The Write Process
Writing is a tightrope walk from where the idea originates to the moment a project emerges in the world. In The Write Process, Charles Jensen, director of the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, asks writers who’ve walked the tightrope to talk about their process.
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Multiple Emmy nominee Melissa Rosenberg is Series Creator and Showrunner of Marvel’s Jessica Jones. The show garnered tremendous response and critical acclaim, including winning the prestigious Peabody Award for its genre-bending approach. As one of Hollywood’s most versatile, sought-after storytellers, Rosenberg is currently in an overall deal with Warner Bros. TV to develop new projects. Her company, Tall Girls Productions, focuses on developing and producing film and TV series with an emphasis on interesting, complex roles for women in front of and behind the camera. On the film side, Rosenberg’s credits include all five screenplays for the vampire romance phenomenon, The Twilight Saga, which grossed more than $3 billion worldwide. She also wrote the hit dance film Step Up, which launched a multi-film franchise. Additional television credits in Rosenberg’s diverse range include four seasons as both head writer and Executive Producer of the Showtime original series Dexter, which earned multiple nominations and awards, including the Peabody Award.
Tod Goldberg is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen books, including The Low Desert, Gangsterland, a finalist for the Hammett Prize, Gangster Nation, The House of Secrets, which he co-authored with Brad Meltzer, and Living Dead Girl, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He is also the co-host of the wildly popular podcast Literary Disco, named a top literary podcast by the Washington Post. He is a Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside where he founded and directs the Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing & Writing for the Performing Arts.
Elle Johnson is a TV writer. Her credits include Law & Order, CSI: Miami, Ghost Whisperer, and The Fosters. One of Elle’s career highlights came on The Glades where she wrote and produced an episode set in the world of NASCAR that featured nine actual racecars, four champion drivers, and one monkey. She was co-showrunner on Netflix’s Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam CJ Walker which won an NAACP Image award for best limited series. Most recently she was an Executive Producer on the Amazon original series Bosch, based on the Michael Connelly detective novels. Originally from Hollis, Queens Elle graduated from Harvard College, studied writing on a Rotary Scholarship at the University of East Anglia in England, and has taken numerous classes at UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. She was a finalist for UCLA’s 2015 Allegra Johnson Prize in Memoir Writing. The Officer’s Daughter is her first book.
Julie Wong spent more than a decade writing speeches and developing press conferences while serving as Deputy Mayor to Los Angeles Mayor Jim Hahn and leading communications for Senator Barbara Boxer and then-L.A. City Councilmember Eric Garcetti, among others. She also served in multiple executive roles for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts where she was involved with major initiatives including the opening of Shanghai Disneyland and the announcement of Star Wars lands coming to Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Along the way, she realized she had her own stories to tell, too. Julie is currently a Co-Producer on Season 17 of Grey’s Anatomy. She participated in the CAPE New Writers Fellowship and the CBS Writers Mentoring Program, and holds a degree in government from Claremont McKenna College and a Master of Public Policy from Harvard University.
Kira Snyder is an Emmy-, Golden Globe-, and WGA Award-winning writer and Executive Producer on the TV show The Handmaid’s Tale. Her credits include Pacific Rim: Uprising, The 100, Incursion, Eureka, and Moonlight. Formerly a computer game designer, Kira created games for Microsoft, the MIT Press textbook Rules Of Play, and Electronic Arts, including the seminal alternate reality game Majestic.
Wally Rudolph is a multidisciplinary artist and the author of the novels Four Corners and Mighty, Mighty. Born in Canada to Chinese-Jamaican immigrant parents and raised in Texas, he’s traveled and lived throughout North America, but now is more than happy to be living and creating in The City of Angels.
Aatif Rashid is the author of the literary comedy Portrait of Sebastian Khan, which explores the complicated romantic life of a Muslim American art history student. His writing has appeared in Barrelhouse, Massachusetts Review, LitHub, Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Kenyon Review blog.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Cindy Lin is a former journalist with degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University. She’s written and produced many multimedia news features for children, one of which received a Peabody Award. She is the author of The Twelve and its sequel, Treasures of the Twelve.
Michael Werwie is the screenwriter of the Academy Nicholl Fellowship-winning Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile. He is currently developing an original series for television and has written projects for Warner Bros., Legendary, Fox, and Amazon. Michael is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is a graduate of USC.
Novelist Natashia Deón is the author of the critically-acclaimed novel Grace. A practicing criminal law attorney, law professor, creative writing instructor, and literary organizer, she is the founder of REDEEMED, a nonprofit that pairs professional writers with those who have been convicted of crimes.
