“Name Screenwriters” says Dr. Rosanne Welch in Letter to Los Angeles Times

Because I believe that you can’t change things unless you challenge them, whenever I see a newspaper article about a film where the writer uses the director’s possessive (as in “Spielberg’s Lincoln) and never mention the writer (which in that case was Pulitzer Prize-winning Tony Kushner – Spielberg has never won a Pulitzer Prize), I try to write a letter to the editor explaining the mistake. 

Often they print them. Once my letter appeared alongside a letter with a similar point, written by the author of one of our History of Screenwriting textbooks (who has come to speak to our students during Workshop – Tom Stempel).

This morning the LA Times published this letter. — Rosanne

To the editor: Your editorial elevated “compelling storytelling” as a quality that makes a movie great, but when listing examples of noteworthy films — “Lawrence of Arabia,” “The Shining” and “Vertigo” — you used the director’s possessive to identify the films, not once mentioning the writers (both novelists and screenwriters).

“Lawrence of Arabia” came to screens thanks to the book by T.E. Lawrence, which was adapted by screenwriters Robert Bolt and the blacklisted Michael Wilson. “The Shining” came from the mind of prolific novelist Stephen King, whose book was adapted by Stanley Kubrick and Diane Johnson, with Kubric directing. “Vertigo” is based on the novel “D’entre les morts” by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac, which was adapted by Alec Coppel and Samuel A. Taylor.

I’ve never understood why newspaper writers forget to name screenwriters when discussing movies. It seems an absurd example of internalized artistic oppression.

How can I be able to teach up-and-coming screenwriters their own value if journalists keep naming films as the property of the directors?

Rosanne Welch, Van Nuys

The writer is executive director of Stephens College’s master of fine arts program in TV and screenwriting.

Why The Monkees Matter Cited in Michael Stipe Article via Showbiz Cheatsheet

Always nice to find my book cited in someone else’s writing – and on this post blogger Matthew Trzcinski also embedded a link to “Daydream Believer”… — Rosanne

Beatles: Why Michael Stipe of R.E.M. Called Their Songs ‘Elevator Music’ via Showbiz Cheatsheet

Why The Monkees Matter Cited in Michael Stipe Article via Showbiz Cheatsheet

[…]

Stipe did care about one of the bands inspired by Beatlemania: the Monkees. According to Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture, Stipe said the Monkees mattered much more to him than the Fab Four. He said the Monkees’ “Daydream Believer” was his favorite song as a child and remained a guilty pleasure. Stipe even cited the Monkees as a musical influence. Given that the Fab Four inspired the Monkees, Stipe did take some influence from the Beatles, just not directly.

[…]

Read Beatles: Why Michael Stipe of R.E.M. Called Their Songs ‘Elevator Music’ via Showbiz Cheatsheet


Want to learn more about The Monkees? Buy Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture Why The Monkees Matter 

Bookshop | Amazon

A hit television show about a fictitious rock band, The Monkees (1966-1968) earned two Emmys–Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Directorial Acheivement in Comedy.

Capitalizing on the show’s success, the actual band formed by the actors, at their peak, sold more albums than The Beatles and The Rolling Stones combined, and set the stage for other musical TV characters from The Partridge Family to Hannah Montana. In the late 1980s, the Monkees began a series of reunion tours that continued into their 50th anniversary.

This book tells the story of The Monkees and how the show changed television, introducing a new generation to the fourth-wall-breaking slapstick created by Laurel and Hardy and the Marx Brothers.

Its creators contributed to the innovative film and television of 1970s with projects like Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Laugh-In and Welcome Back, Kotter. Immense profits from the show, its music and its merchandising funded the producers’ move into films such as Head, Easy Riderand Five Easy Pieces.

McFarland (Direct from Publisher) | Amazon | Kindle Edition | Nook Edition | Bookshop

Nicholas Nicky Laskin, Current MFA candidate in the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Program, is a frequent contributor to The Playlist

Playlist

Nicholas Nicky Laskin, Current MFA candidate in the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Program is a frequent contributor to The Playlist (a leading film and television website, offering smart yet accessible news, analysis, critical takes and more for the film community at large, founded in 2007 by Rodrigo Perez).

Read Nick’s Top 10 Films of 2019 as you contemplate what to catch up on over the holidays.

Nicholas Nicky Laskin, Current MFA candidate in the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting, is a frequent contributor to The Playlist


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

Screenwriters (once again) left out of Los Angeles Times Maleficent Story!

Screenwriters (once again) left out of Los Angeles Times Maleficent Story!

This is definitely driving me crazy!

After reading the attached article I had to write this letter to the Los Angeles Times:

Did Tracy Brown  really write a whole article (“How Angelina Jolie’s daughter inspired the secret backstory of ‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil’”) about the story process for the new Maleficent sequel WITHOUT ONCE mentioning the name of the credited screenwriters – Linda Woolverton (who also wrote the original film) and Noah Harpster?

