Script Consulting


Need Feedback?

Writing is often a solitary business, but that doesn't mean you have to go it alone. Have a script, book or article that's not working or that could work better?  I can help.  I can also work with you to get your outline or treatment to the point where you can begin writing your manuscript.  While it may cost slightly more than a penny for my thoughts, for a reasonable rate I'll provide feedback to help you get your writing on track.


My Services

Plays and Screenplays
With plays and screenplays, you'll get my handwritten notes in the body of your script (my reactions as I'm reading), as well as a 50-minute (on a full-length work) phone conference (on my dime) about the major issues for you to consider as you work on your material. While I used to do typed summary notes, the phone conference is far more useful, as it's the perfect way to talk through your script, ask me questions and brainstorm solutions. Want industry-style coverage? I can do it, but since your objective here is to hone your script, I find that particular style of feedback less productive. I'm also happy to work with international authors via Skype.

Books and Articles
For books and magazine or other articles (as well as essays), I can do everything from proofing and minor edits to comprehensive editorial work--or something in between. Let me know your situation, and together we can decide what will be best for you.

Outlines, Treatments and Query/Cover Letters
Need help in the pre-writing stage? I can assist you in tightening your outline or treatment and in talking through story elements until you feel comfortable that they're "right." I can also coach you in writing query or cover letters to theatre companies, agents or producers that strike the right balance of professionalism, enthusiasm and confidence in your work.

Marketing
For playwrights in particular, I'm happy to provide specific suggestions and strategies for submitting your work.

Internet Marketing for Playwrights
In the 21st century, the internet has become a powerful tool playwrights can use to market themselves worldwide. Even if you're a published playwright, it's not enough to rest on your laurels.  But what do you do if you're not fully comfortable in this world of new technology? Let me help you go high tech.  I can guide you through the creation of your own website, help you find sites that will list your plays, and get your name out there in cyberspace for prospective producers to find.

College Essays
We all know that getting into college is more competitive than ever, and that your college essay is a crucial part of your admissions folder. Why not get the feedback of a professional writer who spent more than a decade interviewing students for Harvard University?


Why I Can Help

Click on the About Me button on the left for details, but here are a few highlights:

  • Resident Playwriting Expert for Final Draft. Created "Ask the Expert" for playwrights in industry-leading script formatting software Final Draft, joining the screenwriting section written by the legendary Syd Field and a TV section from veteran writer/producer Larry Brody.
  • Creator of Playwriting101.com, for many years the top-ranked playwriting website on Google.

  • Resident Playwriting Expert for The Writers Store and instructor at Writers University.

  • Co-Chair of the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights and the former Managing Director of the Philadelphia Dramatists Center.

  • Served as Visiting Associate Professor in the M.F.A. playwriting and children's literature programs at Hollins University and as US Cultural Envoy to Barbados.

  • BA in Dramatic Writing and Literature from Harvard University and an MFA in Playwriting from UCLA.

  • Study with Robert Brustein, Leon Katz (former co-chair of the Yale School of Drama's Dramaturgy Department and considered by many to be the father of American dramaturgy), William Alfred, Adrienne Kennedy, John Glore, Velina Hasu Houston, Greg Gunter, Edit Villarreal and many others.

  • Script reader for the McCarter Theater, American Repertory Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Geffen Playhouse, Philadelphia Young Playwrights Festival and New York Theatre Workshop.

  • Teacher of dramatic writing at every level from elementary school to college and beyond, with many award-winning students.

And, of course, my own plays have been produced at theatre companies and schools in 49 US states and more than a dozen countries, and I have several produced short films to my credit.


My Philosophy

Many writing consultants advertise that they "know what sells." No one knows that. So why hire me then? Because in the absence of some magic key that unlocks the market, your goal should be to create great writing. My goal as a consultant is to help you do just that. But for me, the important thing is that what you write is the play, screenplay, book or article you want to write, not the one I would have written or the one I wish you wrote. To that end, rather than give you narrow prescriptions about "the way I would do it," I try to ask questions and make comments that empower YOU to come up with the answers that are right for your work.

For all of the details you need to get started, visit my writing consulting page, The Write Consultant, at http://thewriteconsultant.com.

 
 
Co-Chair of the Alliance of Los Angeles
Playwrights
, member of The Dramatists Guild of America, and life member of the Philadelphia Dramatists Center.

Final Draft Resident Playwriting Expert and author of Playwriting101.com.

Resident Playwriting Expert of The Writers Store.





Recent News
Take My Online Playwriting Course!

Want to study playwriting from the comfort of your home, workplace or anywhere at all?  In Introduction to Playwriting, you'll get all of the basics of playwriting and be well on your way to writing a new play, but you don't even have to get out of bed if you don't want to!  Look for a new session this summer.  Get more information and enroll here:
https://www.screenwritersuniversity.com/courses/introduction-to-playwriting

Two New Plays Now Available
Check out the latest additions to my catalogue!  There's a one-act dark comedy, You Should Never Eat Your Heroes (think Sweeney Todd meets high school), and a new short play, Dolphin, about the aftermath of a cyberbullying incident.
Playwriting Webinar!
I recently taught my first webinar:  Playwriting 101:  Everything You Need to Know to Write a Play.  While the live presentation has come and gone, you can still purchase this 90-minute presentation, which includes me answering audience questions, here:  http://www.writersstore.com/playwriting-101-everything-you-need-to-know-to-write-a-play.
Upcoming Productions
Dear Chuck (one-act version)
Florence Hallock High School (Edmonton, AB, Canada), July 2015
 
Dear Chuck (one-act version)
Johanna Wallace Acting and Personal Development (Cooribah, QLD, Australia), August 2015
 
Just Add Zombies
Jenison High School Thespians (Jenison, MI), September 2015
 
High School (non) Musical
Free State High School (Lawrence, KS), September 2015
 
Dear Chuck (one-act version)
Beaconhills College (Pakenham, VIC, Australia), October 2015
 
Harry's Hotter at Twilight (one-act version)
St. Charles East High School (St. Charles, IL), November 2015
 
Thank You for Flushing My Head in the Toilet and other rarely used expressions
Mondeor High School (Johannesburg, South Africa), January 2017
 
 
The Magic Hour: All of your favorite characters are back in this follow-up to 4 A.M., my hit one-act about a group of teen characters awake at 4 A.M. The Magic Hour can stand on its own or play together with the original, as a group of teen characters, still awake, cope with change and moving on. It has a cast of 8-20+ (possibly even as few as 6) and should run around 35 minutes. Want to premiere it? Email me!
Thicker: Two brothers, one a twentysomething slacker and the other a high school honor student with a penchant for theft, try to get by on their own in this short play that's also in development as a short film...

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Starting out as a writer? Get help by clicking here. You'll find playwriting instructional tips, links to young playwrights contests, sample query and cover letters and even a suggested reading list!
 
Can't figure out why your script isn't working? I can help. For a reasonable rate, I will give you detailed feedback to get your project back on track.

Click here for information.