Screenwriting 101: The Basics

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Class #17534: Screenwriting 101
Tuition: $150 + $10 registration fee
Mondays 6pm-8pm
4/9-4/30 (four meetings)
Where: University of Washington campus
Max. enrollment: 12. Spaces left: 8

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Looking for a screenwriting class that covers the fundamentals, and gives you an opportunity to write and workshop some actual scenes and short scripts? In this Seattle screenwriting class, open to both beginners and experienced writers, you’ll learn how screenplays are written, learn what writing habits to avoid, do writing both during and outside the class hours, and get helpful feedback on your writings.

In this four week workshop, we’ll learn some things about how screenplays are written, then get some practice in writing them. You’ll have a chance to write “minute movies” (just a page long), short screenplays (a few pages long), and scenes from full length movies. There will also be opportunities (for those who want to) to share your writing with the class and get some feedback.

We’ll cover a number of topics, including:

  1. The STEPS most screenwriters go through when writing a screenplay (what most screenwriters do, in what order)
  2. How to FORMAT your screenplay (including indentation, font size and capitalization) (and common mistakes to avoid)
  3. How to write in the LEAN, FOCUSED style most screenwriters use, and break writing habits that don’t work.
  4. FORM AND STRUCTURE: We’ll talk about about some common story structures, and how using them may bring your story into clearer focus
  5. THE HERO’S JOURNEY, or monolith — what it is, why it matters, and how it to use it as a screenwriter
  6. YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE – How to identify the target audience for the movie you’re writing, and why it matters
  7. TREATMENTS – What they are and how to use them in the screenwriting process
  8. WRITING LOG LINES and TAGLINES (very short descriptions or blurbs for your screenplay) You’ll get some practice writing both.
  9. WRITING SCENES  – We’ll look at what makes a scene, and get some practice in writing some complete short scenes.
  10. WRITING SOME SHORT SCRIPTS – we’ll talk about the elements of scriptwriting in detail, and will write at least two complete short scripts over the next five weeks.
  11. Plus, we’ll talk about beats, scene length, getting an agent, pitching and selling your screenplays, and more.   

By the end of the class, you should have a good working knowledge of how to write a  screenplay, how to approach marketing it, and have some solid writing experience under your belt.

The instructor, an independent Seattle filmmaker, has written over 30 screenplays. His films have played at major international festivals.  He has taught screenwriting classes in Seattle since 2005. Instructor: Nils Osmarscreenwriting....


Thanks for the energy you put into the (screenplay class)… I feel looser and happier and am having more fun writing. – L.D., Seattle

seattle-screenplay-writing-classesThe class was really helpful, especially the exercises in writing scenes and writing a complete (very short!) screenplay. I can’t believe what I came up with and what other people in the class came up with for that exercise. It was a real window into the amazing creativity we all have inside of us. – Jan H., Seattle

I turned some kind of a corner and writing has been easy since the class. Thank you! – Nathan I., Bellevue

Thank you for your explanation of how the pitching process works, and how to find an agent – M.L.,Bellevue

Wow, what can I say Nils, it was really good, thanks for the encouragement and information – Beth G., Kirkland

The advice about editing and rewriting was perfect for what I needed.” – Scott W., Bellevue

I’m happy with the result of class… I feel liberated instead of stuck. I’ve been writing again and am very pleased. – Mike K., Seattle

I took a class from ______ last year and felt kind of discouraged afterwards; I think he was a discouraged screenwriter and passed that along! I feel encouraged since your class, and am excited to get back to my screenplay. – Jan L., Seattle

It was a great (class) for me and I’m totally happy with it. – Kris T., Kent

I took the acting class, let’s make a movie, and the screenwriting class from Nils Osmar.  They were all excellent in a life changing way. – T. R., Bellevue

Hi Nils, your screenplay writing class is great, I would recommend it to everyone. You explain things in a way that is simple but extremely helpful.  I loved the writing exercises and lectures. – Hal C., Seattle


Nils Osmar has made his living in the arts since the 1980s, working as a writer, visual artist and filmmaker.  He has taught writing classes in Seattle, through the UW’s Experimental College and other programs, for over fifteen years, and has taught screenwriting classes and workshops since 2005.  His films have played at major international film festivals.  To visit the instructor’s IMDB (Internet Movie Database professional film credits) page, click here   


Our Seattle screenwriting classes are sponsored by Most of them meet on the University of Washington campus (Seattle branch). They are open to everyone; you don’t have to be a U.W. student to sign up.  Almost all of our students are adults. IIf an enrollee is under 18, please contact us first to make sure the class is a good “fit” for the student.

Sponsored by: and Wonder Productions.