Vienna 23 September
In person – EC + full membership
Minutes of previous meeting – unanimously Approved
Chair Margaret McVeigh presented the 2021-22 Activity Report which also appears on the SRN mailing list and website. She covered these areas:
1.)Introduction of Executive Council:
- Margaret McVeigh (Chairperson), Griffith Film School, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia
- Rosanne Welch (Secretary), Stephens College, USA
- Rose Ferrell (Membership and Inclusion Officer), Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia
- Rafael Leal (Web Coordinator), Pontifical Catholic University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Jan Cernik (Newsletter Editor) Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic
- Isadora Garcia Avis (Newsletter Editor) Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
ALSO – Shaopeng Chen, China was appointed as Early Career Representative by the Executive Council and co-opted to the EC for the academic year 2021/22.
2.)The Executive Council held meetings on a monthly basis from 2021 to 2022 (for a total of nine not including the March meeting cancelled due to illness). All these meetings were held online via Teams with the last meeting held face to face in Vienna before the day before the AGM. In addition to the regular meetings, its members maintained ongoing communication with one another and with the Membership. Minutes of all meetings are published on the SRN website.
3.)COMMUNICATIONS (Newsletter, Website and Social media)
All relevant activities were publicized via the SRN Newsletter, JISCMail mailing list, and via social media.
a.)The Newsletter was regularly sent out to Members and extracts of news items were posted on Facebook. We wish to thank Jan and Isadora who collected all the news from colleagues the world over. Over the past year, the EC has discussed and implemented ways to continue to develop the circulation and outreach of the Newsletter. To that end Jan and Isadora:
- Developed a completely new design for the newsletter
- Established a new section with short interviews in order to share the ideas of some members, whether they are scholars or professional screenwriters, or both.
They follow this news cycle: all new items go to the Newsletter first, then are added to the News section on the SRN website and/or to the Local Initiative section (if applicable).
b.)The University of Leeds continues to host the SRN website. This has been the case since the SRN’s inception and will continue to be so until July 2026. The hosting cost (£100 yearly) is covered by the School and Media and Communication of the University of Leeds. We thank the University of Leeds for their continuing support.
More details on the EC’s activities regarding the Website and our Social media outlets are included in the Activities section below.
As of 30 June 2022, the Network consists of 731 members. This is an increase of 109 members (+ 17.5%). This is the third year in a row where we have grown by more than 100 members. According to an analysis of JISCmail, the range of countries represented amongst our members is in the vicinity of 40.
a.)Diversity and inclusivity
As our membership grows, we are also beginning to see an increasingly wider range in nationalities represented each year. Over the previous 2 years, Rose Ferrell, Membership Officer has periodically put out a call to all our members to invite colleagues, students and admired mentors to join the SRN. This is part of our endeavour to expand the relevance of the Screenwriting Research Network across film industries in diverse regions in the world. This is an ongoing initiative which requires the action of every member of the SRN. Is there a scholar you admire, students who would benefit from the SRN community, or a colleague who is interested in screenwriting and film, we ask you to speak to them honestly about the value you receive from being in the Screenwriting Research Network and you will be assisting us to expand. The EC thanks Rose Ferrell for her constant dedication in liaising with new and existing Members.
b.)Reaching Across Borders – Asia Pacific Story Patterns
One of the initiatives taken this year to reach out to new members in the Asia Pacific and to provide opportunities for joint research projects around screenwriting was the Panel Asia Pacific Story Patterns.
In July 2022 the SRN Chair, Margaret McVeigh opened the conversation into research into screenwriting patterns in Asia Pacific Storytelling with the panel Asia Pacific Story Patterns held face-to-face and online for SRN Members at the ASPERA (Australian Screen Production Education and Research Association) Annual Conference Creativity Matters: Poetics. Pedagogy. Production. Policy held at Griffith Film School, Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia on Tuesday July 12 2022. The panel session was titled: Opening the Conversation – “How do you tell a story?” — Asia Pacific Story Patterns and involved a presentation by and discussion with filmmakers and screenwriters from the Asia Pacific. Panellists included:
- Dr Anne Demy-Geroe (Panel Moderator) (Course Convenor Asia Pacific Film, Griffith Film School: President NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema, author, Iranian National Cinema)
- Dr Anthony Mullins (Award Winning Australian Screenwriter and Showrunner, author Beyond the Hero’s Journey) Professor Park Ki-yong (Chairperson KOFIC [Korean Film Council]; awardwinning Director, Editor, Screenwriter)
- Ms Anjali Menon (Script writer & Director Ustaad Hotel, Bangalore days, Manjarrikurru; filmmakier India, United Kingdom and the Middle East.)
