It has taken too long but finally many of the female screenwriters that appear in our collection are being recognized – and often honored. Such is the case with Lois Weber who birthplace has now been given a historical marker. She deserves it.
Pittsburgh, Pa. − March 29, 2018 − Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, Jr. today announced the addition of an official Pennsylvania Historical Marker in Pittsburgh: film director Lois Weber.
Lois Weber was the first American woman film director and a pioneer in early film making.
In the era of silent films, she mastered superimposition, double exposures, and split screens to convey thoughts and ideas rather than words on title cards. She also used the nude female figure in the 1915 film Hypocrites and took on progressive and provocative topics, inciting both censorship and artistic praise.
“Lois Weber was a trailblazer for women and all filmmakers in the early 20th century,” said Senator Costa. “She is a worthy addition to this exclusive list.”
Her historical marker will be placed at 1230 Federal Street in Pittsburgh, in front of the new Carnegie Free Library Allegheny. She was born three blocks south of the spot and her childhood home was one block east.
The new markers, selected from 51 applications, will be added to the nearly 2,300 familiar blue-with-gold-lettering signs along roads and streets throughout Pennsylvania.
Congratulations to all the writers who contributed chapters and many thanks to Cari Beauchamp for her wonderful Forward! It was a pleasure putting this collection together and continues to be a pleasure sharing the stories of these trailblazing women with the world. Thanks to McFarland for believing in this project from the start.
Cal Poly Student journalist Daniela Avila did a great job summing up the points I made in my recent library lecture on my favorite female science fiction writers. — Rosanne
Education on the role of women in science fiction — which has been gravely overlooked — was brought by Rosanne Welch at Cal Poly Pomona’s University Library last Thursday, April 25.
Welch discussed several different women in this genre.
Not only in books and written works, but also in television and movies.
She was very passionate about the subject and the significance of women in the genre which many fail to acknowledge.
“It’s a place where audiences and writers go to discuss the issues of the world in a safe place,” Welch said, in regards to science fiction.
Welch began the lecture with the woman that started it all — Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Shelley is responsible for writing the famous novel “Frankenstein.”
This was written in 1818; however, she asked that the book remained anonymous due to the reactions of a woman writing such a dark and challenging work. Her intentions were to sit back and wait for the book to be judged based off of merit not the author.
It wasn’t until 1823 that her name was placed on the cover.
If you’ll be in Los Angeles on Sunday May 5th and want to see the architecture of the Helms Bakery – come to the Launch party for the 3rd book in the Paperback LA anthology – the editor, Susan LaTempa, reprinted my article about the writers of The Monkees TV show since that is so iconic LA. — Rosanne
Join us for a reception and brief readings to celebrate the launch of Paperback L.A. Book 3 A Casual Anthology: Secrets. SigAlerts. Ravines. Records.
This is the third volume of the acclaimed new-school trilogy the creates a freewheeling mosaic of the city in words and photographs.
Join contributors including Lisa See, Alexandra Hedison, River Garza, Ann Elliott Cutting, Lou Mathews, Rosanne Welch, RJ Smith and Warren Hill for brief readings and views of photos. Culver City Councilmembers Meghan Sahli-Wells and Daniel Lee will welcome attendees.
Free and open to the public.
The book launch is at the Helms Design Center event space, 8745 Washington Blvd., Culver City CA. 90232.
Parking is available at complimentary parking lots located at the Helms Bakery entrance on the south side of Venice Boulevard at Helms Avenue (in front of Rejuvenation and across from Father’s Office) for your visit.
Additional lots are located on the northeast and northwest corners of Helms Avenue and Venice Boulevard.
The lovely thing about putting writing out into the world is that sometimes you receive calls or emails from editors who stumbled upon your work and want to reprint it in their own anthologies.
Such a lovely experience happened to me recently when Susan La Tempa, editor of Paperback LA – a series of 3 anthology collections of writings about Los Angeles across the decades, contacted me. She had read my article on the wild and crazy careers of the former writers of The Monkees and wanted to add it to her 3rd collection.
Happily, I received my contributor copy in the mail today and it looks great. The fact that my name appears in a Table of Contents along with great California writers like Casey Williams, Lisa See, Harry Shearer and Jonathon Gold (the only Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer) is… amazing to me.
Can’t wait for the publication launch party, signing and reception Sunday May 5, 2019 (4-6 p.m) at the Helms Design Center. Free and open to the public!
Hope to see you there!
Secrets. Sigalerts. Ravines. Records.
