Online Workshops

Writing TV Treatments Online Workshop

Course Duration: 8 weeks recommended for maximum benefit
Start Date: On demand
Tutor(s): Elizabeth Hutcheson*
Course Fee: €150 + VAT

Do you regularly spot news items and think someone should make a TV series out of it? Do your fingers itch to write storylines for programmes you love? Or does the opposite happen? Are you a writer struggling to find ideas you can work with? If so, then this is the course for you.

For although television a visual medium, it’s still based on the written word and all programmes start out with a single idea first spelt out on paper. But because writers rarely make programmes, they must sell their ideas to the people that do.

One way is to write a script, send it off, and hope for the best. Another is to write a Treatment – essentially a written pitch summarising an idea into a few pages – and then write a dynamite script to complete the submission package. Not only do Treatments aid writers tease out and focus their ideas, they are powerful selling tools for communicating ideas to other people.

In this introductory online course, participants will learn where the potential openings are in television and what writers must do in order to break in. By the end, participants who take advantage of all assignments will have created a polished Treatment showcasing their own idea for a series, complete with logline, synopsis, outlines for episodes and a query letter designed to grab the attention of programme makers.

But more than this, participants will learn the process for finding, developing and testing out ideas, from start to finish, that can replicated over and over again, with a view to selling them.

Other techniques such as characterisation and editing for impact will also be covered. A step-by-step research guide along with a comprehensive reading list will also be given.

Each module contains an email lecture, visual aids, links to further study and an assignment to be submitted for constructive review and feedback.

Writing under the name of ‘Caren Kennedy’, Elizabeth is the creator of a scripted television comedy drama series optioned by JJ Abrams (Star Wars) and Warner Brothers TV (2007 – 2014) and co-author of Fake Alibis (BenBella Books, 2009). In 2015, she won a place on the RED ROCK Writers Academy (funded by Screen Training Ireland and the BAI) where she underwent intensive training on writing for television with John Yorke, former head of Channel Four Drama. This included completing a shadow / trial script and she began writing for TV3’s RED ROCK drama series in 2016 (Season 3, 2017).

Elizabeth is also book editor with Cyberscribe.ie, online writing tutor with The Inkwell Group, and active member of Arts Council Ireland sponsored ‘Writers in Prisons’ scheme. She is currently working on completing her first screenplay, Tough Love, an extract of which came runner-up in the Linen Press 2015 ‘New Beginnings’ Competition for its: multiple layers, depth, political backdrop, vibrant and rich dialogue. Other writing credits include local, national, and international publications.

She is a full member of Writers Guild of Ireland and is represented in the US by Vamnation Entertainment.

For more information visit: www.carenkennedywrites.com

“This course is incredibly informative and Caren is such a treat. The one-on-one help with my work, the modules, the research into the market, the links, the advice … all of this helped me really understand the process of TV writing.

I would DEFINITELY recommend this course to anyone who aspires to get into the tough world of television.” Anne O’Donnell, who writes under the name Jax Miller

I recently started Caren Kennedy’s  ‘Writing TV Treatments’ course and I’m finding it instructive, informative and very interesting.  Each module, delivered in easy-to-learn units, is taking my TV show idea, fleshing it out, pumping it up and transforming it into a robust pitch.  I would highly recommend this course to anyone wishing to write for TV.Maura Byrne

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Course Content in Detail

Each module contains an email lecture, visual aids, links to further study and an assignment to be submitted for constructive review and feedback.

Module 1: The Basics
  1. Course Overview
  2. Study Tips
  3. Understanding Television
  4. Analysing Programmes
  5. Strategies for Success
  6. Opportunities for Writers
  7. Visualisation & Exposition
  8. The Synopsis
  9. Assignment: Summarising Stories & Creating New Ones
Module 2: Getting  Started
  1. How to Break In
  2. Drama Series
  3. Comedy Drama Series
  4. Situation Comedy
  5. Soap Opera
  6. What to Write About
  7. Television is Character
  8. Assignment:  Sourcing Ideas & Drafting Outlines
Module 3: Making Ideas Real
  1. The Big Idea
  2. The Believability Factor
  3. Bringing Characters to Life
  4. 13 Hot Tips for Characterisation
  5. Character Mix & Numbers
  6. The Hook
  7. Building Suspense
  8. Location and Setting
  9. Assignment: Series Synopsis & Character Profiles
Module 4: The Full Treatment
  1. Loglines
  2. Episode Postcard Tests and Outlines
  3. Presentation - Preparing & Sending Your Pitch
  4. What Happens Next?
  5. Why Writers Fail
  6. Step-by-Step Research Guide
  7. Writing Courses and Competitions
  8. Recommended Further Reading
  9. Assignment:  The Treatment
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