Here at the Writers’ Program, our offices are abuzz with preparation for ArtsDay LA. Held on Saturday, March 7th, ArtsDay LA is an annual Department of the Arts-wide event celebrating careers in seven disciplines–Creative Writing, Design Communication Arts, Entertainment Media, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, and Screenwriting—through four one-hour sessions held on the UCLA campus. These sessions offer students, or potential students, a chance to immerse themselves in a particular subject. In addition to four free hours of education, attendees can meet instructors, network with other students, learn more about student associations, receive advising by ace Arts Department staff, and register for most spring courses at a 10% discount.

“So what”, you may ask, “does ArtsDay LA have to offer me, a budding writer?” I’m glad you asked. Our creative writing sessions will show you how to tap into the stories you want to tell, acquire the essential elements of storytelling, master the in’s and out’s of publishing, and discover ways to live and succeed as a writer. Our screenwriting sessions will take you through the process of creating and selling a screenplay step-by-step: conceptualizing, writing, polishing, and marketing it in innovative ways.

You’ll also get to meet nearly 30 writing teachers, all published professionals. I chatted with a few of these instructors recently to find out what they think about ArtsDay LA. Here’s what they had to say about the event:

“I wish ArtsDay LA had been around when I was taking classes at UCLA extension. Why? Because it is a really convenient way to get answers! You can ask writers to their faces for advice and guidance…if you are an up-and-coming writer and you want to meet professional writers who know what they’re doing, ArtsDay LA is for you.” – Chris Webb, chair, Writing Your First Screenplay and Learning the Right Habits to Get It Done

“The event in general will offer a lot of inspiration, information and a way to get to know instructors in the program. From my panel they’ll hear advice on getting started – or jumpstarting their writing again if they’re stalled. How to find their own stories and the genre to write them in. How to find the courage to put those stories to paper. And we’ll do a quick writing exercise that can get them started right away. I have a terrific panel — Rachel Kann, Leon Martell and Kate Milliken. I can’t wait to hear what they have to say.” – Barbara Abercrombie

“The event is a great way both to learn some fundamentals about writing and to learn about the broad offerings in the Writers’ Program. It’s helpful to see teachers in action–on panels–so as to get a feel for whom one might like to work with in the future…It’s rare to get so many folks together in one place where we can spend the whole day reveling in our shared love of writing.” – Dan Jaffe, chair, Your Career and Life as a Writer

“My favorite thing about ArtsDay LA are the light bulbs I see going off above people’s heads. It’s spectacular.” – Quinton Peeples, chair, Taking Your Script to the Next Level

For one last perspective, I spoke with Dr. Linda Venis, creator of ArtsDay LA and our fearless leader here at the Writers’ Program and the Department of the Arts:

“When people try to wrap their minds around careers in the arts, it can seem sort of romantic but also mysterious and abstract. What I love about ArtsDay LA is that it demystifies what it’s like to be a writer—what skills you need, how you get started, how you make a living, how you network—from people who are active professionals, who truly walk the talk, and who are committed teachers who WANT to inspire and train new writers. In this economy, in these hard times, people still want to create—they often feel driven to create. For free and in four one-hour sessions jam-packed with information and inspiration, creative writers and screenwriters learn what it takes to launch and sustain careers in these fields. (And by the way, if writers have friends who are aspiring interior designers, landscape architects, graphic and web designers, directors, cinematographers, or musicians, ArtsDay LA offers sessions for them too!)”

We hope to see you there March 7th!

For more information, please visit If you have any questions about ArtsDay LA, please call 310-267-4888 or email


Katy Flaherty is the Administrative Assistant for the Writers’ Program. Write to her at


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