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New Program Director Named to Writers’ Program

We are excited to announce that on Wednesday, October 19, Charles Jensen will officially take over as the program director of the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program.  As program director, Charles will have administrative and operational oversight of the largest self-supporting continuing education creative writing and screenwriting program in the world.  The Writers’ Program currently offers […]


  Last week, the Writers’ Program formally congratulated the top 3 winners of each category of the UCLA Extension Screenwriting competitions in Feature Film Writing, Television Spec Writing, and Television Pilot Writing. But their success didn’t happen overnight. Before this, the winners were like many new writers who come to us asking questions like “How […]

Introducing Carla Janas!

Interested in taking an onsite creative writing course? Then chances are you’ll call the Writers’ Program office one day in the not so distant future and be routed to Carla Janas, our new program rep and advisor for onsite courses in fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and writing for the youth market. Carla has worked at […]

Meet the Winners of the 2016 Feature Film & Television Writing Competitions!

This week, the Writers’ Program formally congratulates the top 3 winners in each category of the UCLA Extension Screenwriting Competition for Feature Film Writing, Television Spec Writing, and Television Pilot Writing. An ad featuring all nine writers will be forthcoming in the trades this fall, and soon thereafter, the winners’ contact and project information will […]


The Downtown Film Festival of Los Angeles kicks off this Wednesday, September 21 and runs through September 28 at LA LIVE.  Drawing movie fans and industry professionals throughout Southern California, the DFFLA offers short films, feature films, panels, workshops, and more. UCLA Extension will be there, dispensing great advice and tips for screenwriters and filmmakers […]

What is the Writers Studio?

1 amazing professional writing instructor 15 highly motivated students 4 days of focus on your writing craft Welcome to the UCLA Extension Writers Studio. Held from February 9-12, 2017 at the 1010 Westwood Center near UCLA, the Writers Studio is four full days carefully designed to elevate your writing to a whole new level.  Choose […]

Meet the Recipients of the 2016-17 Phyllis Gebauer Scholarship in Writing

The Phyllis Gebauer Scholarship in Writing was designed to foster the talent of diverse and promising writers who lack the financial resources to study their craft formally in a supportive environment. Funded by the late Phyllis Gebauer, a beloved Writers’ Program instructor of many years, the scholarship is awarded to 10 students annually who are given […]

Five Compelling Reasons to Apply for a Master Class

Writers’ Program master classes are special programs designed for advanced students who are committed to getting published or produced. This fall, the Writers’ Program is offering three master classes: Master Class in Novel Writing (Online/Low-Residency, 9 Months) Master Class in Feature Film Writing (Online/Low Residency, 9 Months) Master Class in Television Pilot Writing (Onsite, 6 Months) […]

Applications Now Available for the 2016 Claire Carmichael Scholarship in Novel Writing

Beloved former Writers’ Program instructor Claire Carmichael may have retired from classroom teaching, but she continues to make a huge impact on students via the scholarship she established last year. What was her motivation to create a scholarship?  “During my two decades of classroom teaching for the Writers’ Program, many gifted students have come to […]

Success: St. Martin’s Publishes Jan Moran’s The Winemakers: A Novel of Wine and Secrets

Former student Jan Moran, who we’ve featured before here, has published The Winemakers: A Novel of Wine and Secrets (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2016). Library Journal calls it “a solid pick for fans of historical romances combined with a heartbreaking mystery.” Jan, a fragrance and beauty expert, says she “enjoyed studying under some of the best […]

The Phyllis Gebauer Scholarship in Writing: A Life-changing Opportunity

Formerly known as the Writers’ Program Scholarship, the Phyllis Gebauer Scholarship in Writing was designed to foster the talent of promising writers from diverse backgrounds and cultures who lack the financial resources to study their craft in a supportive educational environment. The scholarship is awarded to 10 students a year, and each recipient is given […]

Two Great Ways to Fast-forward Your Writing Career This Summer

As part of the Writers’ Program 50th anniversary celebration, on Saturday, August 13th we’re offering a FREE 3-hour seminar – How to Become a Professional Film and TV Writer – for students interested in writing for feature film and television. Led by current producer/manager Victoria Wisdom, the course aims to demystify how the contemporary entertainment industry […]

