Shanghai Screenwriters’ Workshop

Welcome to the Shanghai Screenwriters’ Workshop!

We are a group of Shanghai-based screenwriters who meet once or twice a month to workshop and provide feedback on various types of screenwriting-related work, including short scripts, one- or two-page outlines, treatments, step outlines, feature-length screenplays, TV specs, TV pilots, series bibles, etc.

Upon special request, we may also be able to facilitate logline or pitch sessions, cold reads, short film viewings or other related discussions.

In addition, workshops are an opportunity for screenwriters to exchange resources and ideas, make new contacts, find a writing partner or a story editor or just make some new screenwriting friends! Come out and join us!

How does the workshop process work?

A workshop announcement and call for submissions will be sent out to participants via e-mail in advance (usually a week or more) of the next session. Participants interested in submitting work to be work-shopped should do so via e-mail no later than four days prior to the workshop session.

Once received, a second e-mail will be sent out to all participants including attachments of the work submitted for the session. Participants should review submissions and prepare feedback prior to attending the workshop. All participants planning on attending will be asked to RSVP at this time.

Note: In the event that we receive an overwhelming number of submissions, submissions will be work-shopped on a first-come, first-served basis (i.e. in the order in which they were submitted). Writers whose submissions are not able to be work-shopped during a particular session will be given priority for the next (and only the next) session, if they so wish.

Participants should attend workshop sessions in person to provide feedback and contribute to the discussion of other writers’ work. Sessions will usually last no more than two or three hours in total and time will be—insofar as is possible—divided up equally amongst submissions to be work-shopped.

In order to receive feedback on your submission you must be in attendance during the workshop session. Only one submission per writer per session is permitted (try saying that five times fast!).

Note: It is the responsibility of individual participants to provide copies of feedback (e.g. written notes or other documentation) to writers whose work they have reviewed, either via e-mail or in person, following the workshop session.

Please e-mail the address provided at the bottom of this page for further details on specific submission deadlines and time and location of upcoming workshop sessions.

What are the submission guidelines?

If you would like to submit your work to be work-shopped at one of our sessions, please ensure that it meets the following criteria. All submissions must:

  1. be no more than 30 pages in length (see note below regarding longer work)
  2. follow standard screenplay formatting (if you don’t know what that is, look here or here or here)
  3. in the case of outlines, treatments, etc. be 12pt (preferably serif) font, double-spaced
  4. include your name and the title of the submission
  5. be submitted in PDF format
  6. be written in English

Note: Partial extracts from longer works are permitted. If you are submitting an extract from a feature-length screenplay, it is strongly recommended that you submit either the complete first or third act or the first or second half of the second act of your screenplay (up to a maximum of 30 pages) along with a one-paragraph background summary or overview of previous acts.

In fairness to other participants, submissions which do not adhere to the above guidelines will not be accepted.

While we welcome submissions from all genres and which represent a wide variety of world-views, please be aware that—while we understand that it may, for one reason or another, be the intention of the writer to offend others with their work—material which conveys overtly racist, sexist or otherwise hateful attitudes towards others will not be tolerated.

Are there any guidelines for giving (and receiving) feedback?

While we do not impose any strict guidelines for giving (and receiving) feedback on submissions, writers will typically expect to receive feedback on aspects such as plot, character, story structure, theme, dialogue and conflict, as well as the overall effect or impression of the work. Above all, feedback should be as constructive and helpful to the writer as possible.

Note: For more suggestions on giving and receiving feedback (from two very different personalities), look here and here.

In addition, while we encourage honesty in feedback—you aren’t helping anyone if you tell them something is great when it isn’t—this can sometimes feel as though it is bordering on brutality (as least for the person receiving it). As a result, when giving feedback, please do so in a respectful manner. Insults or personal attacks against a writer (or against the person giving feedback) will not be tolerated.

Finally, for those receiving feedback, please remember, everyone is entitled to their opinion and while not everyone may get what you are trying to do, their opinion is just that—their opinion.

Who can join?

Workshop sessions are free gatherings open to all. Beginners and veterans, amateur and professional screenwriters are welcome to join. Above all, we are looking for individuals who are committed to making a positive contribution to the group, who are respectful of other people’s work and opinions, who love film and screenwriting and who are passionate about learning and improving their craft!

Note: Both native and non-native English speakers (and screenwriters!) are welcome; however, workshops should not be treated as place just to meet foreigners or practice your English for free.

Who should I contact?

For more information on how to join the Shanghai Screenwriters’ Workshop, please use our contact form here.