- Ms Kodie Bedford (Award winning Australian Indigenous screenwriter & filmmaker)
The session involved over 55 participants including the panel members, 30 ASPERA face to face delegates and 20 SRN online participants and was concluded by a Call for Chapters to Asia Pacific Screenwriters and Scholars for a publication proposal in the area. The editors (Margaret McVeigh, Anne Demy-Geroe and Anthony Mullins) welcome proposals that involve collaborations between academics and industry screenwriters and filmmakers.
The current annual conferences is to be held in Vienna, Austria (2022), the next conference is Missouri, USA (2023). The conference to be held Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2024) will now be held in Olomouc, Czech Republic. The Executive will put out a call for conference hosts after 2024 as part of its Action Plan 2022/2023.
The SRN Awards apply to eligible publications between June 2021 and May 2022.
The categories for the Awards are for the Best Monograph by a single author, and the Best Article or Book Chapter in a peer-reviewed journal or other publication. The Executive Council has worked throughout the year to consolidate the process by liaising with the expert jury (i.e. Professor Emeritus Tom Stempel, Associate Professor Eva Novrup Redvall and Professor Carmen Sofia Brenes). The submission guidelines have been added to the SRN website.
The SRN Awards will be announced at the Vienna Conference by jury chair, Eva Novrup Redvall.
c.)History and memory archive of the SRN
The EC has continued to develop the historical/memory archive of the SRN, through conversations with previous conference organizers. This includes the work commenced under the previous Chair, Paolo Russo, where the EC began the project of creating a historical/memory archive of the SRN. The result of this was the SRN ‘Conversations’ series, which is on our Youtube channel.
The first conversation is between Ian Macdonald, Kirsi Rinne, Eva Novrup Redvall and Ronald Geerts and is about the early beginnings of the Screenwriting Research Network. In July 2022 we recorded a second ‘Conversation’ with the conference organisers of our 2012 Sydney, Australia conference and our 2013 Madison, Wisconsin conference. Executive Council Secretary, Rosanne Welch, hosted the ‘Conversation’, speaking to Kathryn Millard, Macquarie University, Sydney; Alex Munt, University of Technology, Sydney; and J.J. Murphy (retired) previously of University of Wisconsin, Madison. (Unfortunately, Kelley Conway, who collaborated with J.J. in organzing the Wisconsin conference, was not able to be with us). This Conversation has also been uploaded to the SRN website (screenwritingresearch.com) for you to access.
We began this project because we believed that the SRN is a valuable organisation precisely because of its ‘grass roots’ beginnings. These beginnings saw researchers who were isolated from each other in a field which had barely become recognised as a field of research, reach out to each other. Beginning with a one-day Symposium in Leeds in 2008, the group grew to hold its second conference in Helsinki in 2009, a third in Copenhagen in 2010, and a fourth in Brussels in 2011. One of the important legacies of this beginning is the friendly and open way that SRN members in general welcome newcomers who join us. It drives our enthusiasm for embracing screenwriters and researchers from around the globe – not just the Western world, and is evidenced too, by the fact that we do not charge a subscription fee, as many other organisations do. Another way this is shown as important is that the conferences are organised in such a way as to keep costs down to give the opportunity for all to participate no matter what their circumstances. This culture has been embedded since its inception, and we endeavour to maintain this legacy as we grow larger. For this reason, the Conversations were mooted as a way to preserve a culture of sharing and of friendship which had been so successfully developed through those early years.
d.)While looking at our history, it became obvious that we each are holding photos which preserve shared memories. This led to the scoping of another project by the Executive Council, that of creating a Photo album (available via Google Photo) which Members can access to share their past conference photos. Currently, the EC is considering how to administer such a project while addressing privacy issues. We will be continue to work on this over the coming year and welcome your thoughts regarding this.
e.)Website and social media action and development
The SRN website was streamlined in 2020-2021. The Executive continues to update and work to make the site informative and rich with knowledge important to SRN Members.
The information below is data generated according to Google Analytics. This allows us to gather useful statistics on our users’ engagement with the website, and helps us plan and put to good use as part of our new inclusivity and diversity strategy.
From August 2020 to June 2022, we had 7,418 users in 9,548 sessions and a total of 17,292 pageviews.
