26 episodes

How I Wrote That is a podcast presented by The Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting, and hosted by Khanisha Foster. In each episode, we sit down with the top women in writing. They invite us into their homes and studios so we may ask how they got there. We discuss how they write, what they write, and the advice they would give to those listening. Stephens is dedicated to increasing the number of women working in television and film. How I Wrote That cultivates the relationship between those who have already made it and those who are dreaming up.

How I Wrote That Khanisha Foster

    • TV & Film
    • 5.0, 6 Ratings

How I Wrote That is a podcast presented by The Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting, and hosted by Khanisha Foster. In each episode, we sit down with the top women in writing. They invite us into their homes and studios so we may ask how they got there. We discuss how they write, what they write, and the advice they would give to those listening. Stephens is dedicated to increasing the number of women working in television and film. How I Wrote That cultivates the relationship between those who have already made it and those who are dreaming up.

    Screenwriter Dawn Comer Jefferson from Our Friend, Martin and South of Nowhere.

    Screenwriter Dawn Comer Jefferson from Our Friend, Martin and South of Nowhere.

    Dawn Comer Jefferson is an Emmy-nominated, award-winning writer. On television, Comer Jefferson wrote on the CBS family drama Judging Amy, served as writer/consulting producer on MTV's teen drama, South of Nowhere, freelanced on the CBS hit NCIS, and developed a drama pilot at NBC Universal Studios. She was nominated for an Emmy for writing the Fox-animated family film, Our Friend, Martin, and for the last nine years has written Emmy-winning arts programming for PBS, performed at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

    As a non-fiction writer, Comer Jefferson has written about children, families and public policy issues for national print and online media including Garnet News, Working Mother, Fit Pregnancy Magazine and MomsRising, and her essays have been featured in the anthologies A Woman Alone (Seal Press) and Go Girl (Eighth Mountain Press). She adapted, produced and directed the eight-part NPR radio series adaptation of the biography Maggie's American Dream, co-wrote the nonfiction book Three Ring Circus: How Real Couples Balance Marriage, Work, and Family, and the African American historical children’s fiction, The Promise. Visit her website.

    "My first piece of advice is to recognize that you are a writer and a storyteller. A lot of people are hesitant to own that yet you really need to be in that mindspace. And then remember that your first draft is not your only draft. There are probably 15 or 16 more and you’re not really done until your done… and even then, you’re not done."

    -Dawn Comer Jefferson

    • 16 min
    Screenwriter & producer Rachel Shukert from GLOW and The Baby-Sitters Club

    Screenwriter & producer Rachel Shukert from GLOW and The Baby-Sitters Club

    Rachel Shukert is a producer and writer, known for GLOW (2017), Supergirl (2015) and The Baby-Sitters Club (2020). Her plays include Bloody Mary (NYIT nominee), Everything's Coming Up Moses and The Three Gabor Sisters and her books include the memoirs Everything Is Going To Be Great and Have You No Shame?



    When you know these characters so well you can get into a rut. You get caught up in what you thought their arc was. Characters become their own people and you have to keep yourself open to letting them do things that maybe you didn’t imagine for them earlier on… For me everything interesting exists in the space between who we are and who we think we should be and all internal conflict, all the stories, all these bad decisions people make – or good decisions people make – happen in that space.

    • 47 min
    Screenwriter Deborah Starr Seibel from Sisters and 21 Jump Street

    Screenwriter Deborah Starr Seibel from Sisters and 21 Jump Street

    Deborah Starr Seibel is a multiple award-winning journalist and screenwriter. For the past eight years, she has been an instructor at USC's School of Cinematic Arts in the John Wells Division of Writing for Film & Television. In addition, she serves as a mentor for Stephens College's MFA in Screenwriting program.

    In prime time television, Deborah recently sold two pilots to CBS and is credited with four years on staff. During those years, she wrote six episodes for the final season of NBC's Sisters and spent three additional years on the staff of Promised Land, the spin-off to CBS's Touched By An Angel. She has also written episodes for Mysterious Ways and 21 Jump Street.

    As a television reporter, Deborah won a George Foster Peabody award for investigative journalism, two Emmy Awards and First Place from the Associated Press for one of her documentaries. As a print journalist, she has written for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Parade and USA Today. In addition, she is a long-time national correspondent for TV Guide.

    In 2010, Deborah was awarded a USC Annenberg Fellowship to receive her Master's Degree in Specialized Journalism/The Arts.

    "If there isn't a kernel of truth you shouldn't be writing. You get to know the people in a writers' room better than your family, because you have to bring yourself, your stories, your history, your family experience into that room or you have nothing to contribute because nobody on this planet has lived the life you've lived and if you don't bring that into the writers' room, what good are you? What we are as artists are people who are trying to allow other people to feel that they are not alone."

