The Scriptwriting Course
Price: NZ$ 1095 / £ 695 / R 6495
Learn how to write a script for stage, screen or radio
All the basics of scriptwriting in one course
The Scriptwriting Course is for anyone who just knows they’re born to tell stories. They also want to see their work produced on screen or on stage.
Whether you’re a novice wanting to learn more or an experienced writer in another genre keen on diversifying, this course guides you through the essential building blocks of scriptwriting, from creating characters and dialogue to understanding structure.
From first idea to final draft, this course will guide you to write a compelling script.
The Scriptwriting Course Gives You...
Unleash your Potential as a Scriptwriter
A scriptwriter’s how-to guide
The Scriptwriting Course breaks down the essentials of crafting a script into ten modules. We look at the different elements of scriptwriting in isolation before bringing them all together to create a short script that engages, entertains and is written in your own unique voice.
Created by a writer with experience in all genres, the course highlights what makes scriptwriting unlike any other form of writing.
Natural dialogue, subtext, characters that come to life, how to write visually: it’s all covered here in these ten targeted modules.
‘A great experience. Karen was knowledgeable and incredibly supportive. Fantastic course. Well worth the money!’
Kerryn Campion, The Scriptwriting Course
Start your course at any time – applications open all year round.
Price includes GST/VAT
Other currencies will be converted at time of invoice
NUMBER OF ASSIGNMENTS
The assignments vary in length.
NUMBER OF MODULES
These modules include around 200 pages of course notes.
Work at your own pace – up to a maximum of 12 months.
START DATE: ANYTIME
Working with an individual tutor means you can start the course at any time.
Basic writing skills are essential. Computer skills, e-mail and Internet access required. No previous tertiary qualification required.
Our Graduate Students' Successes
We are proud of our graduates who have achieved success. Here are a few among dozens of our creative writing success stories.
Tutors for this course
Karen has been on our staff for almost a decade. Over the years, she has established herself as a tremendously popular and respected mentor for emerging scriptwriters. She studied drama and linguistics at UCT and obtained her Honours in The Art of Writing from UWC.
Karen has won numerous awards and nominations for her co-writing of TV series, including two Emmy nominations for Best TV Comedy. Currently, she is the head writer for Both Worlds Productions, overseeing ZANews: Puppet Nation (winner of 22 South African Film and Television Awards and two Writer’s Guild of South Africa Awards for Best TV Comedy), as well as Point of Order (SAFTA winner for Best Game Show in 2017), Comedy Central News and Parlement Parlement.
Before joining Both Worlds Productions, Karen had extensive experience writing and producing in both theatre and television. Her plays include the multi-award winning Everybody Else (is f*cking perfect) (Best Comedy 2005), Kiss Kiss, I’ll Have What She’s Having and Laying Blame, as well as Vaslav, which was nominated for three Fleur du Cap Awards. She served as head writer for 90 Plein Street, as well as writing for shows like Thabang Thabong, Vaya Mzansi and Moferefere Lenyalong. She is in demand as a script consultant and advisor, working with local and international production companies and channels. Today she serves on the board of Women Playwrights International and was the president of the International Centre for Women Playwrights for six years.
Her achievements aren’t confined to television and theatre. Her adaptation of Thomas Rapakgadi’s The Purse is Mine aired on Bush Radio. SAfm has featured her excellent series Office Hours, co-written with Nkuli Sibeko, as well as the radio version of Sky Too Big. Her teen novels, Jacques Attack, co-authored with Nkuli Sibeko, and Flipside, co-authored with Eeshaam September, were released by New Africa Books. She also has a children’s story published in the anthology Metz and Bop and Other Stories.
Karen tutors the Scriptwriting Course and the Advanced Scriptwriting Course. When she isn’t busy, she indulges her deep obsession with reality television, Good Omens, chaos theory and Nutella.
Paul Fischer is a screenwriter whose work has been distributed and won awards across the world. He is the writer of the feature film THE BODY, which was produced by Blumhouse for Hulu and Sony International. The film was based on the short film of the same name, which Paul wrote and produced in 2012, winning over a dozen festival awards internationally, including the prestigious Méliès d’Or for Best European Genre Short Film of its year. He has since worked as a consulting producer and script consultant on several more horror films for Blumhouse/Hulu.
Paul recently sold a mini-series about the lives of Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh. His first book, A Kim Jong-Il Production, is a non-fiction account of the kidnapping of two filmmakers to South Korea in the 1970s. It was nominated for a Crime Writers’ Association Award and selected as one of the Best Books of 2015 by NPR and Library Journal. He is currently adapting A Kim Jong-Il Production for a US production company. (Paul’s second book, also narrative non-fiction, will be published by Faber & Faber in 2021.)
Paul has also produced several award-winning documentaries and short films. He has written articles and op-eds for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Independent, Guardian, and Shortlist amongst others. His essays on film have been published by Bright Wall / Dark Room and SyFyWire. A graduate of Boston University and the New York Film Academy, his work has in the past been the recipient of a Society of Authors Foundation grant and a Channel 4 FourDocs completion funding grant, and has been shortlisted for the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum. In 2015 he was selected as a participant in the prestigious Guiding Lights training program and mentored by Oscar-nominated producer Alison Owen.
What’s in a script?
