TVWriter University November Schedule

No, not really TVWriter U. This is Harvard - which some folks think is almost as good.
Ah, the perfect campus. Too bad it’s not really TVWriter U but Harvard. OTOH, you can attend TVWriter U classes in PJs!

LB here to let everyone know what’s happening this month in TVWriter™’s online workshops.

This will be short, I promise. But it could be important. So:


The 153rd 4 week online Advanced Workshop ended last week, and most of the happy students will be returning for the next one, which starts a week from today, on November 11, 2015.

The not so good news is that this will be the last Advanced Workshop of the year, with the next one not starting till January, 2015.

The good news is that 1 opening is left.

The Advanced Workshop is the one where you work on a script in class, uploading 10 or so pages a week for your classmates and me to read thoughtfully and insightfully so that at each class meeting we can give you brilliant suggestions for ways to make what you’re writing even better.

Unless I’m in a bad mood, in which case I’m going to blast your  Oops, just kidding. Ignore that last sentence, all right?

You’ll find all the info you need for the next session of the Advanced Workshop HERE



The Master Class is a rough one. It takes a lot of time and energy from students and teacher alike. I’m thinking that it doesn’t really fit into the joyful reality of the upcoming Holiday Season, so the next one probably won’t start until mid to late January of next year.

The Master Class is the one that’s open only to professional or pro level writers. (That’s why it’s so tough.) If you believe that you qualify and are ready for me to read your entire script and all its subsequent revisions and give you all the helpful info I can over a 4-Week period, you’ll find more info about the Master Class is HERE

(Well, actually, you’ll find it there even if you don’t think you should take the class. I can’t say that TVWriter™ has no secrets from its loyal visitors but, you know, only very few.)


Sorry, kids, but our trusty Fundamentals Workshop, the one that started the whole TVWriter University thing rolling, is suspended till further notice. I’m trying to revise the curriculum and its presentation so that the Fundamentals of TV and film writing can be better communicated to the assortment of new writers from all over the world (last time around we had students in Beijing, Hong Kong, and South Africa, for example) and in different time zones.

Hmm, here’s a thought. If anyone out there has an idea about how to improve the Fundamentals Workshop to make its internationalism its strength instead of, well, my problem child. let me know HERE



TVWriter University has a few openings!

No, not really TVWriter U. This is Harvard - which some folks think is almost as good.
No, not really TVWriter U. This is Harvard – which some folks think is almost as good.

If you’ve come to TVWriter™ in the past, you probably know that we have a kind of sub-site we call TVWriter University. It’s listed to the right, under the bigger heading “OUR WORKSHOPS.”

TVWriter University is a thing we do online throughout the year. Recently, we’ve been focusing on two specific workshops:

  1. The Advanced Online TV and Film Writing Workshop
  2. Larry Brody’s Master Class

Both classes are, in fact, taught by the Boss of this site, Larry Brody, whose credits you can find HERE and HERE. LB’s been teaching online (and running TV writing contests and slaving away at this website) for about 15 years now. It’s a retirement gig with a vengeance – producing 1 Acme Ton O’ TV Shows can create a lot of bad karma, and he’s trying to claw his way out of the hole he’s worried that he’s fallen into.

We, the loyal minions of TVWriter™, have very little reason to believe that LB’s immortal soul is in any danger and suspect that he’s been joking about that. What we’re sure of is that he knows his stuff and genuinely wants to share that knowledge with as many people as he can.

LB probably would tell us that we’re taking way too long to get started. His mantra, which those of you who know him or have taken his classes – which, yeppers, means you know him, is “Could be shorter, could be cleverer.” Clearly, we’ve fallen short of that so we’ll cut to the last scene:

  1. Beat One: The next Advanced Workshop starts Thursday, August 28th, and as we write this there are several openings left – mostly cuz the Boss is feeling pretty generous these days and is looking to increase the number of students he can reach by offering two separate sessions of the class. That means that potentially there are 10 spaces to fill instead of the usual five.

    You can find out more about what goes on in the Advanced Workshop HERE. We suspect that it’ll fill up quickly, so our suggestion is that you get in touch with LB about your interest ASAP. You can do that HERE.

  2. Beat Two: The next Master Class will start sometime after the first week in September, by which we mean whenever LB has enough students to hold it, by which he means 2 or 3 writers who either are pros or write like pros. So if you’ve been a Winner or – maybe – a Finalist in either the People’s Pilot or Spec Scriptacular, are successfully freelancing, or are thisclose to getting a writers room gig, odds are this one’s for you.

    You can find out more about what’s expected of you in LB’s Master Class HERE. And you can get in touch with him HERE.

Seeya on campus?

