Screenwriting Workshop: Advanced Screenplay Writing


Screenwriting Workshop: Advanced Screenplay Writing


Level: Advanced

Location: Online
Duration: 8 weeks
Begins: April 1, 2019
Ends: May 26, 2019


This class is for students who already possess a good working knowledge of screenwriting. It’s also for students who have started writing a screenplay or teleplay but need additional coaching. If you took our Intermediate Screenplay Writing workshop, then this is the next class for you. In this class, students tackle a new full-length screenplay or re-write one already started or completed.

We focus on revision for story, structure, character and visual elements. Students also provide constructive criticism for fellow students. The classes focus on weekly lectures based on the overall projects of the class including a review of key subjects including character development, second act structure, dialogue, archetypes and others. Specific assignments that cater to each student’s projects—including writing assignments, additional readings, and movie or TV pilot watching and criticism—are assigned. Additionally, each student writes and hones a logline, a treatment, and a query letter for their project.

Course Outline

Week 1: Revision for Story, Structure, Character & Visual Elements

Week 2: Skills to Deepen Character Development

Week 3: How to Approach Your 2nd Act

Week 4: How to Craft Engaging Dialogue

Week 5: What are Archetypes & How Do They Help Tell Your Story?

Week 6: Writing or Honing Your Treatment, Log Line & Query Letter

Week 7: Further Ideas on Revising Your Screenplay or TV Pilot

Week 8: And That’s a Wrap: A Look Back & Your 1st Draft Complete

Instructor Bio

Senta Scarborough is an award-winning journalist and Emmy® Award-nominated producer, in addition to being a screenwriter. Current screenplays include crime dramas inspired by her time in Southern Appalachia and the borderlands of the Southwest. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts from the University of California Riverside/Palm Desert. She also holds a certificate in screenwriting from UCLA Extension Writers Program and is a graduate of the USC Cinematic Arts Summer (screenwriting) Program. She is a former senior investigative reporter and long-form narrative writer for E! News and E! Online. She spent nearly a decade covering crime as a staff writer for The Arizona Republic. Her work has appeared in USA Today, US Weekly magazine and Asheville Poetry Review, among others. She currently serves on the board of directors for the National Gay and Lesbian Journalist’s Association. She earned a B.A. in English and Political Science and a B.S. in Philosophy and Religion from Radford University. A Virginia native, she now lives in Los Angeles with her wife and their dog.


"Senta taught me so much, and I wouldn't be the journalist I am today if it weren't for her mentorship. Being a good reporter is more than knowing what questions to ask but when to ask them. She always knew when and how to get the best story. Her insights have been so valuable to me, and there isn't a better person to learn from."

Sara Kitnick, Writer/Journalist, New York City

"Not only is Senta an incredible reporter and writer with years of real-world experience, but she is also a great communicator and teacher. By working with her, I developed a variety of essential skills that have enabled me to excel in my career and further my abilities in creating media. I highly recommend learning from Senta!"

Adam Mann, Digital Media Coordinator, CBS

“I was an intern at NBCUniversal’s E! News. Senta worked closely with my cohort to teach us newsroom best-practices, develop us as multimedia journalists, and ensure that we were well-prepared for our future careers. Senta possesses a unique ability to captivate a group of students with diverse learning styles and deliver her lesson clearly. Outside of the training sessions, Senta was a compassionate, funny, and a thoughtful listener. She was a big part of the reason many of the interns felt properly positioned for jobs in the newsroom after college. I feel lucky to know her and honored to have learned from her.”

Mehak Anwar, Communications Associate, The Fair Punishment Project, a joint initiative of Harvard Law School’s Charles Hamilton Houston Institute and the Criminal Justice Institute