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 Writing respectively, in recognition of their outstanding achievements and dedication to the Writers’ Program during many years of teaching.

Greg Elliot,a seasoned television writer and WGA member whose credits include the Disney Channel series In a Heartbeat and Star Trek: Voyager, also was the Executive Story Editor for the wildly successful WB series Charmed and a Story Editor for the series Savannah. Greg has been teaching television writing at the Writers’ Program since 2003, and is wildly popular with our students.

A Rewriting Your 1-Hour Spec or Pilot student says, “He’s dedicated, meticulous and very insightful. His communication skills and lectures were buttoned up and clear. He’s just an awesome instructor!”

And, says another, “Greg is insightful, passionate about the craft and story, encouraging and inspiring. Excellent instructor!”

Greg is also a welcomed presence among staff. Screenwriting Program Assistant, Jeff Bonnett, says “Honestly, I wish we could clone Greg and run twice as many classes with him. The program surely would not be the same without him.” Chae Ko, Screenwriting Program Representative, echoes Jeff’s sentiments: “Greg is one of those rare instructors who consistently delivers in the classroom and is a pleasure to work with. Students praise him for his breath of knowledge, fair and constructive feedback, and his willingness to go the extra mile. Greg is a phenomenal teacher, professional, and colleague.”

If you’d like to learn screenwriting from a phenomenal teacher, consider enrolling in Greg’s spring course, Writing the Original 1-Hour Drama Pilot, here!

Norman Kolpas, the 2014 Outstanding Instructor in Creative Writing, has been teaching for the Writers’ Program since 1988. Norman has authored more than 40 nonfiction books, and has consulted on or ghost-written countless others. He has also written several hundred nonfiction pieces that have appeared in such esteemed publications as Bon Appetit, Sunset, HOME, The Times of London, and Elle.

What do WP students think of Norman? This short-form nonfiction student put it into perspective: “Norman talks the talk and walks the walk. He’s been where I want to go and he’s providing a highly credible roadmap for getting there.” Says another: “I Love Norman and his genuine love for writing and teaching. He always made me feel safe and excited to share!”

WP staff are every bit as effusive about working with Norman. Sarah Lim, Creative Writing Program Assistant says, “Norman is just amazing. He really enjoys teaching and he sincerely cares for his students. You rock, Norman!”

Katy Flaherty, Creative Writing Program Representative agrees: “Norman is a total pleasure to work with. His warmth and generosity to his students really sets him apart. Plus, he is entirely drama-free. We love him!”

Norman will be teaching Writing Short-Form Nonfiction: Your Pathway to Publication this spring. To move your project forward and join the long list of Norman’s very satisfied students, register here!

Congratulations, Greg and Norman, and thank you for sharing your talents as writers and teachers with us all!

Carla Janas is the Assistant to the Director. Contact her directly at or 310-267-4888.

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