Shanghai Screenwriters Workshop

Welcome to the home of the Shanghai Screenwriters Workshop!

We are a group of Shanghai-based screenwriters who meet each month to workshop 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.

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

How do the workshops work?

An announcement and call for submissions will be sent out three or four weeks prior to each workshop. Participants interested in submitting work to be work-shopped should do so via e-mail no later than five days prior to the workshop session. All participants planning on attending the workshop should also RSVP at this time.

Note: Submissions will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis (i.e. in the order in which they were submitted) up to a maximum of four (4) submissions per workshop.

Following the submission deadline, an e-mail will be sent out to all participants including attachments of the work submitted for the session. All participants should read the submissions and prepare feedback prior to attending the workshop.

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 three hours in total and time will be—insofar as is possible—divided up equally among total the number of 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.

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.

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; and,
  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 the story up to that point.

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

In addition, while we welcome submissions from all genres and which represent a wide variety of worldviews, please be aware that material which conveys overtly racist, sexist, homophobic, 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 be a brutal experience 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 that 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 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.

Where do the workshops take place?

Starting in May 2020, the workshops will take place online via Zoom video-conferencing software. A meeting link will be shared via email with participants who have RSVPed prior to each session.

Do I have to pay any money?

Not anymore! The workshops are non-profit and, since we now meet online, there are no more venue fees – it’s free!

Who should I contact?

For more information or if you would like to join one of our workshops, please use the contact form here or contact Michael Thede via WeChat at michaelthede78.