Listen to the latest “How I Wrote That” Podcast with Screenwriter Deborah Starr Seibel from Sisters and 21 Jump Street

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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

Presented by Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting


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Listen to the latest “How I Wrote That” Podcast with Screenwriter Julie Hébert from ‘American Crime’ and ‘Man in the High Castle’

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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

Presented by Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting


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Mentoris Project Podcast: Relentless Visionary: Alessandro Volta With Author, Michael Berick [Audio]

Mentoris Project Podcast: Relentless Visionary: Alessandro Volta With Author, Michael Berick

Mentoris Project Podcast: Relentless Visionary: Alessandro Volta With Author, Michael Berick [Audio]

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If asked to list important inventors, few remember to include Alessandro Volta. Yet, his is a household name more spoken than that of Alexander Graham Bell, the Wright Brothers, or even Thomas Edison. That’s because the terms “volt” and “voltage” can be attributed to Volta, the inventor of the “Voltaic pile,” which is recognized as the first electric battery. A product of the Age of Enlightenment—a time when ideas about reason, science, literature and liberty took center stage—Volta employed a very modern, hands-on approach to his work. Though he had no formal education, he was the first person to identify the gas known as methane, and created the first authoritative list of conducting metals. Alessandro Volta saw things not just as they were, but as what they could be. He was a disrupter, an innovator and a visionary. Above all, he was relentless. Without Volta’s hunger to create and his drive to invent and discover, we might not have electric cars, laptops, cellphones, and hearing aids today.

 


About the Author

Michael Berick is a writer and journalist, whose work has appeared in outlets such as the Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly, LA Weekly, AAA Westways Magazine, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He has written about European chocolate destinations, reviewed artist Ed Ruscha’s retrospective, and penned press material for the Grammy-nominated boxset, Battleground Korea: Songs And Sounds Of America’s Forgotten War. He also might possibly be the only music critic to have voted in both the Fids and Kamily Music Awards and the Village Voice’s annual Pazz & Jop Poll. Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, Berick currently lives in Los Angeles with wife, playwright/screenwriter Jennifer Maisel, and their daughter and dog.

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Listen to “Between the Sheets: Writing About Sex on TV” from the Writers Guild Foundation and Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting [Audio]

Between the Sheets: Writing About Sex on Television

Listen: Between the Sheets: Writing About Sex on TV [Audio]

Listen to Between the Sheets: Writing About Sex on TV from the Writers Guild Foundation and Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

The Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting program teamed up with the Writers Guild Foundation to pull the covers back on a topic that still makes viewers blush: sex. On this special evening, our panel of TV writers and producers share how they approach writing about sex, from intimate scenes to revealing dialogue, and the nuances they consider when crafting stories about sex and sexuality.

Panelists:

  • Michelle Ashford – Masters of Sex, The Pacific
  • Cindy Chupack – I’m Dying Up Here, Divorce, Sex and the City
  • Sahar Jahani – 13 Reasons Why, Ramy
  • Dayna Lynne North – Insecure, Single Ladies, Lincoln Heights
  • Gladys Rodriguez – Vida, Dynasty, Sons of Anarchy
  • Moderated by Dr. Rosanne Welch. 

Writers Guild Foundation@wgfoundation

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Mentoris Project Podcast: The Faithful: A Novel Based on the Life of Giuseppe Verdi with Author, Collin Mitchell

Mentoris Project Podcast: The Faithful: A Novel Based on the Life of Giuseppe Verdi with Author, Collin Mitchell

Mentoris Project Podcast: The Faithful: A Novel Based on the Life of Giuseppe Verdi with Author, Collin Mitchell

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The rule of power in Europe is changing… 

Born in Italy at the tumultuous end of France’s influence in Europe, Giuseppe Verdi went on to become the world’s most recognizable name in opera. 

Set against the rise of the Italian states in the middle of the nineteenth century, The Faithful depicts an artist bedeviled by his role not just as a composer, but as an unassuming icon of the Italian Unification and the birth of modern Italy. 

Through chance encounters in gilded Milanese salons and the hushed politics of the Italian opera, we experience the struggles of a man conflicted by his role as an artist and by his commitment to a country yearning for independence.


About the Author

Collin Mitchell is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara, with a degree in Comparative Literature and Film Studies. Originally from the Bay Area, he now resides in Los Angeles.

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Mentoris Project Podcast: Saving the Republic: A Novel Based on the Life of Marcus Cicero with Author, Eric D. Martin

Mentoris Project Podcast: Saving the Republic: A Novel Based on the Life of Marcus Cicero with Author, Eric Martin

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A boy, weak of body, became a pillar of strength.

As the first century approached, a sickly boy was born while the Roman Republic was nearing its ultimate demise. The boy’s life and the country both hung in the balance.  

But the strong and determined young man grew to be the Republic’s fiercest defender. With his dogged determination and towering intellect, Marcus Tullius Cicero became a famed statesman, celebrated orator, and an esteemed philosopher.  

Surviving civil wars, political intrigues, and assassination attempts, Cicero pushed against the grain, standing steadfastly in support of the Republic, even when it threatened his career—or his life.


