Inspired By TV Writers and Those in Waiting
A community of writers, that’s what we are! A group of individuals with a story to tell and a skill set in which to convey said tale. However much time we may invest in sitting alone with our laptops/tablets/notebooks, interacting with fellow writers is just as important. I’m a firm believer in joining a writers’ group, as doing so has helped me develop my craft and strengthen my support system. Join a group in your area, or start your own! To step even further outside of your comfort zone, I recommend attending a writers’ conference. I recently attended my second one this year and came away rejuvenated. I wrote about my experience at the 2015 Philadelphia Writers’ Conference in June, so now it’s time to recap Story Expo!
With a plethora of course topics from which to choose, I decided to focus on the TV writing ones. After all, Los Angeles is the place to be for dramatic writing, so it made perfect sense to take advantage of the opportunity. As I move forward toward my TV writing goals, I now have more tools in my kit and resources at my fingertips.
I gained insight, developed a renewed appreciation for the craft, and learned more about the business end of the television industry. Each of the knowledgeable speakers provided the TV-writers-in-waiting with detailed information, helpful advice, and a solid base on which to stand as we navigate our preferred career path.
Here are just some of the speakers/panelists who took time out of their busy schedule to share their expertise with Story Expo attendees!
- LINDA SEGER: The Art of Adaptation
- JENNIFER VAN SIJLL: Cinematic Storytelling
- DANIEL P. CALVISI: The 1-Hour TV Drama Beat Sheet
- JENNIFER GRISANTI: How To Write A TV Pilot That Sells
- SHAWN TOLLESON: The 5 Keys to Success in Hollywood
- TROY DEVOLLD: 12 Story Tips for Writers
In addition to the above speakers and conference presentations, Story Expo offered two panel discussions where attendees got to listen to TV writers and producers. On Day 2 of the conference, we were treated to a panel that included writers/producers Karen Maser, Jim Clemente, and Breen Frazier from the CBS drama series Criminal Minds along with Chris Barbour from Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders. The following day, the TV Creators & Writers panel (Presented by Final Draft, Inc.) gave us with the chance to hear from four uniquely gifted writers in the television industry: Aaron Korsh (SUITS), Dave Andron (JUSTIFIED), Jonathan Groff (BLACK-ISH), and Philip Iscove (SLEEPY HOLLOW).
The courses and speakers reinvigorated my desire to keep writing, but the greatest source of inspiration came from the other writers I met this weekend. While I could have very easily been intimidated by so many others who are pursuing the same goals as I am, I found comfort in our shared interest. Yes, the TV writing industry is a competitive field. Yes, writing a TV pilot script, getting it in the hands of managers or networks, or being hired as a Staff Writer does not come easily or quickly. As I sat in the room with other TV-writers-in-training, I wished them well but also recognized that my story is just as valuable and important as theirs. The success of another in the room won’t impede my journey. If anything, it will inspire me to keep moving forward!