In case you haven’t seen, PageCraft has posted many 2015 screenwriting retreats and workshops. The first one is a “Break Your Story” weekend focused on screenplay structure. Personally, structure is the biggest stumbling block for me so I’m always thrilled to have input in getting a solid story outline together. I highly recommend this retreat weekend in Malibu (Jan 30, 31, Feb 1) lead by UCLA instructor Nicholas Griffin (Matchstick Men) and featuring guest speaker Neil Landau (Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, The Screenwriter’s Roadmap). Enrollment closes on the 15th of January so don’t wait too long. Having a solid start to a new story is a great way to begin a new year!
Got a meeting coming up? There is a “Pitch Your Story” workshop in February led by Nerdist Writers Panel: Comics Edition podcast host Heath Corson (Justice League: War, Batman: Assault on Arkham) geared toward helping you craft a pitch that will get your story sold the next time you get into a room.
Then of course there are the big ones: the retreats in Italy. This is why we do this. Time to write. Away from real life. I always mean to get so much done all the time but it never really happens until I get to Orvieto every summer. One year, I was so on that I finished a draft of a novel and outlined and wrote a 1-hour drama pilot there. This is the best gift you can give yourself as a writer. There is the two-week workshop in the hill town of Orvieto led by Heath Corson, or a less structured one-week writers residency in a country villa led by Nanou Matteson (Sparklight Films). Do this for yourself and your pages.