At Spalding, screenwriting students are encouraged to experiment. Their scripts may vary from very short to feature length, from thrillers to art films, from fantasy to documentaries, from comedies to tragedies. In the Film Production Seminar, students receive hands-on experience in filming, directing, and editing their own short scripts. Our prizewinning screenwriting faculty members come from both coasts, and their teaching styles reflect both an independent and more commercial sensibility. They have expertise and production credits in feature film writing, short films, TV writing, and web series.

Screenwriting students and alumni have brought home major achievements: They’ve sold full-length feature films to Disney, Universal, and Tristar Pictures; had full-length films distributed in wide release; written television episodes that have aired on the Disney Channel; won top screenwriting competitions; and landed teaching positions at major universities.

Current and past visiting screenwriters include Academy Award winners John Patrick Shanley (Moonstruck, Doubt) and Bobby Moresco (Crash), Academy Award nominee Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone), Pulitzer Prize winner Marsha Norman (’night, Mother), and award-winning screenwriters Sabrina Dhawan (Monsoon Wedding), Archie Borders (Pleased to Meet Me), Jonas Goodman (We Don’t Live Here Anymore), and Kevin Willmott (C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America).

All Spalding MFA students may opt to spend a residency or an entire semester studying a second area of concentration as a way to enrich their craft and expand their understanding of aesthetics.


Listen to a podcast by Larry Brenner about the sale of his script to Disney: