The Scriptwriting Course

Learn How to Write a Standout Script for Stage, Screen or Radio

All the tools for scriptwriting in one course

The Scriptwriting Course is for anyone who just knows they're born to tell stories. They also want to see their work produced on screen or on stage in New Zealand.

Whether you're a novice wanting to learn more, or an experienced writer in another genre keen on diversifying, this course guides you through the essential building blocks of scriptwriting, from creating characters and dialogue to understanding structure.

From first idea to final draft, this course will teach you how to write a compelling script.

Get Started Today

This Course Gives You...

Expert, Individual Feedback

Get prompt, honest, detailed feedback on every assignment from an award-winning writer. We focus on your unique writing strengths.

No Peer Reviews!

You will only be assessed by your tutor, a leader in their field. No more guessing and wondering how to write; you'll be guided line by line.

No Automated Marking

We use traditional methods of assessing work, as editors at publishing houses would. No generic feedback!

A Flexible Schedule

Work wherever and whenever you want. You can easily fit our courses around work and other commitments.

Relevant, Usable Content

Easy-to-digest course notes that capture a lifetime of writing experience, ready for you to apply to your own writing.

Ongoing Assessment

Your writing is assessed continuously as your course progresses.

Master the Basics of Scriptwriting

A scriptwriter's essential toolkit

Developed and refined over many years, this course offers a unique opportunity to benefit from years of writing experience in just four months.

You will work with an award-winning author for the duration of the five-module course. It is this one-to-one, professional feedback and mentoring that brings about the most noticeable improvements to your writing.

Work through your 200-page course manual and complete 40 writing assignments, with feedback on each writing exercise.

Don't waste time making the same mistakes and doubting your writing ability. Let your expert tutor guide you through the potential pitfalls of fiction writing and show you how to bring your writing to life.

Master the Basics of Scriptwriting

Course Overview

Start your course at any time – applications open all year round.



Price includes GST/VAT


These modules include around 150 pages of course notes.



The assignments vary in length.



Work at your own pace - up to a maximum of twelve months.


Start Date:


Working with an individual tutor means you can start the course at any time.

Admission Requirements:

Basic writing skills are essential.
Computer skills, e-mail and Internet access required.
No previous tertiary qualification required.


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Our Graduate Students' Successes

We are proud of our graduates who have achieved success. Here are a few among dozens of our creative writing success stories.

  • Gareth Ward

    Gareth Ward's novel that he worked on during the course went on to win multiple awards. 'The Traitor and the Thief', a rip-roaring young adult steampunk adventure, won the 2016 Storylines Tessa Duder Award, the 2018 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Youth Novel, a 2018 Storylines Notable Book Award, and was a finalist in two categories at The New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. Gareth has this to say about studying with The Writers College: 'Hand on heart, there is no way I would have been published without Alex’s guidance.'

  • Martin Steyn

    Martin Steyn completed the Write a Novel Course. He had his first novel, 'Donkerspoor' ('Dark Traces'), published by Lapa in 2014. The book was an instant success and bestseller, and had to be re-printed. His second book, 'Skuldig' ('Guilty'), received even greater acclaim. Since then, he has written two more novels.

  • Trish Nicholson

    Trish Nicholson, a former Short Story Course graduate, keeps notching up successes on the writing front. Trish won first prize in the Flash500 competition, with four stories shortlisted during that year. She won first prize in the 'shorter story' at the Winchester Writers' Conference in the UK, as well as runner-up in the ‘short story’ category. Two of her stories were commended in the South Island Writers' Association competition. A finalist in both the H.E. Bates Short Story Competition and the Neil Gunn Writing Competition, Trish is one of our most successful creative writing graduates yet.

  • Suzanne Main

    Suzanne Main completed the Basics of Creative Writing Course. Her children's novel, 'How I Alienated my Grandma', won the 2014 Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award.

  • Andy Evans

    Andy Evans completed the Basics of Creative Writing Course and the Literary Short and Flash Fiction Course. He had his first short story, 'The Wooden Hills', published in 'Takahē' magazine. He placed third in the NZ Writers College Short Story Competition with his story 'Gravity'.

  • Taemumu Richardson

    Taemumu Richardson was shortlisted in the Writers' Forum Short Story Competition. This is a big achievement as this competition draws a huge number of entries globally. She was also shortlisted for the Flash500 flash fiction competition, longlisted in the NZ Writers College Short Story Competition and received an honourable mention in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest. Tae had a story published in the literary magazine 'Takahē'.

  • Megan Frith

    Megan Frith completed our Short Story Course and our Novel Writing Course. Her short story ‘Scars‘ came first in the 2014 Page & Blackmore Short Story Competition. She went on to place third in the 2015 Page & Blackmore Short Story Competition for her short story titled ‘Till Death‘. Recently, two of her stories were published in 'Horizons 2', an anthology compiled by the Top of the South branch of the NZ Society of Authors.

Tutor for this course

Karen Jeynes

Karen has been on our staff for over a decade. Over the years, she has established herself as a tremendously popular and respected mentor for emerging scriptwriters. She studied drama and linguistics at UCT and obtained her Honours in The Art of Writing from UWC.