Keeping Up with the Kirkwoods

The annual James Kirkwood Literary Prize, named for Writers’ Program student and Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning author James Kirkwood (A Chorus Line, There Must Be a Pony), was established by his friends to honor new generations of fiction writers for their literary achievements. For decades now, it has served as motivation, inspiration, and gratification […]

Join us at the 23rd Annual Writers’ Program Publication Party

Fun. Fabulous. FREE. Yes, I’m talking about the 23rd Annual Writers’ Program Publication Party. If you want to spend an evening mingling with some of Los Angeles’ most talented writers, then join us on Wednesday, June 8th, 2016 from 7-9pm at the Skirball Cultural Center. Nineteen Writers’ Program instructors will be reading from work they’ve published […]

Master Classes in Novel Writing, Feature Film Writing, and Television Writing: Is One of Them Right for You?

Creative writers, do you have a completed manuscript that needs revising?  Screenwriters, do have at least one completed feature film script or television pilot script?  Are you serious about getting published or produced? Then you’ll want to consider one of the Writers’ Program’s three master classes this fall. Designed for writers who are committed to […]

An Interview with UCLA Extension 2015 Outstanding Arts Instructor in Screenwriting Michael Weiss

WP Instructor Michael Weiss’ unrelenting perseverance translates not only to his success as a screenwriter and former Miramax VP of Production, but also through the unwavering patience he has for his students. It doesn’t take long for them to be won over by his charming demeanor, attentive ear, and extensive mastery of screenplays. Due to […]

The Least Foolish Thing To Do on April 1st: Enter the 2016 Feature Film & Television Writing Competitions!

You’re no doubt familiar with the big screenwriting contests that have been known to launch careers: the Nicholl Fellowship, PAGE International, Austin Film Fest, Scriptapalooza, BlueCat, Sundance Lab, the Tracking Board, etc. Then, there’s the television network fellowships: CBS, Disney/ABC, FOX, NBC, the WB, Nickelodeon, and HBO, just to name a few. Thousands upon thousands […]

An Interview with UCLA Extension 2015 Outstanding Arts Instructor in Creative Writing April Halprin Wayland

Children’s book author and poet April Halprin Wayland has been teaching at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program for more than 16 years. This spring, she’ll continue her amazing work in her course Writing Picture Books for Children. April’s teaching excellence and her remarkable contribution to the Writers’ Program has not gone unnoticed, and recently she […]

A Handy Guide to Applying for Writers’ Program Scholarships and Prizes

The UCLA Extension Writers’ Program is proud to be the largest open-enrollment creative writing and screenwriting program in the nation, helping thousands of students each year make their writing dreams a reality. But what truly sets our program apart, in addition to the depth and breadth of our programs and course offerings, are the scholarships […]

2015 Outstanding Arts Instructors of the Year: April Halprin Wayland and Michael Weiss!

Last Tuesday, the UCLA Extension Department of the Arts gathered in DeNeve Plaza to honor 9 instructors in the areas of interior design, landscape architecture, studio arts, design communication arts, directing, music, creative writing and screenwriting. As instructors came up one-by-one to accept their award, each expressed their gratitude toward not only their administrators, but […]

An Interview with New Instructor Lindsay Maracotta

Here at the WP, we’re always excited to welcome new instructors to the fold. This summer, we’re pleased to announce that novelist and screenwriter, Lindsay Maracotta, will be joining our roster of esteemed instructors. Lindsay will be teaching Writing the Popular Novel this summer. She has published 11 books, including the novels The Producer’s Daughter (Crooked […]

Here’s to You, Mrs. Gebauer: How One Instructor Brought America’s Most Reclusive Author into the Writers’ Program Life and Gave Deserving Students the Gift of Learning for Generations to Come

On an otherwise unremarkable spring afternoon ten years ago, I received a call from Phyllis Gebauer, a UCLA Extension Writers’ Program instructor who, for two decades, had taught novel and memoir writing. “Linda,” she said, “I have this book collection, and I was wondering if you have any ideas about what I might do with […]

Writers’ Studio Spotlight: Flash Fiction Workshop with Colette Sartor

Colette Sartor is a bona fide smartypants. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she received her MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop and has published in the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and the Harvard Review, among others. This quarter, she helps short fiction writers hone their craft in a supportive workshop environment at the […]

Ron Suppa: In Memoriam

Writers’ Program has lost one of its most longstanding and dedicated screenwriting instructors. Ron Suppa died on January 5, 2016 after a long battle with multiple myeloma. “They always call it a battle and they’re understating it,” Ron wrote me recently, promising to call if he regained his voice. That call never came. Ron joined […]

Goodbye 2015!

