Woods Hole — long cherished as an epicenter of marine science — is growing in it’s reputation as a place for artists to gather as well. This year, for the fourth time, the Woods Hole Inn and Woods Hole Film Festival unite with a weekend of professional development writers with exploration in screenwriting and a special focus on television, being held February 21-23 in Woods Hole.
Drama writer P.K. Simonds (Reign, Ghost Whisperer, Party of Five) joins comedy writer Ian Maxtone-Graham (Simpsons, Saturday Night Live) for two days of exploration in screenwriting. Filled with helpful ideas about how to break in and what to do when the door opens a crack, veterans Simonds and Maxtone-Graham will regale the crowd with stories from the trenches. How does an episode of TV get plotted, what is the “writers room,” what kind of spec script should you write to get there? Professional development for writers rarely takes place in such a beautiful spot, with great leaders and an intimate setting like this one.
The weekend kicks off with a wine and cheese reception Friday night at the Woods Hole Inn. After breakfast at the inn the next morning, the TV writers gather for professional development writers workshops — with two sessions that day led by Simonds and Maxtone-Graham. Most of the aspiring TV writers choose to attend “Dinner and a Movie” together on Saturday night at the Captain Kidd (additional fees for this element). On Sunday, the writers gather once more for a morning session to wrap it all up.
The TV Writers Retreat Fee is $299 per person and applications are being accepted at the Woods Hole Film Festival website (biographical info and a writing sample is required). The Woods Hole Inn is offering a deeply discounted two night package on this professional development writers retreat where $369 queen and $399 standard king includes the Retreat Fee AND two nights at the Inn.
Comments from previous TV Writer Guests: “I loved that after years of looking into the TV screen, I was brought into the inside and got a chance to see what it is to look out at the audience.”
“I am walking away with a new view on television writing, new contacts, new energy. I am so thankful for that.”
Kicking off with a wine and cheese reception at the Woods Hole Inn on Friday night, writers will meet for two sessions on Saturday (2/23) plus a wrap up session on Sunday morning (2/24) making for a packed and fun-filled weekend of learning and excitement.
A vivid introduction to the inner workings of dramatic network television, this two-day Symposium will dissect all the pieces of success in hour-long drama writing.
Meet TV drama veteran P.K. Simonds (executive producer of “Ghost Whisperer” and “Party of Five”) who will lead your journey. Film writing gets more attention in teaching programs and in the media, but the majority of jobs and income are derived writing for network and cable TV. Simonds has spent over 25 years in the network TV trenches and he will share his experience with you!
The Symposium will go from macro to micro, beginning with an overview of the industry, exploring the differing roles of the writer in TV versus ﬁlm, then deconstructing the process of writing and producing a single TV episode. Says Simonds, “I want to break the business down and make it more understandable. How does a writers room work? How are stories developed and seasons planned? Who is responsible for a single script? What is the balance of power between the players? Is it possible to do your job in Hollywood without selling your soul?”
To illustrate the creative process in action, participants will be invited to share their stories with the group. Simonds will lead a story discussion, the same way it happens in professional writers rooms, to try to help writers develop their ideas. We’ll conclude by discussing important first steps for writers to take to break into the industry. Writers will network, share ideas and enjoy the stark beauty of Cape Cod in winter.
Applications are currently being accepted via the Woods Hole Film Festival website and include submitting a writing sample. Fee to attend is $150 per writer. Accepted attendees will be offered a discounted lodging package at the Woods Hole Inn in Woods Hole. Book the Woods Hole Inn by calling (508) 495-0248, based on availability.