Developing your screenwriting

Course Dates: 21/05/20 - 30/07/20
Time: 17:30 - 19:30
Location: Online

Continue your screenwriting journey in this practical intermediate online course. Writing exercises, presentations and screenings will teach you key skills, and you’ll begin to produce work and an outline for a full-length project.

This course will be delivered online. See the ‘How will I be taught’ section in course details for more information.


What is the course about?

This is a practical online course that develops your grounding in the craft and terminology of screenwriting. Writing exercises, group discussion and presentations by the tutor will teach you the key skills in greater depth, including structure, character and dialogue. At the end of the course you should have produced a short screenplay and an outline for a full-length project.

What will we cover?

- Deciding what to write - generating ideas, testing ideas, research
- Theme, genre and originality
- Creating and sustaining believable characters
- Story structure
- Dialogue and subtext
- Plot development, pacing, set-ups and pay-offs
- Editing your own work and other people’s
- Formatting your screenplay
- An introduction to how the industry works.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Respond to and assess pieces of writing with sensitivity
- Understand the basic principles and jargon of screenwriting
- Appreciate the differences between writing for different genres and media
- Present a script in standard industry format
- Write a treatment
- Write a short film script.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an intermediate screenwriting course delivered online. It is suitable for those who have completed Ways into screenwriting at City Lit or an introductory screenwriting course elsewhere. An ability to write and speak fluent English is vital. You should be able to access and comfortably use a computer that has an internet connection, working microphone and a webcam (optional).

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Through discussion, presentations, viewing of film and TV extracts online. There will be writing exercises both during and outside the live class session, evaluated by your tutor and fellow students.

All writing courses at City Lit will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.

For classes longer than one day regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.

This course will be delivered online, and will involve tutor presentation and class discussion. Student preparation and homework outside class times is strongly encouraged. To fully participate in this online class you will need:
- An email address
- A reliable internet connection
- A computer/laptop/tablet with a fully updated browser (preferably google chrome). Your device will need a microphone, and preferably a camera.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

No additional costs. You will need access to a computer with an internet connection, working microphone, and webcam (optional). Please come prepared with a pen and paper. If you struggle to read printed text on a screen, you may also need access to a printer to make hard copies of any reading assignments, however these will be very short and limited in number.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

If you would like to continue developing skills at the intermediate level you are welcome to enrol on another term of Developing into screenwriting. Information from the tutor concerning other courses will also be offered.

All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for City Lit writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.


Customer Reviews 7 item(s)

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Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

Worth taking
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 13/03/2020)
Excellent teaching, supportive and challenging environment. Very good support and encouragement from tutor and colleagues on the course.
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Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 13/03/2020)
A great course, full of surprises and very engaging. I wrote my fist short film-script.
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Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 07/12/2019)
The teaching is really interactive and fast paced. You’ll be worked hard. You'll produce a proposal. You’ll come out knowing so much more! You won’t be disappointed.
Course Rating
Review by Marion Colledge / (Posted on 25/11/2019)
Excellent course for any screenwriter
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Review by Sue SB / (Posted on 30/10/2019)
Brilliant course to give you confidence in your screenwriting
Course Rating
Review by CC / (Posted on 30/10/2019)
really helpful and great highly experienced tutor
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Review by DS / (Posted on 24/06/2019)
Tutor Biographies
Alan Nixon

Alan Nixon is one of Britain’s top independent media professionals. His recent productions include directing the award-winning R4 sitcom Reluctant Persuaders. He has been Creative Consultant to broadcasters and renowned independents, including Aardman Animations (Wallace & Gromit), Grant Naylor (Red Dwarf), and Absolutely Productions (Armstrong & Miller / Trigger Happy TV). He was one of the founding controllers of Channel Five, has worked with Alexei Sayle, Victoria Wood, Caroline Aherne and Simon Day, and teaches courses at the BFI, the National Television and Film School, and the London School of Film, Media and Performance.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

This course has now started

Course Code: HW092

Full Thu, eve, 21 May - 30 Jul '20

Duration: 11 sessions (over 11 weeks)

Full fee: £209.00
Senior fee: £209.00
Concession: £84.00

Call us to check if you can still join the course 020 7492 2717 (depart num)

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.