SRN Executive Minutes – March 2024

SRN Executive Council Meeting

(via Zoom)

Tuesday, March 19,2024 (Happy St. Joseph’s Day in Italy!)


7am Los Angeles (Daylight Savings Time has Begun in the U.S.)


Visiting Working Group Chairs

Chris Neilan

Romana Turina

Maxine Gee


Circulation list: Rosanne Welch (RW), Rose Ferrell (RF), Jan Cernik (JC), Isadora Garcia Avis (IGA), Anna Weinstein (AW), Lucien Georgescu (LG).  ECR Clarissa Miranda (CM)


  1. Apologies / Take group photo


  1. Approval of Minutes of previous meeting (February)–RF approves, AW seconds


  1. AW/RW: Beginning with the Good news from Dr. Russo on the Statement regarding Oxford Brookes slashing of Arts and Humanities programs! (Add his letter into the Minutes)–See below for attached letter from Dr. Russo to SRN membership.


  1. Working Group Update from Romana Turina, Chris Neilan, Maxine Gee.

–Comparative Screenwriting Working Group: Romana shares that they have had 10 sessions so far, currently working on the 11th. Five to 10 people attend each session, with another 20 viewing the videos each month. Romana and Paolo will be writing a statement (hoping to include in the journal) on the field of comparative screenwriting and what it means. Romana has also been working with a colleague on a book concept on comparative screenwriting. RF asks whether we can include a link to the comparative writing seminars on the YouTube site. Romana would appreciate that. Max asks about time zones and what has been working best. 10am LA/6pm UK but will be shifting it to accommodate scholars from Australia as well.

–Romina has an event in Italy in July and wondering about supplementary funding for bags etc and use of the SRN logo for her event. RW says no problem to use logo but no funding available unfortunately, as SRN doesn’t charge membership fees.


–Practice-led/Based Working Group: Max updates that they are figuring out the scripts they will run for the table reads at the Sept conference. She and Jan have been exchanging emails about how to set it up. Deciding whether/how to collaborate with Czech actors or screenwriting students for the table reads. JC has connections; he and Max will connect offline to discuss. Max is working on a virtual work-in-progress table read session, possibly in May, aiming to host over two days so it’s useful to colleagues in Australia and UK.


–Max shares that she is part of Bridging Responsible AI Divides (BRIDGE) – concerning the responsible integration of AI into script production. Max wonders if the EC would like to have a one-off online session to gather viewpoints from colleagues so we can record it and categorize it. JC offers that there will be two AI panels at the conference in Sept. RF suggests that a pre-conference virtual workshop/panel (over the summer) will be useful to SRN members, possibly inviting AI experts to share their perspective/opportunities for ethical integration of AI in screenwriting. AW suggests that a focus on working with students/teaching would be useful, particularly as faculty are prepping their syllabi for the fall. Max agrees to facilitate this.


–Creative Play Working Group: Chris updates that though the group started out strong with many people wanting to attend and run the sessions, 7-10 people in the first two sessions, the third session had only one attendee (end of January). He is working on the next session for the end of April. RW and RF suggest that he use social media and the listserve to get the message out. CM offers that she can post about it on Instagram and FB; she would just need some details from Chris. IG suggests that we include in the newsletter a reminder about the current working groups and opportunities for getting involved. RW agrees that this is a good idea. Chris asks whether he could come up with a panel for the conference. JC says there is room for his working group at the conference. They will connect offline.


  1. ECR position update after the AGM: Matt Kirton, Lecturer in Creative Writing, DMU is emailing offline with Clarissa about the work load OR we could ask book reviewer: Amanda Allen <> (finishing my PhD at Falmouth, UK.


  1. JC: Heidi Philipsen from Denmark is preparing a big international project and would like to include SRN. It could be done through a working group (which would have to be set up after a discussion with the EC…Discussion tabled to next meeting.