The article even begins with naming the director in the first sentence. This is a ludicrous example of the unexplained contempt journalists (who are writers themselves) seem to have against screenwriters – or solid evidence that the now disproved-in-academia-but-still-mistakenly-believed-by-others auteur theory still holds sway. But directors do not write their films unless you call them ‘writer-directors’.

Read the entire article – “How Angelina Jolie’s daughter inspired the secret backstory of ‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil’”

Dr. Rosanne Welch Named As The New Executive Director Of Stephens College MFA In TV And Screenwriting Program

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From Stephens College Office of Academic Affairs…

I am pleased to share with you the following announcement about an exciting change of leadership for the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting program. Congratulations to the team and thank you for all of your hard work building an amazing program.
– Dr. Leslie Willey, Stephens College Vice President for Academic Affairs

Rmw profile 2019The Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting  established in 2014, has named Dr. Rosanne Welch as the new executive director. Program founder and former director Ken LaZebnik will serve as Writer-in-Residence, while Khanisha Foster ’17, a graduate of the M.F.A. program, will serve as associate director. The program also features 15 faculty mentors and a rotating group of guest lecturers, all working writers, members of the Writers Guild and successful industry professionals.

Welch has served as a faculty member in the M.F.A. program since its start, creating a set of courses around the history of screenwriting, and teaching courses in one-hour drama. Her television writing credits include “Beverly Hills 90210,” “Picket Fences,” “ABC News: Nightline” and “Touched by an Angel.”

She edited “When Women Wrote Hollywood,” a book of essays published in 2018 that was named runner-up for the Susan Koppelman Award honoring the best anthology, multi-authored or edited book in feminist studies by the Popular Culture Association. She co-edited “Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia,” which was named to both the 2018 Outstanding References Sources List and the list of Best Historical Materials by the American Library Association, and authored “Why the Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Popular Culture.”

Welch serves as book reviews editor for the Journal of Screenwriting and on the editorial board for Written By magazine. She was elected to the executive committee of the International Screenwriting Research Network this year for a two-year term.

Sarah Phillips, Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting alumni, Wins Founder’s Circle Award at the Louisiana Film Prize

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Congratulations to Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting alumni Sarah Phillips (IMDB) for winning the Founder’s Circle Award at the Louisiana Film Prize for her film Supplements!

Sarah Phillips, Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting alumni, Wins Founder's Circle Award at the Louisiana Film Prize

Louisiana Film Prize Logo

Sarah Phillips, Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting alumni, Wins Founder's Circle Award at the Louisiana Film Prize

The year is 2289, and all that’s left on Planet Earth is the domed city Old Centauri, roaming sun flares that scorch the land, and the nomadic tribes that mitigate the two. Kiirke comes from one such tribe, and she must travel to Old Centauri, along with her stowaway younger brother, to seek a small fortune to save her family – But the only way to make money as a newcomer to the city is to enroll in Supplements Labs as what the locals call a “lab rat”.


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Panel Discussion: Location as Character: The Craft of Writing Place – WGA – October 1, 2019

Save The Date! -- Panel Discussion: Location as Character: The Craft of Writing Place - WGA - October 1, 2019

Location as Character: The Craft of Writing Place
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
7:30 PM  9:00 PM
The Writers Guild Foundation, 7000 West 3rd StreetLos Angeles, CA, 90048United States


Whether big city or small-town USA, a show’s location can have a powerful impact. We are teaming up with Columbia College Chicago on this special evening to sit down with a panel of TV writers for a discussion about how writing location, whether real or fictional, sets the scene and can shape the motivations of the characters.

Panelists:

  • Ayanna Floyd – Writer, Executive Producer, The Chi
  • Anthony Sparks – Writer, Executive Producer, Queen Sugar
  • Stay tuned for more panelist announcements!

Moderated by Dr. Rosanne Welch.

Doors open at 7pm. Event starts at 7:30pm.

All events advertised on our Events page are open to anyone who wants to buy a ticket—not just WGA members!

In the case the event is sold out, we will have a first come, first serve stand-by line at the event. The stand-by line does not guarantee entry into the event and we will only accept credit card transactions for any released seats.

Proceeds benefit the Foundation’s library, archive and other outreach programs.

Got a question about events? E-mail us at events@wgfoundation.org.

Journal of Screenwriting Call For Submissions For A Special Issue Focusing On Female Screenwriters

Journal of Screenwriting Call For Submissions For A Special Issue Focusing On Female Screenwriters

Don’t forget: The Journal of Screenwriting is calling for articles for a special issue with a focus on female screenwriters, to be published in November 2020. I will be co-editing this Special Issue! — Rosanne


Call For Submissions

Special Issue: Female Screenwriters

Download Call for Papers: Female Screenwriters (PDF)Download Note for Contributors (PDF)

The Journal of Screenwriting is calling for articles for a special issue with a focus on female screenwriters, to be published in November 2020.

