, although laptops are welcome in the classroom.

All programs at The Screenplay Workshop are taught by professional screenwriter and script consultant Jill Chamberlain and meet in our central Austin classrooms (near 38 St and Guadalupe). Early registration is encouraged.