Write for the silver screen.

Register now with our Early Bird Special to get 20% off select classes! Offer ends Jun 30.

Summer Classes at Chicago Dramatists are here and will remain online! Use your Summer Staycation to develop your next great work with Chicago Dramatists. We happily accept students from all around the world and invite you stay in with us and create your next great work. Take the leap and join us here at Chicago Dramatists.

The opportunities for screenwriting are endless. Grab yours today. Write for the big and little screen, and learn all the ins-and-outs of the film trade. Sign up now for our Summer Screenwriting courses and put your dreams on the silver screen.

Choose the class that suits you and click on the class’s name to go to the details page.

Please Note: Network Playwrights receive $25 off all class registrations, but you must be logged into your account for the discount to be applied. This also includes discounts for Resident Playwrights and Tutterow Fellows. You will be prompted to login when attempting to register. If you do not know how to get into your account, enter the email associated with your account under “Forgot Your Password” and an account reset will be sent.

Summer Classes

Screen Talk: Say it Cinematically (Online)
6 Thursdays 6:00pm – 9:00pm CST
Jul 15 – Aug 19
Instructor: Francine J. Sanders

Strong, effective dialogue is a critical component of great screenplays and the best films. A film’s dialogue can be the deal-breaker when it comes to the audience engaging with your story’s characters and their world. Through exercises and activities, we’ll explore how dialogue functions as a dynamic storytelling tool—from building character, to revealing theme, to advancing story and plot. Learn when and where to use dialogue in harmony with strong actions and visuals, how to create a distinctive voice for each of your characters, and the power of subtext. Our workshop-based class will focus on process as you write and revise a dialogue-driven short script, while also honing your chops in giving constructive, meaningful feedback to fellow writers.

This class is ideal for students with experience ranging from beginner to advanced.

Spring Classes

Writing for the Small Screen
7 Sundays 1:00pm – 4:00pm CST
Jun 06 – Aug 01
Instructor: Mary Ruth Clarke

The third Golden Age of Television is upon us and the opportunities have never been greater. This class is for anyone who has an idea (any genre) that could make a great series and who wants to learn the crucial basics of how to write it. We will study and analyze successful pilots to learn the form and craft of writing for television. We will tease out/explore the inherent possibilities in your idea, where it fits in the web, television and streaming landscape, how to position the idea, what makes for great TV characters, visual storytelling, budgetary considerations, proper story structure, and proper formatting. And you’ll write and rewrite. Leave this workshop with the makings of a pitch document, a deeper understanding of the the process of creation that optioned shows go through, a stronger grasp of the language that writers/producers/agents speak when talking business, and the beginnings of a rough draft of your very own TV pilot.

This class is ideal for students with experience ranging from beginner to advanced.

Chicago Dramatists Class Fee Policies 

  • If you cancel your registration more than three weeks in advance of the class start date, you will be entitled to either a full refund of your money or a full credit applied to your account for future CD classes. 
  • If you cancel your registration less than than three weeks but more than ten days before the class start date, you will be entitled to a full credit applied to your account (minus a $20 administrative fee). However, there will be no refunds. 
  • If you cancel your registration fewer than ten days but more than three days before the class start date, you will be entitled to 50% of your class fee (minus a $20 administrative fee) applied to your account as a credit. 
  • If you cancel your registration less than three days before the class start date, there is unfortunately neither a credit nor refund option available.
  • Failure to pay fee or arrange payment schedule within 48 hours of registration will result in cancellation of registration.
  • Classes that fail to meet the 50% minimum registrant requirement within 48 hours of class start time will be cancelled. In this case, registrants will receive a 100% refund.
  • Separate discounts cannot be combined.