Screenwriting Workshops, Panels and Events

All keynote talks, panels, one-day workshops, readings and special events are included in general registration, as is attendance at the Poetry Symposium each afternoon. All three-day Workshops and three-day Critical Seminars require an additional fee of $200.


Panel #1:

“Getting It Done: Writing Habits, Tricks of Motivation, and the Particular Ways Screenwriters Look for Inspiration.”

J S Mayank, Moderator, with John Bowman and Trai Cartwright.

Saturday, July 21, 2-4 p.m., Taylor Hall 205


Workshop #1:

"Nothing Good Ever Comes Out of the Fog: How Theme Drives Stories." 

Instructor: Trai Cartwright.

Thursday, July 19, 2-4 p.m., Taylor Hall 205

Film and TV are theme-driven media, and when a film or a show fails to connect emotionally to the audience, it’s often because the makers didn’t fully understand the heart or the message of their story. This seminar dives deep into the layers (upon layers) of theme at work in all great films and TV shows, and analyzes how those themes got there. From the opening shot to the closing—even if that closing is seven seasons later!—learn how theme drives story.

Workshop #2:

"IP Is the Name of the Game."

Instructor: JS Mayank.

Saturday, July 21, 8:30-10 a.m., Taylor Hall 201

JS will discuss Hollywood’s obsession with pre-existing properties, and how to use it to your advantage to break in.


All Three-Day Workshops and Critical Seminars meet Thursday, 7/19, Saturday, 7/21, and Sunday, 7/22, from 10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Cost: $200 in addition to registration.


"Writing the TV Pilot."

Instructor: John Bowman.

Location: Taylor Hall 205

This workshop is designed to simulate the TV development process for the pilot of a potential half-hour comedy series. Students, working in a collegial "Writer's Room" atmosphere, will be encouraged to generate ideas, characters and themes that reflect aspects of their own life experience, thus building a personal connection to the proposed series. Our goal is for each student to generate a show pitch, complete with a description of the show's characters and world. Why this show, why now?


All Screenings are included in General Registration. Tickets to each screening are also available at the door to members of the public for $10 / $5 students.All screenings take place at the University Center Theater.

Screening #1:

"Clapter: Enemy of the Satirist." 

Presented by John Bowman.

Thursday, July 19, 7:30-9 p.m., University Center Theater

"Clapter" is what a satirist gets when an audience agrees with the political point, but doesn't think what is presented is necessarily funny. This screening will include sketches from Saturday Night LiveIn Living Color and other shows on which I have worked, to examine some of the tensions between a writer's political beliefs and the need to entertain. The underlying point is that the best sketches illuminate a politician's character, as opposed to his or her ideas. We will also explore how actors can change the perception of the politician they are portraying. Amy Poehler presented Hillary Clinton as a smart woman with a bit of warmth. Kate McKinnon portrayed Hillary as a woman hollowed out by her lifelong political ambitions. Did this cost Hillary 70,000 votes in PA, MI and WI?

Screening #2:

"Highlights from the Upcoming 2018 Crested Butte Film Festival."

Presented by screenwriter and Crested Butte Film Festival Co-Director Michael Brody.

Saturday, July 21, 4-5:30 p.m., University Center Theater

Join Michael Brody as he presents a highlight reel from the 2016 Crested Butte Film Festival and discusses the films and the selection process.

Screening #3:  

"How Murray Saved Christmas."

Presented by Mike Reiss.

Sunday, July 22, 4-5:30 p.m., University Center Theater

Mike Reiss, a four-time, Emmy-winning writer for The Simpsons, is also the author of 19 children's books. His first book, How Murray Saved Christmas, was rejected by every publisher in America, before eventually becoming a giant best-seller and an animated holiday TV show. Reiss will take you through the twisted journey from page to screen, and show his Emmy-nominated Christmas special.