Feature Film Screenwriting

Feature Film Screenwriting

Calling all teen screenwriters. Come join us for a semester of feature film screenwriting!

Watch film clips from across the globe, read screenplay excerpts, play screenwriting games, and pursue writing an original, feature-length narrative script. Open to all writers with an interest in film, no experience needed!

Writers will learn the mechanics of the screenplay itself as well as develop original characters and plotlines to create long-form storytelling with the vividness that novels and short stories contain. Emphasis will also include shaping rhythms and tones of dialogue, creating contrasting perspectives of characters, and location-centric writing to help give voice to their pieces.

Screenwriting games will focus on building narrative through photography, art, soundscapes, and other audiovisual elements. Techniques of montage and genre will also be explored!

Music Lab

Writopia's Music Lab

Writopia’s Music Lab is for musicians of all backgrounds and all skill levels—from beginner to advanced—who want to develop and sustain their lifelong passion in music.

Our programs include: 1) The Music Foundry band program, where teens with intermediate or advanced experience on any instrument come together to discover their own style and sound, and to create, record, and perform new, vital, original music; and 2) Exploratory Music Collective workshops, for beginning musicians to explore instruments, production tools, and music fundamentals; and 3) Songwriting Studio workshops, a place for singer-songwriters to write and share songs with each other, get feedback, and ultimately build community.

Compared to many music schools, Writopia’s Music Lab is first and foremost a place for exploring your own sound, creative voice, and passion in music. Our pedagogy is rooted in the belief that finding one’s place and sound in the world of music lays the foundation for lifelong musicianship. Mimicking and covering the greats or memorizing a songbook of standards are a rite of passage, but not the final destination. Best of all, engaging the creative process in this way deepens our understanding of ourselves and our peer community.

Workshops and band programs at Writopia’s Music Lab are accessible to all income levels through our sliding scale fees or through further financial aid.

Schedule for Writopia’s Music Lab programs.

Join a Workshop, On Your Schedule, with Flexible Start Dates!

Many of our fall trimester workshops are launching the week of September 13th, but that is not the only time to join! We will be starting new fall workshops throughout the month of September, and we have flexible start dates for all programs (in-person and online). We know there are many schedule details up in the air for families this fall—Writopia is excited to welcome your writers whenever they are able, with prorated tuition rates.

Music Foundry

Music Foundry is a school-year-long band program for intermediate and advanced teen musicians who want a relaxed, non-judgemental place to collaborate, take creative risks, and explore their own sound and lyrics. Over the course of the school year, each band will write at least three original songs, record and edit them in Logic to produce a demo EP, and perform them live.

Whether a teen has taken a couple years of rock instrument lessons or is deep into formal training in jazz or classical instruments, Music Foundry is designed to sustain their passion for music by augmenting their ongoing instrument lessons with the tools to embrace new sounds and develop an original musical voice. Intermediate musicians should come with 1 to 3 years experience on any single instrument, while advanced musicians will have 3 or more years experience on any single instrument. Multi-instrumentalists are welcome, of course!

Beginning musicians are encouraged to start with our Exploratory Music Collective workshops before taking the next step with Music Foundry. Music Foundry is 33 two-hour band sessions that meet once-weekly at Writopia’s Upper West Side location. Each band-sized group of teen musicians is matched by age (13+) and experience. In the fall, bands focus on techniques for jamming together, and on developing new music and lyrics. In the winter, the focus includes rehearsing, preparing arrangements, and recording, including a field trip to a recording studio. In the spring, each band will explore stagecraft and promotion, culminating in a live set of their original work.

  • Payment for the school-year-long Music Foundry program can be made one of two ways:
    • Pay at the beginning of the school year (with a discount)
      • For families who choose to pay in one sum for the whole school year, the fee is $2,145, and can be paid before we start in September.
    • Pay at the beginning of every trimester
      • For families who need to make payment once per trimester, or wish to use our sliding scale, please reach out to register@writopialab.org. Everyone is able to participate in Writopia Lab programs, despite economic constraints

Late-joining musicians may be allowed up through December (and accordingly pro-rated) only if a placement for them can be found, and with the understanding that they will have missed some of their bands’ writing time.

Songwriting Studio

For singer-songwriters looking for a community, Songwriting Studio workshops offer a focus on poetic techniques, album arrangement, and introductory music theory. In Songwriting Studio, songwriters have dedicated time each week for writing and workshopping new pieces with fellow musicians. Through each trimester’s eleven 90-minute sessions, songwriters learn ways to grow as lyricists and musicians, and bring their art to the world through basic home-recording techniques.

