Writing Classes

Waterman Pen ad 1919TV writing classes I’m teaching for the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program:

WINTER 2020:

Writing the One-Hour Pilot IX422.3

7pm-10pm Tuesdays, January 7 – March 10, 2020, on the UCLA campus in Westwood, California.

Anyone who wants to work as a professional television writer has to be able to submit top-notch original material to agents and showrunners. In this fast-paced course, you take your idea for a one-hour TV series and turn it into an outline, write intensively, and get feedback from the instructor and fellow participants every week. Throughout this process, you learn how to envision the world of your show, create characters and conflict, build a storytelling engine, and nail down your show’s structure, tone, story, and act breaks. By the end of course, you have strong act breaks, a full beat outline, and a critique of the first 10 pages of your original one-hour pilot script.

  • Learn more about both the art and the business of television writing: what to do and what not to do to become a professional writer.
  • Practice analyzing TV series for their format, structure, tone, characters, themes, and formulas.
  • Pitch your TV series ideas in a workshop setting and choose the best one to develop into a pilot.
  • Participate in group “story breaks” to come up with scenes and structure, the same way professional writing staffs do it.
  • Take your pilot idea from pitch to synopsis to “beat sheet” to full-fledged story outline.
  • Write the first ten pages of a “zero draft” pilot teleplay.

Registration: Closed. We’re off and running!


All classes provide notes, feedback, and help on students’ works-in-progress in a constructive and supportive workshop setting that mimics the freewheeling creative collaboration of a professional TV writers’ room, whiteboards and all.

Questions? Email me:

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