Paneled Discussion @ Pages Bookshop: On Writing Life & How Do Authors Make A Living

We are thrilled to be collaborating with Pages Bookshop for a paneled discussion centered around the central question, how do authors make a living? 

But, it would seem, this is a conversation that no one is having. 

It's no secret that there's little money in writing, and that competition for the few resources — prizes, residencies, — is fierce. From MFA programs to submission fees, we invest heavily in our craft but receive debt and rejection in return. It's difficult not to compare ourselves to our luckier peers: why aren't we winning contests or finding an agent? Why can't we get our grant proposal funded or book published? Why is it so hard to support ourselves with freelance writing or adjuncting? 

These questions are often met with reproach, silent or otherwise, from fellow writers. We're supposed to be in it for the sheer love of the craft, without the need for material reward. But we still need to support ourselves and, too often, new writers applying to retreats, MFA programs, and arts jobs aren't given honest answers about the opportunities available to them — and may not know the questions to ask to start the conversation.

This seminar, conducted in a panel format, aims to open a frank conversation around privilege, hard work, and how writers really make their living. Sitting on the panel will be: 

  • Rose Gorman 

  • Nandi Comer 

  • Anna Clark

  • T.M. De Vos,

  • Matthew Fogarty

  • Kelsey Ronan

  • Toni Cunningham 

  • Ted Houser

This event is free and open to the public. RSVP with your email address below.

Event date: 

Saturday, January 12, 2019 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Event address: 

Pages Bookshop

19560 Grand River Ave.

Detroit, MI 48223

Why Take a Screenwriting Class? by Ted Houser

A screenwriting class will give you the tools to turn your idea into a finished script.

Sometimes when I’m out in the world and I mention to someone that I’m a filmmaker, they respond by giving me their screenplay pitch- “I’ve got this great idea for a movie.” I’m quite used to it by now. Although I’ve heard my share of bad ideas, many of these ideas actually turn out to be good ones. I know it's a good idea if it grabs my attention and makes me want to read it as a finished script.

But how does this person actually write that script from their original idea? The process can be a very long and lonely journey. Some people choose to start that journey entirely on their own. Anyone can do it; it usually involves throwing some money down on the program Final Draft and buying one of 10,000 books on screenwriting. Others choose to go to film school or take a class on screenwriting.

So why should someone take a class on screenwriting?

A good screenwriting class will help you with many things. It'll teach you basics like screenplay structure and formatting, and it will also teach you more essential things, like how to channel your own personal expression into your work. A good instructor will work as both a teacher and a coach to fulfill the potential of your good idea.

Also, writers are born procrastinators (I’m speaking from personal experience) so an added benefit of my Writing Workshops Detroit Screenwriting Class is that there’s a structure to it: we meet once a week for 8 weeks. This structure and community-like setting will keep you motivated and help you finish what you start. As I said earlier, it’s a long journey to turn an idea into a screenplay. I’ve been teaching screenwriting for many years and I hope I can start you on your journey of finishing your first screenplay.