About the Author

Eric D. Martin is a novelist and screenwriter. He has a BA in film studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MFA in screen and television writing from Pepperdine University. While studying at Pepperdine, Martin served as president of the student film society, Courier 12, and was a semifinalist for the Academy of Arts and Sciences Nicholl Fellowship. Recently, Martin adapted the novel The Liar’s Chair for the screen and wrote the popular Lifetime thriller, The Other Mother. Currently, he is writing for the premium cable television drama Heels and for Starz, and developing the TV comedy King Elizabeth. 

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Drs. Rosanne Welch and Sarah Clark discuss “Monkees in a Ghost Town” on the Zilch Podcast’s Monkees 101 Series [Audio]

Drs. Rosanne Welch and Sarah Clark discuss “Monkees in a Ghost Town” on the Zilch Podcast’s Monkees 101 Series [Audio]

As you know I always LOVE talking television so when fellow Dr. Sarah Clark of Zilch Nation asked me a while back if I’d like to cohost an ongoing segment of Zilch where we analyze each of the 58  episodes of The Monkees — I jumped at the chance.

Even though I did a lot of this work in the book – I couldn’t cover all the episodes so this segment allows us to take one at a time and do our own critical studies and popular culture coverage. 

Check out the current segment on the episode “Monkees in a Ghost Town” with all his homage to “Of Mice and Men”

Drs. Rosanne Welch and Sarah Clark discuss “Monkees in a Ghost Town” on the Zilch Podcast's Monkees 101 Series [Audio]

Zilch! The Year in Review, Monkees News with Tim Powers & Christine Wolfe then “Monkees 101” does “Monkees in a Ghost Town” episode 7 of the series. See you next year!

Originally aired 12/20/19

We were born to love one another.

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Want to learn more about The Monkees? Buy Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

 

A hit television show about a fictitious rock band, The Monkees (1966-1968) earned two Emmys–Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Directorial Acheivement in Comedy.

Capitalizing on the show’s success, the actual band formed by the actors, at their peak, sold more albums than The Beatles and The Rolling Stones combined, and set the stage for other musical TV characters from The Partridge Family to Hannah Montana. In the late 1980s, the Monkees began a series of reunion tours that continued into their 50th anniversary.

This book tells the story of The Monkees and how the show changed television, introducing a new generation to the fourth-wall-breaking slapstick created by Laurel and Hardy and the Marx Brothers.

Its creators contributed to the innovative film and television of 1970s with projects like Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Laugh-In and Welcome Back, Kotter. Immense profits from the show, its music and its merchandising funded the producers’ move into films such as Head, Easy Riderand Five Easy Pieces.

McFarland (Direct from Publisher) | Amazon | Kindle Edition | Nook Edition

Want to use “Why The Monkees Matter” in your classroom?

Order Examination Copies, Library and Campus Bookstore orders directly from McFarland

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Mentoris Project Podcast: Humble Servant of Truth: A Novel Based on the Life of Thomas Aquinas with Author, Margaret O’Reilly

Mentoris Project Podcast: Humble Servant of Truth: A Novel Based on the Life of Thomas Aquinas with Author, Margaret O'Reilly

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Entering the world with a burning desire for knowledge, Thomas Aquinas set out on a quest for truth that forced him into captivity. But his thirst for truth never wavered. 

Known today among many as the most brilliant light of the Church, Aquinas was a Catholic priest and a Doctor of the Church. His synthesis of Aristotle’s philosophy with Christianity significantly influenced Western thought and solidified his legacy as one of the greatest philosophers of the Western world.   

Over his lifetime, Aquinas wrote many Eucharistic hymns, some of which are to this day included in the Church’s liturgy.  His theological insight and natural reason make him an ideal model teacher for those pursuing Catholic priesthood. 

Today, Saint Thomas is often depicted with a writing quill or an open book, proving that the search for knowledge and truth forever lives within his name. 


About the Author

Margaret O’Reilly attended Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California. After graduating in 1984, she earned catechetical certification from Our Lady of Peace Pontifical Catechetical Institute in Beaverton, Oregon. She taught high school theology and Church history at St. Agnes High School in St. Paul, Minnesota. Mrs. O’Reilly and her husband have twelve children whom they teach at home. Her articles on theological and apologetic topics have appeared in Catholic publications including Homiletic and Pastoral Review, and The Catholic Respons

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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

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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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Listen To The Podcast: Location as Character: The Craft of Writing Place Panel Panel at The Writers Guild Foundation [Audio]

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Listen To The Podcast: Location as Character: The Craft of Writing Place Panel Panel at The Writers Guild Foundation [Audio]

I really enjoyed being invited to moderate this Writers Guild Foundation panel co-hosted by Columbia Collge of Chicago’s Semester in LA program.

In honor of the co-host we chose to have a conversation about “Location as Character” – and for a kid from Cleveland, believe me, I know how much the place you come from infuses who you are – and how important it is for writers to properly portray the effect of location on the many characters who populate their programs. 

I was joined by a great collection of panelists from shows ranging from Queen Sugar to On Becoming a God in Central Florida to The Chi and Young Sheldon. Listen in when you have some time!

Listen to this podcast

Location as Character: The Craft of Writing Place Panel via Instagram

From @writersguildf – Writers Guild Foundation

We team up with @ColumbiaChi to talk about how locations inform and impact characters on TV with @qu33nofdrama, @SparksAnthony, Matt Lutsky, @RosanneWelch and Connor Kilpatrick.

 



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