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

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Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Alumni, Sahar Jahani, Interviewed in Voyage LA Magazine

Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting alum Sahar Jahani recently sat for an interview with Voyage LA magazine. Check it out and join our fall 2020 cohort to put yourself on the road to your screenwriting future.

Write. Reach. Represent.

Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Alumni, Sahar Jahani, Interviewed in Voyage LA Magazine

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sahar Jahani.

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.

Read the entire article – Meet Sahar Jahani


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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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Liza Donnelly is live-drawing and tweeting the Athena Film Festival — Valerie Woods and Ken LaZebnik of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

One of the best parts of my gig as Executive Director of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting is sending very good friends like Valerie Woods (@vcwoods24) to very good festivals like the 10th Annual Athena Film Festival!Liza Donnelly is live-drawing and tweeting the Athena Film Festival - -Valerie Wood and Ken LaZebnik of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

Liza Donnelly is live-drawing and tweeting the Athena Film Festival - -Valerie Wood and Ken LaZebnik of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

Liza Donnelly is live-drawing and tweeting the Athena Film Festival

 


Questions about the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting?

Leave a comment here or email me, Executive Director, Dr. Rosanne Welch and I’ll be happy to answer your questions.


Visit Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting for more information.
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Valerie Woods, Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Mentor, Speaks at the Athena Film Festival

Valerie Woods, Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Mentor, Speaks at the Athena Film Festival

The Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting is always proud to help sponsor the Athena film festival. This year we were happy to send mentor Valerie Woods to discuss her career and love of writing.

Val’s ability to share that love makes her a treasured mentor in our program.

Valerie Woods, Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Mentor, Speaks at the Athena Film Festival

Valerie Woods, Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Mentor, Speaks at the Athena Film Festival

Valerie Woods, Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Mentor, Speaks at the Athena Film Festival


Questions about the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting?

Leave a comment here or email me, Executive Director, Dr. Rosanne Welch and I’ll be happy to answer your questions.


Visit Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting for more information.
Follow @StephensMFA on Instagram

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JoAnn Braheny Presents On Creativity Styles At Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Winter Workshop via Instagram

JoAnn Brahany Presents On Creativity Styles At Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Winter Workshop

JoAnn Brahney Presents On Creativity Styles At Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Winter Workshop via Instagram

Students in the second year of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting work on writing prompts with creativity coach JoAnn Braheny during their January workshop meetings at the Henson Studios in Hollywood. Applications are open now for the fall class!

Visit Stephens.edu/mfa for more information.

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Author, Tom Stempel Speaks at Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Winter Workshop

Author, Tom Stempel Speaks at Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Winter Workshop

Author, Tom Stempel Speaks at Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Winter Workshop

Tom Stempel, (historian and author of one of the textbooks used in our MFA – Framework: a History of Screenwriting) has a blog – Understanding Screenwriting — where he analyzes the work of recent screenplays, many of which you may have just seen.

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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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Chatting after the panel via Instagram

Chatting after  the panel: “Between the Sheets: Writing About Sex on Television” at the Writers Guild of America.

Chatting after the panel via Instagram

After our WGA panel on Writing sex scenes for television, Dr. Rosanne Welch speaks to panelist (and Stephens College MFA alum) Sahar Jahani (Ramy, 13 Reasons Why) speak with Intimacy coordinator Mia Schachter.

Writers Guild Foundation@wgfoundation

Visit Stephens.edu/mfa for more information.

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#MentorMonday 8 - Dawn Comer Jefferson - Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

Panorama before the panel: “Between the Sheets: Writing About Sex on Television” at the Writers Guild of America

Panorama before the panel: “Between the Sheets: Writing About Sex on Television” at the Writers Guild of America.

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Writers Guild Foundation@wgfoundation

Visit Stephens.edu/mfa for more information.

Follow @StephensMFA on Instagram


Follow and Like the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

#MentorMonday 8 - Dawn Comer Jefferson - Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting