The Secret to Writing is Writing

At Writers Boot Camp you learn fundamentals while you write your script. Our unique emphasis on writing results gives you the experience of quickly developing your own concept and story. Whether you’re writing your first script or already working on your next paid writing job, we’ll help you learn to write smarter and faster. By using unique tools you’ll learn how to brainstorm more effectively, reduce wasteful outlining and prevent premature editing. With our planning and evaluation strategies you’ll also become a confident authority of your own work.

Writing a Screenplay Can Change Your Life

Imagine the personal breakthrough of transforming your creative dream into a reality. Imagine seeing your script become a motion picture or landing you a TV staff position. Since 1989, Writers Boot Camp has taught thousands of men and women the art, craft and profession of screenwriting, changing some lives forever and helping to launch hundreds of new careers at the highest level of the entertainment industry.

Founder Jeffrey Gordon

Photo by Milana Vayntrub

basic trainingBasic Training:
First Draft Coursework

Basic Training will help you turn a single-sentence idea into a first draft, feature film, television script or web series in five short weeks (one class per week plus creative exercises outside of class).

Our first-draft coursework empowers writers of all backgrounds--actors, filmmakers, producers, executives, attorneys, bloggers, to write quickly and to learn tools for collaboration. Basic Training is taught in the context of our main mission of full development yet is not a prerequisite for Professional Membership. It’s perfect for anyone starting out…

basic trainingProfessional Membership:
Full Development & Rewriting Coursework

Professional Membership gets you through your first drafts quickly and also puts you on pace to complete a new script every six months.

Our full-development coursework teaches you how to write and rewrite as many as 10 drafts of your script to learn the entire professional screenwriting process, from concept all the way through the many phases of rewriting.

In less time than you would try to perfect just one project on your own, Professional Membership takes you through 48 sessions of coursework and potentially four scripts, as well as a complete education alongside ongoing benefits after your coursework, including free script evaluation for your future career.

Sessions are every other week, divided into four Project Cycles of six months each, including multiple script deadlines, yet still working 10 hours per week to fit comfortably into your lifestyle and balance writing with your day job.

Philosophy

Main Character Misbehavior

Misbehavior is a term used to get close to the essence of what makes movie and TV characters accessible. A descendant and enhancement of the industry term character arc--character change over the course of a story--misbehavior is a tool for activating characters and connecting action to the ground wire of thematic resonance.

We refer to Misbehavior applied to the Main Character, who represents the spine of the story, as Building Block Misbehavior because it operates as the cornerstone from which all thematic material is sourced. While a very unique, proprietary Writers Boot Camp invention and term, misbehavior will not only activate your characters but also help you fully develop them in relation to the context of the story.

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Project Conceits

Writers Boot Camp uses the term "conceit" to describe a specific approach to the content of your movie, television show or web series that distinguishes it from others, especially in the case of material or subject matter that may be similar. More advanced than a component or story decision, a conceit addresses and describes the audience experience of your story. It's a writing tool and also a tool for collaboration with the team of developers and filmmakers.

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The Non Linear Approach

One of the evolving ideas here is a departure from the old view of writing. Screenwriting is challenging because, of course, we're in a visual medium. We have to show rather than tell. And in making the jump from the ideas that are in your head or in your heart and trying to get that on the page, it's crucial that you realize that you have to translate those ideas to a form that other people--readers, gatekeepers (the assistants to whom the executives delegate your scripts), the crew who are going to have to interpret (and hopefully not interpret too much) and eventually produce that material--can understand.

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29 Distinctions

  • Our alumni work at the highest levels of the industry.
  • Writers Boot Camp employs full-time staff to support you during your coursework, and afterwards as an alumnus and working writer.
  • Though your commitment does not require quitting your day job or investing in school full-time, you need ten hours for writing outside of class, and we recommend that for at least 40 weeks out of the 52-week calendar year to scale the true learning curve and sustain a professional pace.
  • Professional Membership in LA and NY includes 48 sessions over 22 months, four script evaluations and conferences, monthly events and web-accessible streaming, weekly instructor office hours and online support.
  • You have the option of writing three feature scripts or five television series spec scripts, or a variety of either.

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Writers Boot Camp Testimonials

"My Writers Boot Camp script got me an agent, five TV movies, and a feature deal in two years."
Nancey Silvers, Writer-Producer Lifetime's William & Kate

"The only real obstacles to writing (a script) are confidence and procedure--Can I do it? How do I do it? Writers Boot Camp virtually blasts you through both of those doors. I might never have written my first screenplay without it."
Peter Weller, Actor and Director, Naked Lunch, The New Age

"After twelve years of banging my head against the proverbial wall I was ready to chuck the industry entirely and go back to writing books and plays. Writers Boot Camp changed all that."
Steve Kluger, Screenwriter/Novelist, Once Upon a Crime, Last Days of Summer

"Writers Boot Camp gave me support in the crucial beginning stages of my first movie which landed me an overall studio deal."
Schawn Schepps, Screenwriter Encino Man

"Writers Boot Camp is a no-nonsense approach that can work for the novice as well as the expert. If you’ve always wanted a way to organize your ideas, Writers Boot Camp will get your attention."
Michael O'Keefe
Oscar-nominated Actor, The Great Santini, Ironweed, and Caddyshack

"Thank you again for such a great class tonight at the SAG Foundation. To date, I haven't enjoyed a class this much. You didn't waste a single word in what you said and had appropriate humor to keep everyone engaged."
Brigid O’Connell
Professional Member, actor

"I'm going to take advantage of you now and say that first, I am BLOWN AWAY by you and the course so far. I've not taken any writing courses before, and part of me is intimidated, while the larger part of me is more than intrigued by the depth of the course, as well as the stretching I'm getting to do as a result of it."
Holly Mae
Basic Training alumnus

"I just wanted to thank you so very much again for the invite; I was very inspired... what you guys are doing over there is great and, wow, what a great job of interviewing you did."
Michael Nance
Business Breakfast guest