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Screenwriting Seminar: Taught by Lesley Alicia Tye with Special Guests: Judith Guest and Mary Ellen Jones

Sep 17, 2016 from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
NW Michigan Cinematic Storytellers

Learn fundamentals of cinematic storytelling and screenplay structure for features, shorts, and web series.

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Event Details

9:00 - 9:30 Registration

9:30 - 11:30 Fundamentals of Good Screenwriting

11:30 - 1:00 Lunch

1:00 - 3:00 Screenplay Structure

3:00 - 4:15 Q&A

4:15 Final Wrap Up


Lesley Alicia Tye Bio

A writer and instructor of screenwriting and film at Interlochen Center for the Arts. She earned her BFA in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California and her MFA in Creative Writing from National University. Lesley has also taught seminars for Michigan Writers and Northwestern Michigan College’s extension program. Previously she worked in Los Angeles in film and television, with credits including casting assistant, below-the-line agent with Casala, Ltd, and Costume Designer for the feature Two Coyotes and short The Millennium. Her flash fiction has been published in the anthology Bite from Trachodon Publishing. She has written several feature length screenplays, and was co-writer for the television pilot Devin's Chronicles for Caspian Sea Entertainment. Here in Traverse City Lesley is co-creator of the Mash-Up Rock ‘n Roll Musical Troupe and wrote and directed How Grinchy Met the Who, Grimm’s Alternative Fairytales and The Sound of Uzis.


Judith Guest Bio

Born in Detroit, Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in Education. She has taught school in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan.

Together with her friend, Rebecca Hill, she has taught a number of seminars in Creative Writing.

Her first novel, Ordinary People, published by Viking Press, won the Janet Heidegger Kafka Prize for best first novel in 1976. It was made into a movie that won six Academy Awards, including best picture for 1980 and Best Director for Robert Redford in his directorial debut. Her novel Second Heaven was selected as one of the School Library Journal’s Best Books for Young Adults.

Her third novel, Killing Time in St. Cloud, written with Rebecca Hill, was published in 1988. Ballantine published her fourth novel, Errands, in 1997. Scribner published her fifth novel in June of 2004, The Tarnished Eye, a novel of suspense.

She has finished two other novels in the last three years: White in the Moon, another mystery and a sequel to The Tarnished Eye, and A Different Life, a sequel to Second Heaven. Neither of these has yet been published. Guest plans to serialize these novels on her website, JudithGuest.com, in the fall of 2015.

Guest has written several screenplays, one of which was based on a trio of short stories by Carol Bly and was made into a movie called Rachel River.

She is currently at work on a play tentatively titled, Clara, a Life in Nine Scenes, and is based upon fifty years of diaries written by a Minneapolis woman born in 1898.

Judith Guest is the great-niece of Edgar A. Guest, who was at one time the Poet Laureate of Michigan and who wrote a poem a day for the Detroit Free Press for forty years. Judith says that this is where she gets her endurance from. She can write for a long time and not get tired.

Guest has three children and seven grandchildren and spends half of each year in Minnesota and the other half in her native state.


Mary Ellen Jones Bio

Executive Producer, The Tarnished Eye Limited Television Series (in development); Director, Writer, Producer, Exploring our Native American Heritage Documentary, (in production), Director, Writer, Producer Life in Mikado Documentary (in post production); Director, Co-Writer, Producer The Teacher and the Student short film; Director, Producer - Stage Play Dinner With Friends Alpena Civic Theatre, Alpena, MI; Director, Producer, Writer - Stage Play Quintetto Sonare Alpena Civic Theatre, Alpena, MI; Director, Moesha; Produced nine television series including Moesha, The Army Show, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (Co-Producer), The Wayans Bros., Thea, Soul Train (Production Supervisor) and over twenty pilots for CastleRock, Dreamworks, Warner Bros.; Delivered hundreds of hours of projects to ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, NESN and other networks.

She is a Multi-Camera UPM, Director and Associate Director
member of the Directors Guild of America.

Mary Ellen serves on many arts and culture organization boards in Northeast Michigan and is currently working on a regional project called The Lake Huron Discovery Tour…marketing the Sunrise Side of Michigan to outsiders utilizing the U.S. 23 Heritage Route website. The Lake Huron Discovery Tour was recently awarded a $25,000 Michigan Heritage Grant for the project Exploring our Native American Heritage in NE Michigan.


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NW Michigan Cinematic Storytellers

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Venue Information

Scholars Hall - Lecture Hall, NMC
1701 E Front St
Traverse City, MI

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