TV Writer University Workshops Want YOU


TVWriter™’ and Larry Brody’s writing classes all over the world have provided foundations for the work of such current Big-Time TV and film writers as

  • Karen McCullah (Legally Blonde, Crazy Kind of Love)
  • Joe Wiseman (Just Shoot Me)
  • Curtis Gwinn (The Walking Dead)
  • Danny Thomsen (Smallville, Once Upon a Time)
  • Troy Devolld (Basketball Wives)
  • More (for reals)

Basic Online Workshop

The next TVWriter™ Basic Online TV and Film Writing Workshop starts Tuesday, June 25, 2013, and runs for 6 weeks. The Basic Workshop goes through all the steps of teleplay and screenplay development from concept/logline to outline, 1st Draft, and revisions with a special concentration on story structure, teleplay/screenplay format…and learning how to read the mind of your producer. Taught by TVWriter™ High Honcho Larry Brody, the Basic Workshop is limited to 5 students to make certain everyone gets the individual time s/he needs.

Basic Workshop info and sign-up form

Advanced Online Workshop

The next TVWriter™ Advanced Online Workshop, for writers who know a little something about teleplay/screenplay format and have either taken TVWriter™’s Basic Workshop or can show an example of their current work, starts Wednesday, May 15, 2013, at 6:00 pm Pacific (9:00 pm Eastern) Time and will meet for 4 weeks. As of this writing enrollment is wide open, but the Advanced Workshop always fills up fast so we ever-so-respectfully suggest that you hurry to:

Advanced Workshop info and sign-up form

LB’s Master Class

The next version of Larry Brody’s Master Class will begin Thursday, May 23, 2013. This is the online workshop for professional level writers who want to spend an intense month perfecting your current work. 60 pages a week! Story, plot, and characterization analyzed by our Fearsome Leader, LB himself! He accepts a maximum of only 3 students at a time in this one so if you’re interested you definitely need to reserve your place ASAP.

Larry Brody’s Master Class info

Find out more about everything TVWriter University is currently offering here.

Originally posted in the April TVWriter™ e-Newsletter. Subscribe here.

TVWriter™ October Newsletter

TVWriter™ Newsletter – October 2012

Um, more or less. The exact date on which we’ll start accepting entries is January 1, 2013, and we’ll have a short period – probably that magic number of 2 months – in which you can do the Early Bird Entry thing for $30 instead of the usual $40.

We’re still deciding whether or not to offer any kind of Feedback. Right now LB is leaning in the direction of sending the judges’ score to each entrant after the Winners have been announced, along with a general definition of what the various numbers mean. so you can use that as a guide to what about your work needs to be improved – if anything, because of course the Winners are going to be near-perfect, right?

We’re also trying to decide on a fairer category system for the People’s Pilot. As of this writing the thinking is that instead of just one overall winner we would have two categories and two sets of Semi-Finalists, Finalists, and Winners. We’re not sure what to call the categories. Maybe 1-hour and half-hour series?

For all practical purposes, this would mean an action/drama category and another for sitcoms, paralleling the broadcast and cable network development process for scripted shows. We’d still like to keep most of the sub-categories, though, like children’s show, animation, etc., but mostly for informational purposes.

Our question to you: Does this sound fair? Does it sound easier/simpler for you to deal with as entrants? Nothing’s set in stone yet, and your input is vital so please give us a shout on the subject.

You can learn more about the People’s Pilot here.
The Spec Scriptacular details are here.

Or just go to TVWriter™ and click on the contest of your choice in the righthand index.



What’s At Stake?


Long before I got into the television business, back when I was a television viewer, I would go off on a rant about cop shows at a moment’s notice. “Why are people’s lives always in danger?” I would shout. “Why does TV always have someone looking down the business end of a gun?”

Now that I’ve been writing for what seems like 8000 years, I know the answer. The reason television gives us so many cop shows and medical shows and lawyer shows is that in those situations something very important is always at stake – usually someone’s life. You don’t get higher stakes than that, and without the risk of a very big loss, all the audience can do when it sees your hero being agitated is yawn and say, “Who cares?”

Drama occurs when someone has a need that must be filled and must work like hell to overcome obstacles standing in the way of filling it. Notice that I said “need.” Merely “wanting” something isn’t enough. The situation has to be an absolute “must have or else” or the audience clicks that remote.

This is THE basic story. In a sense it’s the ONLY story, and to make it work effectively not only does the need have to be great, so do the consequences of failure – and the obstacles in the way of success. When you design your story, remember that the more serious the danger, the more involved the audience will become. If your hero is a millionaire, and he stands to lose a thousand-dollar bet, that ain’t enough. But if your hero is broke and stands to lose his wife and kids unless he comes up with a hundred bucks to save the day – well, now you’ve got something that will hold the viewers’ attention – and yours as the writer as well.



We’re currently in Week 2 of the latest Basic Online Workshop, but we’re thinking of holding another one in a few months – probably in March – instead of waiting the usual year. Sound good to y’all? Let us know!

Basic Workshop info and sign-up form

The next TVWriter™ Advanced Online Workshop starts November 1, 2012, and right now we have three openings. The Advanced Workshop always fills up, so we ever-so-respectfully suggest that you hurry to:

Advanced Workshop info and sign-up form

Or find out more about everything TVWriter University is currently offering here.




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Larry Brody – Head Dood
Tim Muncher – Keeper of the Faith
Various Volunteers – Mucho Appreciated Scapegoats
Gwen Brody – Beautiful Dreamer