UCLA Extension is officially closed until January 4, 2016! As 2015 draws to a close, we remember what a good year it was for the Writers’ Program. Highlights include naming the first Allegra Johnson Prize recipient; launching and naming the recipients of the inaugural Claire Carmichael Scholarship Program in Novel Writing; and exhibiting at Story Expo, […]

Winning Inspiration: Finalists of the 2015 Feature & Television Writing Competitions Tell All

Last week, the Writers’ Program formally congratulated the top three winners in each of three categories in the UCLA Extension Screenplay Competition: Feature Film Writing, Television Spec Writing, and Television Pilot Writing. Having read all nine scripts, I came away in awe of this year’s subject matter – a hitchhiking musician, a family drama in […]

Meet Tomorrow’s Top Talent! Winners of the 2015 Feature & Television Writing Competitions

This week, the Writers’ Program formally congratulates the top 3 winners of each category of the UCLA Extension competition for Feature Film Writing, Television Spec Writing, and Television Pilot Writing. An ad featuring all nine writers was just published in the December 11th issue of The Hollywood Reporter (on shelves now!). In early January, the […]

Announcing the Winners of the 2015 James Kirkwood Prize

Few things make us happier at the Writers’ Program than celebrating the hard work and talent of our students. The James Kirkwood Prize, established by benefactor Andrew Morse, a friend of the late Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning author, acknowledges and supports emerging and talented fiction writers. Former Kirkwood finalists have gone on to top […]

Joe Blaustein: Lifelong Learning with an Extension Legend

When longtime instructor Amy Friedman walked into her Writing the Personal Essay classroom at the 2015 Writers Studio, she knew the next four days would be special. “Whenever I teach at UCLA Extension,” she says, “the students astound me with their intelligence and ability.” This year, there was one especially astounding student. “Every once in […]

Meet Our Six Claire Carmichael Scholarship Recipients!

We are thrilled to announce the six recipients of the inaugural Claire Carmichael Scholarship in Novel Writing! Claire, a UCLA Extension Distinguished Instructor who has taught more than 90 courses and mentorships for the Writers’ Program since 1994, and who has helped numerous students get their work published, created the scholarship to acknowledge promising novelists […]

Join us at AFI FEST!

The Writers’ Program is proud to host Bob and the Trees at AFI FEST 2015. Bob and the Trees, an American feature film directed by Diego Ongaro, is the story of a middle-aged logger who gambles his personal and professional livelihood on harvesting an unyielding piece of land. Pushed into an uncharted emotional terrain, Bob […]

The Writers’ Program’s 1st All-Female Literary Smackdown

Join us as three Writers’ Program instructors/writers with a fabulous flair for comedy go to the mat (literally!), to compete for the title of funniest storyteller. With comedy aficionados Erika Schickel, Melinda Hill, and Rachel Kann performing, and the always hilarious Tod Goldberg (an award-winning author and former WP instructor) as emcee, it’s a sure […]

Writing with the Pros: The Best (and Most Inexpensive) Resource for Film & TV Writers

While no educational experience can replicate working with a professional screenwriter in a 10-week screenwriting course, we know that sometimes time and/or money is in short supply. But that doesn’t mean your screenwriting education has to come to a halt, especially when you can get practical, timely, and valuable feature film or television writing information […]

Announcing the Writers’ Program 2015-16 Scholarship Recipients!

