CFP: 10th SRN Conference – Screenwriting: Fact and Fiction, Truth and the Real

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Click here for the CFP document

Screenwriting: Fact and Fiction, Truth and the Real

Call for Papers

In order to ensure timely notification and subsequent travel planning, please note the deadline: Abstracts for original paper presentations and panels may be submitted until November 22, 2016. This date has been set as it is national vacation time over Dec/Jan in New Zealand and all committee members already have scheduled leave.

The 10th Screenwriting Research Network (SRN) International Conference will be hosted by the University of Otago’s Department of Media, Film and Communication, in partnership with the New Zealand Writers Guild. It will take place in Dunedin, Aotearoa/New Zealand, on Monday 28th through Thursday 31st August 2017.

The conference theme is Screenwriting: Fact and Fiction, Truth and the Real. SRN2017 will examine how we approach/frame our storytelling, in and from different contexts. This then brings in conventions, orthodoxies, claims about the real and the truth (which might be different from the ‘real’), as well as the cultural and industrial contexts of storytelling practice(s). In other words, how we justify telling our stories in a particular way and how these shifts impact our work as practitioners and scholars: for example, in Aotearoa New Zealand, why it is important to understand different cultural perspectives which include the very nature of storytelling, if we are to get (or get to) a particular truth. We want to discuss the role and function of conventions regarding fact and fiction, as well as interrogating the practices of certain genres and media.

We invite discussion about screenwriting as an art located somewhere between fact, fiction, truth, and the real. We are particularly interested in abstracts for presentations on the following topics:

  • In relation to truth claims and narrative, can we separate the teller from the tale?
  • Writing the Real: adapting events into stories
  • How does collaborative screenwriting negotiate fact, fiction, truth, and the ‘real’?
  • How do we frame the local, the national, and the indigenous?
  • How can we narrate from a transnational position?
  • How do specific orthodox screenwriting frameworks affect the tales we tell?
  • Teaching fact, fiction, truth, and the ‘real’ in screenwriting
  • Reflections on narrative theory and conventions
  • Screenwriting and Literature: the adaptation of source narratives into scripts
  • Censorship, ratings, and screenwriting

We would also like to invite abstracts for presentations beyond the theme of the conference. We are looking forward to abstracts that cover the wide field of screenwriting studies, including, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Practice-based research in the field of screenwriting
  • Writing for series television
  • Different screenwriting practices and formats
  • Case studies on individual writers or texts
  • Historical perspectives on screenwriting and screenplays
  • Screenwriting, the screenplay and different production structures
  • Screenwriting and narrative theory in writing for short films
  • Screenwriting for games and animation
  • Screenwriting for new media forms, online, transmedia, etc. Are stories fully transferrable from one medium to another?
  • How does the digital age change screenwriting?

Proposals for individual presentations and pre-constituted panels:

Time allotted to each paper is 20 minutes plus discussion. Abstracts for original paper presentations and panels may be submitted until November 22, 2016. Earlier submissions are welcome. Please note: original, in-person paper presentations only (no repetitions from other conferences or former SRN conferences. Video presentations are not possible).

Proposals for pre-constituted panels should include no more than three presenters (20 mins for each paper), the overall issue of the panel, abstracts for all of the presentations and, if possible, the name and a short biography of the chair of the panel. The chair should not be one of the presenters. If a proposal for a panel does not include a chair, the conference committee will appoint one.

Please send abstracts (250-300 words) as a Word document, with the email subject heading “SRN2017 Proposal” to:

Remember to state your name, affiliation and contact information. Also include a brief biographical statement (100 words) detailing your publications and/or screenwriting practice.

We are currently in conversation with publishers about an edited anthology. If you are interested in your abstract being considered for such a publication, please indicate this in your submission.

The organising committee plans to notify of acceptances/rejections by mid-December 2016. Please see our SRN2017 website at in the meantime. It will be updated with this CFP/theme shortly, but currently has helpful general information regarding Dunedin, New Zealand, and travel planning options.

Welcome to Leeds

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You will all no doubt be aware by now that this year’s conference has been moved to Leeds in the North of England. We would like to extend a very warm welcome from the organising team and invite you to join us in this vibrant and cultural city. The conference will be hosted by Leeds Beckett University in partnership with Leeds University. The dates of the conference, 8-10 September 2016, remain unchanged and the main venue will be at Beckett’s City Campus in the centre of Leeds.

As you will appreciate, there will be a great deal to organise over the coming weeks and we are currently at work on securing our exciting keynote speakers. We have already written individually to all those who have previously had proposals accepted for the Stockholm conference to reassure them that their acceptance carries over to the new venue. If you have received your email and not yet replied we would be grateful if you could confirm your attendance as soon as possible.

We have also reopened the original Call for Papers until 2pm on 13 June to allow for additional proposals to come forward from anyone who now wants to present at Leeds. Our key theme remains: “Screenwriting between Artistic Freedom and Norms”.

As an additional incentive we are holding the ‘ticket’ price at £70 with a further discount of £20 available for research students. We are aware that in some cases individuals may have suffered unavoidable and unrecoverable financial loss as a result of the conference being moved at such a late stage. It may be possible to offer a free pass in these circumstances; any individuals in this situation should contact the Conference Director. Contact details for the team are below.

We will continue to provide regular updates over the coming weeks as the conference takes shape; details of how to register will be announced very shortly. In the meantime, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact our organiser, Katie Johnson. We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in the autumn here in Leeds.

Professor Robert Shail, Conference Director:

Katie Johnson, Conference Organiser:

Dr Ian Macdonald:

Anna Zaluczkowska:

SRN Conference 2016: change of venue to Leeds, UK

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The venue for the 9th SRN international conference (2016) has been changed from Stockholm. The conference will now take place in Leeds, UK, hosted by Leeds Beckett University and the University of Leeds, in partnership with Leeds Trinity University.

The dates of the conference will remain the same, Thursday 8th September to Saturday 10th September 2016. Papers already accepted for the conference will be scheduled as before, with the only change being that delegates should travel to Leeds instead.

Registration details are now being put together, and will be released as soon as possible. Travel information can be found attached below, along with general details of accommodation in Leeds. Any special conference deals on accommodation, and other information including on keynote speakers, will be announced as soon as possible.

We hope SRN colleagues will understand that this rather late change to our plans is the result of force majeure. Discussions over support arrangements in Stockholm proved more difficult than we anticipated, and we made the reluctant decision to switch to Leeds once it became clear that these obstacles were insurmountable. We must acknowledge with deep gratitude the efforts made on our behalf by Louise Lindbom, along with colleagues including Ann Igelström, who worked tirelessly on our behalf. We benefit from their organisational skills, and the hours they have put in already in order to make this conference a success.

Despite this change, we expect the conference to be a stimulating and enjoyable experience for everyone. We have no doubt that you will find this a great place to talk screenwriting research, as it was eight years ago when the SRN was founded in Leeds.

More information will follow next week.

Screenwriting Research Network: Call for Conferences

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The Screenwriting Research Network is looking for proposals to host its international conferences in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

The Screenwriting Research Network ( is an international research network of scholars, reflective practitioners and practice-based researchers, interested in the conceptualisation of film, TV and other media narratives; or Screenwriting Studies, as it has become known. Membership is currently drawn from 30 countries worldwide and is growing strongly; it is up 35% on last year. There is strong representation from the USA, Europe and Australasia, with recent members also drawn from other countries, including Brazil, Portugal, Peru and South Korea.

The SRN began as a study group at the University of Leeds, UK, in 2006, and started its programme of international conferences in 2008, also at Leeds. Since then annual conferences have been held in Helsinki (2009), Copenhagen (2010), Brussels (2011), Sydney (2012), Madison, Wisconsin (2013), Potsdam-Babelsberg (2014) and London (2015). A special international conference was also held in Santiago, Chile in May 2015. In 2016 we will meet in Stockholm, and the 2017 conference will be held at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand.

The programme has attracted eminent scholars and Oscar-winning screenwriters amongst the keynote speakers, and includes: David Bordwell, Janet Staiger, Kristin Thompson, Torben Grodal, Adrian Martin, Brian Winston, Jonathan Powell, Milcho Manchevski, Larry Gross, Jean-Claude Carrière and Ronald Harwood. Key papers are often published in the Journal of Screenwriting (Intellect).

Such conferences usually take place at the end of summer or beginning of fall, in September/October each year. Recent conferences have attracted 150-175 participants and around 100 papers and presentations. We expect further growth.