    -Deborah Starr Seibel

    • 27 min
    Screenwriter/Director Julie Hébert from 'American Crime' and 'Man in the High Castle'

    Screenwriter/Director Julie Hébert from 'American Crime' and 'Man in the High Castle'

    Julie Hebert started her creative life as a theater director and playwright (Ruby’s Bucket of Blood). She's written and directed for the Magic Theater, Steppenwolf, Victory Gardens, LaMaMa, The Women's Project, Cornerstone and many more. Her plays were honored twice with the Pen Award for Drama. Moving into television, Julie has written and directed for some of the most respected shows in television including American Crime, The Good Wife, Boss, Numb3rs and The West Wing. Her films have been praised as “intriguingly complex” (Variety) and “pulsing with veracity” (LA Times), with “a raw power that is impossible to dismiss” (Roger Ebert). She blogs occasionally at: http://juliehebert.com/about-julie-hebert/

    "I honor the depth inside and the stories that really want to be told because often in television you can get away with topline chatter, but to really hit on something that has meaning for you, that will have meaning for someone hearing the story, it has to come from a deeper place."

    -Julie Hébert

    • 33 min
    Screenwriter/Producer Valerie Woods from 'Queen Sugar' and 'Any Day Now'

    Screenwriter/Producer Valerie Woods from 'Queen Sugar' and 'Any Day Now'

    Valerie C. Woods is a writer/producer in television and film, and is also a publisher, editor and author. Valerie is currently Co-Executive Producer/Writer on the critically acclaimed television drama series Queen Sugar, created by Ava DuVernay and airing on Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). She has also been Adjunct Faculty for the Master of Fine Arts in TV and Screenwriting program since 2015.

    Recently, Valerie served as Creative Director for Syd Field – The Art of Visual Storytelling. Valerie is one of four Syd Field Screenwriting Method Instructors trained by Mr. Field. She also wrote the screen adaptation of the novel Tempest Rising by Diane McKinney-Whetstone, with the production company of actor/director Phylicia Rashad.

    In 2013, Valerie founded of the independent press, BooksEndependent which has published five titles including Valerie’s novel Katrin’s Chronicles: The Canon of Jacqueléne Dyanne. She is also the author of Something for Everyone (50 Original Monologues), which is published by Samuel French, Inc. In 2016, Valerie produced a series of staged readings of scripts adapted from literary work via Staged/Lit.

    During Valerie’s 20+ years as a member of WGAw, she has written on one-hour drama series for CBS, Lifetime, and Showtime. Credits include Co-Executive Producer/Writer on the drama series, Any Day Now on Lifetime Network. Her episode “Family is Family” was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award, and Consulting Producer/Writer for the drama series, Soul Food on Showtime Network. Her television career began after winning a Fellowship with the Walt Disney Studios.

    "You are there [in the writers room] plumbing the emotional depth and character growth and humanity. And social issues from the world in which your characters live because their world is our world."

    -Valerie Woods

    • 21 min
    Screenwriter Kate Gerston from The Good Place and Mozart In The Jungle

    Screenwriter Kate Gerston from The Good Place and Mozart In The Jungle

    "The most important thing is to show up and write every day. Don't wait for inspiration to strike."

    Kate Gersten is a graduate of the Lila Acheson Wallace Playwrights Program at The Juilliard School under the mentorship of Marsha Norman and Christopher Durang. Her play Benefit of the Doubt was produced at The Juilliard School, and was further developed at the Roundabout where she currently is under commission. Her other plays include A Body of Work, (also developed at Roundabout), The Untitled Priscilla Presley Musical (Ambassador Theatre Group with Dolly Parton), Be Your Best Friend, (2012 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference Finalist, developed at Roundabout), Father Figure, and Exposed! The Curious Case of Shiloh and Zahara (Stage 13, MITF, Outstanding New Play award.) Kate has been a writer on the Golden Globe winning TV series “Mozart in the Jungle” (Amazon), the Golden Globe and Emmy nominated NBC comedy “The Good Place” starring Ted Danson and Kristen Bell, and the upcoming musical comedy “Schmigadoon” from Lorne Michaels and Apple. She has developed two pilots with FOX with Steve McPherson/Lionsgate and Jamie Tarses/Sony respectively, and has developed pilots at Showtime (also with McPherson), and CBS, with Working Title/CBS Studios. Kate is a three-time recipient of the Lincoln Center Le Comte de Nouy Prize. In addition to her studies at Juilliard, Kate did her undergraduate studies at the UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television.

    • 31 min

Customer Reviews

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Absolutely Excellent!

Valuable info from professional writers that helps shape your writer’s voice; encouraging and addictive!

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