JOSC wants to emphasize the importance of female screenwriters across eras, genres, mediums. This importance may arise from an analysis of bodies of work, from individual scripts written by women or from case studies where female screenwriters have worked collaboratively to express screen stories. Articles may also include women’s work behind the scenes in advocating for/promoting greater gender equality within screenwriting milieux. Articles on female screenwriters from diverse cultural backgrounds are encouraged. 

Articles may include (but are not limited to) the following topics:

  • Female screenwriters in silent cinema
  • The influence of female writer(-directors) in contemporary culture
  • Case studies on an individual screenwriter’s work, collaborations between women or on how women-centred stories have been brought to the screen
  • Historiography of manuals and screenwriting pedagogy where this reflects the work of female screenwriters
  • National and global tendencies with regard to women within screenwriting – relations, influences, cultural transfers
  • Censorship and women’s stories and women’s writings
  • Biographies of female screenwriters of any era
  • Female screenwriters within writing partnerships
  • The work of female screenwriters within script production (e.g. as showrunners, script editors or consultants)
  • • The question of a female voice within screenwriting
  • In the first instance, please email abstracts of up to 400 words and a short biography, no later than Friday, 4 October 2019 to both of the editors of this special issue: Rosanne Welchrosanne@welchwrite.com Rose Ferrellrosieglow@westnet.com.au Completed articles of between 4000 and 8000 words should be sent by the end of January 2020.

Link to the Journal of Screenwriting and Submission Information

Screenwriting Research Network

Review of “America’s Forgotten Founding Father” by Dr. Rosanne Welch

I was honored to read this review of my novelization of the life of Filippo Mazzei, which posted on the same day that I am preparing to guest lecture about the book to Dennis Bullock’s AP Government class at Providence High School. 

I’m particularly happy that the reviewer, from the Historical Novel Society recognized all the research work I did on not just Mazzei’s place in American History and the founding of the government – but that I strove to give a full picture of his life from childhood through his later years. I want readers to find him to be an interesting man who worked hard for the privileges we enjoy today – even though his name rarely appears in any celebrations of our 4th of July. Maybe now that can change. — Rosanne

Review of

“But the book has a larger focus than Mazzei’s place in the American Revolution. It covers his early years, travels in Turkey, and relationships with family as well as discussions of religion, the prerogatives of landed gentry versus the rights of ordinary people, even the proper pronunciation of Italian words.

This is an interesting and informative biographical sketch aimed at young readers.”

Read the complete review

Listen to Rosanne’s Interview about “America’s Forgotten Founding Father.”

Mentoris Project Podcast: America's Forgotten Founding Father: A Novel Based on the Life of Filippo Mazzei with Author, Dr. Rosanne Welch

America’s Forgotten Founding Father: A Novel Based on the Life of Filippo Mazzei with Author, Dr. Rosanne Welch

Guest Hosted by Dr. Peg Lamphier

Listen Now

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His loyalty lasted a lifetime…

Surgeon, merchant, vintner, and writer Filippo Mazzei influenced American business, politics, and philosophy. Befriending Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, Mazzei was a strong liaison for others in Europe. Mazzei was Jefferson’s inspiration for the most famous line in the Declaration of Independence: “All men are created equal.”


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Want to use these books in your classroom? Contact the Mentoris Project!`

Save The Date! — Panel Discussion: Location as Character: The Craft of Writing Place – WGA – October 1, 2019

Save The Date! -- Panel Discussion: Location as Character: The Craft of Writing Place - WGA - October 1, 2019

Location as Character: The Craft of Writing Place
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
7:30 PM  9:00 PM
The Writers Guild Foundation, 7000 West 3rd StreetLos Angeles, CA, 90048United States


Whether big city or small-town USA, a show’s location can have a powerful impact. We are teaming up with Columbia College Chicago on this special evening to sit down with a panel of TV writers for a discussion about how writing location, whether real or fictional, sets the scene and can shape the motivations of the characters.

Panelists:

  • Ayanna Floyd – Writer, Executive Producer, The Chi
  • Anthony Sparks – Writer, Executive Producer, Queen Sugar
  • Stay tuned for more panelist announcements!

Moderated by Dr. Rosanne Welch.

Doors open at 7pm. Event starts at 7:30pm.

All events advertised on our Events page are open to anyone who wants to buy a ticket—not just WGA members!

In the case the event is sold out, we will have a first come, first serve stand-by line at the event. The stand-by line does not guarantee entry into the event and we will only accept credit card transactions for any released seats.

Proceeds benefit the Foundation’s library, archive and other outreach programs.

Got a question about events? E-mail us at events@wgfoundation.org.