NC Literary Hall of Fame



RALEIGH—Do you have an idea that you think would make a terrific movie? Have you read a book recently—or written one—that you think would translate well to the silver screen?

While a successful film script shares certain characteristics with other successful forms of writing, screenwriting is its own beast entirely, one worthy of deep exploration and consideration before you sit down to write that first line of dialogue.

On Wednesday, January 16, 2019, at 7:00 pm, screenwriter, playwright, and documentarian Ellen Shepard will lead the online class "Screenwriting: It's Not Like Writing a Novel."

Registration is now closed.

This course is capped at forty (40) registrants, first-come, first-served. There is a $30 fee to register.

Screenwriting is a lean craft, meaning that everything is very succinct: scenes, dialogue, action, and description. We’ll look at the Academy Award Winning screenplay Manchester by the Sea, written by Kenneth Lonergan, as he builds his plot and characters brick-by-brick (scene by scene).

Patricipants will be asked to read the script and come to class ready to discuss it. Manchester by the Sea can be read for free, here.

Ellen Shepard is a critiquer for the North Carolina Writers' Network, focusing on screenwriting and playwriting. She was Assistant Professor of Film Production at Saint Augustine's University in Raleigh, where she developed their BA degree in Film Production and taught classes in Screenwriting, Playwriting, and Documentary Filmmaking. Shepard is also a produced playwright and screenwriter and a member of the WGA. Ellen is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose last film Sitting at God's Table has had numerous screenings across the South, including the NC Museum of History as part of their Billy Graham Exhibit. It also was an Official Selection at the Indigo Moon Film Festival.

"Screenwriting: It's Not Like Writing a Novel" is the North Carolina Writers' Network's second offering in their 2018-2019 Winter Series of online classes.

"This program is a great way for writers from all over North Carolina to connect without having the hassle of driving somewhere and finding parking," said NCWN communications director Charles Fiore. "Online classes offer top-shelf instruction for a fraction of the cost, and the software itself is very intuitive and easy to use."

The online class "Screenwriting: It's Not Like Writing a Novel" is available to anyone with an internet connection, or who even owns just a telephone. Instructions for accessing the online class on Wednesday, January 16, will be sent to registrants no less than twenty-four hours prior to the start of class.

The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit


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