CFP: 10th SRN Conference – 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.

Click here for the CFP document