MFA Writer’s Workshop: The Foundations of Narrative Screenwriting

The Foundations of Narrative Screenwriting
September 8, 2018, 10am – 5pm
Portland Media Center, 516 Congress Street, Portland

This one day workshop examines the process of professional screenwriting and the dynamics of pulling an audience into the heart of a story and its characters. The exploration of fundamental narrative elements, and their successful use to engage and captivate a viewer, will also resonate with directors, branded content producers, and documentary filmmakers.

Guided by screenwriter Wayne Beach, participants will focus on the building blocks involved in creating effective screenplays for TV and film.  Students will learn how to create and shape strong concepts, build a compelling structure,craft effective dialogue, and develop engaging characters. They will learn what it means to create a dynamic visual story, and how to determine whether film or TV is the best medium for their story.

Lectures, demonstrations, and class discussion will be used to explain key storytelling tools and narrative techniques. The class will analyze sample screenplay excerpts and relevant sequences from film and TV to demonstrate the successful use of these elements. One successful TV pilot will be screened in its entirety with simultaneous analysis by the instructor.

Participants are invited to submit the first scene or sequence of their screenplay (not to exceed six pages) for class critique (please send to The sample scene should introduce the central character. The scene must submitted to the registrar one week prior to the workshop. Please be prepared to distribute the scene to the class as a .pdf file. Time may limit the number of scenes that can be critiqued in class. All students who submit scenes will receive written feedback from the instructor.

Each student should bring a laptop or digital writing pad, to facilitate their writing and the reading of these scenes.

The workshop will address the realities of the professional marketplace and discuss the process of a screenplays acquisition and development.

Instructor: Wayne BeachWayne Beach, Screenwriter

Wayne Beach has written screenplays for Warner Bros., Sony, Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, TNT, Village Roadshow, Wolf Films, and other major production companies.  He recently developed an original pilot for Sony, his pitch for which sparked a bidding war between three networks.  He has taught screenwriting at institutions across the U.S, and  his students have gone on to write hit films and TV shows.


Price: $100 non-members; $50 MFA members*


75% off for students, just $25 (Use code WRITER)
40% off for professionals, just $60 (Use code MAINEFILM)

Register to attend today through Eventbrite.
This full-day workshop is limited to 14 participants.

Join the Maine Film Association today for free or discounted admission to all MFA workshops and events, and many additional perks:

*Scholarship opportunities are always available for any of our educational events. Please email us at to inquire!