Mentoris Project Podcast: Defying Danger: A Novel Based on the Life of Father Matteo Ricci with Author, Nicole Gregory [Audio]

 

Mentoris Project Podcast: Defying Danger: A Novel Based on the Life of Father Matteo Ricci with Author, Nicole Gregory

Read Defying Danger: A Novel Based on the Life of Father Matteo Ricci with Author, Nicole Gregory

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The Forbidden City—home to the opium-addicted Ming Dynasty emperor and protected by thousands of ruthless eunuchs—no European had ever been inside. Would a simple Jesuit priest be the first?

Armed with a homemade clock, a wealth of patience, and an uncompromising drive to share his faith with a new people, Father Matteo Ricci would overcome one barrier only to be met by another: treacherous seas, a complex language, and a culture with an unshakable mistrust of foreigners and rooted in the teachings of Buddha and Confucius.

In sharing European understanding of astronomy, Ricci garnered the respect of the Chinese and despite the urgency he felt to talk about his beliefs, he tread carefully and respectfully, adopting their ways rather than imposing his own. He was one of the first Westerners to speak and read Mandarin and compiled the first Chinese-Western dictionary. By translating Greek mathematics texts into Chinese and Confucian works into Latin, as well as drawing the first world map with Chinese characters, Ricci forged a path for future scholars, explorers, and missionaries.  

 


About the Author

 

Nicole Gregory is a writer and editor living in Southern California with her husband and son. She has been the Home and Garden/Travel editor at the Orange County Register, and has written and edited for numerous publications, including VIV magazine, Family Circle, The Boston Globe, Los Angeles magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and others. Recent features she’s written include stories about a treehouse designer, why we need a surgeon general, how a cocoa bean chemical can reverse memory loss, and reasons to take an inn-to-inn hike along the Southern California coast. When she’s not obsessing about her garden, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and reading fiction.

Gregory is the author of the Mentoris Project books, God’s Messenger, The Astounding Achievements of Mother Cabrini: A Novel Based on the Life of Mother Frances X. Cabrini and Defying Danger: A Novel Based on the Life of Father Matteo Ricci.

 

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#MentorMonday 7 – Jon Vandergriff – Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

Today’s the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting #mentormonday goes out to Jon Vandergriff! (IMDB)

VandergriffJon Vandergriff received his MFA in screenwriting at the University of Southern California and immediately segued into professional sitcom writing with his debut freelance script for the ABC hit show, Coach.

That was followed by a six-year stint on the even bigger ABC hit, Home Improvement, where he rose from staff writer to supervising producer. He attained the title of co-executive producer on the popular WB show Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. Along the way, Vandergriff wrote sitcom pilots for NBC and The WB and also has had two screenplays optioned by Hollywood-based production companies.

A lifelong lover of board games, Vandergriff also is a board game inventor who has had three games published, including Anger Management and A Way with Words, which also is an app and was recently picked up by Electronic Arts to publish on their website, pogo.com.


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#MentorMonday 6 – Jennifer Maisel – Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

Jennifer Maisel (IMDB) is our featured mentor at the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting for #mentormonday this week!

#MentorMonday 6 - Jennifer Maisel - Stephens College MFA in TV and ScreenwritingJennifer 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.


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Jule Selbo, Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Program guest lecturer, garners great play reviews

Congratulations to Friend of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Program and frequent guest lecturer Jule Selbo (author of Film Genre for the Screenwriter – the topic on which she’ll lecture this January) for the great reviews her play BOXES has been garnering in its East Coast premiere.

Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Program guest lecturer, Jule Selbo, garners great play reviews

The Good Theater’s production of Jule Selbo’s BOXES offers a taut psychological study of manipulation and longing, misconceptions about self and love, all carefully crafted into a thriller with rapid twists and turns that compels the audience’s attention for its brisk ninety-minutes. The boxes of the title are literal props used in a clinical psychological research study, but they are really metaphors for the constraints that shape our views of selfhood and for the inscrutable containers of dark secrets.

Read BWW Review: Containers of the Mind- East Coast Premiere of BOXES

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New Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting One Sheet – Please Post and Share!

Here is our latest one sheet for the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Program.

Applications are now open, so please share this flyer with our interested friends, family and students!

New Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting One Sheet - Please Pos and Share!

Download a PDF Version – New Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting One Sheet

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Dawn Comer Jefferson, Mentor with Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting at Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival

Dawn Comer Jefferson, Mentor with Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting at Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival

Enjoy this short clip of Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting mentor Dawn Comer Jefferson (right) moderating a conversation with Monroe Steele (left) and J’na Jefferson (middle) about skin bleaching after the screening of “Skin” (produced by Beverly Naya) at the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival.

Reel Sisters & Stephens College MFA in TV & Screenwriting Present Skin Screening – Oct. 20, 2019 from African Voices/Reel Sisters on Vimeo.

On Oct. 20, 2019, 4 pm, Reel Sisters and Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting hosted the closing night film Skin produced by Beverly Naya and directed by Daniel Etim Effiong. A documentary set in Lagos, Nollywood actress Beverly defines Black beauty and explores the practice of skin bleaching in African culture. Emmy-nominated, award-winning writer Dawn Comer Jefferson moderated the discussion with acclaimed culture, fashion and beauty journalists Channing Hargrove, J’na Jefferson and Monroe Steele.

This screening ass free and sponsored by Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting.

 

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#MentorMonday 5 – T.J. Brady – Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

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Applications for the 2020 Class of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting are now OPEN!

Inquire or Apply Today!

Deadline March 2020


Tj brady

For #mentormonday, in the spirit of Veterans Day we would like to spotlight a  Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting mentor who is also a veteran: T.J. Brady. (IMDB)

Happy Veterans Day to our Stephens community!

