TV Writer-Producer Nell Scovell Talks Career

…And the lady definitely is worth listening too (even if she does also – OMG! – direct). Here’s some straight talk from the creator of Sabrina the Teenage Witch and writer for The Simpsons, Late Night with David Letterman and many more :

Ms. Scovell’s memoir, Just the Funn Parts:…And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking into the Hollywood boys’ Club is ready and waiting for you to buy it HERE

David Perlis sees ‘Solo’

NOTE FROM LB: Here at TVWriter™ we think David Perlis should post more. A lot more. For now, though, this short and snappy insight into writing in specific and the film biz in general will have to do. Sigh:

by David Perlis

I haven’t posted in a while, so until I can sink into a good update, I offer you this brief thought:

The stories we choose not to tell say as much as the stories that we do.

Sorry, Solo. You are the tale we never needed.

David Perlis is a screenwriter and former People’s Pilot Finalist This post first appeared on his very entertaining blog.

TV Writing Goes to College

We admit it. The headlinel on this post may be a bit misleading. Television writing has, after all, been a major area of study for more than at least a couple of decades now (our own LB taught it at The College Formerly Named The College of Santa Fe in Santa Fe, New Mexico in the early 1990s), but this article coming from a web page dedicated to  college student work, is perhaps the most knowledgeable one – and certainly the hippest – to come from a student yet:

Florida State University, where at the time this article was written, its writer was spending a whole lotta time

3 Television Shows Every Aspiring Writer Should Watch
by Eliana Dubosar

For writers, inspiration can come from any and every facet of life, including their surroundings, the people they interact with on a daily basis and sources of entertainment.

Although there are many movies that follow the lives of individuals trying to make it in the journalistic or publishing world, many of them tend to paint a perfect picture, tying up conclusions in a bow. Something that I learned in an introduction to creative writing course is that this is not always the case, and sometimes it’s perfectly fine to leave some questions unanswered.

For that reason, certain television shows tend to provide a better source of inspiration for aspiring writers, not only through their storylines, but also through the ways in which the shows are written. So, writers, grab a notebook and a pen and see what you can learn from these television shows.

 1. “Jane the Virgin”

Written in a manner similar to a telenovela (or a Spanish-language soap opera), much of what makes “Jane the Virgin” a resource for writers comes from its unique structure.

The way in which the narration is written, and spoken, presents the audience with even more information to keep them hooked on the show. Although the actual way in which the show is written is important, Jane as a character is where many aspiring writers can pull lessons from.

While much of the series thus far has dealt with Jane’s love life — mainly her relationships with Michael, Rafael and now Adam — it is her journey to become a novelist that is something many can learn from.

In the earlier seasons of the show, Jane worked hard to create her master’s thesis, working with two separate advisors and taking all their notes into consideration when making revisions. One of Jane’s largest challenges with this was the fact that her thesis was a romance novel and the advisor she worked with was a feminist professor that didn’t necessarily believe in romance.

As a result, Jane learned how to work with someone who may not have shared her ideals, while sticking to her guns the whole way through, which is something many writers can learn from.

In the most recent season of “Jane the Virgin,” which takes place years after the death of Jane’s husband, Michael, Jane’s novel gets published. The novel, “Snow Falling,” is a piece in which the setting is in the early 1900s but is a loose retelling of Jane’s time with Michael.

After countless back-and-forth’s with her editor, something all writers are bound to go through before seeing their work take shape, Jane’s dream of becoming a published writer turns into a reality. Once again, the show reminds viewers to never give up, constantly pursue their creative vision and follow through with their projects….

Read it all at

WGAW Committee of Women Writers Leadership Announcement

Late last week, the Writers Guild of America Committee of Women Writers announced the latest additions to its leadership. They are:

CWW Co-Chair: Elizabeth Martin

CWW Co-Chair: Lauren Hynek

CWW Vice-Chair: Nicky Hawthorne

The next CWW meeting will be held June 11th:

Monday, 6/11 – WGAW 2nd Floor, MPR. Info: (323) 782-4589
7:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – “Happy Half Hour” (Networking, Snacks and Beverages)
7:30-9:30 p.m. – Meeting
This committee represents the interests of female WGAW writers who are seeking WGA-covered work.  We sponsor events designed to increase our knowledge of the craft and the marketplace, discuss the role of women as storytellers and foster networking and collaboration between women in all Guilds, as well as increase opportunities for education, employment opportunities and creative expression. Our goal is to empower all writers and improve the profile and perception of Women writers in the industry.
*NOTE: Open to WGAW Associate, Current, Post Current, and Associate Caucus members in Active status.

Further information about the committee can be had by contacting the WGAW Inclusion and Equity Department

Ah, the Romance of Writing

“Wha-? For reals? Writing is romantic?” you’re saying, to which we have to reply, “Well, actually, most writers we here at TVWriter™ talk to say it’s more like this:

The False Romance of Writing
by Chuck Greenlee

TVWriter™’s Bible (well, along with every script by Rod Serling, but that’s for another article)

A great book was written way back in 1918, then expanded on in 1959 and in other editions. The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White is essentially the Swiss army knife of writing – small and bland, but wildly useful when you need it. The book aside, the foreword written by Roger Angell, White’s stepson, resounds with all writers: “Writing is hard, even for authors who do it all the time.”

There is a pretty big misconception about writing, and that is that it’s this romantic affair between the author and a blank piece of paper or an empty Word document. Media outlets make writing out to be some odd thing in which you go on a date with your words; in reality, it’s a long-term relationship in which you sit at opposite ends of the couch and argue over what to watch on TV.

Writing, at its core, is a grueling task that makes the background music on C-SPAN somehow seem entertaining. (Note: This is not a jab at C-SPAN but rather a jab at the less-than-exciting elevator music it plays between senate sessions. But it seems as if C-SPAN can’t play the best of Frank Ocean, so here we are.)

To be a writer takes a certain amount of gusto and the ability to accept that your work probably isn’t good enough. And when you take it to an editor, you find out that you did everything wrong, and you want to give it up altogether.

“It isn’t good enough; I wish it were better,” Angell writes of watching his stepfather’s struggle with writing. He says his stepfather would sit in his study for hours at a time, and furious clicks of the keyboard would often interrupt the calm pacing that came from behind the closed doors.

But does that sort of technique translate to today? Being your own biggest critic, not having all the words there at once and then hating the final thing you write? Short answer: yes. Long answer: yes, absolutely. That’s at least how this column was written, for whatever that may be worth to you…

Read it all at