Recognizing Female Genius by Dr. Rosanne Welch

I was doing editor rewrites on a chapter titled “Dorothy Parker: The Creative Genius Behind Film Franchise A STAR IS BORN.” To the note asking me to consider a “less hagiographic title,” I said “No”.

A quick check showed me that many, many, many male writers are called geniuses – but few women.

For instance, this article, Genius – still a country for white, middle class, heterosexual men*, notes:

“Try a quick google search of the terms “literary genius”. The same names keep appearing: William Shakespeare, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Henry James, William Chaucer, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Jane Austen, Mark Twain, J.D. Salinger, and so on.” 

But I would object to J.D. Salinger. Catcher in the Rye did not move me at all – but S. E. The Outsiders(Susan Elizabeth) Hinton’s The Outsiders moved me and all the generations from mine through my son’s Millennial group and into the folks watching the musical on Broadway right now – while teaching us all to love the poetry of another male genius – Robert Frost. See, I’m willing to use the adjective on men when they deserve it.

So the lesson of the day is that if any writer deserves to be called genius, it’s Dorothy Parker.

Own your genius. And use it to describe other female creatives. And maybe refrain from using it on less men for once. 

* Genius – still a country for white, middle class, heterosexual men, Natalie Kon-yu, The Conversation

From High School Teaching to Writing the First Screenwriting Bible: Marguerite Bertsch – Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script Magazine, May 2024

From High School Teaching to Writing the First Screenwriting Bible: Marguerite Bertsch – Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script Magazine, May 2024

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Flipping Your Classroom with Dr. Rosanne Welch – Screenwriting Research Network Working Group on Comparative Screenwriting [Video]

Many thanks to SRN member Romana Turina for inviting me to give an online seminar on the benefits of Flipping Your Classroom for the Working Group on Comparative Screenwriting in the Screenwriting Research Network that she leads.

Every month she presents and records a guest lecture for our membership that is then open to the public once she posts it on YouTube.

Flipping Your Classroom with Dr. Rosanne Welch - Screenwriting Research Network Working Group on Comparative Screenwriting [Video]

This month she asked me to speak about the pedagogy of flipping your classroom to enhance learning which, while created with K-12 students in mind is equally effective – and I would add necessary – in the world of MFA candidates. I use this practice in the teaching of screenwriting in our low residency Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting.

It involves the professor providing less “Sage on the stage” performance and more student-focused opportunities. I’ve also come to describe it as not teaching (as defined by dumping all my info into their heads) but as curating an experience from which they glean the knowledge they need.

In the lecture I give examples of the kinds of activities I curate, keeping in mind the different learning styles each MFA candidate presents.

Hobnobbing with Her Fellow Writers (and Wizards) Across the Decades – The Screenwriting Career of Florence Ryerson – Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script Magazine, April 2024

 

Hobnobbing with Her Fellow Writers (and Wizards) Across the Decades – The Screenwriting Career of Florence Ryerson – Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script Magazine, April 2024

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Writing Successful Films into her 60s? Zelda Sears Did It! – Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script Magazine, March 2024

Writing Successful Films into her 60s? Zelda Sears Did It! – Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script Magazine, March 2024

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So Much More than Merely Her Chocolate Cake Recipe – Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script Magazine, February 2024

So Much More than Merely Her Chocolate Cake Recipe – Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script Magazine, February 2024

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Between Broadway and Hollywood: The Screenwriting Career of Ketty Frings – Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script Magazine, January 2024

Between Broadway and Hollywood: The Screenwriting Career of Ketty Frings – Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script Magazine, January 2024

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Before Peanuts, Alice Guy Blaché Presented the First True Meaning of Christmas Film – Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script Magazine, December 2023

Before Peanuts, Alice Guy Blaché Presented the First True Meaning of Christmas Film  – Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script Magazine, December  2023

Though she never wrote a horror film, to celebrate Halloween this month’s focus is screenwriter, poet, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Zoe Akins, born on October 30, 1886. In 1935 Akins would become the third woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the highest honor for a Broadway play in the United States, after Zona Gale (1921) and Susan Glaspell (1931). Akins’ win came from her dramatization of Edith Wharton’s The Old Maid. Four years later the play was adapted by Casey Robinson into a film starring Bette Davis, even though Akins had begun adapting plays and turning out her own screenplays in the early 1930s. Throughout her career, she collaborated with some of the most important women both behind and in front of the cameras which has kept her work in the public eye.

Read Before Peanuts, Alice Guy Blaché Presented the First True Meaning of Christmas Film


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From Silents to Talkies to TV Lenore J. Coffee Did It All – Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script Magazine, November 2023

From Silents to Talkies to TV Lenore J. Coffee Did It All – Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script Magazine, November 2023

Though she never wrote a horror film, to celebrate Halloween this month’s focus is screenwriter, poet, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Zoe Akins, born on October 30, 1886. In 1935 Akins would become the third woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the highest honor for a Broadway play in the United States, after Zona Gale (1921) and Susan Glaspell (1931). Akins’ win came from her dramatization of Edith Wharton’s The Old Maid. Four years later the play was adapted by Casey Robinson into a film starring Bette Davis, even though Akins had begun adapting plays and turning out her own screenplays in the early 1930s. Throughout her career, she collaborated with some of the most important women both behind and in front of the cameras which has kept her work in the public eye.

Read From Silents to Talkies to TV Lenore J. Coffee Did It All


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Rosanne Writes on Doctor Who, “The King’s Demons”, and more in the new book, Outside In Regenerates [Books]

63 New Perspectives on 163 Classic DOCTOR WHO Stories by 163 Writers

While I am quite proud of all the larger publishers I have worked with I also deeply enjoy supporting smaller presses and their niche work – especially when it comes to writing about shows I’ve loved for a long time. That’s what ATB offers every time they email me about another book in their “Outside/In” series.

They publish “thoughtful non-fiction books that explore the history of pop culture with insightful and entertaining commentary from a diverse array of writers, authors, and editors”. So far I’ve had essays in their books on the original Star Trek (on the episode ‘This Side of Paradise’) and in the book on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (on the episode ‘Hush’). My latest is an essay on the ‘Kings Demons’ episode of the Peter Davison era of classic Doctor Who. 

These are funny essays to write – and read – for deep, deep fans of these shows and it’s been fun to be involved.