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Chicago Screenwriters Network (CSN) is a recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

Meeting Topics & Guest Speakers

20th Anniversary Celebration Featuring Co-Founder Ed Bernero (“Criminal Minds”)

Edward A. BerneroChicago Screenwriters Network will forego its standard monthly meeting in September; instead, we’re throwing a party to celebrate CSN’s 20th anniversary! Help us put the fun in “fundraiser” on Sunday, September 13, 2015, at the Irish Bistro as we celebrate two decades of “Helping Writers Make Scenes” along with our guest of honor, CSN’s co-founder (and our most distinguished alumnus) Edward A. Bernero, creator of the NBC series Third Watch, executive producer of the CBS series Criminal Minds, and currently creator and executive producer of Crossing Lines. Admission is $20.00 per person in advance ($25.00 ea. at the door). Continue for more details and to register.

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Sun. Aug 9 – Gordy Hoffman, Founder of Bluecat Screenplay Competition

Gordy HoffmanOn Sunday, August 9th, our guest speaker will be Gordy Hoffman, founder of the Bluecat Screenplay Competition, who will join us from Los Angeles via Skype. (Gordy had originally planned to be in Chicago on Aug. 8-9 to conduct workshops for the Bluecat Screenplay Competition; he cancelled the workshops — and his trip to Chicago — after accepting a writing assignment.)

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CSN meeting, July 12, 2015: The Primacy of Character in TV Writing

Neal Howard & Ian StreicherOn Sunday, July 12, our guest speakers will be WGA-member Neal Howard and director / producer / writing instructor Ian Streicher, who will make a joint presentation on character-driven writing for television (and these principles extend to film writing as well).

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Sunday, June 14 – Not Just Talk: How Screenwriters Approach Dialogue

On Sunday, June 14, our guest speaker will be Penny Penniston, author of Talk The Talk: A Dialogue Workshop For Scriptwriters.

In this seminar, Penny will discuss the mechanics of dialogue writing: she will explain the forces which put dialogue in motion, move characters into conflict, shape lines, and create subtext. You will end the seminar with new insight into the inner workings of dialogue, with a rewrite guides to sharpen your scripts — and, possibly, with a free book donated by Penny for the door prize raffle drawing at the end of the meeting!

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“Heads Up!” Avoiding and Solving Common Screenplay Problems

On May 10th, the Chicago Screenwriters Network Speaker Series presents Mary Ruth Clarke, who co-wrote and starred in the original Meet the Parents and co-adapted it into the blockbuster version that starred Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro. She has script doctored many screenplays, including A Guy Thing and The Godfather of Green Bay. She’s a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists, where she teaches screenwriting, and beginning this June she will be teaching at Second City’s Film, TV and Digital division.

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