What is the course about?
This is a practical course that provides a basic grounding in the craft and terminology of screenwriting. Writing exercises, group discussion and presentations by the tutor will teach you the key skills, 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.
Students say: "Good group and atmosphere - I probably achieved more than I could ever have dreamt possible"; "I really liked the pace, the information and knowledge given"; "Always interesting and very encouraging and motivating"; "It gave me the ability to actually write a screenplay rather than just think about it."
The Tutor The Tutor: Writer/playwright Sue Healy has a PhD in modern theatre history and is Literary Manager at the Finborough Theatre. Her work has been developed by the Abbey and Criterion Theatres. Most recently, Imaginationship (2018) ran at the Finborough and Stephen Joseph in Scarborough, to acclaim. Cow (2017) showed at the Etcetera and Brazen (2016) at the King’s Head, funded by Arts Council England. Sue’s work has also been performed at the Hackney Attic, Claremorris Festival (New Writing Award winner), Brighton Festival (the Sussex Playwrights’ Award Winner) and Sterts Theatre. Her nine radio-plays have broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (Opening Lines winner), WLRfm and KCLR96fm. She also directs for stage. Sue has won prizes for her prose including the Molly Keane and HISSAC Awards, BBC Opening Lines and the Escalator Award. A UEA Creative Writing MA alumna, she also lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Portsmouth and the University of Lincoln. Sue is from Ireland and spent eleven years in Budapest, editing Hungary A.M.
City Lit reserves the right to change course tutors from those advertised in this outline. In line with our
refund policy we are unable to grant a refund on the grounds of a change of tutor.
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?
Although this is an introductory screenwriting course, previous writing experience is useful. An ability to write and speak fluent English is vital.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Through discussion, presentations, viewing of film and TV extracts. There will be writing exercises both during and outside the class, 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.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please bring a pen and paper.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You can progress to Developing your screenwriting and begin to workshop your project and receive detailed feedback as you progress. 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.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details