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.

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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.

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Reading: Wild Girls: How the Outdoors Shaped the Women Who Challenged a Nation

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As the semester winds toward the holiday season more time for reading opens up and I love finding new books to read – both fiction and non. My Thanksgiving read this week was Wild Girls: How the Outdoors Shaped the Women Who Challenged a Nation by Harvard professor Tiya Miles.

In this short book, she traces the way playing in the outdoors shaped the lives of several American activist women from Harriet Tubman to Louisa May Alcott to Native American writer Zitkála-ŠáNative/Gertrude Bonnin to Dolores Huerta. It added female names to my list of women to be remembered and reminded to get outside this holiday season and play in the dirt.

From the publisher…

Named a Best Nonfiction Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly

An award-winning historian shows how girls who found self-understanding in the natural world became women who changed America.

Harriet Tubman, forced to labor outdoors on a Maryland plantation, learned from the land a terrain for escape. Louisa May Alcott ran wild, eluding gendered expectations in New England. The Indigenous women’s basketball team from Fort Shaw, Montana, recaptured a sense of pride in physical prowess as they trounced the white teams of the 1904 World’s Fair. Celebrating women like these who acted on their confidence outdoors, Wild Girls brings new context to misunderstood icons like Sacagawea and Pocahontas, and to underappreciated figures like Native American activist writer Zitkála-Šá, also known as Gertrude Bonnin, farmworkers’ champion Dolores Huerta, and labor and Civil Rights organizer Grace Lee Boggs.

This beautiful, meditative work of history puts girls of all races—and the landscapes they loved—at center stage and reveals the impact of the outdoors on women’s independence, resourcefulness, and vision. For these trailblazing women of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, navigating the woods, following the stars, playing sports, and taking to the streets in peaceful protest were not only joyful pursuits, but also techniques to resist assimilation, racism, and sexism. Lyrically written and full of archival discoveries, Wild Girls evokes landscapes as richly as the girls who roamed in them—and argues for equal access to outdoor spaces for young women of every race and class today.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tiya Miles is the Michael Garvey Professor of History at Harvard University, the author of five prize-winning works on the history of slavery and early American race relations, and a 2011 MacArthur Fellowship recipient. She was the founder and director of the Michigan-based ECO Girls program, and she is the author of the National Book Award–winning, New York Times best-selling All That She Carried. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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 


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Marion Fairfax Put Dinosaurs on Film Before Spielberg or Crichton Were Born – Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script Magazine, September 2023

Marion Fairfax Put Dinosaurs on Film Before Spielberg or Crichton Were Born – Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script Magazine, September 2023

If you love seeing dinosaurs come to life on screen and you think they first appeared on screen in Jurassic Park, think again. In 1926 renowned screenwriter-director Marion Fairfax adapted Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel The Lost World to the screen complete with the most advanced special effects of the time. It was an amazing feat for a filmmaker born in Richmond, Virginia, just ten years after the Civil War (October 24, 1875). While screenwriter Marion Fairfax lived into her 9th decade, seeing the administration of a second President Johnson, she only worked in Hollywood from the eras of Woodrow Wilson through Calvin Coolidge (1915-1926) despite being a powerhouse writer-director of her day.

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Dr. Rosanne Welch Interview – She Served Too, KOPN FM, Columbia, Missouri [Audio]

Dr. Rosanne Welch Interview - She Served Too, KPON FM, Columbia, MIssouri [Audio]While I was on the Stephens College campus a couple of weeks ago for the Screenwriting Research Network conference I had the pleasure of appearing on the She Served, Too radio show hosted by Elizabeth Herrera.

A military veteran, Herrera also runs the Stephens College Mission Promise Kept program. Together we spoke about the many military women whose stories have yet to be told on the big (or small) screen including the Mercury 13. Herrera was kind enough to let me talk about the Screenwriting Research Network conference we were holding on the Stephens campus that week and, of course, about the many military women who have dome through our Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting and how telling our stories helps us heal – whether we turn them into scripts or not it’s the act of talking and being heard that heals.

She Served Too
Every 3rd Tue at 5:00 PM With Elizabeth Herrera

Host Elizabeth Herrera has served in the United States Air Force, non-profits, and managing crisis care centers for women. On her show She Served Too, she discusses current issues from her unique perspective.

Married Immigrants Mock Shakespeare for Movie Fame – Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script Magazine, August 2023

I was quite honored when Script Magazine editor Sadie Dean asked me to write a monthly column giving short biographies of female screenwriters across the decades – those who came before us as I like to say – so imagine how shocked I was to find out this is my 30th one to date. Meet Bella Cohen Spewack, born in Romania, a journalist who grew up to write movies that satirized her new career as a screenwriter.


Married Immigrants Mock Shakespeare for Movie Fame – Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script Magazine, August 2023

1899 saw the birth of two future American screenwriters: Bella Cohen in Romania and her future husband and co-writer, Sam Spewack in Ukraine. They each experienced the childhood of an immigrant brought to New York City and each worked as a newspaper reporter in their early careers, Bella for The Call and Sam for New York World. Eventually, they moved to Hollywood to adapt their own play to the screen and much of their later work involved adapting Broadway plays into films.

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