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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From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Archives 19: Algonquin Round Table Web Site

Months of research went into the creation of the essays in “When Women Wrote Hollywood.” Here are some of the resources used to enlighten today’s film lovers to the female pioneers who helped create it.

From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Archives 19: Algonquin Round Table Web Site

From The

“Don’t think I’m not incoheret.” — Harold Ross

This site is an extension of the research for The Algonquin Round Table New York: A Historical Guide by Kevin C. Fitzpatrick, foreword by Anthony Melchiorri. Published by Lyons Press, Hardcover, Dec. 2014, ISBN: 978-1-4930-0757-8.

“That is the thing about New York,” wrote Dorothy Parker in 1928. “It is always a little more than you had hoped for. Each day, there, is so definitely a new day.”

Now you can journey back there, in time, to a grand city teeming with hidden bars, luxurious theaters, and dazzling skyscrapers.

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#MeetTheGraduatesMonday: Haña Lucero-Colin – Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

Every Monday we will be profiling a member of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting 2020 graduating class. This exciting, fresh crop of writers are the future of the industry and are going on to do BIG things, so get to know them now! 

#MeetTheGraduatesMonday: Haña Lucero-Colin - Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

Haña Lucero-Colin is a writer, musician, and artist based out of Los Angeles, CA. As a storyteller, she strives to shed light on previously unseen spaces with empathy and a sense of humor. In 2014 she was awarded the Gene Amole Scholarship for Humor and Integrity in Journalism from the Metropolitan State University of Denver. A former ArtLab intern, Haña contributed to a play titled “I.Am.Here.” about a group of mixed-income high school students giving voice to their own unique stories. She also composed original music for the piece, which was performed at the University of Denver Colorado. She is currently pursuing her Master of Fine Arts in TV and Screenwriting through Stephens College. She is best known on screen as Shawn on The Fosters and MoCap Student #1 on ConMan. You may also recognize her concentrating face from a brief stint on ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder, but otherwise she was fairly blurry. Haña is mostly just happy to be here.


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From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Archives 18: “Lillian Hellman: A ‘Difficult’, Villified Woman.”, NPR, Maureen Corrigan

Months of research went into the creation of the essays in “When Women Wrote Hollywood.” Here are some of the resources used to enlighten today’s film lovers to the female pioneers who helped create it.

From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Archives 18: “Lillian Hellman: A ‘Difficult’, Villified Woman.”, NPR, Maureen Corrigan

From The

“Difficult” is probably the most tactful word one could use in characterizing Lillian Hellman. If ever there were an author safer to meet through her art rather than in real life, she was the one. Born in New Orleans into a Jewish family, Hellman came of age in the Roaring ’20s, liberated by flappers and Freud. Hellman drank like a fish, swore like a sailor and slept around like, well, like most of the men in her literary circle, chief among them Dashiell Hammett, with whom she had an open relationship spanning three decades. She was, recalled one observer, a “tough broad … the kind of girl who can take the tops off bottles with her teeth.”

Read more


Buy “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Today!

Paperback Edition | Kindle Edition | Google Play Edition

Help Support Local Bookstores — Buy at Bookshop.org

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

#MeetTheGraduatesMonday: CJ Ehrlich- Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

Every Monday we will be profiling a member of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting 2020 graduating class. This exciting, fresh crop of writers are the future of the industry and are going on to do BIG things, so get to know them now! 

#MeetTheGraduatesMonday: CJ Ehrlich- Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

This week, Stephens College is proud to present: CJ Ehrlich #MeetTheGraduates

A Bostonian who resides in the wilds of NY, C.J. Ehrlich is an award-winning playwright, whose works have enjoyed over 200 productions around the world, and are published in numerous “Best of” anthologies (including The Best American Short Plays of 2015-16). Full-lengths include The Cupcake Conspiracy: Terrorism is Easy, Marriage is Complicated (with Philip J. Kaplan), the anti-romcom This Time We’ll Make It Work, and scifi comedy Zane to Gate 69. While in the MFA program, C.J. has written a full-length horror screenplay, Graduation, and is developing the comedy Stupid Voices from the Future, as well as pilots for a supernatural, teen-oriented thriller, and a comedy about a team of reality TV losers. She also spent a wonderful semester living amongst the female screenwriters of the silent era, and has mixed feelings about Al Jolson.


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From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Archives 17: After the Thin Man. Wrs: Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, and Dashiell Hammett. Dir: Van Dyke W. S. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1936, USA 112 mins.

Months of research went into the creation of the essays in “When Women Wrote Hollywood.” Here are some of the resources used to enlighten today’s film lovers to the female pioneers who helped create it.

After the Thin Man. Wrs: Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, and Dashiell Hammett. Dir: Van Dyke W. S. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1936, USA  112 mins.

After the Thin Man. Wrs: Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, and Dashiell Hammett. Dir: Van Dyke W. S. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1936, USA  112 mins.

From The

After the Thin Man is a 1936 American comedy film directed by W. S. Van Dyke and starring William Powell, Myrna Loy, and James Stewart. A sequel to the film The Thin Man, the film presents Powell and Loy as Dashiell Hammett’s characters Nick and Nora Charles. The film also features Elissa Landi, Joseph Calleia, Jessie Ralph, Alan Marshal, and Penny Singleton (billed under her maiden name as Dorothy McNulty).

Read more


Buy “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Today!

Paperback Edition | Kindle Edition | Google Play Edition

Help Support Local Bookstores — Buy at Bookshop.org

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

#MeetTheGraduatesMonday: Emma Jeszke – Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

Every Monday we will be profiling a member of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting 2020 graduating class. This exciting, fresh crop of writers are the future of the industry and are going on to do BIG things, so get to know them now! 

#MeetTheGraduatesMonday: Emma Jeszke

#MeetTheGraduatesMonday: Emma Jeszke

Emma Jeszke is a dramedy writer, with a focus on coming-of-age stories that challenge and expand typical narratives about girlhood, young adulthood, and motherhood. She has a special talent for keeping you laughing till you’re crying.

Her television pilot Postpartum, about the joys and struggles of being a new mom, was a top-ten finalist in the Women Writing Competition at Series Fest. She is the author of the feature screenplays Wildflower, a forbidden love story about a soldier and an antiwar activist set in 2004, and Bobbi Malone, which follows a thirty-something as she reconnects with her estranged grandmother through a theater troupe. She’s also the author of several stage plays, and the creator of the forthcoming web series Holly & Gem, about two sisters who reconnect after one escapes a cult.

Her plays have been performed regionally in places such as the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival and the Blank Theatre in Los Angeles. She is a book editor at Theatre Communications Group, the foremost publisher of theatrical literature, where she’s spent eight years working with world-renowned playwrights. She’s currently finishing her MFA in TV & Screenwriting at Stephens College.


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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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A Photographic February for Stephens MFA in TV and Screenwriting

February was a month of sharing the marvelous photos from all the guest lectures who graced the January Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting workshop with their talent and inspiration… (plus a quick shot of my upcoming book on Films of the Civil War).

February at Stephens MFA in TV and Screenwriting


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