Every Wednesday The Writers Store offers live screenwriting webinars. They're a great way to learn from the comfort of your own home. Often times, they include some sort of critique, for example, feedback on a logline or perhaps the first 5 pages of a script. Check each webinar individually to see what freebie might be offered.
A full schedule of upcoming webinars can be found here, but here are my top 5 webinar picks:
1. What Makes a Great Scene? - Erik Bork, writer and producer of HBO's Band of Brothers teaches this class. As I've said many times Band of Brothers is one of my favorite shows, and Erik is superb at breaking down the essentials to a great scene. In fact, any webinar he teaches is gold in my book.
2. What the Heck Are Executives Thinking? Looking at Your Script from the Exec’s Point of View - Danny Manus has been working in this industry for years. Many of you have read his articles on ScriptMag.com. I find his advice straight-forward and given with no bull. I appreciate that. I don't like my time wasted, and I don't like when people blow smoke. Give it to me straight, and Danny does just that.
3. How to Create Characters That Engage Your Audience - Corey Mandell is one of the most refreshing screenwriting instructors I've come across in years. I had the pleasure of moderating a couple of panels he was on last year at Screenwriters World Conference West in L.A. I was blown away by his approach to writing. He's someone who I would find the time to learn from.
4. Pitch Like a Professional - Any webinar by Jacob Krueger rocks, but this one is a must-listen. I've watched Jacob consult with writers who are pitching, and he is spot on in his advice. His energy is infectious, and his generosity toward writers is unsurpassed. He even conducts writing retreats, one coming up in a few weeks in Costa Rica still has some spots open.
5. Telling and Selling the TV Pilot Script - Jen Grisanti is someone you should all follow and learn from if you're interested in breaking into television. She has tons of products at The Writers Store and writes a column for ScriptMag called Story Structure. But it's not just Jen's knowledge that attracts me to her work, it's also her charm and spirit. She's a unique find. A treasure.
I've listened to many others, and even taught a few myself. As a screenwriter, I'm impressed at the range of information offered in all the webinars and the ease in which they are presented. I love anything that has high value and that I can do from the comfort of my home. Yes, sometimes in my pajamas.
Note: After a live webinar has been offered, it typically is available On Demand within a few weeks. BUT, please note if you do not take the live class, you won't get the critique element should one be offered.
Busy with a day job and want the live event? Don't worry. As long as you sign up in advance of the event day/time, a recording will be emailed to you. And if there's a critique component, you'll be emailed instructions as to how to submit your work.
A big part of success is learning your craft and the business. Why not do it from your own home?
Jeanne Veillette Bowerman is the Editor and Online Community Manager of Script Magazine and a webinar instructor for The Writers Store. She is Co-Founder and moderator of the weekly Twitter screenwriters’ chat, #Scriptchat, and wrote the narrative adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Slavery by Another Name, with its author, Douglas A. Blackmon, former senior national correspondent of The Wall Street Journal. Jeanne also is President of Implicit Productions and consults with writerson how to build and strengthen their online and offline networks as well as face their fears in order to succeed in writing and in personal peace - a screenwriter's therapist. More information can be found on her blog, ramblings of a recovered insecureaholic. Follow@jeannevb on Twitter.