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Portfolio, Tools, and Network

Julia Louis Dreyfus and Program Founder Dave Tolchinsky during a seminar with the MFA writers.

You will leave this Program with a powerful set of tools:

A portfolio of work, including:

  • at least one play
  • teleplay
  • screenplay
  • a full-length project of your choosing (play, teleplay, screenplay, emerging form)
  • a produced film or video of one of your pieces (optional)

Business acumen for navigating in the professional world of writing:

  • how to pitch
  • take meetings
  • understand contracts
  • write agent/production query letters
  • plus knowledge gained from your internship at an LA, New York, or Chicago production company

A network of new colleagues, including:

  • the writers in the Program with whom you have tracked closely together through the six core courses
  • the Program’s faculty, visiting artists, and alumnae with whom you have had deep contact, people who include the leading voices and rising stars in writing, as well as media executives, agents, and producers
  • Directing, Acting, and Design students from the Theatre Department’s other MFA programs as well Radio-TV-Film undergraduates, whom you have collaborated with in your other courses and extracurricular activities.
  • Northwestern alumni are known for their generosity, warmth, and willingness to “give back.” to their community. The ways in which our alumni are known to give back can range from helping new arrivals to LA or NY find jobs or apartments; recommending their peers and colleagues as candidates for jobs, grants, and fellowships; or building a strong sense of community wherever they go. Here, we adhere to the belief that “when one of us succeeds, we all succeed.”

You will have acquired a broad and deep understanding of media writing, familiarity with production concepts, equipment, and techniques, and, most importantly, a Bauhaus understanding of the universals that connect all media, whether traditional or emerging. You will not only be able to plug into existing writing forms and opportunities, you will be uniquely prepared to help form the media of the future.