Exploratory Music Collective

Through Exploratory Music Collective workshops, beginning musicians will learn the basics of how to write a song, from lyrics to musical accompaniment. Guided by their instructor, they will each create lyrics, melody, and chords for their songs. Each group will explore their new creations with a variety of instruments. Don’t know if you are a drummer, guitarist, bassist, or pianist? This program allows writers to try those instruments, digital sounds, and more! Once ready, musicians in EMC workshops will also begin their introduction to collaborative playing. Following eleven 90-minute sessions, musicians in Exploratory Music Collective will each be encouraged to share their work, either through an open mic performance opportunity, or by trying their hand at the basics of recording with Garageband.


Malcolm Knowles

Program Manager, The Writopia Music Lab
Creative Writing and Songwriting Instructor
Malcolm Knowles

Malcolm Knowles has been part of the Writopia Lab team since 2018. He is a writer and multi-instrumentalist originally from Houston, Texas, where he learned to record and release music during his teenage years. He later attended Sarah Lawrence College with a focus in Jazz Guitar, Composition, and Radio. During the summer, Malcolm teaches Creative Writing and Songwriting at both the Writopia Full Day camp and WriCampia, and is the Division Head of Upper Boys at WriCampia. After two years of developing the Writopia Songwriting Studio and its camp electives, Malcolm co-designed, launched, and began overseeing the Writopia Music Foundry in 2021. Both programs are offered as part of Writopia's Music Lab. During the school year, Malcolm helps young and teen writers navigate the process of Essay Writing, Creative Writing, and Songwriting. When not teaching, you can often find Malcolm next to the closest musical instrument.

Tuesday Dates National

National Tuesday Dates

Covid 19 Info For Wricampia

Covid-10 Infromation for WriCapmia 2021.

coming soon!

Safety at Writopia’s Labs

Safety at Writopia’s Labs

If you are inquiring about COVID-19 precautions for WriCampia (our sleepaway camp program), please visit our WriCampia page. The information below applies to workshops and day camps held at our labs.

We take the threat of COVID-19 very seriously and work to create as safe an environment as is reasonably possible.

As the situation with COVID-19 evolves and as guidance from the CDC, FDA, and local health authorities evolves, so will our policies regarding safety and protocols.

If you have any questions about safety protocols, please reach out to jeremy@writopialab.org and/or madeline@writopialab.org. We will be happy to discuss further.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are you offering in-person workshops?
  • Do you have a vaccination policy?
    • Yes! We require all staff who work in-person to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Additionally, all writers must be vaccinated if they are eligible and do not have a legitimate medical exemption.
  • Do your workshop spaces have air filtration systems?
    • Yes! Our workshop spaces will either (1) have a stand-alone air purifier or (2) be serviced by a commercial HVAC system.
  • Will you be contact tracing in the event of a COVID-19 exposure in one of your programs?
    • Yes! We will collect contact information for everyone who enters any of our spaces.
  • If my writer is attending a workshop, do you have a waiting room for a parent, caregiver, or sibling to sit in?
    • Unfortunately, we don’t have sufficient space at our Labs to safely accommodate additional people beyond those who are enrolled in our programs. You can drop off your writer and pick them up outside our office.
  • Will you be conducting testing?
    • No, we will not be testing people on site.
  • What are your social distancing protocols?
    • Instructors and writers will sit at least three feet apart from each other.
  • Will you perform temperature checks upon arrival?
    • Research does not indicate that temperature checks are accurate enough to use as screening tools.
  • What are your policies on masks?
    • All writers, instructors, staff, and visitors in our spaces are required to wear masks at all times, except for when taking a sip of a beverage. All masks should fit correctly (no valve; sits snugly against the sides of the face) and must be worn over their nose and mouth and secured under their chin.
  • Will my child’s instructor be enforcing these safety precautions?
    • Yes! Our instructors will be well-trained in our precautions and will know how to enforce policies. If instructors see a writer not wearing their mask properly, they will kindly ask the writer to fix their mask. In the unlikely event that a writer doesn’t abide by precautions after repeated reminders, we will have them step outside with a staff member until a parent or legal guardian can pick them up.
  • How are your spaces being cleaned?
    • Fortunately, there is almost no evidence of surface-based transmission of COVID-19. That said, we will clean high-traffic surfaces—including computers and doorknobs—regularly.
  • Will writers be able to eat and drink in workshop?
    • Writers may drink water or other beverages in workshop; they must replace their mask as soon as they are done taking a sip. Instructors will bring all writers outdoors to eat their snacks.
  • Will you require writers to wash their hands?
    • Yes! Each location will have at least one sink with hot water and soap, and each space will also have a hand sanitizer dispenser. Whenever someone enters our spaces, they will be required to clean their hands.
  • Will families sign safety agreements?
    • Yes! Every writer’s parent or legal guardian will be required to sign a document that affirms the following for all members of their household: that as far as you are aware, your household has not been exposed to anyone with COVID-19 in the last two weeks, nor has anyone in your household experienced symptoms of COVID-19 in the past two weeks.

