Screenwriting Summer Intensives

This year's Summer Intensive Residency for our Low Residency MA/MFA in Screenwriting takes place July 9-July 23, 2017. The Residency begins with a welcome reception on Sunday, July 9, at 5:00 pm, in the University Center.

All summer intensives are required of matriculated students in the MA/MFA in Screenwriting, and are also open to the public at the discretion of the instructor (click here for more information on options for non-matriculated students, and scroll down to "Application for Non-Matriculated Enrollment in Summer Intensives"). Courses meet 1:00-4:00 pm for eight days in the second half of July (2017: M-F, July 10-14 and M-W, July 17-19).

All the students and faculty not only read and write for many hours each day, but we have a wonderful time with readings, socializing, and recreation in one of the most beautiful valleys in the Rockies. During the final long weekend of the intensive, all students in the entire program participate in our national writing conference, Writing the Rockies, which is also open to the public.

There are three categories of non-matriculated enrollment in Summer Intensives available to the public:

1) Students who have been admitted through our admissions process to non-matriculated status (see above). Such students who wish to attend a Summer Intensive pay the same amount per credit as matriculated MA/MFA students and receive transcripted 600-level graduate credit. These credits are transferrable to degree-earning status if students matriculate into the program at a later date.

2) Students who have completed an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution and who wish to attend a Summer Intensive without becoming officially non-matriculated students in Western's program. Such students can still earn 2 credits of transferrable graduate-level non-degree-seeking credit. Admission is at the discretion of the instructor and the program director, and is subject to availability. Cost: $1,000.

3) Students who wish to attend a Summer Intensive without earning any credit. Such students may also register at the discretion of the instructor and the program director. The program has offered this option to a wide range of participants, from advanced high school students to members of our local community and visitors who are passionate about writing but not interested in pursuing a degree or graduate credit. Cost: $750.

Please note: Summer Intensive students who decide to enroll in the program and who wish to receive 600-level credit for summer intensive courses must do so before registering for the summer intensive. 600-level credit cannot be applied to transcripts retroactively.

The Workshop

Are you serious about screenwriting?

Interested in writing a feature screenplay, a teleplay for an original TV pilot or perhaps a speculative episode for an existing show?

Western’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing is proud to present an intensive for all screenwriters in conjunction with its low-residency MFA and MA in Screenwriting. This intensive is open to aspiring screenwriters with or without an undergraduate degree.

The intensive uses a daily workshop format to develop strong writing habits, as well as helping students to create structure, to write dialogue, to design strong narratives, and to improve overall screenwriting skills.

The intensive has three separate stages.

The first stage focuses on preparation. Participants read required materials, familiarize themselves with the formatting and basic structure, if they haven’t done so previously, and come to the workshop ready to pitch their ideas.

The second stage is the actual eight-day workshop. Each student pitches a story, creates a treatment, character biographies, an outline, and then writes the first act (roughly 30 pages) of the proposed screenplay or TV pilot/spec. This portion is rigorous, with an emphasis on writing, rewriting, critiquing and polishing words on the page.

The third stage focuses on support, including one-on-one meetings with screenwriting faculty to go over future writing plans. Students may also, for an additional fee, register for the three-day Writing the Rockies creative writing conference, which runs directly after the intensive ends, and includes discussions about the business of screenwriting and how to break into the industry.

Registration Information for Non-Matriculated Students

Click here to learn about enrolling as a non-matriculated student in a Summer Intensive. For more information, contact Extended Studies, Taylor 303, at 970-943-2885, or online at You may also contact Graduate Program Director and Poetry Concentration Director David J. Rothman, at

Graduate Program in Creative Writing, Application Information