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
Singer, songwriter, and the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Aretha Louise Franklin was born on March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee. The fourth of five children, Aretha Franklin was raised in Detroit, Michigan, where her father was the head of the congregation of the New Bethel Baptist Church. Often in the presence of popular singers, both gospel and secular, she was influenced by performers such as Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, and Dinah Washington. Gospel great Mahalia Jackson was also a visitor to the Franklin household. Franklin was first recorded as a gospel artist at age 14.
Sahar, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today. I am first generation Iranian-American and come from a Muslim family, so it took me a while to realize that this career was even a possibility. If you can’t see it, it’s hard to believe you can also do it. By that, I mean that I didn’t know any other Muslims or Iranians who worked in Hollywood even though I grew up twenty minutes from all the studios. I remember driving by the Disney Animation building on the 134 freeway on my way to school every day and just think it was the coolest place in the world. But for me, it felt unattainable.
Ten years later, I’m having meetings there all the time. I was always interested in storytelling from a young age. My sister and I would put on plays for my family and I developed an interest in photography in high school, but I never considered film as a career until I was in college. I had planned to become a journalist because that was the closest thing to film that I could consider a tangible career. But when I started school at UC Irvine and began interning at different newspapers, I realized how much journalism was changing in an era of digital media.
Writer Julia Ward Howe’s poem, set to music, became “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” the anthem for the Union cause in the American Civil War. While that piece cemented Howe’s place in American history, her writing career extended well beyond the single work, and with her efforts as an antislavery and women’s rights activist, she became a woman of great historical significance.
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In honor of Halloween – and in service to my teaching philosophy —
“Words Matter. Writers Matter. Women Writers Matter.”
I presented this holiday lecture “When Women Write Horror” on Tuesday, October 29th, 2019. Researching the many, many women who have written horror stories – in novels, films and television – brought new names to my attention who I am excited to start reading. I hope you will be, too!
I think she’s really interesting because she brings the female gaze — the first female to write about the Salem witch trials right? We hear stories from the male perspective about these crazy bad women who were doing these witchy things and now we have a book from the female perspective. What was this really about and what is being a witch about? Is that about power and is that what scared all the men back in Salem that they didn’t want women to have power right and when we look into the history of the Salem witch trials we know that there are many possibilities for why those women were chosen? Among them, several of them were land-owning women and back of the day women weren’t supposed to own land. Only men were but if your husband died and you had no male kids you inherited it and the funny thing about Salem was the men who sat on the council in the city who decided if you were a witch or not when you were convicted and your land went up for public sale the men on the council got to buy any public sale land first shot half price. Just by accident, they were finding women guilty who happened to own land that was rather lovely for them to buy. So she’s looking at this period through this female gaze which we don’t teach in schools.
Poet Phillis Wheatley was born in West Africa, sold into slavery, and eventually freed. She wrote poems at a time when many people argued that people of African descent were so inferior to Euro-Americans as to be fit only for slavery. She is remembered as a preeminent poet of the American Revolutionary period.
Unlike most slaves, Wheatley had an opportunity to demonstrate an intellectual talent that her masters were willing to develop. As a result, she received a rather extensive education for the time— something rather rare for any woman, let alone a slave.
In honor of Women’s history month, Rosanne Welch and Peg Lamphier, Cal Poly Pomona lecturers in Interdisciplinary General Education and editors of the four-volume encyclopedia Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection (ABC-CLIO Publishing, January 2017), have provided a list of a dozen fascinating females in history everyone should know.
Welch and Lamphier’s encyclopedia was named to the 2018 Outstanding References Sources List, by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association and to the 2018 list of Best Historical Materials by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association.
Nilanjana Sudeshna “Jhumpa” Lahiri is an award- winning American author of Indian ethnicity. Her first short story collection won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and her first novel, The Namesake, was adapted into a popular movie.
Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne
This article analyses how the approach to screenwriting in Danish cinema has undergone major changes from an auteur-oriented film culture in the 1960s with basically no professional screenwriters, to a collaborative auteur industry where screenwriting is now a recognized craft and screenwriters are established professionals in the film industry. Focusing on the historical development of the Screenwriting Department at the National Film School of Denmark, the article discusses how the educational emphasis on teaching screenwriting has had an impact on Danish cinema both by introducing a basic understanding of screenwriting models and tools for a new generation of Danish film-makers, and by developing a common awareness of the importance of screenwriting as well as successful collaborations in creative teams. The article highlights how, after widespread enthusiasm over the emergence of successful screenwriters, there are currently debates about the dangers of professionalization as well as critical voices calling for a return to a more personal kind of auteur film-making. Finally, it is suggested that further investigation of the nature of close collaborations between directors and screenwriters, now more prevalent in Denmark, can provide interesting material for new perspectives in discussions of authorship.
The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice.
Frances Perkins, the first woman appointed to a U.S. presidential cabinet, served during Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration as his secretary of labor, piloting both the New Deal and the creation of the Social Security Administration. Perkins was the primary force behind unemployment insurance, minimum wage, a shorter workweek, and federal laws that regulate child labor and worker safety.