Susan Kouguell presents international screenwriting, business of screenwriting, and film industry classes, seminars and workshops.
Topics include: The Business of Screenwriting; Writing and Rewriting; Query Letters, Loglines, Synopses, One Sheets, Treatments, and Pitching; The Craft of Screenwriting from Conception to Production; and Producing and Directing Your Own Scripts.
Universities and Educational Institutions include:
Emerson College Screenwriting Certificate Program, Lesley University MFA Program, Boston University Master’s Screenwriting Program, New York University, Hunter College. Brooklyn College, Northern Essex,The New School for Social Research, Temple University, SUNY College at Binghamton, The Reel School, Phillips Exeter and St. Paul’s Academy.
Organizations and Film Festivals include:
Writers and Directors Guilds of America, New York Women in Film and Television, Screenwriters World Conference East, Los Angeles Screenwriting Expo 2 and 3, Independent Feature Project/Independent Feature Film Market, Women Make Movies, New England Women and Film/Video, New England Screenwriters Conference, New Hampshire Writers Project, Grub Street Writers, Boston Film/Video Foundation, Cambridge Center, Rhode Island International Film Festival, New Hampshire Film Festival, Independents Day Seminar, Atlantic Film Producers Conference at Prince Edward Island.


Upcoming Online Screenwriters University Classes

Fundamentals of Screenwriting

This four-week class is the perfect introduction to the world of writing a script, from the fundamentals of the story down to the revision process. In this course, you will gain the tools to structure your scenes, your acts, and your plots.
At each step, you will receive comprehensive feedback on assignments targeted to develop the skills needs to thrive as a screenwriting.

The lessons in this course include video instruction.

Next sessions:

January 11 – February 8
February 8 – March 8
March 8 – April 5

Writing the Series Bible: Developing Your TV Series

A strong series bible is a crucial sales tool for your series. This workshop will help you get your TV series ready for an executive by developing your series premise, honing your pilot, and writing your series bible.

What You’ll Learn:

  • The top tools for selling a TV series.

  • What a TV series needs before it can get off the ground.

  • How to write a series bible.

  • The key elements of a pilot that can launch a series.

  • What a first season needs.

Who Should Take This Course:

  • Writers developing a TV show.

  • Writers looking for tools to generate ideas for new episodes.

  • Writers who want to understand how to develop series long story arcs.

  • Writers wanting to put together a sales kit for their TV series.

    Next session:

    January 4 – February 1
    February 1 – March 1
    March 1- March 29

Advanced Film Rewriting Workshop at Screenwriters University

This ten-week workshop is broken up into five sessions that each focus on individual elements of the rewriting process. Each session, you will submit a section of your screenplay for review. Each session will also have focused lectures that help you on each step of your revision process. The lectures are there for support, but the focus of this workshop will be on your screenplay. Each session, you will submit to your instructor for private review, and also you can submit to the other workshop participants for peer review.

Next sessions:

December 28-March 8
February 1 – April 12

Seven Weeks to Your TV Spec Script

In this workshop, writers will learn all the key elements to a successful “episodic spec,” and will receive ongoing instructor guidance in building their own—from basic idea through finished outline. It begins with knowing how to choose the right kind of show to spec, then understanding which elements to study, in order to really grasp how a typical episode functions well enough to write one. Students will then learn the elements of great story ideas for a spec, and be given a chance to pitch and re-pitch multiple ideas for their episode, before finally settling on one to write. At that point, they will begin “breaking story” (figuring out the key “beats” of each “act”) over several weeks, getting instructor feedback along the way. Finally, they will be guided in crafting a scene-by-scene outline, from which they could then go on to write the actual script.

Next session:

February 15 – April 5

Writing the Documentary Film at Screenwriters University

Documentary films can question an event, profile a person, and uncover a secret. They can expose truths and tell the truth about how lives are lived throughout the world. They can influence and inspire and provoke. A collaborative medium, documentary writing requires research and an understanding of the audience’s expectations, and how the writer can keep an open mind when challenged by the unforeseen, including the exposing of surprising material and interview subjects’ unexpected responses. This course will examine and offer specific strategies for writing and planning a documentary.

Next Sessions:

January 25 – February 22
March 1 – March 29

Writing the Animated Feature Film at Screenwriters University

Have you ever had a great idea for an animated movie but had no idea what to do with it? In this course you will learn how to structure and write a three-act film with a specific emphasis on animation. Animation screenwriting, like all other disciplines of writing, has its own rules, rhythms, and form.
In this course, you will learn key screenwriting and animation writing concepts that will allow you to take your idea and turn it into a working outline for a movie that you will then be able to write from. Essentially, you will learn how movies ‘work,’ and when and where things need to occur in your story to keep an audience engaged. By the end of the course, you will have a thoroughly reviewed ten-page treatment of your film.

Next Session:  TBA

World Building: Crafting Screenplays Readers Can Step Into at Screenwriters University

This course will offer specific tips for creating and implementing advice on building the world of your screenplay. Research advice and tips, strengthening visual storytelling in action paragraphs, developing and implementing settings, examining character and plot conflict as it relates to your settings, and genre consistency, will also be covered in this class. Original and unique worlds will set your script apart from the other screenplays, vying for attention from film executives; this course will also discuss understanding film industry folks’ expectations without compromising your vision and creativity.
Next session: TBA

Writing the Family Feature Film at Screenwriters University

What exactly a “family film” is can be hard to define—they can be humorous or deadly serious. They can be total fantasy or a (sometimes) painful reality. This workshop will guide you through the structural and thematic elements common among the most successful family films of all time. If you aren’t considering writing for this target market, you are ignoring a prosperous genre that attracts big names and big budgets. Besides all that,these stories spotlight relationships, high-stakes conflicts, and a quest: all exciting goals to look through and to try to achieve for any screenplay. By the end of this workshop, you will have a complete treatment for your feature length family film that has been vetted by a professional screenwriter, and also all the tools you need to see your project to the end.

Next session: TBA