Our conferences are usually hosted by university departments or film schools, often as a partnership between such institutions; for example, our 2015 London conference was a collaboration between Royal Holloway University of London, University of Greeenwich, University of East London and Bangor University. Collaborations with archives or festivals, writers associations or guilds, and other public bodies are welcomed.
Each conference is financially self-supporting with actual costs borne or raised by the host institutions. Sources range from public bodies and institutions to sponsorship of some events, to conference fees from participants. The SRN supports each conference with advice and contacts, but not finance. This is not a profit-making enterprise, and commercial proposals are not accepted.

If you are interested in organizing an SRN annual international conference, please contact the SRN Chairman, Dr. Claus Tieber (University of Vienna) at the address below, for further information or for an informal chat. Formal proposals should be received by February 29th 2016, via email, The proposal should be no longer than four or five pages, outlining the location and institution, facilities, ease of travel and communication, appropriate organising staff, and an indication of how institutional and financial commitment will be forthcoming. A simple budget should be appended.
For further information or an informal chat (preferably via Skype), contact Dr. Tieber on

The SRN Executive Council will consider all proposals through March/April 2016, and may require further information, before making decisions. We hope to complete the process by the end of April 2016.

The SRN exists to encourage networking among screenwriting scholars and will support and disseminate information about appropriate events. Besides our annual conferences, therefore, there is also the possibility of regional conferences, one-day workshops and other forms of smaller events. If you are planning to organize such an event and want the help and support of the network, please contact us, and the SRN Executive Council will consider how we might help.

SRN Conference in Chile “Transnational Screenwriting: A Dialogue between Scholars and Industry”

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The SRN Special Conference in ChileTransnational Screenwriting: A Dialogue between Scholars and Industry” took place in Santiago, hosted by Universidad de los Andes, from the 7th to the 9th of May 2015. With 25 presentations and an Industry Panel about the Latin America Film and TV Industry, the Conference has been a great opportunity to have a dialogue between practitioners and scholars about screenwriting and the transnational and transcultural phenomena.The group SRN conference uandes

London Screenwriting Research Seminar

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The London Screenwriting Research Seminar has been established by a group of academics at Royal Holloway University of London and elsewhere in the London region, associated with the newly launched Journal of Screenwriting and the Screenwriting Research Network. Founder members include Adam Ganz, Sue Clayton and Barry Langford (all Royal Holloway), Jill Nelmes (University of East London) editor of the Journal of Screenwriting and Analysing the Screenplay, Rosamund Davies (University of Greenwich) and Stephen Price (University of Bangor).

The seminar explores the study of the screenplay and the practice of screenwriting as an academic discipline and object of scholarly enquiry. We explore the nature of writing for the moving image in the broadest sense, from a broad range of possible methodologies and approaches, considering in particular: the history and poetics of the form, contextual analysis, the process of writing for the moving image, and the relationship of word and image in the production process.

There are some podcasts available.

Read More…

New Book – ‘Screenwriting Poetics and the Screen Idea’

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IanMacdonald_bookIan Macdonald, co-founder of the SRN, has published a new book: ‘Screenwriting Poetics and the Screen Idea‘, Palgrave Macmillan.

This is a new and original investigation into how screenwriting works, applying a range of film, media and creative theories to the study and research of screenwriting.  It includes three new, original case studies: story development in the successful ITV soap Emmerdale, the silent film work of Hitchcock’s first major screenwriter Eliot Stannard (‘exemplary scholarship’ says Emeritus Professor Charles Barr), and on David Lean’s last, unfinished ‘magnum opus’, Nostromo.
SRN members can get 20% off this publication. Quote ‘XP356ED’ when ordering the book directly from Palgrave Macmillan to claim your discount.

US members should order it here:

And UK members here:

This is the first title in the new Palgrave Studies in Screenwriting book series. Further titles will be published in December, and in the New Year. More information on these to follow.
The wonderful photo of the cover has to be credited to Dan Bush © 2006. Hope you enjoy the book.

New Executive Council of the SRN

· Executive Council, News

At the Annual General Meeting which took place in Madison the 22nd August 2013, there were elections for three positions on the Executive Council. New members are Ronald Geerts, who teaches theatre and film studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and screenwriting at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and the University of Antwerp, Belgium, and  Claus Tieber, lecturer at the University of Vienna, Austria. Carmen Sofia Brenes, professor of poetics and screenwriting at University of los Andes, Santiago, Chile, was re-elected.

