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Many thanks to Fred Velez for telling me about Daniel Sam and his fun internet Monkees talk show — followed by thanks to Dan for inviting me onto this discussion of all the great Monkees books out there. I enter the chat at the 15 minute mark in the video. — Rosanne
On Tuesday February 16th, 2021, the Plastic EP TV Facebook Live Monkees Discussion Panel held a literary discussion on Monkees Books.
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I had a lot of fun on my first Twitter Chat last Sunday. Jeanne Veillette Bowerman of #Scriptchat had invited to talk about how to behave in a writers room alongside what are the benefits of an MFA in TV and Screenwriting (such as the one we offer from Stephens College).
Happily, I had just interviewed Gloria Calderon Kellet who had an MFA and who had said so astutely that no one requires that in Hollywood but taking 2 years to invest in herself and her craft meant she had material that was truly of high enough quality to offer up when future producers offered to read her work. So that was nice!
As to Twitter, I knew being short and concise is the bread and butter of Twitter but… wow… I’m clearly a much longer storyteller and kept running over the limit and having to use ellipses to extend a sentence or a thought. But folks seemed to enjoy it and even said I had ‘dropped pearls’ so that was nice to hear as well.
Check out #Scriptchat every Sunday night at 5pmPST/8pmET for more fun guests.
The Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting is building a relationship with the Autry Museum of the American West since both organizations are devoted to bringing out more diverse and untold stories. Last year we were able to take our cohort of graduating MFA candidates to the museum’s theatre for a showing of Michael Wilson’s Salt of the Earth and we had plans to present a film of our choice this year – but of course the pandemic changed all that. Instead, Autry Curator Josh Garrett-Davis asked me if I would sit for an interview about female screenwriters in the western genre and so “When Women Wrote Westerns” came to be a part of their “What Is a Western? Interview Series”.
I had a great time discussing so many wonderful women writers – from Jeanne MacPherson to D.C. Fontana to Edna Ferber to Emily Andras. If you love westerns I suggest you watch Josh’s other interviews covering everything from the work of Native Americans in Western movies to films in the western-horror hybrid. —
As part of a series exploring the significance of the Western genre and the ways in which the movies shape our understanding of the American West, Autry Curator Josh Garrett-Davis interviews Professor Rosanne Welch about the women screenwriters of Hollywood and their contributions to the Western genre.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Alex Miller, the Senior Director of Admissions at Stephens College the other day to talk about our MFA in TV and Screenwriting.
Alex had collected some of the basic questions asked by applicants so we answered them over this short 10 minute video.
If you’d like to know what sort of activities fill the days during our 10 day residency intensive or wonder about the composition of our cohorts, or what type of classes we offer that are unique to our program — here’s the place to find out. — Rosanne
Here’s a fun interview of my friend and frequent collaborator Peg Lamphier and I on the podcast hosted by the Dean of the College of Education and Integrative Studies at Cal Poly Pomona.
He invited us to discuss the two awards given to our 4 volume encyclopedia on Women in American History. (It was named to both the 2018 Outstanding References Sources List and the 2018 list of Best Historical Materials, by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association) and our current book contracts.
Thanks to Ashley Jones, the Communications Specialist at Cal Poly Pomona, who plans podcasts for helping to highlight the work of adjuncts on our campus. If we can’t get ‘the big bucks’ it’s nice to have our scholarship acknowledged by the larger community.
We filmed this before campus closed down in March so we end up saying our new book on Fact Checking Hollywood History will be out in April… which of course hasn’t happened since most college libraries continue to be closed. We expect it to be released in another couple of months.
Jennifer Maisel most recently developed an original pilot called “The 626” with Super Deluxe and adapted two Jane Green novels—Tempting Fate and To Have and to Hold, which aired in June. She currently is working on a two-hour about campus rape and institutional betrayal with Just Singer Entertainment. Her screenplay “Lost Boy” was filmed starring Virginia Madsen. She wrote The Assault and The March Sisters for Mar Vista Entertainment and Double Wedding for Jaffe Braunstein. She has written movies for NBC, ABC, MTV and Lifetime, was a staff writer on the television series Related, wrote a pilot for ABC Family and an animated feature for Disney. Maisel has developed original pilots with Bunim-Murray, Ineffable, Stun Media and MomentumTV and co-created the critically acclaimed web series Faux Baby with Laura Brennan and Rachel Leventhal. The screenplay adaptation of her play The Last Seder won Showtime’s Tony Cox Screenwriting Award, meriting her a month’s stay in a haunted farmhouse at the Nantucket Screenwriter’s Colony. A graduate of Cornell University and NYU’s Dramatic Writing program, Maisel is also an award-winning playwright whose Eight Nights will premiere at Antaeus Theatre in October 2019; the play is currently part of a nationwide event called 8 Nights of Eight Nights, raising funds and awareness for HIAS. She has taught playwriting at University of Southern California and guest-lectured around the country.
On adapting novels “I like the puzzle of taking something that’s epic, novels are epic, even not great novels are epic, and you have to figure out how to find the essential spine to it and give shape to it as a writer.” — Jennifer Maisel
Laura Brennan’s eclectic writing career includes television, film, theater, web series, fiction and news. Behind the scenes, she has helped production companies develop movies, TV pilots and limited series. She has taught pitching workshops to executives at Netflix and Film Victoria, as well as MFA programs and undergraduate classes at universities including Stephens College, University of California, Los Angeles, University of Southern California, Boston University and National University.A graduate of Yale University, Brennan has won awards for journalism, television writing and fiction. Her children’s book, Nana Speaks Nanese, tackles the confusing changes brought on by dementia in a reassuring and straightforward way. She hopes it will help families facing a diagnosis of dementia open up a conversation with their young children. Her web series Faux Baby is also for parents, but it is definitely not for children—or even safe for work.
“You are not everything to everyone. And you shouldn’t try to be. You should figure out what you do best and double down on it. Learn the stuff that you’re not great at so that you are comfortable and confident but narrow down what it is you really bring to the table ” -Laura Brennan
Deborah Starr Seibel is a multiple award-winning journalist and screenwriter. For the past eight years, she has been an instructor at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts in the John Wells Division of Writing for Film & Television. In addition, she serves as a mentor for Stephens College’s MFA in Screenwriting program. In prime time television, Deborah recently sold two pilots to CBS and is credited with four years on staff. During those years, she wrote six episodes for the final season of NBC’s Sisters and spent three additional years on the staff of Promised Land, the spin-off to CBS’s Touched By An Angel. She has also written episodes for Mysterious Ways and 21 Jump Street.
As a television reporter, Deborah won a George Foster Peabody award for investigative journalism, two Emmy Awards and First Place from the Associated Press for one of her documentaries. As a print journalist, she has written for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Parade and USA Today. In addition, she is a long-time national correspondent for TV Guide.
In 2010, Deborah was awarded a USC Annenberg Fellowship to receive her Master’s Degree in Specialized Journalism/The Arts.
“If there isn’t a kernel of truth you shouldn’t be writing. You get to know the people in a writers’ room better than your family, because you have to bring yourself, your stories, your history, your family experience into that room or you have nothing to contribute because nobody on this planet has lived the life you’ve lived and if you don’t bring that into the writers’ room, what good are you? What we are as artists are people who are trying to allow other people to feel that they are not alone.”” Deborah Starr Seibel
Julie Hébert started her creative life as a theater director and playwright (Ruby’s Bucket of Blood). She’s written and directed for the Magic Theater, Steppenwolf, Victory Gardens, LaMaMa, The Women’s Project, Cornerstone and many more. Her plays were honored twice with the Pen Award for Drama. Moving into television, Julie has written and directed for some of the most respected shows in television including American Crime, The Good Wife, Boss, Numb3rs and The West Wing. Her films have been praised as “intriguingly complex” (Variety) and “pulsing with veracity” (LA Times), with “a raw power that is impossible to dismiss” (Roger Ebert). She blogs occasionally at JulieHébert.com.
“I honor the depth inside and the stories that really want to be told because often in television you can get away with topline chatter, but to really hit on something that has meaning for you, that will have meaning for someone hearing the story, it has to come from a deeper place.” -Julie Hébert