Kate Montgomery: Intro to Screenwriting – Take the Leap!

Katie Montgomery Screenwriting5 Tuesdays, January 17 – February 14, 7-9:30pm
$275 members/$295 non-members
Testimonials for Kate

“Let’s face it, you’re already in the film business—you’ve seen more movies than you can count. And if you’re reading this, then you’ve also thought about writing one yourself. The industry is rapidly expanding and there’s more demand now than ever before for good screenwriters. But where to begin? How do you make your investment in time and study pay off?”

In this beginners class, Kate will introduce you to screenwriting basics such as story structure, character development (including how to create a truly compelling protagonist), and how to be “sneaky” with exposition. “We’ll also look at three crucial elements that every screenplay contains,” says Kate, “questions, conflicts and turning points . . . and their timing.”

The class will be a mix of lecture/discussion, film clips, writing exercises, improv exercises and course materials you can keep to reference later. Kate provides a safe, encouraging environment where you can explore the screenwriting process, find your voice, and get yourself on the path to completing scripts that work.

“I began writing scripts while still working full-time in the corporate world,” says Kate. “I took the leap you’re now considering. I gave myself permission to learn the process, and then sat down and started writing the stories that I wanted to see on the screen. After all, if you hope to entertain anyone, you may as well start by entertaining yourself!”

Kate Montgomery wrote, directed and produced the Sundance indie feature Christmas in the Clouds, which won top honors at festivals in Austin and Santa Fe and endorsements from Oprah Winfrey & Roger Ebert when it released in theaters. She executive produced the micro-indie, Ever Since the World Ended, which won at the SF Indie Fest and the London Sci-Fi Film Festival. She has optioned & sold screenplays to producers and studios in the US, Canada and UK, and works for hire as a writing coach, script editor and production consultant. Her current projects include the romantic comedy Jack from Camp and the medieval series Plantagenet. She has taught screenwriting at the Weengushk Film Institute in Canada, where participants developed original stories from concept to camera-ready scripts.

Keep Them Guessing: The Art of Mystery Writing (Berkeley)

Five Weeks or One Day (not currently scheduled)
$185 members/$215 others   Berkeley

Testimonials for Elaine

Mysteries are one of the most popular and diverse genres in fiction today.  They sell by the millions and hundreds of authors have established long and successful careers in mystery writing. The contemporary mystery offers immense opportunities for the creation of quirky protagonists, unusual settings, stories with social or political relevance, and even for books that put new twists on the genre or that seem to defy the demands of the genre altogether.  Nevertheless, writing a mystery demands certain key skills and a knowledge of what works in this particular area of fiction.

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Raw Writing – A class for generating new material

gennajamey2.jpg5 Weeks, 7-9:30 p.m.
$185 members/$215 non-members     Berkeley

Special Package Deal: Take this class together with the “Intro to Creative Writing” class, and receive both classes (5 weeks plus 5 weeks, back to back) for the price of one 9-week class. This discount applies only if you choose the “Intro to Creative Writing/Raw Writing ‘Combo’ option” when you register. If you register for Intro to Creative Writing separately and then decide to take Raw Writing, the discount doesn’t apply.


“Not long ago I was feeling distant and unconnected from my writing,” says instructor Jamey Genna, “trying too hard to create a finished product even before I had more than a rough beginning.  I was also encountering a lot of writing friends who were stalled in their work: novelists who had written the first 50 pages and then stopped themselves by doing constant revision; short story writers who had ideas for stories but no inspiring atmosphere or time to sit down and put pen to paper.  I decided it might be time for me to: 1) put a hold on studying craft, 2) stop revising so much, and 3) get back to generating more new material.

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