The other members of the EC are Kirsi Rinne, who works as a research coordinator at the Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture;  Kerstin Stutterheim, professor of dramaturgy and aesthetics and vice-dean at Hochshule für Film und Fernsehen “Konrad Wolf” in Germany, and Adam Ganz, senior lecturer at the Royal Holloway University of London, Department of Media Arts.

Stutterheim, Rinne, Geerts, BrenesGanz and Stutterheim

After the Conference: (Up) Kerstin, Kirsi, Ronald and Carmen Sofia. (Down) Adam and Kerstin.



Claus sent his photo by mail. He could not come to Madison.



News from Madison 2013

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We are having a great Conference at Madison, thanks to JJ Murphy, Kelley Conway and all the staff of University of Wisconsin.

It is almost imposible to summarize all the interesting and wonderful presentations that have taken place during these days. To have a taste on what has been going on here, you can check the program.

But as usual, images can tell more than pure words. Here you can see some of the first pics (not in a great quality, I guess. The best ones are coming soon): SRN Flickr page.

Thanks to everybody! CSB



David Bordwell and the SRN Madison Conference

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David Bordwell wrote a post about the WCFTR (Wisconsin Center for Feature and TV Research) and our upcoming conference, Screenwriting in a Global and Digital World, that will take place in August, 2013, at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA.


Here DB:

Speaking of research, our campus will be hosting a major conference that includes the WCFTR as a key component. The Screenwriting Research Network International is holding its annual gathering here on 20-22 August. I attended the Brussels SRNI conference two years ago and wrote about it here and here. I think it’s fair to say that a hell of a time was had by all. This is a stimulating bunch, and anyone interested in filmmaking would benefit from attending.

Keynote speakers this year are Larry Gross (48 Hrs, True Crime, We Don’t Live Here Anymore, Veronika Decides to Die), Jon Raymond (Old Joy, Wendy and Lucy, Meeks Cutoff , and several novels), and. . .  Kristin!

The scholars are no less stellar and include Kathryn Millard, Richard Neupert, Jill Nelmes, Steven Maras, Riikka Pelo, Eva Novrup Redvall, Nate Kohn, Ronald Geerts, Andy Horton, Ian Macdonald, and a great many more. Go here for a complete program. You will be impressed.

And here’s the link to the whole entry:

Thank you, David!

Poetics and Politics of Documentary Film, Research Symposium at the Aalto, Helsinki, Finland

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The aim of the Poetics and Politics symposium is to strenghten dialogue between theory and practice in documentary film. We wish to promote a forum for discussions on the possibilities and approaches on practice-based research and theorizing that stems from artistic work. Filmmakers and scholars interested in conceptual approaches in documentary film are welcome to attend.

Vietnamese-American filmmaker and theorist Trinh T. Minh-ha will participate in the event and give a keynote lecture on Monday, April 22. On Tuesday morning, April 23, professor Brian Winston from the UK will give a second keynote.  The programme consists of 10 parallell sessions where filmmakers and academics present their work.  In addition, two recent documentary films are screened.

The conference fee is 85 euros and includes lunches, coffees and a get-together party on Monday evening. More information and instructions for registration are available on the

The symposium is organized by the Department of Film, Television and Scenography at Aalto University ARTS, Helsinki, Finland.

London Screenwriting Research Seminar – Dr Eva Novrup Redvall

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We are delighted to welcome at the next session of the London Screenwriting Research Seminar on Thursday 21st of March Dr Eva Novrup Redvall from the University of Copenhagen who will be speaking on

“Writing and Producing Television Drama in Denmark: The Writing of Borgen”

Venue:  STB3/6 (Stewart House, basement Next to Senate House) Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. (nearest tube Russell Square).

Dr Eva Novrup Redvall is Assistant Professor at the University of Copenhagen. She has spent time observing the Writers Room for Borgen as part of a major research project into the Writing and Production of Television Drama Series from Danmarks Radio, with the support of The Danish Council for Independent Research | Humanities (FKK)) This will be published in English as “Writing and Producing Television Drama in Denmark: From The Kingdom to The Killing” by Palgrave Macmillan later in 2013
She is also film critic for the daily Danish newspaper Information and part of the programming team for the Göteborg International Film Festival.

All welcome  -refreshments will be provided.

More information about London Screenwriting Research Seminar here.

Professor of screenwriting position open at Aalto

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Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture has an open position for Professor of Practice in Screenwriting for Film and Television. This is a fixed term position for 5 years at the Department of Film, Television and Scenography (ELO Film School Helsinki), beginning on 1st of January 2014 or as agreed. Deadline for the applications is 16th of April 2013. Please see the whole advertisement here.