T.J. Brady graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1996, and went on to serve as an Armor Officer at Fort Carson, Colorado in the roles of Platoon Leader, Battalion S-1, Company XO, and several staff positions, achieving the rank of Captain. In early 2001, T.J. left the military to pursue his writing dreams and moved to New York City, where he worked a corporate sales job by day, and took writing courses by night.

After building up a portfolio, T.J. moved to Los Angeles in 2004 and worked as a sales rep for a lighting company until 2008, when he was hired to write on staff for the Fox TV series, Lie to Me, where he wrote for two seasons. After Lie to Me, he went on to write for the Lifetime series, Army Wives, for three seasons. He currently works as a Writer/Producer for The 100, a Warner Bros., sci-fi drama that will premiere March 19th, at 9pm on The CW.


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#FemaleFilmmakerFriday 01: Ava DuVernay

Its #femalefilmmakerfriday and this week we’re featuring a writer, producer, director who embodies all the values of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting program: Ava DuVernay! (IMDB)

#FemaleFilmmakerFriday 01: Ava DuVernay

DuVernay is a writer, producer, director and distributor of independent film.

Winner of the Emmy, BAFTA and Peabody Awards, Academy award nominee Ava DuVernay is a writer, director, producer and film distributor. Her directorial work includes the historical drama SELMA, the criminal justice documentary 13TH and Disney’s A WRINKLE IN TIME, which made her the highest grossing black woman director in American box office history. Based on the infamous case of The Central Park Five, her next project is entitled WHEN THEY SEE US and will be released worldwide on Netflix in May 2019. Currently, she is overseeing production on her critically-acclaimed TV series QUEEN SUGAR, her new CBS limited series THE RED LINE and her upcoming OWN series CHERISH THE DAY. Winner of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival’s Best Director Prize for her micro-budget film MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, DuVernay amplifies the work of people of color and women of all kinds through her non-profit film collective ARRAY, named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies. DuVernay sits on the advisory board of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and chairs the Prada Diversity Council. She is based in Los Angeles, California.

#FemaleFilmmakerFriday 01: Ava DuVernay


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#MentorMonday 4 – Maria Escobedo – Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

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Applications for the 2020 Class of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting are now OPEN!

Inquire or Apply Today!

Deadline March 2020


Another #mentormonday, another Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting incredible mentor! This week we want to highlight  Maria Escobedo (IMDB)!

#MentorMonday 4 - Maria Escobedo - Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

Maria Escobedo is a film and television writer with credits including Grey’s Anatomy, Hulu’s East Los High and the indie film Rum and Coke, which she wrote and directed. She’s developed movies and pilots for Lifetime, Disney Channel, and Nickelodeon. She also has written for animated kids’ TV, including Dora the Explorer, Go Diego Go, Elena of Avalor, Special Agent Oso and Nina’s World, which earned her a Humanitas Award nomination. Escobedo is currently writing for Amazon’s If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Netflix’s What-To-Doodles and Nickelodeon’s Santiago of the Seas. She also has developed original pilots for Amazon Kids. Escobedo served as chair of the Latino Writers Committee at the Writers Guild of America West for five years, and teaches writing at University of Southern California and California State University, Los Angeles.

#MentorMonday 4 - Maria Escobedo - Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting


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Mentoris Project Podcast: Dreams of Discovery: A Novel Based on the Life of John Cabot with Author, Jule Selbo [Audio]

The latest podcast is about the explorer, John Cabot and is now available on the Mentoris Web Site. Give it a listen and Subscribe for More! — Rosanne

Mentoris Project Podcast: Dreams of Discovery: A Novel Based on the Life of John Cabot with Author, Jule Selbo [Audio]

Mentoris Project Podcast: Dreams of Discovery: A Novel Based on the Life of John Cabot with Author, Jule Selbo [Audio]

Read Leonardo’s Secret: Dreams of Discovery: A Novel Based on the Life of John Cabot

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A determined man with a dream whose mentors and friendships supported him through his difficult life’s journey.

John Cabot was born Giovanni Caboto in Genoa, Italy. As a child, he dreamed of captaining a ship across a mysterious, uncharted ocean, from Europe to the riches of China. There was another boy in Genoa at the same time, with the same dream: Christopher Columbus.

The Turks, in the fifteenth century, had a stranglehold on the trade routes to the Far East. Europe’s race to find an alternative passage was heating up. But an explorer needed patrons, funds, ships—and a vision. Whereas Columbus had taken a south and west route from Spain, Cabot was convinced a more northern route from England would lead directly to China.

Cabot remained convinced, even on his deathbed, that he’d reached China—not realizing he’d claimed much of North America for his patron, the King of England, and made an amazing contribution to the fabric of America.


About the Author

Jule Selbo is an award-winning screenwriter, playwright, and novelist. She has written feature films, and has written and produced television series for major studios and networks. Credits include George Lucas’s Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, HBO’s Women Behind Bars—Prison Stories, and the feature Hard Promises, starring Sissy Spacek.

Her Disney credits include the animated features Hunchback of Notre Dame Part Deux, Cinderella II, and Ariel’s Beginning. Her plays Boxes and Isolate have won regional theater awards. Her novels include Piazza Carousel (2018) and Pilgrim Girl (2005, co-written with Laura Peters). In addition, she is a professor of film and television at California State University, Fullerton, and has written books on screenwriting and film history, including Screenplay: Building Story Through Character (2015), Film Genre for the Screenwriter (2015), and Women Screenwriters: An International Guide (2016, edited with Jill Nelmes).

Selbo has contributed to Journal of Screenwriting as well as anthologies on film writing. She holds a PhD in film from the University of Exeter in England and holds seminars on writing in the U.S. and internationally.

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Want to use these books in your classroom? Contact the Mentoris Project!`