WPF Submission Prep Tuition

Worldwide Plays Festival Submission Prep Tuition

These special workshops are an opportunity to work with a produced playwright as you start, revise, and/or complete your play.

Fee
Name
Workshop Date
Cancellation Policy

If you withdraw two weeks (or more) prior to the workshop start date, your payment can be credited toward a future workshop at no cost, or refunded with a $50 cancellation fee. If withdrawal is requested within two weeks of the workshop start date, the same policy applies, as long as we are able to fill the spot. However, if we are unable to fill the spot, we cannot refund or credit the workshop.

Credit Policy

Credits may be used for any Writopia Lab program within 18 months of the credit date. Credits not used within 18 months will be converted to charitable donations. If a credit is converted into a refund, it remains subject to the terms of the cancellation policy -- if you get a full credit but you would have been assessed a $50 fee for the refund, you will be assessed the $50 fee when converting the credit to a refund.

Writing Your Activism

Writing Your Activism

Writing Your Activism is for writers looking to transcend the page by using the power of their words as a call to action. How do we document the history we are living in? We will discuss current events and writers will not only share their passion for change, but will engage in a meaningful project that can include: photojournalism; investigative theater; letters to the editor; letters to politicians on the local, state, or national level; protest signage with strategic copy; op-ed pieces; odes to inspiring activists; speeches; and more!

Salon Dates

Tuesday Salon Dates

Wednesday Salon Dates

Program Logic Model

Program Logic Model

At Writopia Lab, youth have made Social-Emotional Learning gains in areas such as Positive Identity, Academic Self-Efficacy, Social Skills, and Self-management, which are directly linked to long-term positive behavior, thriving youth, improved academic performance, and improved workforce readiness.

Here is Writopia's Program Logic Model, a graphic that presents what we do, how we do it, and the short-term and long-term effects on our youth.

Activities

  • Multi-genre Writing Workshops for youth ages 3 to 18.
  • Summer full-day camp and Sleepaway Camp
  • One-on-One Literacy Support and Mentorship
  • Literary gatherings, events for the community, and an annual professional play festival.
  • High school and college level internships
  • Literary Magazines

Effective Practices

  • Professional writers (Instructors) provide strengths-based feedback to our youth’s writing.
  • Instructors encourage writers to choose writing projects that matter to them and set their own writing goals.
  • Instructors lead our youth through writing games that promote joy, reflection, and collaboration, and also teaching craft concepts on an intrinsic level.
  • Youth provide positive and constructive feedback on one another’s writing and collaborating on group writing games and stories.
  • Youth share their writing at readings, performances, and through the publication of our online literary magazines.

Short-Term Outcomes

  • Improved Social-Emotional Learning Skills
  • Increased joy, critical thinking, self-esteem, confidence, leadership skills, social skills, and empathy
  • Improved self-management skills and ability to set and evaluate goals
  • Increased academic self-efficacy and Self-expression/Creativity
  • Improved Writing and Literacy Skills
  • Admission to a High School and/or College of the Youth’s Choice
  • Increased Publications/Awards/Recognition

Long-term Outcomes

  • Thriving Youth
  • Continued Positive Behavior
  • Decreased Risky Behavior
  • Improved Academic Performance
  • Improved Workforce Readiness
  • Lifetime love of writing
  • Continued Positive Association with Writing
  • Confidence to share work and thoughts with peers and in public scenarios

Browse by Program Type


Writopia offers instruction in a variety of narrative art forms and mediums.

Browse by Schedule LINK

We're in session all year round—school year, summer and holiday breaks!

Browse our Off-Site Workshops LINK

Learn about Writopia’s programs offered beyond our Labs—in public and private schools, at our partner organizations, and more!

Learn more about additional enrichment opportunities for young writers, e.g. fellowships, internships, submission and production opportunities, personalized events.

Connect & Interact with us on:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Email