Data data collected so far shows us that:
– users are mostly between 25-34 years old (28.3%) or younger (23.1%);
– 46.8% male, 53.2% female; (we are sorry that Google Analytics does not show any non-binary data regarding gender)
– nearly a quarter of them accessed through mobile devices;
– users come from 134 different countries (in the last report it was “only” 92 countries;
– users come from the US (21.13%), UK (15%), China (6.62%), Australia (6.43%), Brazil (4.41%), Finland (4.15%), Netherlands (3.17%), India (2.68%), Austria (2.47%) and Japan (2.39%).
The Analytics provides several resources that will allow us to spread the word of Screenwriting Research more efficiently, as we make our website more reachable to audiences searching for related content.
The EC wishes to thank Rafael Leal for his excellent coordination and management of our website.
This year Executive has worked with advice from Marketing experts to fine tune the interconnection of elements of our online print (the newsletter) and social media to create a cycle of news and alerts that links current events but maintains a semi archival repository of interviews, reviews and reports on the website via the Newsletter.
Our social media activities (with particular emphasis on our Facebook presence) were run most effectively by Shoaopeng, Jan and Isadora.
Our Facebook followers are:
- 41 % female and 57% male;
- still come mostly from USA, UK and Australia but also from India, Germany,Brazil, Portugal, Canada, Chile, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Austria, Sweden, Ireland,Colombia, and Egypt as per the previous year with new followers from Nigeria and Vietnam
- still mostly speak English and prefer posts about “international” content (e.g.CfPs, trade news, new publications, etc.)
- still distributed rather evenly between age groups, which means that the pagestill offers content that is interesting for both young and advanced researchers.
- The age distribution of our FB followers is below:
Age Group Female Followers Male Followers
25-34 9% 11%
35-44 10% 17%
45-54 11% 14%
55-64 5% 8%
65+ 4% 6%
g.)The Youtube channel is one year old this year. A reminder it is still possible to access lectures from the SRN 2021 via registration on SRN2020.com website. The lectures do not appear on the YouTube page but can be accessed via this website using a password you will receive when you register. These lectures are available until late in 2023.
The SRN has four working groups: one focused on Practice-led research, one on Collaborative Screenwriting, another one on Women and Screenwriting, and one on Teaching Screenwriting.
Last September, the Practice Based/Led working group organised its first panel at the annual conference which involved table reads of research screenplays. This year, the working group once again has organised a Practice focused panel, with actors reading research screenplay excerpts, for the Vienna conference. Maxine Gee the convenor of this working group aims facilitate more activities in the coming academic year.
Information about content and contacts for the working groups can be found on our website (http://screenwritingresearch.com/working-groups/). We encourage anybody who wishes to join any of the current groups to contact the relevant coordinators; drop into working group face-to-face meetings at the annual conference or, if you would like to establish a new working group, to initiate discussion among the members so as to set it up.
i.)Early Career Representative
The role of the Early Career Representative was introduced to explore pathways that could showcase the work of our early career and PhD candidate members. This last year the role was taken on by Shaopeng Chen who has worked with Jan and Isadora in curating the SRN social media presence as well as contributing to all EC discussions.
The ECR is not elected and remains in post for one year (although the ECR can stand up for re-appointment or for election to an EC position). The Call for Nominations for the new academic year was issued in June 2022. The EC appointed a new ECR at the September 2022 meeting – Clarissa Miranda, Brasil.
The Executive Council consists of elected members who stand for two years as well as the invited and appointed ECR representative.
- Two members of the EC ended their terms this year so a Call for Nominations was regularly posted in May 2022 to fill the vacancies.
- Rosanne Welch, Rose Ferrell stood for election unopposed.
The EC encourage all members to consider standing for elections so that the Executive Council itself can continue its role of coordination and steering.
We wish to congratulate all members who completed their PhD, and who have had publications in 2021-22, including for example, the many members whose work has been published through Sightlines: Filmmaking in the Academy and in Palgrave Handbook of Script Development.
7.)PRESENTATION OF NEXT CONFERENCE LOCATION
Secretary Rosanne Welch gave a 15 minute powerpoint on Stephens College, Missouri, USA where the 2023 SRN will be held from September 20-23, 2023. The website:
offers information on travel and discounts on lodging. Abstracts due January 6, 2023. Acceptance and Registration opens mid-February.
8.)PRESENTATION OF AWARDS
Eva Novrup Redvall presented the SRN award for Best Monograph to s. Anthony Mullins for his book Beyond the Hero’s Journey
and to Alison Pierce for Best Article for her“The Hidden Work of Women in Commissioning and Development in British Television Drama.”.
Meeting adjourned 17:30. Next full AGM will be held at Stephens College, Missouri, USA – time TBA