TV Writing

Learn Teleplay Writing from the Showrunners’ Secret Weapon

Top television showrunners turn to Jill Chamberlain for her expert advice, and now she offers her knowledge to Austin residents in fun, highly interactive workshops.

What’s Included

25 Hours of Workshop Time

Ten 2 1/2 hour class sessions, each one filled with Jill Chamberlain’s unique lectures, skill-building exercises, group discussions, and individual story consultation.

Script Notes and Feedback

Get feedback on your TV pilot or spec “nutshell,” your outline, and your final script from Jill Chamberlain and your fellow classmates.

Worksheets

Handouts of key story concepts and professional teleplay examples make convenient references in and outside the workshop.

TV Episode Analysis

Each week the class analyzes a television episode assigned for outside viewing and deconstructs its underlying structure.

Out of Office Hours

Each week Jill and your fellow writers meet after the workshop for an informal conversation.

Syllabus

The 10 week TV Writing workshop was created with both professional and beginning screenwriters in mind. Each week there is a focus on mastering a different area of the TV writing craft. The goal of the workshop is for each writer to complete one television episodic script (either a pilot or a spec of an existing series) and submit it to the class for feedback.

Week 1

The Nutshell Technique and Story Structure

Lecture on the Nutshell Technique and the underlying structure of all screenplays (teleplays and feature film scripts). A film viewing assigned pre-workshop will be analyzed to illustrate the lesson.

Week 2

Plot Development: One-Hour Dramas

Delving deeper into how to structure your teleplay, you’ll learn the structures employed by one-hour dramas (both network and cable/streaming). Your own story nutshell will be reviewed by Jill and the class.

Week 3

Plot Development: Half-Hour Sitcoms

You’ll learn the structures employed by half-hour sitcoms (both network and cable/streaming). Once your nutshell has been cleared, you can turn in an outline for your teleplay.

Week 4

Character Development

Learn the secrets to creating compelling characters and how to orchestrate your whole cast.

Week 5

Writing in Screenplay Format

Learn how to write in industry format for the various types of teleplays.

Week 6

Dialogue

Writing natural yet concise dialogue is an art form, and this is when we go over the principles to get you on your way to mastery.

Week 7

Review of Critical Scenes

Everyone in the workshop turns in a critical scene from their teleplay. The class will do table reads of all the scenes, and Jill will offer script doctoring suggestions and address formatting and structural issues.

Week 8

Scene & Act Construction

Scenes are the building blocks of any TV episode or movie. Here we go over how to write a strong scene and make sure it fits into the bigger picture.

Week 9

Advanced Topics

Advanced topics (such as tone, theme, subtext, pitching) will be addressed this week. This is the last class you can turn in your teleplay for class critique.

Week 10

The Business of Screenwriting

We’ll talk about the business side of screenwriting, and do final in-class critiques of teleplays submitted by class participants.