Events & Workshops

Ongoing Novel Writing Workshop with Lisa Doctor

If you are thinking of writing a novel, or reworking a draft of a novel, please consider participating in our ongoing Novel Writing Workshop with Lisa Doctor.

The workshop takes place on Thursday afternoons with two sessions available, the first from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. and the second from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Seating is limited to 6 writers. To be considered, please send a sample of your writing to admin@tvwriters.org. and include your name, email address, and telephone number. You will be placed on a standby list and as other writers complete their work, you will be contacted to check on your interest and availability. You can apply at any time.

This program is offered at no charge to beneficiaries of the Fund for the Future.

Deepening Characters Workshop with Lisa Doctor

Deepening Characters – Sunday, March 21, 2015 at 1:00 p.m.

The characters we create can and will evolve from caricatures into real people if we allow them to speak in their own voices without interference. But how do our characters turn into dynamic beings? How do they find their own truths? Through a series of writing exercises and discussions, we will create the profile of a character and then allow him or her to answer challenging questions designed to reveal hidden truths. Each prompt is chosen specifically for the character; no two characters receive the same questions. As the workshop progresses, these characters will open up about that which haunts and thrills them. They will explore their personal histories, their concerns about aging, their longings, disappointments, and uncertainties. They will speak freely about old wounds and their compassion for others. They will tell us what used to be important to them but no longer is. By the end of the workshop, the character each writer has created will begin to emerge with an authentic voice and a distinct identity. The method used is particularly effective for those wishing to begin or are in the midst of writing a novel, memoir, short story, screenplay, television movie or stage play, where a richly drawn character takes center-stage. This workshop is designed for experienced writers.

Seating is limited, so please apply ASAP by emailing to admin@tvwriters.org. with “Deepening Characters” in the subject line and include your name, email address, and telephone number. Deadline to apply to the workshop “Deepening Characters” on Monday, March 16th.

These programs are offered at no charge to beneficiaries of the Fund for the Future.

Novel Writing I: Writing the First Novel

ENGLISH X 462.71  3.00 units

That novel is inside you waiting to emerge, but knowing how and where to start can be daunting. This course provides you with weekly assignments, group interaction, and instructor feedback to help you explore various methods of writing your first novel while learning the key craft points of plot, structure, point-of-view, sense of place, and voice. The goal is to complete the first chapter of your novel by establishing an intimacy with your characters as you artfully shape their journey, and to develop an overall concept to guide you through your story. Required for students considering the long-fiction sequence.

Prerequisite: X 403A Introduction to Fiction Writing or equivalent, or consent of instructor.

Enrollment limited to 15 students. Internet access required to retrieve course materials.

UCLA: 2319 School of Public Affairs Bldg.
Thursday, 7-10pm,
January 22 – March 26

10 meetings total

No refund after Jan 26.

Course Syllabus

Featured Speaker at Story Expo

September 5-7, 2014 

We are pleased to welcome the famed UCLA Extension Writers’ Program faculty to Story Expo this year!

These seasoned Hollywood veterans will be offering two amazing panel discussions – The TV Pilot: Your Must Have Calling Card and Emotional Connection In Your Screenplay.

Whether you’re a new or seasoned TV writer, you need at least one original pilot in your portfolio that shows your voice, your passion and brand of humor, and your sensibility. A panel of widely-produced one-hour drama and sitcom writers lays out how you can tap into your own “TV taste” to develop a Big Idea that’s a solid franchise capable of generating 80 to 100 episodes; create fresh, original characters; and pitch your show to networks and studios with style.

Writers often say what distinguishes a great screenplay is a powerful, meaningful story that moves us, and characters that make an emotional connection. Learn how you can create an emotional current that drives your story and plot forward, create scenes and characters that make the audience care, and push your writing to the next level.

More Info

UCLA Writers Program

Novel Writing I: Writing The First Novel
January 23, 2014 – March 27, 2014.
Novel Writing I: Writing the First Novel

That novel is inside you waiting to emerge, but knowing how and where to start can be daunting. This course provides you with weekly assignments, group interaction, and instructor feedback to help you explore various methods of writing your first novel while learning the key craft points of plot, structure, point-of-view, sense of place, and voice. The goal is to complete the first chapter of your novel by establishing an intimacy with your characters as you artfully shape their journey, and to develop an overall concept to guide you through your story. Required for students considering the long-fiction sequence.

UCLA Writers Program

Novel Writing II: The First Fifty Pages
April 2, 2014 – June 11, 2014
Novel Writing II: The First 50 Pages

This workshop helps you develop your long-form fiction project from the idea stage to the writing/planning stage. With an emphasis on finding your book through exploring voice, viewpoint, characterization, and different approaches to structure, course assignments include writing scenes using characters and situations from the projected novel and discussion of your in-progress work. Mini-lectures on the art of the novel, intuitive creative process, and conventional vs. non-conventional approaches to novel structure also are covered. Your goal is to complete 50 well-crafted pages of a novel.

Novel Writing I: Writing the First Novel

Reg. #Z2245W Location: UCLA Start Date 7/1/2013 Qtr/Yr SU 13 Fee $635

That novel is inside you waiting to emerge, but knowing how and where to start can be daunting. This course provides you with weekly assignments, group interaction, and instructor feedback to help you explore various methods of writing your first novel while learning the key craft points of plot, structure, point-of-view, sense of place, and voice. The goal is to complete the first chapter of your novel by establishing an intimacy with your characters as you artfully shape their journey, and to develop an overall concept to guide you through your story. Required for students considering the long-fiction sequence.

Prerequisite: X 403A Introduction to Fiction Writing or equivalent, or consent of instructor.

Enrollment limited to 15 students. Internet access required to retrieve course materials.

UCLA: 110 Haines Hall
Monday, 7-10pm,
July 1 – September 9, 2013

10 meetings total

(no mtg 9/2)

No refund after Jul 3.

The Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California

Week of November 18th – 23rd, 2012. Register at www.esalen.org, or (831) 667-3005

The characters we create can and will evolve into real people if we allow them to speak in their own voices without interference. But how do our characters turn into dynamic beings? How do they find their own truths? 

Through a series of writing exercises and discussions, we will create the profile of a character and then allow him or her to answer challenging questions designed to reveal hidden truths. Each prompt will be chosen specifically for the character; no two writers will receive the same exercise. As the course progresses, these emerging people will open up about that which haunts and thrills them. They will explore their own personal histories, their concerns about aging, their longings, disappointments, fears, and uncertainties. We will ask them to speak freely about old wounds and their compassion for others. They will tell us what used to be important to them but no longer is. By the end of the course, the character each writer has created will have begun to emerge into a separate being with an authentic voice and a distinct identity, which will allow the author to have a deeper understanding of the protagonist as the journey of creating story begins.

This workshop is designed for writers of every level, including beginners, who are seeking a group writing experience in a safe and nurturing environment. The method used is particularly effective for those wishing to begin or are in the midst of writing a novel, memoir, or short story where a richly drawn character takes center stage.

Lisa Doctor Instructor Statement: I have always had a deep and abiding respect for writers; it takes enormous courage to become the mirror that reflects truth back to the reader, to enlighten as well as entertain by presenting the story and the people who populate it with absolute honesty. All that truth can seem daunting, if not downright terrifying, but the rewards are great: when our stories are at long last completed and in the hands of others, there’s the delicious knowing that our carefully chosen words have made an impact. We have allowed our readers to see themselves through new eyes, we’ve helped create a shift in their consciousness or perhaps we’ve shaken up their belief system. Our characters have become complex human beings with the ability to inspire and affect others. What can be more satisfying than that?