Each year, the Writers’ Program awards up to 10 needs-based scholarships to aspiring creative writers and screenwriters. The process begins in spring, when we make the application available on our website and submissions start rolling in. By late June, we begin the fun but difficult task of narrowing down the applications. In addition to basic […]

Days of the Deadlines

For some, fall traditionally signals the beginning of the “Day of the Dead.” At the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, it also signals the “Days of the Deadlines.” As summer breezes give way to autumn winds, and fall trickles in as stealthily as fog on Halloween, you’ll want to be ever mindful of encroaching deadlines for […]

Winner of the Inaugural Allegra Johnson Prize in Memoir Writing Announced

Drug addiction, murder, and sexual abuse. Such were the subjects of the captivating memoirs-in-progress of the three talented Writers’ Program students who vied for first place in the 2015 Allegra Johnson Prize in Memoir Writing. On June 18, first place winner Henriette Ivanans, and finalists Elle Johnson and Raluca Sanders, were honored at a celebratory […]

Comic-Con: The Sequel!

Last year, the Writers’ Program was fortunate enough to exhibit at the largest convention in the world for all things fantasy and fiction-related: SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON! In case you missed our recap of our adventurous 2014 excursion, you can find it online here. As the Writers’ Program screenwriting advisors, Chae Ko and I are suiting […]

Master Class Reading at Barnes & Noble – a Truly Inspiring Event!

As the streetlights flickered on in Santa Monica’s famous Third Street Promenade, seven talented writers led by their brilliant mentor, filed into the meeting room of the three-story Barnes and Noble to begin their one-of-a kind performance. Last March 13, 2015, seven UCLA Extension Writers’ Program Master Class students experienced their first public appearance as […]

Sell Yourself, Then Your Work: Deborah Dean Davis on the Art of the Pitch

This spring, screenwriter and chapter author of Cut to the Chase: Writing Feature Films with the Pros at UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, Deborah Dean Davis, will be teaching her 2-day workshop “Selling Yourself and Your Work”. In this course, Deborah not only covers the art of skillful pitching, but the art of selling the person […]

West Words — How the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program changed my life (and maybe yours, too)

*Reprinted by permission of UCLA Magazine Written by Samantha Dunn, Photos by Mathieu Young Published Apr 1, 2015 8:00 PM The UCLA Extension Writers’ Program would be famous enough if it were just the largest and most comprehensive continuing education creative writing and screenwriting program in the world. But it’s also an incubator for talent, a creative […]

Want to get your script noticed? Enter the 2015 UCLA Extension Screenplay Competition!

It’s no secret that the fields of film and television writing are highly competitive. Every year, thousands of screenplays and pilots are written by aspiring writers all over the world, but sadly, the great majority of them go unread and unproduced. How can you ensure that your script will get the exposure it deserves? By […]

Q+A with BinderCon Presenter and WP Instructor Deborah Dean Davis

Calling all female and gender non-conforming writers! Are you frustrated with the lack of diversity in the media and literary arts? Looking for a community of like-minded writers with a strong dose of female empowerment? Look no further than BinderCon 2015, the second professional development conference by Out of the Binders, an organization which aims […]

Former Screenplay Contest Winner Elissa Matsueda on Going From Student to Produced Screenwriter!

As you may know, the Writers’ Program recently announced the success of former screenwriting student Elissa Matsueda having her first film, Spare Parts, released in theaters this past January. Based on a true story, the film is about four underprivileged Hispanic high school students who formed a robotics club and competed against the country’s reigning […]

Master Class Students Gear Up to Read at Barnes & Noble!

Support your fellow aspiring writers as they read from their Works-in-Progress! On Friday, March 13, 2015, eight talented students from the Writers’ Program Master Class will be reading from their works-in-progress at Barnes & Noble Santa Monica. Located in the Third Street Promenade, one of L.A.’s most popular gathering places, the reading will also showcase […]

The Writers Studio — Something for Every Type of Writer!

The key to being a writer is, “Write. Rewrite. Then write some more.” Of course, we all know that’s easier said than done, which is why we offer our annual Writers Studio, 4-days of intensive writing, amazing guest speakers, a collaborative community of passionate writers, and top-notch instructors! Every year, Writers’ Program students are transformed […]

2014 Outstanding Instructors of the Year: Greg Elliot and Norman Kolpas!

Last month, two very deserving Writers’ Program instructors were honored as part of the Arts Showcase, a celebratory luncheon highlighting the professional accomplishments of a select group of the Department of the Arts’ fabulous teachers and staff.   This year’s honorees, Greg Elliot and Norman Kolpas, received their Outstanding Instructor Awards in Screenwriting and Creative […]