Aalto University is a new university with over a century of experience. Created from a high-profile merger between three leading universities in Finland – the Helsinki School of Economics, Helsinki University of Technology and the University of Art and Design Helsinki – Aalto University opens up new possibilities for strong multi-disciplinary education and research. The university has 20 000 students and a staff of 5 000 including 350 professors. Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture combines design, media, architecture, film, art education and art. More information:

SRN 2013 Conference – Call for papers

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Screenwriting in a Global and Digital World

6th Screenwriting Research Network International Conference
August 20 – 22, 2013
University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

This is a call for papers for the annual international conference on screenwriting research, this year organized by the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. The Screenwriting Research Network is a research group that commenced in 2006 within the Louis Le Prince Research Centre, at the Institute of Communication Studies (ICS), University of Leeds. The Screenwriting Research Network now consists of academics as well as practitioners interested in research centered on screenwriting studies. The network has achieved a critical mass in recent years with conferences taking place in Leeds (2008), Helsinki (2009), Copenhagen (2010), Brussels (2011), and Sydney, Australia (2012). The sixth conference widens the geographic spread of the network to North America, taking place in Madison, Wisconsin, USA (2013).

The Screenwriting Research Network is comprised of scholars, writers, and practice-based researchers devoted to rethinking the screenplay in relation to its histories, theories, values and creative practices. The aim of the conference is to continue, and expand, discussions around the screenplay and to strengthen a rapidly emerging, and global, research network. The Journal of Screenwriting, first published in 2009, stands as testament to the vitality of the screenwriting network across traditional and practice-based research. This is in addition to growth in the publication of screenwriting monographs by scholars in the network, including books on screenwriting by Steven Price, Steven Maras, J.J. Murphy, and Jill Nelmes, among others. The new Palgrave Studies in Screenwriting series grew out of this organization. The SRN is also building an online forum for scholars and practitioners interested in this subject.

The key theme of this next conference is “Screenwriting in a Digital and Global World.” This speaks to the complex and changing nature of screenwriting as a result of both digital technology and globalization. The conference hopes to raise questions about past, current, and future creative practices in scripting in various forms of media, both old and new.

Keynote speakers will be confirmed early in 2013.

The conference is interested in all types of research related to screenwriting in its many forms. We would like to invite abstracts for research presentations on (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • Cross-cultural collaboration in screenwriting
  • Screenwriting traditions in different national contexts
  • Screenwriting and transnationalism
  • Screenwriting and the pressures of globalization
  • Industry changes in the digital age and what it means for writers of film and television
  • Transmedia storytelling — “world building” and constructing narratives that reach across multiple platforms
  • Writing for online video as a new genre and profession
  • The history of screenwriting around the globe, including Hollywood
  • Questions of authorship in highly collaborative digital media projects
  • Database narratives and interactive, non-linear storytelling
  • Writing for games (including video games and ARGs)
  • Theorizing and analyzing screenwriting software
  • Screenwriting archival research
  • Theorizing screenwriting and the screenplay
  • Reflections on narrative theory and dramaturgy
  • Practice-based research
  • Case studies on individual writers or texts
  • Genre-orientated considerations of screenwriting and the screenplay
  • Adaptation in moving image screen works
  • The role of writing in non-fiction film, television, and other forms of media
  • Screenwriting for animation
  • Writing for episodic television
  • Screenwriting in independent cinema
  • Alternative forms of scripting

Call for Papers

Time allotted to each paper is 20 minutes plus discussion. Abstracts (250-300 words) may be submitted until January 1, 2013.  Earlier submissions are welcome. Please remember to state your name, affiliation and contact information. Include a brief statement (100 words) detailing your publications and/or screenwriting practice.

Please send your abstract as a WORD document, with the email subject heading “SRN Conference Abstract” to:

More information on the program as well as cost, traveling and accommodation details will be available on this website as it becomes available.

The conference is supported by a grant from the Anonymous Fund of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is being organized with assistance from the Department of Communication Arts at UW-Madison, the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research (WCFTR), and the Screenwriting Research Network.

For further information, please contact J. J. Murphy, or Kelley Conway, at Department of Communication Arts, UW-Madison, USA.

Conference Co-Directors:

Professor Kelley Conway and Professor J. J. Murphy, Department of Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA.