A writers’ group is invaluable to your development as an artist and a craftsperson. Here’s why:
- Help with finding and fixing the mistakes in your script that are red flags
- Help with formatting questions
- Help with grammar, style, and punctuation
- Feedback on what’s working and what’s not working
- Immediate emotional reactions. Are they laughing in the room? Are they shocked in the room? Are they scared in the room? Are they moved in the room?
- Ideas as food for thought in the rewriting process
- Regular feedback helps if you like to rewrite as you go
- Once your group has finished reading your entire script, you are eligible for a table reading in the monthly 2nd Tuesday Reading Series. This allows you to hear the script read aloud front to back and obtain immediate feedback and notes. Professional-style written coverage by MCTC students follows within a few weeks after the reading.
- Gain valuable experience for working with producers, managers, studios, and co-writers
- Build script analysis skills
- Learn to spot script weaknesses and generate ideas for fixing issues
- Learn how to take notes in a gracious and professional manner
- Exposure to the development process so you become accustomed to writing, taking notes, and rewriting to address those notes
- Experience with discerning which notes and ideas make sense for the story you are trying to tell
- When it comes to giving notes, learn how to voice your opinion and present your case in a way that is more likely to be respected and well-received by others
- Learn how to discern which notes should fall by the wayside and which are worth addressing since they really serve the story
- Networking with the local community
- A feeling of connection to the local community
- Be inspired by the creativity, talent, and dedication of your fellow writers
- Camaraderie with other screenwriters to help offset the solitary writing habit
How it Works:
- Bring 5 pages of your script, assign parts to be read aloud by those present, listen quietly and take notes as the other writers give reactions, feedback, and ideas for improvement.
- Since they are so critical, writers may bring the first and last 10 pages of a script when they get to that point, rather than the standard 5 pages.
- You’re not required to bring pages every session. Feel free to just read and give notes.
- Group size ranges from 5 to 12 writers each meeting, with smaller numbers during summer.
- There’s a range of talent, experience, education, and skill level in each group so everyone can feel comfortable. Some writers have won or placed in contests, optioned or sold material, produced their own short films, earned degrees in writing and/or filmmaking; while others are newer to writing. Pedigrees are not necessary to join, nor are they usually mentioned. Everyone is welcome.
- The facilitator will moderate the session – deciding the order, enforcing the rules, calling a break, moving things along, etc.
- The Rules:
- Membership with current dues is required for participation.
- Writers are given an opportunity to speak midway through the feedback process. This is the point where they may give comments or reactions, state their intentions for a piece, ask for clarification of notes, clear up misunderstandings, etc.
- Present feedback in a respectful and professional way. Please refrain from dissing, flaming, arguing, degrading, insulting, or being overly negative, etc.
- Try to start your comments with something positive before moving to what could be improved.
- If you are new, please email the group facilitator prior to joining a group so they are prepared for a new member. You are welcome to visit and evaluate before joining and paying dues, but please notify the facilitator beforehand.
- • Note: We have tried reading longer selections from everyone each session; however, due to group size we’ve found that 5 pages is the right amount to ensure every writer’s pages receive adequate attention.