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

Read Writing Successful Films into her 60s? Zelda Sears Did It!


Read about more women from early Hollywood

 

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

Read So Much More than Merely Her Chocolate Cake Recipe


Read about more women from early Hollywood

 

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

Read Between Broadway and Hollywood: The Screenwriting Career of Ketty Frings


Read about more women from early Hollywood

 

Great New Autobiography to add to your list – Necessary Trouble: Growing Up at Midcentury by Drew Gilpin Faust [Books]

I was introduced to historian Drew Gilpin Faust’s books in my PhD program and learned so much (about writing, women’s involvement in the Civil War, and cultural shifts) from her This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War…


…that I was excited to read her new autobiography, Necessary Trouble: Growing Up at Midcentury

As expected, I learned so much – she was born in Virginia to (sadly) racist parents but chose Northern schools to teach herself the opposite of their ways – ended up at the march in Selma and became friends with John Lewis — the book title comes from his famous phrase which she asked his permission to use.

My Mom always said you learn more from autobiographies than from fictional books. Though I still read copious amounts of both kinds, she was right in that the real-life details I’ve collected from autobiographies have stayed in my mind longer than much of my other reading.

And if you don’t know the story of how Gilpin Faust became the first female president of Harvard University – check it out:

 Drew Gilpin Faust, the First Female Harvard President, Was Nicknamed ‘Chainsaw Drew’

Essentially, previous president Lawrence H. Summers was forced out for saying that “intrinsic” gender differences accounted for the lack of women in science (in other words there weren’t a lot of women in science and math departments because ‘girls aren’t good at math’) so they appointed Faust the immediate interim pres while they looked for a new one – and after 18 months of looking it suddenly occurred to them that she’d been doing the job for… 18 months so why not make her the permanent new pres? She held the gig for 11 years and “generated what might be considered the opposite kind of controversy: She was too PC, her critics griped — during her time, the number of tenured female faculty rose by 47 percent.”

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


Read about more women from early Hollywood

 

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


Read about more women from early Hollywood

 

Poems, Plays, Pulitzers: Screenwriter Zoe Akins Did it All – Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script Magazine, October 2023

Poems, Plays, Pulitzers: Screenwriter Zoe Akins Did it All – Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script Magazine, October 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 Poems, Plays, Pulitzers: Screenwriter Zoe Akins Did it All 


Read about more women from early Hollywood

 

Applications Now Open – Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting for Fall 2024

We’re excited to have opened the window for applications to our Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting’s Fall 2024 cohort.

While we have rolling admissions until all seats in the new cohort are filled. If potential MFA candidates submit materials by March 30th and suit the criteria they will be in contention for our Jan Marino Scholarship (for a woman writer 45 or older). 

Check out our new video with interviews with our most recent grads:

Inquire for more information on the program
or
Apply Now

Being a low residency program means you travel to Hollywood for 10 days at the beginning of each semester (once in August/once in January) for a workshop experience worth 3 units. We hold workshops at the historic Jim Henson Studios (originally the Charlie Chaplin Studios) in Hollywood, California.

Panel w group

Each semester students will take 3 courses after the workshop. They have one mentor for a television script and one mentor for a screenplay. The television mentors change each semester because in Fall semester you write a spec script/in Spring a pilot; the screenplay mentor is onboard for the whole year, as the Fall semester is all about developing an outline and writing Act One of the screenplay, and in the spring semester you complete and revise the script. Our instructors are all chosen because they are working writers and members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA).

In year two, there’s a second screenplay written (with a different mentor) and a thesis project, which can be anything from a web series to a limited series pilot and bible to a group of short films to an actual written thesis.

Our History of Screenwriting Courses are taught with a female gaze. Taught by our Executive Director so she can stay in touch with MFA candidates across their 2 years in the program. In the course, students read texts and view films each week that feature female-focused stories, and then post responses to the material. At the end of each semester, students turn in a profile of a screenwriter.

In 2017, 22 of these profiles written by MFA students were compiled into the book WHEN WOMEN WROTE HOLLYWOOD, published by McFarland Press.

If you are a writer looking to move your material to the next level so it will secure you a spot in the industry – or a college educator who wants a graduate degree to move up in the academic world – then our program is perfect for you. 

Join us in Fall 2024 in Hollywood!

Together in Chapel

 

PRESS: Screenwriters and academics converge on Stephens College for international conference, Columbia Tribune, Columbia, Missouri

While it was a pleasure to host the Screenwriting Research Network’s 2023 conference last week. I love reconnecting with all the folks we see annually in such wonderful places in the world (from Leeds to London to Dunedin to Milan). But the other great thing about this event was the chance to share the Stephens College campus in Columbia, Missouri with everyone. This article in the Columbia Tribune covered the conference’s opening night reception and interviewed some of our international guests so it gives you a lovely feel of who was there and why we gather annually:

PRESS: Screenwriters and academics converge on Stephens College for international conference, Columbia Tribune, Columbia, Missouri

Srn 2023 poster female gazeScreenwriters and academics converge on Stephens College for international conference

Screenwriters and screenwriting academics are gathering at Stephens College through Saturday for the Screenwriting Research Network Conference with the theme Gender and the Female Gaze.

A reception for conference participants was Wednesday night in the penthouse of the college library.

Participants are from at least 15 countries, said Roseanne Welch, executive director the Stephens’ Master of Fine Arts in TV and Screenwriting. Stephens College is a private women’s college in Columbia.

The female gaze refers to seeing life through women’s eyes, Welch said.

“We’re seeing that happen in all kinds of recent films, not just ‘Barbie'” Welch said.

Women’s stories were more complicated in the films of the 1930s and 1940s, she said.

“There were these complete stories with women anti-heroes,” Welch said.

Read the entire article – Screenwriters and academics converge on Stephens College for international conference

PRESS: International Screenwriting Conference coming to COMO, COMO Magazine, Columbia, Missouri

Srn 2023 poster female gaze

International Screenwriting Conference coming to COMO

September 20-23 event will highlight female influence on film, television industries 

Some of the biggest behind-the-scenes stars of television and motion pictures — the screenwriters — will converge on the Stephens College campus in Columbia from September 20-23 for the 15th Annual Screenwriting Research Network Conference. 

Focused on the theme “Gender and the Female Gaze,” the three-day conference will bring an international collection of film professors and practitioners from Finland, France, New Zealand, Brazil, Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, and other countries to Columbia. Attendees will get the chance to learn from experienced screenwriters, attend exhibitions, and network with other screenwriters. 

Keynote speakers include Columbia native Phil Lazebnik, who has written screenplays for films including Pocahontas and Mulan, and Meg LeFauve, who was nominated for a Best Screenplay Oscar for the Pixar blockbuster Inside Out. Along with the keynote speech, LaFauve will appear for a Q&A after a public screening of Inside Out at Ragtag Theatre on Saturday, September 23. 

Read the entire article – International Screenwriting Conference coming to COMO