  1. JC: Update on SRN2024!–JC updates that they are working on the payment gateway for conference participants. They are keeping the payment to $120 / 100 euros. Waiting on money from the Czech Film Fund, hoping to hear back soon.
    –LG asks about cameras to record the sessions. JC says it’s a possibility. LG says if he has some budget funds he will bring a camera person, so they should discuss offline. RW says she was hoping to do that for the Missouri conference but it was difficult to getting enough student volunteers. She thinks it’s an excellent idea but a lot of work. JC suggests that he would first ask all of the participants if they are interested in being recorded. LG clarifies that he meant a mini-documentary rather than recording individual papers. The EC agrees that this would be an excellent idea — great to include on the YouTube channel. IG suggests that we ensure we have permissions in place from anyone in the video.


  1. JC – Newsletter Update – thanks for the latest issue – next deadline? Suggestions for future issues?–JC shares that end of May is the next deadline.


  1. IG: presentation of email for members on Top 5-10 suggestions/how they are being addressed from Membership Survey. For listserve and also AGM.–IG organized suggestions from SRN membership. The most requests had to with screenwriting discussion and feedback. She has created a list of volunteer coordinator opportunities that we can send out via the listserve or newsletter. One suggestion included an online discussion forum. Though this would be more challenging/time-consuming to coordinate, the EC agrees that it’s worth putting out the ask in case an SRN member is interested in facilitating.


  1. CM: Presentation of the report of monthly results of social media, and possible conference in Brazil in five years in the city of Florianópolis, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina.–To discuss at next meeting


  1. LG/RF: SRN Conversation #4 progress: Potsdam, London (& Leeds?)–IG agrees with LG’s ideas detailed in his email. LG will meet with RF offline and send an update to the EC.


  1. AW/RF – Took over the list of all the books mentioned in the December listserve email about books to use in classes? Add that to the website. Build off of Camila C A Agustini: “I copied all the suggestions from this list in a Google Document: –Also, Update on collecting e-booklets of abstracts from each conference to post on website?–To discuss at next meeting


  1. ALL: Election planning for 2025 – who needs to run again/how do we encourage more involvement in EC? Start conversation on Succession planning/encouraging more members to run for EC. Ask each EC member to suggest two academics from their home countries / related countries to consider running to have a bigger pool for voting.

–To discuss at next meeting


  1. The EC should consider creating a small FAQ to keep this institutional memory available for future conference organizers.—To discuss at next meeting


  1. Other business

–AW forwards email from SRN member in Spain who needs a letter to confirm participation in SRN. IG offers to reply and take care of this in Spanish.


Date of next meeting(s):  Tuesdays same time – April 23, May 21, June 18, July 23, Aug. 20, Sept. 13 (in person at SRN2024).


Letter from Paolo Russo:


Dear SRN colleagues


I’ll keep this brief and go straight to the point.


I simply want to update and inform everyone that yesterday I was notified by my university that I am no longer at risk of losing my job. Of course, it’s difficult to know for sure, but I am quite confident that Rosanne’s letter on behalf of the SRN played a significant role in pushing for a positive resolution of what (I have to admit) has been a rather brutal and distressing experience. One thing I know, is that the recipients of that letter, starting from my Head of School, were beyond impressed by the sheer number of signatures – and I for one was blown away by it.


So, thank you, to each and every single one of you, to Rosanne, Anna and the whole EC (Jan, Rose, Isadora, Clarissa, and Lucian) – not just for sending the letter but also for the dozens of supportive/concerned/friendly/cheering-up emails and messages over the past few months: one might think that simply dropping a line to someone going through a rough patch does not do much to resolve much bigger problems, but one would be wrong. I will cherish every single word all of you were so kind to send my way. I will email everyone individually next week and I can’t wait to thank many of you in person next September in Olomouc.


One more thing: if, in any way, this shows that I can be used as a guinea pig so that in the future the SRN might do the same to try and support any other colleagues anywhere else who find themselves facing similar adversities, then this has not been for nothing. As Anna argued on behalf of the EC, higher education is facing a troubled present and an even more uncertain future in many countries – and the arts, humanities and media in particular have become a favourite (and easy) target despite much evidence to contrast any (often ludicrous) excuse behind each and every attempt against them. While we are happy that at least for now the worst seems to be over, the situation at Oxford Brookes is far from being resolved for good, as in many other universities. With that in mind, let’s do our best so that the SRN can keep being the amazing community it has grown to be.


With heartfelt gratitude.

Take care!


Paolo Russo