Screenwriting Certificate Students Tell All

For readers who don’t already know, the Writers’ Program offers three certificate programs in screenwriting:  1) Feature Film Writing, 2) Television Writing, and 3) Film and TV Comprehensive.  Certificate programs offer a structured course of study and are particularly appealing to students who want to focus on one project from start to finish.  Enrollment in […]

The 2014 James Kirkwood Literary Prize: Celebrating Emerging Writers

Recently, a group of students, instructors, and staff met for a luncheon in Westwood Village to honor the recipients of the 2014 James Kirkwood Literary Prize: R.T. Jamison, nominated by David Borofka; Ella Martinsen Gorham, nominated by Colette Sartor; and Greg Watkins, nominated by Robert Eversz. The Kirkwood luncheon is one of the Writers’ Program’s favorite events […]

Certificate Programs in Creative Writing – New and Improved!

The UCLA Extension Writers’ Program is proud to announce its newly revamped certificate programs in creative writing! With only 24 required units — a significant reduction from the previous 36 required units — students can now complete their certificates in Fiction Writing or Creative Nonfiction Writing more quickly and with less strain on their budget. […]

Announcing Our 2014 Television Spec & Pilot Writing Competition Winners!

After 2 months of 1-on-1 mentoring by a Writers’ Program instructor, our television writing competition winners have been named! TV Spec Writing 1st Place: Elizabeth Baron for Parks and Recreation: “Parks vs. Recreation” 2nd Place: Anna Capezzera for Criminal Minds: “Salvation” 3rd Place: Laura Maccabee for The Good Wife: “Too Legit to Quit”   TV Pilot […]

Announcing Our 2014 Feature Film Competition Winners!

After receiving two months of 1-on-1 mentoring by a Writers’ Program screenwriting instructor as part of their prize, our feature film competition finalists have been named! The Writers’ Program officially congratulates 1st Place Winner, H. R. Yablon, for The Good Cancer, 2nd Place Winner, Adi Blotman, for Reality Check, and 3rd Place Winner, Kurt Hohenstein, […]

Canvas: The New Learning Management System (LMS) of UCLA Extension

“…I’ve had the daunting task of being the main point of contact between UCLA Extension and Canvas, and their support structure has been flawless. After comparing Canvas to our previous Learning Management System, I have no doubt that we made the right decision to go with Canvas…” Vartan Adamian (UCLA Extension Office of Instructional Enhancement) […]

Five Ways a Master Class Can Take Your Writing to New Heights (Application Deadline August 29!)

As Writers’ Program advisors, we frequently hear from students who have worked hard for years and want to go from “aspiring writer” to “professional writer.” While we have several options available for students with a completed project (advanced classes, manuscript consultations, mentorships), our Master Classes are special. Special how, you ask? Read on for five […]

Screenwriting Wisdom from Instructor Laurence Rosenthal

He’s a producer, development executive, chapter-author of Cut to the Chase (the Writers’ Program’s how-to guide on feature film writing), and the 2011 recipient of the UCLA Extension Outstanding Instructor of the Year Award. Laurence Rosenthal, a Writers’ Program instructor since 1997, kindly agreed to sit down with us to share some of his most […]

The Writers’ Program’s Newest Staff Member – Nutschell Windsor

A couple of weeks ago, we welcomed the newest addition to our Wp’ family – Nutschell (pronounced Noo-Shell) Windsor. As the Program Representative in Creative Writing (Online) and Events, Nutschell is excited to be scheduling writing courses and planning fun annual events for Writers’ Program students. She certainly has a huge role to fill! However, […]

Writers’ Program Recognizes Two 2014 UCLA Extension Graduates!

The UCLA Extension Certificate Graduation Ceremony took place June 27, 2014 at Royce Hall where an estimated 700 students were recognized for their achievement (around 2,000 graduate each year). Last year, Writers’ Program highlighted Jane Graham for her completion of a Certificate in Creative Nonfiction and this year we are showcasing two students who have […]

PEN USA’s Emerging Voices

What if I told you that there was a magical place where aspiring writers (that would be you!) are guided through eight months of professional mentorship, master classes, hosted Q & A evenings, and—the cherry on top of the literary sundae—two complimentary Writers’ Program classes(!)? “Sure,” you say, “and tomorrow chocolate bonbons will fall from […]

What Are You Waiting For?

How do I say this…WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! THE UCLA EXTENSION WRITERS’ PROGRAM SCHOLARSHIP DEADLINE IS QUICKLY APPROACHING AND YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS OUT! Okay, I know the above may seem a little extreme—especially in all caps—but hear me out here. The UCLA Extension Writers’ Program Scholarship deadline is June 30, 2014! And […]

Q+A with UCLA Extension Distinguished Instructor Billy Mernit

Last month, longtime Writers’ Program instructor Billy Mernit was honored at the UCLA Extension Distinguished Instructor Awards ceremony. A screenwriter, story analyst, and novelist, Billy was selected as one of this year’s recipients for his longtime (nearly two-decade) dedication to his students in both screenwriting and creative writing. With professional experience in so many realms […]

Announcing: The Allegra Johnson Prize in Memoir and Novel Writing

The Writers’ Program is pleased to announce a new and very special opportunity for students: the Allegra Johnson Prize in Memoir and Novel Writing! The Allegra Johnson Prize was inaugurated on March 20, 2014 by Roberta J.M. Olson and Alexander B.V. Johnson to honor their daughter, Allegra Johnson (1983–2013), a prolific and talented young writer […]

Earn a Certificate in Feature Film, TV Writing, or Both!

Do you prefer a structured course of study with definitive writing goals to taking courses a la carte? If so, then you have the option of enrolling in a certificate program through the Writers’ Program. Writers’ Program certificate programs are designed to provide perspective, knowledge, and training in several dynamic writing fields. The coordinated, sequential […]

Instructor Profile: Colette Sartor

“I write because I can’t imagine not writing.” Jersey girl Colette Sartor is a Writers’ Program all-star, guiding beginning students from their first pages of their first stories and helping experienced writers refine their work for publication. A graduate of the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she won a Truman Capote fellowship, she has been […]

New for Summer!

Who says school’s out for summer? Don’t let warm weather and weekend getaways get in the way of your writing! Starting in July, the Writers’ Program has several new courses available for screenwriters and creative writers alike that will help keep your writing on track. Creative Writing Courses When you can take online courses from […]

Wp’ Master Classes and What Students are Saying!

Each year, the Writers’ Program offers master classes for advanced creative writers and screenwriters. Each master class is a six-to-nine month adventure for a supportive group of only 8 hand-picked students who work together to polish their writing projects. Master class students describe it as a challenging yet incredibly rewarding experience: “The Master Class in […]

What are they doing now? Past Feature Film & Television Writing Competition Winners/Finalists Share Their Successes!

Each year, the Writers’ Program hosts a feature film and television writing competition in which 3 winners are chosen in three categories (Feature Film, Television Spec, and Television Pilot). Winners receive cash prizes and are featured in an ad in The Hollywood Reporter and in a newsletter mailed to over 1,000 entertainment executives.  Recently, the […]

Downtown LA: A Great Place to Live, Work, Play…and Learn

If you live or work in downtown LA, then you know that for the past decade or so, the area has been undergoing unprecedented growth.  Long-empty storefronts and abandoned buildings continue to be replaced by high-end retail stores, pricey condos, towering skyscrapers, and trendy restaurants.  Blogs such as laconservancy.org, dtlarising.com, and downtownLA.com exist solely to […]

New for Spring!

This year Southern California seems to have skipped our version of winter altogether (hey, 50 degrees is cold!), and jumped straight to spring.  Which works well for us, because we’ve already got a hot lineup of courses for you–offered online, in Westwood, and at our Downtown LA location.  So what’s new and exciting for spring?  […]

It’s a Great Big World for International Screenwriters!

In the last ten years, international interest in Hollywood storytelling has grown. U.S. films are more widely released and distributed in foreign territories while conversely, domestic audiences have more platforms available to them now more than ever for viewing films made around the world. It’s no coincidence that international student demand for screenwriting courses has […]

Screenwriters Wanted!

It’s said that everyone in Los Angeles is writing a screenplay, but how many aspiring writers actually break into the industry?  Find out how to increase your odds by joining us on Friday, January 24, when the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program proudly hosts a panel at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena entitled Breaking into Hollywood as […]

Congratulations to Writers’ Program’s Outstanding Instructors for 2013!