- Understanding the role of the scriptwriter in film, theatre and radio
- Exercise: Write a review of a film or a play, focusing on how the script succeeds or fails.
Plot and Structure
- The dos and don’ts, or the rules and how to break them
- Exercise: Write an anecdote from real life. Then rewrite it with a different structure and see how that changes the story.
- How to create characters, flesh them out, and let them have their way
- Exercise: Create four well-developed characters that grow out of the story structure you created.
- Text and subtext
- The difference between written and spoken text
- Exercise: Analyse the sample scripts. Take two of your characters and write a dialogue between them.
- Scripts as performance material
- Exercise: Using your other two characters, write a scene with little or no dialogue, focusing on action.
Beginnings and Endings
- Where to start and how to end
- Exercise: Analyse the examples. Then write two possible beginnings and two possible endings to your story.
The Technical Stuff
- Understanding the strengths and limitations of different mediums
- Exercise: Write a detailed explanation of which medium: Screen (film or TV), Stage, or audio (radio, digital or podcasts)) is best for your script and why.
Knowing Your Market
- Discussion of the local scene
- Exercise: Write a treatment for your script, including characters, a scene breakdown and sample scenes.
Cutting and Editing
- Being brutal and ‘taking it out’ while maintaining the truth
- Exercise: Take a sample scene and cut it down to the minimum. Look at the order of your scene. See if you can change things around and what effect that would have.
- Putting it all together
- Exercise: Write a final script review, taking note of what works and what doesn’t.
- Exercise: Complete your short script.
This course offers an advanced course option
What Our Students Say
I loved every moment of it. The knowledge I gained fills me with great excitement for the future. Karen was such a blessing!! Knowing that there is someone on the other side with so much experience gives you so much confidence in approaching the assignments. The feedback I received raised my understanding of the whole scriptwriting process. I would however remind other students that it is not spoon-feeding. The information is very good, however you need to get out there and work it. Overall, it was a very positive experience. The Writers’ College delivers a high quality experience to the open student.
I had a specific objective in mind when I did this course and the college helped me achieve this. Along the way I gained new skills and ideas. The exercises and assignments helped me to think outside the square and the feedback was extremely helpful and steered me in the direction I needed to go, without being stressful. My tutor was always supportive and always replied even to the smallest questions or queries. Overall a good experience.
I would describe the course as informative and interesting and very useful. It was definitely worth it; you learn all the necessary tools for the trade you’re interested in.
The Writers’ College provides an informative and quality course. Karen is an excellent tutor who is swift with her responses and provides objective, constructive criticism that helps steer you in the right direction. Karen offers a great course. Her notes are comprehensive and contain information about additional reading that allows one to explore the field in more depth. She has a professionally trained eye that points out where your script fails and succeeds. She is great tutor who is willing to be honest and answer any questions you have along the way. The Writers’ College is a professional college that leads the field in writing courses. I would recommend writers from any field to invest in what they have to offer, in particular the practical application of what you learn.
I really enjoyed the course. It was a personal journey for me. My tutor was excellent, her feedback extremely objective and well-balanced. I will certainly recommend your college to other aspiring writers as well. I have already started the novel course.
It was an enjoyable experience. I learnt enough to kick start my career in Scriptwriting. My tutor was very helpful and always willing to answer questions I had for her. A great way to learn without having to step inside a classroom.
Get These Additional Benefits
Risk-Free 100% Money-Back Guarantee
We are so confident that you will love your course that if you’re not 100% satisfied with the quality of our training, simply ask for a refund within 30 days.
Complete the Application Form to Enrol on the Scriptwriting Course
You will receive an approval email and invoice within one working day.
Questions? We've Got Answers
Detailed course notes covering the content of each module will be emailed to you.
At the end of each module, you will be required to complete one or two writing exercises. In total, the course includes ten short writing assignments, all of which count towards your final result.
Once a writing assignment has been completed and emailed to your tutor, you will receive an assessment and feedback, and the module will be considered complete.
Absolutely. You have direct communication with your tutor for the duration of the course. The more questions you ask, the more you will get out of the course.
You will get lifetime access to the course. You will also benefit from future updates and improvements to the course!
For the majority of our courses, only your tutor will see your work. It will remain completely private unless you get it published, a decision that is yours to make.
You will receive a Writers College Certificate upon successful completion of the course, provided you meet the following conditions:
- You must have completed all ten assignments.
- The course must have been completed within 12 months of registration.
- A minimum average of 50% for the course must be achieved.
- Basic writing skills are essential.
- Computer skills as well as email and Internet access are required.
- Use of Microsoft Word and the Track Changes function.
- No previous tertiary qualification required.
Because you will work with an individual tutor, you can start your course as soon as your application has been approved. There are no specific start dates as would be the case with a traditional college.
An application is usually approved within one working day. Once we receive proof of payment, your can start your course.
You could be starting your course today!
- Reading Time: 10 hours
- Writing Time: 30–40 hours
- Research Time: 2–5 hours
Once your application has been approved, you will receive notification of approval as well as an invoice via email. As soon as we receive proof of payment, your first module will be sent to you, as well as your tutor’s email address and your login details. Your tutor will also be in touch to welcome you.
Any work created on our courses is owned by you. We will never make a claim to anything you produce. We follow the rule that copyright subsists with the creator (you).