On Saturday, November 3rd, 2018 several of the contributors to When Women Wrote Hollywood gathered at the Skylark Bookshop in Columbia, Missouri for a signing and launch party that functioned like a mini-reunion of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Class of 2017.
Many thanks to all who came to hear them each speak with passion about the research subjects who became whole chapters in this book of essays on female screenwriters from the Silent Era into the 1940s.
It was a double-header for the 2nd year MFA candidates when they were visited by two writers from The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon on consecutive nights this week. On the first night, Eric Kaplan (also a former David Letterman staff writer) came at the invitation of student CJ Ehrlich.
As any writer does, we invited a technical consultant – Dr. Marissa Stevens – to give the teams some historical background in the culture of ancient Egypt before they broke into groups to brainstorm their new ideas.
I thank them for being so honest and real about describing the way they balance the lives they love and the work they love. It’s never easy for any of us and sometimes that’s the best lesson of all. Though each of the writers talked about how the skills of being a mother are so perfectly attuned to the nurturing and multitasking required of showrunners in television.
We also learned about offices that have nurseries provided for their writing staff and the fact that, as with all things in life, moms have to make tough decisions between being on set when your pilot is filming or catching your 2nd grader’s talent show… But we also all admitted that it’s a privilege to make the stories that are watched by other people’s children – and to share stories with your own children all their lives. — Rosanne
Talking TV writing and motherhood with writers/producers and working moms Julia Brownell (THIS IS US), @jamiedenbo (AMERICAN PRINCESS), Valentina Garza @totalvaligirl (JANE THE VIRGIN), and moderator @RosanneWelch.
Thanks to producer/writer Rob Lazebnik for showing our students around and explaining what makes a good Simpsons script – a story that involves the whole family, which is hard to come by after being on the air so many wonderful years…