A Woman’s Voice in the Writers’ Room – An In-Depth Interview with Dr. Rosanne Welch in Creative Screenwriting Magazine

A Woman’s Voice in the Writers’ Room - An In-Depth Interview with Dr. Rosanne Welch in Creative Screenwriting Magazine

A Woman’s Voice in the Writers’ Room

Rosanne Welch on writing for female characters, changing the pronoun in a script, and the power of research.

Rosanne Welch is a TV writer, author, professor, and feminist, who’s able to combine her passion in one place thanks to her current position as an adjunct professor at Stephen’s College (the oldest women’s college in the U.S.) for its screenwriting M.F.A. program.

The Stephen’s College screenwriting M.F.A. program is certainly unique: it’s the first low-residency program specifically for TV and screenwriting, and is explicitly designed to increase the number and impact of women working in film and TV. It’s the perfect fit for Welch, who teaches all four of its History of Screenwriting courses, from the Silent Era throughout modern day, as well as a One Hour Spec Script course, and Writing the One-Hour pilot.

Senior Hall, Stephen’s College. Image by HornColumbia (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia CommonsSenior Hall, Stephen’s College. Image by HornColumbia, via Wikimedia CommonsThe idea for the program came from Ken LaZebnik, who Welch had met decades earlier when they both wrote for Touched By An Angel.

According to Welch, “Ken LaZebnik came up with the idea for the program, to create a Master’s program for screenwriting, opposed to extension or continuing education screenwriting programs where there is no degree at the end of it, you just have the experience of writing in the program.

“He needed someone to do curriculum, he needed someone who had a PhD on staff, and he also only wanted to hire writers who were part of the Writer’s Guild, because he wanted the students taught by working writers and writers who had experience.”

Fortunately Welch fit the criteria. “I was really excited because a lot of Master’s programs focus on directing or film production or being a master of all trades, and he just wanted to focus on screenwriting.”

Welch’s current life as an academic is a far cry from her days as a secretary at Stephen J. Cannell productions, back when he was the biggest independent TV producer with shows like The A-Team and 21 Jump Street.

Read the entire interview on Creative Screenwriting

Writer, Ken LaZebnik, talks “Hollywood Digs” on This American Wife Podcast [Audio]

This american wife

Here’s a fun new podcast I’ve discovered called This American Wife (all pun intended toward This American Life).

I found it because this episode contains an interview with my friend and colleague (at both Touched by an Angel and now in the Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting program) Ken Lazebnik.  

Ken talks about the MFA program he conceived and built from scratch as well as his deeply delightful book of essays:  Hollywood Digs: An Archaelogy of Shadows — about the oddities of living and working in modern Hollywood.  His interview starts at 19:42.

Listen to this episode

[audio: http://traffic.libsyn.com/thisamericanwife/thisamericanwife76.mp3]

This American Wife is a “public radio” podcast from producer Eric Martin.Every other week, the show presents a compelling mix of stories and interviews with fascinating and frequently famous folks, in a frankly familiar format. Also, our sister program All Things Ill-Considered presents hard-hitting and award-deserving journalism. Stay with us.

Panel: Increasing the Power of Women’s Voices in Hollywood from the Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting Program [Video]

Increasing the Power of Women’s Voices in Hollywood
Moderated by Dr. Rosanne Welch with Kate Powers, Minoti Vaishnav, Allison Schroeder, Elizabeth Martin, and Niceole Levy.

I’m happy to announce that a panel discussion I moderated (in my role as a professor of the History of Screenwriting for the Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting) has been posted to the students’ YouTube Channel:  Reel Dream Squad

For the discussion titled “Increasing the Power of Women’s Voices in Hollywood”, I was joined by five up and coming writers in Hollywood with projects ranging from the live-action Mulan to The Mysteries of Laura.

These women tell stories of how they trained to be writers, how they obtained managers and agents and the joy of their first script sales, while constantly considering one of my major themes: How important it is to have a female voice in the room.

Increasing the Power of Women's Voices in Hollywood from the Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting Program

Subscribe to Real Dream Squad on YouTube

Rosanne speaks in Cal Poly article, “Vagina Monologues’ Seeks to Empower Women and Inform Campus”

Come one!  Come all – (if you live near Cal Poly Pomona) and see my colleague Peg Lamphier and I perform in this year’s Vagina Monologues tomorrow (Tuesday the 16th) at 7pm on campus.  Tickets are $10.

Click below for an article about the event – and our participation – with quotes.  Support a student journalist and give it a read!  And, yes, some video will be posted after the show is over..

“Auditions were open not only to students, but to staff and faculty as well. After noticing that on a poster, Professor Rosanne Welch, who holds a doctorate degree in American social history of the 21st century, was inspired to audition.

