by Mae Respicio, the Program Representative in Creative Writing

It’s no secret that Los Angeles is a mecca for artists of all sorts. Aspiring artists from all over the world move here to pursue careers in writing, entertainment, architecture, and design. But in such a large city and with so much competition, what’s the best way to break into any of these fields? How easy is it to make a career switch? Is it realistic to achieve your dream of getting the Great American novel published, designing the landscaping for a world recognized project, or directing an Academy-Award winning film? Where’s the best place to start?

The answer is easy: ArtsDay LA.


ArtsDay LA is a regular event put on by the UCLA Extension Department of the Arts that takes place this year on Saturday, March 8 from 10am – 4pm on the beautiful UCLA campus. The occasion is a wonderful free day-long educational experience for those people who are interested in exploring various artistic fields. Some people may remember ArtsDay LA of recent years as a day full of free lectures. ArtsDay LA 2008 is the same vibrant event, but this year it’s focused on one thing: career exploration.

The day features four one hour-long sessions in the fields of creative writing, screenwriting, interior design, design communication arts, entertainment media, and landscape architecture. Attendees may attend any session(s) they like, but get the most benefit by attending all four sessions in any one discipline, including creative writing and screenwriting.


For aspiring writers, ArtsDay LA is the perfect inspiration point. Participants learn how to pursue their writing goals and go straight from novice to professional.

For fiction and nonfiction writers, at the heart of who we are as human beings is our ability to create, and writing is one of the most profound forms of human expression. In the creative writing session, aspiring writers explore what moves people to write, how to find their muse, the essential elements of storytelling, and ways to live and succeed as a writer. The creative writing session includes the following panels: Discovering the Writer Within; Learning the Art and Craft of Storytelling; Looking Ahead to Publication; and Living Your Life as a Writer.

For aspiring screenwriters, while cinematic trends come and go (and come back again), the well-crafted screenplay never goes out of style. In the screenwriting session, attendees are taken through the process of creating a screenplay step-by-step: conceptualizing, writing, and polishing it. Participants also learn how to sell and market a screenplay in innovative ways. The screenwriting session includes these panels: Getting Your Script Started; Writing Your First Screenplay and the Habits You Need to Do It; Taking Your Script to the Next Level; and The Business of Being a Screenwriter.

All of the ArtsDay LA panels consist of spring quarter instructors—the best of the best. In the writing sessions, the instructors include award-winning novelists, nonfiction writers, playwrights, and screenwriters.


Finally, ArtsDay LA participants will easily be able to take what they’ve learned during the event one step further. Attendees can receive individualized course and career advisement throughout the event; enroll in most courses at a 10% discount; and network with a colorful community of fellow designers, writers, actors, cinematographers, directors, producers, and musicians. During breaks and the lunch hour, attendees can also enjoy the sun and the beautiful UCLA campus by checking out our partner tables and meeting representatives from arts and entertainment-related organizations and businesses including PEN USA, the Writers Guild Foundation, and Independent Writers of Southern California.


We hope you’ll join the UCLA Extension Department of the Arts for this day of free immersive programs in innovative arts fields at ArtsDay LA. (Did we mention that it’s FREE?!) Explore your passions and learn how to move from novice to professional in your field of interest.

See you on March 8!

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