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December 17, 2009 7:11 PM   Subscribe

What is a good screenwriting class in NYC?

Mrs. HotBot has extensive storytelling experience (edited major comic books, done TV production work) and wants to write some screenplays. I think the thing she most wants is the structure of having to write on a weekly deadline. What are some good screenwriting classes in NYC? If I can sign her up as a Christmas present, all the better.
posted by shothotbot to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have personal experience with them, but have heard good things about the Gotham Writers Workshop.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:49 AM on December 18, 2009

NYU has some screenwriting programs/classes and some Continuing Education courses in screenwriting.
posted by CathyG at 9:14 AM on December 18, 2009

I took fiction short story with Gotham online and it was good and appropriately priced. We only had to turn in two pieces throughout the 10 week class, but there were short homework exercises every week. I particularly liked that it was online, because I felt like the writing was entirely critqued based on how it was on the page. In a previous in-person workshop (at the New School, also a recommend), I felt that knowing my classmates in person impacted the way I evaluated their work.

What I like about the New School classes is how specifically tailored they are to various styles of writing. Each class description mentions the works you'll discuss in the class, and if the works are your favorites, the class will be awesome. Whereas with Gotham in my experience it's a little "fiction I" where you'll get a Palahniuk admirer and the next JK Rowling and the next Annie Proulx all in one group and they won't have the same reference points at all.

In the end I recommend them both because I felt that I learned more about craft at the New School but I was braver with my writing at Gotham online. I think Gotham provided more honest feedback from the other students, but the instructor at the New School was more articulate and detailed. And at the New School there was more of a back-and-forth, whereas the online model allows for followup discussion but is necessarily more clunky because it's just comments in this Metafilter style -- not threaded.
posted by xo at 10:57 AM on December 18, 2009

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