Screenwriting

Register now with our Early Bird Special to get 20% off select classes! Offer ends Sept 12th.

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 Screenwriting courses and put your dreams on the silver screen.


Fall Classes

Writing for the Small Screen (Online)

7 Saturdays 10:00am – 1:00pm CT
Sept. 17 – Nov. 12
Instructor: Mary Ruth Clarke

Television — in all its iterations — is hot. Producers are hungry for new voices and unique ideas. My students are succeeding – staffed on network and streaming shows, creating web series, and winning competitions.

Class Description

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.

Teacher Bio

Mary Ruth Clarke co-wrote and starred in the original Meet the Parents and co-adapted it into the blockbuster version, starring Robert De Niro. Her dramedy teleplay Broadway, Ohio is a finalist in the Chicago Screenplay Awards, Page Turner Awards, and a semi finalist at Sundance Labs. Her comedy screenplay Alice and Celia and Whatever It Takes is a finalist for the Lit Laughs Comedy Film Festival and the Chicago Comedy Film Festival, and a is a semi finalist in the Chicago Screenplay Awards. Mary Ruth’s students are staffed on the TV shows Queens, Woke, and Family Reunion. She consults for clients in LA and Chicago, and she has critiqued about a gazillion plays and screenplays. She’s a regular guest lecturer at the Chicago Screenwriter’s Network and the Off Campus Writer’s Group. She is a member of the Writer’s Guide of America East and the Dramatists Guild.

Course Details

Session DatesSept. 17, 24
Oct. 08, 15, 22
Nov. 05, 12
Experience LevelBeginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Applicable DiscountsEarly Bird, New Student, Network

Chicago Dramatists Class Fee Policies 

  • If you cancel your registration more than ten days 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 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.
  • 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.
%d bloggers like this: