Learn the fundamentals of screeplay development while crafting your ideas into a script.

The basis for any great film is a great story and turning a story into a screenplay is the important first step in filmmaking.   The first week of this two-week workshop will give teens a foundation in understanding how screenplays are written and developed.   Students will explore screenplay format, the writer's process, concept, character development, structure and story arcs.  Participants learn about writing visually and creating memorable characters and authentic dialogue. 

This workshop is a writer's lab and provides time for each student to develop ideas and write.   Students must bring story ideas to this workshop.

In the second week, the workshop delves more deeply into concept, story structure, character development, plot and subplots, central theme, dialogue, and the process of revising a screenplay.  We will explore solutions to the problems posed by each story and script.  Students will learn to look critically at writing with special attention to the importance of economy in writing, visual storytelling, and how to heighten the emotional stakes of story and character. 

If you have a screenplay-in-progress, you will learn how to revise, sharpen and polish your script.  If you are developing an idea or outline that is on its way to becoming a script, you will leave the course having written a “treatment” that details the flow of the script, a document that will incorporate scenes you write at the workshop.   We will also explore how the film and television industries work and how careers are launched.

Class time is divided between lectures on the dynamics of screenwriting and discussion of student scripts. One-on-one sessions between the instructor and each student take place throughout the second week. 

NOTE:  This two-week workshop is also available for registration as individual weekly sessions (Young Screenwriters and Advanced Young Screenwriters).

College Credit

All Young Artist students will automatically have college credit set up for their workshops, free of charge.  Each workshop earns one college-level semester-credit per week of attendance. At the completion of the course, transcripts will be prepared and remain in our secure files. When needed for submission to another institution, a request must be submitted in under Federal privacy laws. Include the full name and address of the institution to which the transcript is to be sent, along with date of birth. 

MMW+C is fully certified by the State of Maine’s Department of Education but is not currently nationally accredited.  Accordingly, there is no guarantee that credits may be transferrable.

About the Young Artists Program: Young Artists’ days are comprised of both classroom and field/location work: lectures and critiques, demonstrations, shooting, editing, writing, computer workflow and/or darkroom work, depending on the workshop. All instructors are talented industry professionals as well as experienced educators, and each works with a teaching assistant, providing additional support for their class. The students are busy all day and into the mid-evening hours, attending presentations from visiting master faculty. All Young Artists reside at a nearby residence (a motel-style building, with four students to a room, gender specific, and private bath) located 3/4 of a mile from campus. The property is controlled by Maine Media Workshops and is used exclusively by students and their counselors. Students are shuttled to the main campus each morning for breakfast and to begin their day, and are driven back at the end of the each day, following their last class or other scheduled activity. All meals are taken together. Parents can indicate any special dietary needs upon registration. Counselors supervise the students 24 hours a day, and help make group decisions about weekend activities like swimming, bowling and hiking. Coin laundry facilities are available on campus. A lobster dinner is served (there are other choices) on the last Friday night of each workshop, and all Workshops students gather for an evening presentation of highlights from the week’s work. Parents are welcome to attend and meal tickets may be purchased in the Registration Office.  We recommend students have access to $150 over the two-week period for incidentals, snacks, movies, field trips etc. 

Check-in is on Sunday, between 3 and 6 PM and departure is on Saturday morning. 

Tuition Note: includes room and board



Wayne Beach

Wayne Beach has written screenplays for Warner Bros., Sony, Twentieth Century Fox, Disney, TNT, Fox 2000 Pictures, and Village Roadshow Pictures.  He has developed projects for the makers of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, THE MATRIX, LAW & ORDER, PLATOON, THE GREAT GATSBY, OCEAN’S ELEVEN, and THE PERFECT STORM.

Sony recently commissioned him to write the pilot for an original TV show that he created.  Beach’s pitch for the show inspired a bidding war between three American networks.  He also recently finished an assignment writing GARDEN OF BETRAYAL, a script being readied for production as a major feature film by the makers of BEGIN AGAIN and AMERICAN ULTRA.

Beach wrote and directed SLOW BURN (Lionsgate) starring Ray Liotta, LL Cool J, Mekhi Phifer, Jolene Blalock, Taye Diggs, and Chiwetel Ejiofor (the Oscar-nominated star of 12 YEARS A SLAVE).   His director of photography was the Oscar-winning Wally Pfister (INCEPTION).  The film, Beach’s directorial debut, received its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and was released by Lionsgate in 1100 theatres. 

Other filmed writing credits include MURDER AT 1600 (Warner Bros.) starring Wesley Snipes, Diane Lane, Alan Alda and Dennis Miller; and THE ART OF WAR (Warner Bros.) starring Wesley Snipes, Donald Sutherland and Anne Archer. 

Having taught screenwriting at Northwestern University and at Bates College, he is currently on the MFA faculty of Maine Media College.  His former students have become successful writers, directors, and producers in film and television.  Their credits include FRIENDS, BLINDSPOT, LIFE AS WE KNOW IT, THE VOW, SUPERGIRL, MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE, BROTHERS & SISTERS, HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU, NEVER BEEN KISSED, ARROW, VALENTINE’S DAY, DAWSON’S CREEK, GREEN LANTERN, BEVERLY HILLS 90210, EVERWOOD, PUSHING DAISIES, REVENGE, ROSWELL, and others.  One former student is responsible for the #1 and #2 new network TV shows of the 2015-2016 season.


Course Dates

Jul 3 to Jul 16



Class Size