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  • Makena Onjerika

Introduction to Screenwriting with Nat Smith (Closed)

Updated: Apr 6


Meeting day: Fridays

Time: 5-8pm (Kenyan time)

Start date: To be announced

Online via Zoom

10 sessions over 10 weeks

Cost: US$150 or KES 15000 payable in up to 2 installments via PAYPAL, MPESA, WorldRemit and other


Nat Smith's plays include Vessel, Remind Me Why We're Doing This, and Catapult. They have taught playwriting at Horizon Theatre, Arizona Theater Company, and Ohio University, where they completed a Playwriting MFA. They are the recipient of the Roland Wood Fellowship and the Denis Johnston Playwriting Prize, and currently study creative nonfiction at GrubStreet in Boston, MA.


This course introduces students to the core elements of visual storytelling, and how to translate these elements onto the page. Participants examine technical and artistic elements of screenwriting, including overviews of short film, feature film, and TV writing. We will analyze scripts, scenes, and narrative arcs to understand and apply structure. There will be several short writing assignments, and the course culminates in crafting a 15-page script. Previous background in creative writing is strongly recommended, but screenwriting experience is not required.


This is a very intensive introductory class involving 2-5 hours per week of viewing and writing assignments. It is most suitable for writers who have time and a strong desire to learn.


Each week, you will be required to write a scene or related assignment; view one or more scenes, episodes, or films; and complete assigned reading.The class requires active participation and full preparation each week. Assignments will be reviewed and workshopped in class, followed by discussion of the week’s topic, which will draw on the week’s reading and viewing. Nat will provide all the reading material for the class.


Topics covered:

  1. Visual Storytelling

  2. Screenplay Formatting

  3. Compelling Dialogue

  4. Character, Action, and Image

  5. Structure and Generating Ideas

  6. Understanding Great Films

  7. Pitching Your Story

  8. The TV Pilot

  9. Sustaining Dramatic Tension

  10. Screenwriting Careers


To apply for this class, send a 1000 word sample to makenaonjerika@gmail.com and use the subject line "Introduction to Screenwriting with Nat Smith".


The application deadline for scholarships has passed


Things to Note

  1. You can pay your fee in two installments. The first one must be made before you attend classes and the second within 30 days.

  2. No refund is possible once you attend the first class.

  3. Check that your internet connection can sustain an online class lasting up to 3 hours.



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