In Paperback L.A., A Casual Anthology Book 3, our contributors deftly command fiction, nonfiction, playwriting, magazine writing, memoir and other forms to conjure up visions of a Beverly Hills Wonderbread factory, the founding of the first sustained gay rights organization in the country, early 20th-century wagon-train settlers in Dodger Stadium area, a late 20th-century DTLA traffic tie-up that becomes a kind of symphony, a humorous 1940s novelty song whose refrain buoyed civil rights activists, the 1990s outrigger-team apprenticeship of a Tongva youth―and more. Plus, photo essays on “Motion and Stasis,” “Hometown Gold,” “The Right Notes,” and “Nowhere.”
Thanks to Karen Lindell for attending my library lecture on When Women Wrote Hollywood at the Pollak Library on the campus of California State University, Fullerton. Her article tries to make sense of the many subjects that have populated my books, and she rightly deduces that it is highlighting the work of women writers that is my main mission. Even in my book on The Monkees I made sure to fully cover the career of Treva Silverman, who by writing on that show became one of the first women to write for television without a male partner.
Video of “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Coming Soon!
As a young girl in Ohio, Rosanne Welch was a regular at her local library, pouring over autobiographies and memoirs of screenwriters from Hollywood’s early years. By the age of 10, she knew that she wanted to have a career in television or film.
Welch, lecturer in screenwriting at Cal State Fullerton, did make it to Hollywood, where she wrote for television shows “Beverly Hills 90210,” “Picket Fences,” ABC’s “Nightline” and “Touched by an Angel.”
But a funny thing happened on the way to the studio … as Welch prepared for her career, she was surprised to find that the female screenwriters she had read about as a child weren’t mentioned in her screenwriting courses.
This piqued her curiosity. Upon researching the matter, she found several reasons why these women had been sidelined in history.
But the beauty of both my books (I hope) is the fact that they bring much needed attention to writers and performers who weren’t necessarily lauded in their own time. —Rosanne
You know how you are going to lecture on topics from your new book and then something happens in the big old world that touches on your previous book?
Such is happening to Rosanne Welch, who is a writer and adjunct professor at Cal State Fullerton, Cal Poly Pomona, Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut and Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri.
She is scheduled to give one of the Faculty Noon Time Talks in CSUF’s Pollock Library from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 5. These events are based on faculty research, which in Welch’s case is partly encapsulated in her most recent book, When Women Wrote Hollywood: Essays on Female Screenwriters in the Early Film Industry (McFarland & Co., 2018).
However, on Feb. 21, actor/composer/musician Peter Tork, who is best known as the bass player/keyboardist with the Monkees, passed away, which prompted the re-release of something Welch had said about him:
You never know how much of an effect – if any – you’re having on students who are sometimes quiet in class, or looking at their computer screens when you think they ought to be looking at you… but this article was a wonderful reminder that they are listening, sometimes even amidst their multi-tasking lives. And what this MFA student took away didn’t come from any long lectures, really, but rather from the opening of all my classes where I bring in articles from recent newspaper stories about the film and television business and discuss what they mean to them and their futures. In this case, it had to do with which gendered writers are usually chosen for which genre films…a topic of deep interest to me – and through this article she published, I learned it was a topic of deep interest to Chelsea as well.
I can only lend my stream of consciousness to the screenwriting instructors I have had the pleasure to learn from in the MFA program. Specifically, when it comes to this filmmaker Michael Bay-type realization, I had to give the credit to lecturer Rosanne Welch. This woman has taught me more about what it is to be a female writer in Hollywood than I ever thought I needed to know. I would never have made this connection with the tone and the story of this film had it not been for her classes.
She has taught me that as a woman I need to speak up. I have to raise my voice, and in the way that I know how; writing. Going into this program I did not imagine I would grow as much as I have. Thank you to all my classmates and our faculty that push me every day to be better. I will miss learning from all of you when this wild ride of a program is over.
This time I’ll discuss the women in my new book “When Women Wrote Hollywood” which covers female screenwriters from the Silents through the early 1940s when women wrote over 50% of films and Frances Marion was the highest paid screenwriter (male or female) and the first to win 2 Oscars – but fails to appear in film history books, which continue to regurgitate the myth that male directors did it all – even though it’s been proven that the only profitable movies Cecil B. de Mille ever directed were all written by Jeannie Macpherson film ever won for Best Picture was written by Robert E. Sherwood (who people have heard of, mostly due to his connection to Dorothy Parker) and Joan Harrison.