“Peg Lampher and I are really big feminists and we talk a lot about it with our students,” she says. “I went over to her and said, ‘We should put our money where our mouth is.’ ”

After auditioning, the pair was cast in one of the last monologues of the show. Welch says it is perfect for them because the topic is childbirth, and they are both mothers.

Throughout the experience, Welch’s favorite part has been watching the students take control.

“I was proud to watch them, but I was also a little bit sad because a certain number of them have had things happen to them in their past which brought them to work with the Women’s Resource Center,” she says. “The fact that they are able to put on this presentation and take control of the night is a beautiful gesture.””

Read the entire article, Vagina Monologues’ Seeks to Empower Women and Inform Campus

Dr. Rosanne Welch talks “The Monkees” on the Zilch Podcast [Audio]

I’m so pleased to post this link to an interview Sarah Clark did with me for a podcast she co-hosts called Zilch: A Monkee’s Podcast.


Naturally, we talk about my upcoming book Why The Monkees Matter and my scholarly take on the show.

Clck here to read more about Why The Monkees Matter  by Dr. Rosanne Welch

Sarah asked all the best questions which allowed me to discuss all the things I love studying about the show – its take on feminism, its handling of ethnic characters, what I like to call its cultural collateral – and of course why it deserves a place in critical studies in television courses because of its innovation – you do know it won an Emmy for Best Comedy in its debut year, don’t you? That ranks it right up there with classic quality comedies.

The whole show is fun to listen to as they discuss Micky’s solo show and some news about future concerts, (but if you want to start with my interview first that starts at 29:15 and ends at 1:23:00)

Listen to the podcast


You might want to download the file (or subscribe to the podcast) rather than listening online as sometimes I’ve found their server gets overloaded and the audio falls out. I download the mp3 and then play it from my iTunes program.

More on The Monkees from Dr. Rosanne Welch:

Hey, Hey, They Wrote The Monkees – Written By Magazine

Audio: Dog Days of Podcasting 2014 – Dr. Rosanne Welch on Television and Movie Writing – Day 2/30

Careers in New Media LogoDr. Rosanne Welch

A short interview with Dr. Rosanne Welch (my wife) on the most common mistakes made by beginning screenwriters. (20 min)

Listen to this podcast

Previously in the Dog Days of Podcasting 2014:

What is the Dog Days of Podcasting?

“Essentially, it is a challenge to do a podcast for 30 days in a row.

In 2012 Kreg Steppe was looking to give himself a little push in regards to recording his own personal podcast since he wasn’t recording it very often. That turned into a challenge for himself to record a show everyday for 30 days believing that after 30 days it would turn into a habit. Once it was mentioned to Chuck Tomasi he took the challenge too and they decided it would be a great idea to record starting 30 days before Dragon*Con, culminating with the last episode where they would record it together when they saw each other there.”

Interview with John Leggett about Ross & Tom: Two American Tragedies

I had a great time talking to John Leggett about the Foreverland Press reissue of his dual biography of 2 tragically uber successful writers who couldn’t handle their success…

Here’s the beginning of the interview and a link to the complete text.


Rosanne Welch Interviews John Leggett about Ross & Tom: Two American Tragedies

When muckraker Theodore Dreiser wrote An American Tragedy in 1925 he hoped to help society focus on the debilitating effects of poverty.  Nearly fifty years later, in Ross and Tom: Two American Tragedies, John Leggett found similar effects could come from the opposite end of the spectrum, an abundance of talent, money and fame.  Leggett’s fascination with the (spoiler alert) suicides of best-selling authors Ross Lockridge and Thomas Heggen, after the publication of their wildly successful first novels led Leggett to write this dual biography.  Published first in 1974 Ross and Tom is now back in circulation in an era far more fascinated with fame than even Leggett could have imagined. Ross and Tom is such a deeply researched book about the act of writing, as well as the sacrifices of the writing life, one reads on despite knowing each man will leave behind loved ones as well as lasting legacies in the world of American Literature.

Read the entire interview at Foreverland Press

Audio: Rosanne Welch and Dawn Comer Jefferson interviewed on the Go Write Something! Podcast

Dawn and Rosanne were recently interviewed by Candice L. Davis of the Go Write Something podcast. You can listen to the entire interview here or directly from the GoWriteSomething.com web site.

Listen to this podcast – GWS 001: How Writing for TV Prepared These Writers for Indie Publishing

GWS 001: How Writing for TV Prepared These Writers for Indie Publishing

Woo hoo! The premiere episode of the Go Write Something podcast! I can’t wait to get some more interviewing experience under my belt, so I can look back and laugh at how dorky I sound in the early episodes.

Dawn Comer Jefferson and Rosanne Welch are writing partners who’ve done most of their work in television. (Their full bios are below.) In this episode I interview them about their first novel, based on historical events, The Promise.

We talk about:

  • how to collaborate with another writer
  • how writing for television influenced their novel writing journey
  • how to create your own writing lifestyle
  • and more