Writers’ Program student Barbara Stepansky first caught our attention when she entered the UCLA Extension Feature Film Competition. Her script, “Sugar in My Veins,” which she rewrote in Billy Mernits Master Class in Feature Film Writing, set itself apart with its provocative logline:

A fourteen year old female prodigy finds companionship for the first time when she befriends a handsome older man.

Barbara went on to win 1st place in the competition, and if that wasn’t awesome enough, she then landed a prestigious Nicholl Fellowship, beating out 7,200 other submissions.

All this would make any aspiring screenwriter’s year, but Barbara then took it to the next level by securing a spot on the highly coveted industry Blacklist for “Sugar.”

We could not be more proud of Barbara, who credits the Master Class with helping her achieve so much. “I really profited from Billy’s insights and support, but also from my classmates’ astute observations. I feel my writing took a real quantum leap in that class.”

Want to learn more about Barbara’s inspiring journey? Read her Writers’ Program interview here and Blacklist interview here.

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