Every year, the Writers’ Program—along with the rest of the Department of the Arts within UCLA Extension—honors two instructors with the prestigious award of Outstanding Instructor of the year.  This year’s deserving winners are Cindy Davis in Screenwriting and Steven Wolfson in Creative Writing.  Cindy has taught all levels of writing a feature film from […]

The Winners of the 2013 Kirkwood Awards…!

A yearly highlight of the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program is our James Kirkwood Literary Prize in Creative Writing, which gives intermediate and advanced level instructors the chance to nominate their very best students.  First round judges Michael Buckley, Linzi Glass, Adam Prince, and Deborah Reed narrowed the 30 outstanding submissions down to 6, and final round judges Jim Gavin and […]

Master Class Alumni Barbara Stepansky Becomes a Nicholl Fellow!

The Writers’ Program officially congratulates student Barbara Stepansky, who last month was not only crowned 1st Place Winner of our own Feature Film Writing Competition, but her same script, Sugar In My Veins, also beat over 7,200 submissions for the coveted Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting, hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. […]

Meet Our 2013 Television Writing Competitions Winners!

After receiving two months of 1-on-1 mentoring by an instructor, our television writing competition winners in each category (specs and pilots) have been named! The Writers’ Program officially congratulates: In the category of TV Pilots 1st Place: Aaron Rollins for Ordnung (One-Hour Drama) 2nd Place: Grete Heinemann for Valleywood (One-Hour Drama) 3rd Place: Julie Wong […]

Meet Our 2013 Feature Film Competition Winners!

After receiving two months of 1-on-1 mentoring by an instructor, our feature film competition finalists have been named! The Writers’ Program officially congratulates 1st Place Winner, Barbara Stepansky, for Sugar in My Veins, 2nd Place Winner, Shira Rosenzweig, for Processor, and 3rd Place Winner, James Warren, for Headshot. Last week, an ad featuring all three […]

215 Writers’ Program Teachers: A Visual History, a Tribute, and a “Thank You”!

The slide show you see here is of the 215 professional writers who currently teach for the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program.  From the sagacity of instructors who have taught for decades and to the fresh perspectives of new instructors, they bring the gifts of knowledge, discernment, and support to our students.  In short, they are […]

Writers’ Program Welcomes Ron Darian to its Instructor Corps!

Ron Darian has a long history with the Writers’ Program as a student—most notably as the third place winner of the 21st Annual James Kirkwood Award.  This fall, we proudly welcomed him to our instructor corps to teach From Fiction to Screenplay: Adapting Your Short Story/Novel for Film and TV.  I sat down with Ron recently to discuss […]

In Memory of Les Plesko

In Memoriam Les Plesko (1954-2013) On September 16, 2013, UCLA Extension Writers’ Program fiction writing instructor Les Plesko died in Venice, California.  On September 26th, over 100 people gathered at Beyond Baroque to pay tribute to the man that many present said would take one look at the gathering, say “Oh brother,” and walk out.  […]

Former Lit Agent Nancy Nigrosh Helps Writers Crack the Code to Success

This fall, former talent and literary agent Nancy Nigrosh will be offering her very popular course, Cracking the Code: How to Become a Professional Screenwriter in Hollywood, in which she aims to help aspiring screenwriters unlock the secrets to success. Nancy has represented Academy Award caliber talents like Kathryn Bigelow, Stuart Beattie, and Barry Morrow, […]

2013 Screenwriting Competition Finalists Announced!

The Writers’ Program officially congratulates the top three finalists in each category of the 2013 Screenwriting and Television Writing Competitions! The finalists now move on to the next phase of the competition in which they have 2 months to rewrite and polish their scripts with the help of a Writers’ Program instructor/mentor.  The finalists’ scripts […]

Have You Sent in Your Master Class Application?

The Writers’ Program is still accepting applications for the 2013-2014 Master Classes in Novel Writing and Feature Film Writing. Designed for advanced students on the verge of producing professional quality work, the classes bring 8 students and a top-notch instructor together for 9 months in which you re-envision, rewrite, and polish your novel or script […]

Cut to the Chase and Inside the Room Bring Writers’ Program Expertise to Aspiring Screenwriters Worldwide

England may have His Royal Highness Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge (and, okay, Wimbledon champ Andy Murray), but in our little corner of the planet, the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program has been doing its own victory dance with the 8/6/13 publication of Cut to the Chase:  Writing Feature Films with the Pros from the […]

Congratulations to the 2013 Screenwriting Competition Semifinalists!

