The Craft of Screenwriting with Maria Romanova-Hynes


The Craft of Screenwriting 

Telling a story is a way of capturing, retaining, shaping, and sharing that which is inherently fleeting: our feelings and realizations. We often say that stories constitute our living memory, they can be “passed down” from one generation to the next and from one person to another. They seem to emerge from within us, yet they reach outwards to relate our experience to others: to instruct, seek compassion, and entertain. Stories are inspired by what we perceive to be real, and they shape our cultural reality.

For storytelling to be both affective and effective, the story must be carefully structured. More than any other genre of creative writing, screenwriting makes structure apparent, with the screenplay often called the blueprint of a film. In this ten-week course, you will learn how to create an impactful cinematic experience by writing within the confines of the screenwriting paradigm and using language to conjure up a world of sight and sound.

The course is intended for the beginner screenwriter looking to explore the fundamentals of dramatic writing and acquire the specialist language used in writing for the audio-visual medium of film. To learn the craft of screenwriting, we will focus on character and story, practice writing scenes and sequences, familiarize ourselves with the screenplay format, and discuss the particular challenges of the screenwriting job, including creating lookbooks and treatments and submitting your finished work to film festivals and screenwriting competitions.

If you are interested in taking this class, you probably already love writing and are curious about what differentiates screenwriting as a writing form. Over the course of this class, you will be encouraged to put your skills to the test and work on your own script for a short movie. Our ultimate challenge will be to demystify the process of translating an idea into a finished screenplay, grasp its underlying mechanics, and create a work of your own that you can develop further after finishing this course.

Weekly outline:
Week 1: Introduction to Dramatic Writing
Week 2: The Two Main Building Blocks: Structure and Character
Week 3: Character. Action. Conflict. Story.
Week 4: Screenplay Format and Software
Week 5: Dialogue, not Talk
Week 6: The Scene and the Sequence
Week 7: Building the Screenplay
Week 8: Troubleshooting & Writing Process: Keeping the Audience Engaged
Week 9: After the First Draft is Written: Treatment, Lookbook, Film Festivals, and Feedback
Week 10: Writing and Rewriting: Discussing Your Finished First Draft

Pay the Registration Fee to secure a place on the course.
Pay the Final Fee before the Course begins.

N.B. Don’t pay for the Course until  you have been accepted!


Tutor: Maria Romanova-Hynes

Maria Romanova-Hynes is a writer, filmmaker, and visual artist, whose short films and screenplays have won multiple accolades at the Santa Barbara International Screenplay Awards and the Lonely Wolf International Film Festival, among others. Her latest short script Noa's Place became a Nominee at the 54th Nashville Film Festival. Outside of film, her artistic and scholarly work, mostly focusing on the representation of traumatic absences in film and photography, has been featured in various peer-reviewed publications, including Arts (MDPI). Maria is an alumna of Leiden University (MA Film and Photographic Studies, cum laude) and Trinity College Dublin (MSc Interactive Digital Media, BA English Studies, First Class Honours). In addition, she spent a year at the National University of Singapore, where she studied classical and ritual Asian drama. She is based in the Netherlands and Ireland. For a deeper look into Maria's work, please visit

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