Coming soon to bookstores, e-stores, and mobile devices near you and straight from the epicenter of the film and television industry come Cut to the Chase: Writing Feature Films with the Pros at UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and Inside the Room: Writing TV with the Pros at UCLA Extension Writers’ Program! We at the Writers’ Program are over the moon about these latest “Writers’ Program Productions,” to be published by Gotham/Penguin Group (USA) on 8/6/2013.

Written by 24 Writers’ Program instructors and edited by yours truly, Cut to the Chase and Inside the Room are based on the Program’s film and TV writing curriculum, and give aspiring screenwriters a whole new way to access our excellent training. For an extremely modest price ($11 to less than $20, depending on book, format, and vendor), readers get tons of practical advice (“Four Essential Ways to Deepen Your Characters”; “Ten Steps to Creating Dialogue”; “My Foolproof Rewrite Process”); empathy (“You’ll feel better once you admit it. You Love TV.”); reassurance (“It is the inner critic’s dark victory when it convinces you to stop writing. Don’t let it.”); and an insider look at the business that you will not see anywhere else (“Your cell phone rings. You check the screen. It’s the network.”)

Cut to the Chase and Inside the Room bring something new to the screenwriting book marketplace–which include, of course, some excellent books by Writers’ Program screenwriting teachers. First, taken as a whole, the chapter authors have 1,000’s of produced movies, television episodes, and pilots to their credit; as former student and TV writer Zoanne Clack (Grey’s Anatomy) has said, “The Writers’ Program instructors have been out there—they’re speaking from experience.” Second, the authors are also trained teachers in the world’s most comprehensive, university-affiliated screenwriting program. Third, the film and TV industry is a highly collaborative medium; no feature film or television script exists as a sole product of a single writer. In reflecting multiple expert points of view, Cut to the Chase and Inside the Room are unique in both mirroring how the creative process works in “real/reel” life and offering readers an incredibly rich array of strategies and advice.

We at the Writers’ Program envision Cut to the Chase and Inside the Room as the next logical step in helping writers at all levels tap into the tools, inspiration, and discipline they need to reach their goals. The core of our educational efforts is, of course, the Program’s 200 annual onsite and online film and TV writing courses. Beyond our workshops, we offer three certificate programs in the field (Feature Film Writing, TV Writing, and the new Film and TV Comprehensive); mentorship and consultation services; and film and TV writing competitions in order to help students fulfill their professional aspirations.

We hope you’ll check out the books’ Facebook page (and Like it!). Both Cut to the Chase and Inside the Room are available for pre-sale, and will also be available as e-books simultaneous with the print versions.

We will be posting updates on this site and will be rolling out a website for the books too. There are interviews in the works with some of the chapter authors that will be posted on the website and on Cut to the Chase and Inside the Room’s Facebook page, so stay tuned!

Linda Venis is the Director of the Writers’ Program and the UCLA Extension Department of the Arts.

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