The Writers’ Program would like to officially congratulate the semifinalists selected in each category of our 2013 Screenwriting and Television Writing Competitions. This year, a record number of students submitted the feature length scripts, television specs, and television pilots they developed in Writers’ Program courses. Afterwards, each entry endured several rounds of anonymous judging by […]

2013-2014 Writers’ Program Scholarship Application Deadline: June 28th

“I was so honored to be chosen as one of the scholars in the Writers’ Program.  I’ve never been in classes with such writing talent, and with people with such ability to articulate helpful feedback.” – Jessie Lanoil, 2012-2013 Scholarship Recipient It’s that time of year again: air conditioning units rumble to life after months […]

Why Write?

Sitting alone at my desk in the quiet hours of the evening watching the flashing cursor on the computer screen, I sometimes find myself lost in the difficulty of pushing those keys. For the uninitiated it would seem that this motion should be quite simple. But to transform an idea from concept into a fully […]

Introducing a New Certificate Program for Film & TV Writing!

Are you an international student interested in studying screenwriting? Are you a local student interested in studying both feature film and television writing under one certificate? If so, you’ll be happy to know that this spring, the Writers’ Program unveiled a new Film and TV Comprehensive screenwriting certificate program designed to meet the needs of […]

The Writers’ Program: Fostering Emerging Voices

Each year, the Writers’ Program gives scholarships of two courses each to six students from the PEN Center USA Emerging Voices program, an eight-month writing fellowship for promising new writers who lack access to educational resources.  Through Writers’ Program classes, master classes, a professional mentorship, and more, PEN—a longtime Writers’ Program partner–provides its EV Fellows […]

In Memoriam: Linda Palmer

“I always begin with an emphasis on the positive…and I have yet to find a student who didn’t have some strength.”  –Linda Palmer A light has gone out in the universe.  Linda Palmer, one of UCLA Extension Writers’ Program’s most cherished instructors, has died after a heroic battle with cancer on Sunday, April 21, 2013. […]

Just in time for Summer Quarter: An All-New Writers’ Program Website

After working fast and furiously for the past several months, the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program is extremely happy to officially roll out its brand new website. This visually pleasing new site has everything that made the original Writers’ Program site so easy to use and navigate, plus a number of excellent new features designed to […]

Current Master Class student, Christine Bloom reads from her novel at Book Soup in Hollywood

Online Master Class Students Meet in Los Angeles for 4-Day Residency!

“The most inspiring aspect for me so far has been working in person with the people we’ve been sharing the class with online for several months. Today felt like we’d all been writing buddies for years.” So says Marcie Geffner, current student in the Master Class in Novel Writing (Online/Low-Residency) during the recent four-day residency […]

Comedy Content Wanted!

Veteran television writer and longtime Writers’ Program instructor, Bill Taub, is currently seeking short-form projects to develop for the Laugh Factory’s upcoming web channel. Read on to learn how the idea originated and how you can submit your own web series pitch! Writers’ Program: You’ve had a long career working as a television writer on […]

Argo or Bust!

The 85th Annual Academy Awards is set for Sunday, February 24th and Writers’ Program staffers have been debating which movie is going to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. What do you think? Lincoln? Amour?  Argo?  (My goodness, what’s with all the one-word titles?)  There are nine nominees this year and I’m a little […]

Breaking In

Screenwriting is hard work, and getting your script read by the people who matter can be even harder.  And while there is no surefire way to break into the industry, there are some things you can do to increase your odds of making it in Hollywood. As a screenwriting advisor for the UCLA Extension Writers’ […]

Cracking the Code with Nancy Nigrosh

This spring, the Writers’ Program welcomes new instructor and former talent and literary agent Nancy Nigrosh who will be offering a course to help aspiring screenwriters unlock the secrets to success. And if anyone has the experience to deliver those secrets, it’s Nancy, who has represented (and/or discovered) Academy Award caliber talents like Kathryn Bigelow, […]