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Screenwriting: Storytelling


Course Details

  • Location: UW Seattle
  • Duration: 9 weeks
  • Times: Evenings

Next Start Date:

October 5, 2020

This course is part of a certificate program. You can also take it without enrolling in the program.

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About this Course

Creating a foundation for a successful script requires more than just a good idea. Storytelling for the screen is both an art and a craft. Whether you’re writing a feature film, short, television show or web series, the principles remain the same. No matter the medium or genre, the best stories come from within.

In this course, you’ll discover how to develop universal stories for the screen by digging into your own experiences. We’ll examine the three-act structure, redefining it as a character-driven journey — not to be confused with the standard Hero’s Journey — that engages viewers. You’ll learn the instructor’s innovative approach to Storyfinding®, using the Nugget® and Conflict Grid® system to ensure your screen stories are compelling.

Once you’ve gotten a handle on these tools, we’ll show you how to craft an emotion-based, seven-sentence fairy tale that serves as the foundation for your script. Throughout the course, you’ll study movies and television shows that successfully build character-based narratives and read short stories that champion emotional substance.

Designed For 

Aspiring and experienced writers looking to make their stories pop on screens big and small.

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What You’ll Learn 

  • New rules for screen storytelling 
  • Advanced formulas for the three-act structure
  • Techniques for finding and defining core questions that drive your stories 
  • Ways to create character-driven conflict 
  • A system for developing seven-sentence fairy tales that serve as outlines

Program Overview

To earn the Certificate in Writing, you need to complete three courses in two years or less.


You should register for all courses individually; there is no application process for the certificate program.

Learning Format


Attend classes part time at one of our convenient locations in the Puget Sound region. You’ll engage face to face with your classmates and instructors as part of a highly interactive curriculum. Learn More »

Course Sessions


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