TV writer and novelist Hollie Overton has worked on Tell Me a Story, Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments, Cold Case, and The Client List. She is the author of the novels Baby Doll, The Walls, and The Runaway. Originally from Texas, she lives in Los Angeles.
Stuart Beattie is a filmmaker and screenwriter of Pirates of the Carribean: Curse of the Black Pearl, Collateral, 30 Days of Night, among other successful films. His latest film is Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan.
Henry Lien teaches law and creative writing at UCLA Extension. A private art dealer, he is the author of the Peasprout Chen middle grade fantasy series, which received New York Times acclaim and starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Booklist.
Barbara Stepansky is a Nicholl Fellow and WGA Award winner. Her work was short listed for the Academy Awards, garnered the DGA Diversity Award and the Student Emmy, and was featured on the Black List. She wrote the award-winning TV movie Flint.
Sheryl Recinos is a family medicine physician who works with Los Angeles organizations to help youth transitioning off the street to enroll in college. Hindsight is her memoir about her experience of teen homelessness in Hollywood.
April Shih is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker. She attended film school at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and has written for You’re the Worst, Mrs. America, and Undone.
Monica Holloway is the author of the memoir Driving with Dead People. She has contributed to the anthology Mommy Wars, from which her essay “Red Boots and Cole Haans” was described by Newsday as “brilliant, grimly hilarious.” She lives in Los Angeles with her family.
Owen Husney has been a top 10 recording musician, concert promoter, nightclub owner, marketer who toured with the Rolling Stones. As an artist manager, Owen discovered Prince Rogers Nelson and signed him to Warner Bros Records. Famous People Who’ve Met Me is his memoir.
Shauna Barbosa’s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Iowa Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, PBS Newshour, and others, and she was a 2018 Disquiet International Luso-American fellow. Cape Verdean Blues is her first book.
Colette Sartor won the 2018 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction for her collection Once Removed and Other Stories. Her writing has appeared in Carve Magazine, Slice Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, Kenyon Review Online, Colorado Review, and elsewhere. She teaches at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program as well as privately and is an executive director of the CineStory Foundation, a mentoring organization for emerging TV writers and screenwriters.
Zimran Jacob has worked as a life coach, financial manager, and in film and television production. He served as the showrunner’s assistant on the Netflix series The Punisher.
Host Charlie Jensen explains how The Write Process will reveal the magic and mystery of how one writer takes one work from concept to completion.
A sneak peak into Season One.
UCLA Extension Writers’ Program instructor Zac Hug wrote scripts for Drop Dead Diva and Shadowhunters and has written, directed, and starred in episodes of the webseries These People. He also writes Christmas movies for the Hallmark Channel.
UCLA Extension Writers’ Program instructor Jennifer Caloyeras is the author of the short fiction collection Unruly Creatures and two young adult novels, Strays and Urban Falcon.
UCLA Extension Writers’ Program instructor Mark Sarvas is the author of the novel Harry, Revised, a member of the National Book Critics Circle and PEN America.
UCLA Extension Writers’ Program alumna Elissa Matsueda is the screenwriter of Spare Parts and Dog Days, and co-writer of The Miracle Season.
UCLA Extension Writers’ Program alumna Liska Jacobs Liska Jacobs holds an MFA from the University of California, Riverside. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in The Rumpus, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Literary Hub.
UCLA Extension Writers’ Program alumna Greta Heinemann was a CBS Writers Mentoring Program Fellow as well as a Humanitas New Voices Awards winner. She won the 2018 Final Draft Big Break Grand Prize award.
UCLA Extension Writers’ Program alumna Dorothy Blyskal worked as a production assistant before landing the job of adapting the book The 15:17 to Paris for filming by Clint Eastwood.
UCLA Extension Writers’ Program instructor Miguel Murphy is the author of the poetry collections A Book Called Rats and Detainee. He teaches at Santa Monica College and lives in Los Angeles.
UCLA Extension Writers’ Program alumna Mae Respicio is a past recipient of a PEN Emerging Voices Fellowship and a David Henry Hwang Writers Institute scholarship for playwriting.
UCLA Extension Writers’ Program instructor Laurel Ollstein writes plays, essays, memoirs, screenplays and television scripts; directs plays; and serves as an adjunct professor of writing for several universities.
UCLA Extension Writers’ Program alumnus Moisès Zamora is a Mexican-American award-winning writer and filmmaker and has written for the Emmy-winning dramas American Crime and Star.
UCLA Extension Writers’ Program instructor and alumna Lilliam Rivera has been featured on NPR, New York Times Book Review, New York magazine, MTV.com, and Teen Vogue, among others.