Karen has won numerous awards and nominations for her co-writing of TV series, including two Emmy nominations for Best TV Comedy. Currently, she is the head writer for Both Worlds Productions, overseeing ZANews: Puppet Nation (winner of 22 South African Film and Television Awards and two Writer's Guild of South Africa Awards for Best TV Comedy), as well as Point of Order (SAFTA winner for Best Game Show in 2017), Comedy Central News and Parlement Parlement.

Before joining Both Worlds Productions, Karen had extensive experience writing and producing in both theatre and television. Her plays include the multi-award winning Everybody Else (is fcking perfect*) (Best Comedy 2005), Kiss Kiss, I'll Have What She's Having and Laying Blame, as well as Vaslav, which was nominated for three Fleur du Cap Awards. She served as head writer for 90 Plein Street, as well as writing for shows like Thabang Thabong, Vaya Mzansi and Moferefere Lenyalong. She is in demand as a script consultant and advisor, working with local and international production companies and channels. Today she serves on the board of Women Playwrights International and was the president of the International Centre for Women Playwrights for six years.

Her achievements aren't confined to television and theatre. Her adaptation of Thomas Rapakgadi's The Purse is Mine aired on Bush Radio. SAfm has featured her excellent series Office Hours, co-written with Nkuli Sibeko, as well as the radio version of Sky Too Big. Her teen novels, Jacques Attack, co-authored with Nkuli Sibeko, and Flipside, co-authored with Eeshaam September, were released by New Africa Books. She also has a children's story published in the anthology Metz and Bop and Other Stories.

Karen tutors the Scriptwriting Course and the Advanced Scriptwriting Course. When she isn't busy, she indulges her deep obsession with reality television, Good Omens, chaos theory and Nutella.

Course Curriculum

Module 1

What's in a script?
  • Understanding the role of the scriptwriter in film, theatre and radio
  • Exercise: Write a review of a film or a play, focusing on how the script succeeds or fails.

Module 2

Plot and Structure
  • The dos and don'ts, or the rules and how to break them
  • Exercise: Write an anecdote from real life. Then rewrite it with a different structure and see how that changes the story.

Module 3

  • How to create characters, flesh them out, and let them have their way
  • Exercise: Create four well-developed characters that grow out of the story structure you created.

Module 4

  • Text and subtext
  • The difference between written and spoken text
  • Exercise: Analyse the sample scripts. Take two of your characters and write a dialogue between them.

Module 5

  • Scripts as performance material
  • Exercise: Using your other two characters, write a scene with little or no dialogue, focusing on action.

Module 6

Beginnings and Endings
  • Where to start and how to end
  • Exercise: Analyse the examples. Then write two possible beginnings and two possible endings to your story.

Module 7

The Technical Stuff
  • Understanding the strengths and limitations of different mediums
  • Exercise: Write a detailed explanation of which medium (film/theatre/radio) is best for your script and why.

Module 8

Knowing Your Market
  • Discussion of the local industry
  • Exercise: Write a treatment for your script, including characters, a scene breakdown and sample scenes.

Module 9

Cutting and Editing
  • Being brutal and 'taking it out' while maintaining the truth
  • Exercise: Take a sample scene and cut it down to the minimum. Look at the order of your scene. See if you can change things around and what effect that would have.

Module 10

Your Script
  • Putting it all together
  • Exercise: Write a final script review, taking note of what works and what doesn't. Exercise: Complete your short script.

What Our Students Say

  • Scriptwriting Course

    I loved every moment of it. The knowledge I gained fills me with great excitement for the future. Karen was such a blessing!! Knowing that there is someone on the other side with so much experience gives you so much confidence in approaching the assignments. The feedback I received raised my understanding of the whole scriptwriting process. I would however remind other students that it is not spoon-feeding. The information is very good, however you need to get out there and work it. Overall, it was a very positive experience. The Writers’ College delivers a high quality experience to the open student.

  • Scriptwriting Course

    I had a specific objective in mind when I did this course and the college helped me achieve this. Along the way I gained new skills and ideas. The exercises and assignments helped me to think outside the square and the feedback was extremely helpful and steered me in the direction I needed to go, without being stressful. My tutor was always supportive and always replied even to the smallest questions or queries. Overall a good experience.

  • Scriptwriting Course

    I would describe the course as informative and interesting and very useful. It was definitely worth it; you learn all the necessary tools for the trade you’re interested in.

  • Scriptwriting Course

    Karen is an excellent tutor who is swift with her responses and provides objective, constructive criticism that helps steer you in the right direction. Karen offers a great course. Her notes are comprehensive and contain information about additional reading that allows one to explore the field in more depth. She has a professionally trained eye that points out where your script fails and succeeds. She is a great tutor who is willing to be honest and answer any questions you have along the way. The Writers’ College is a professional college that leads the field in writing courses.

  • Scriptwriting Course

    I really enjoyed the course. It was a personal journey for me. My tutor was excellent, her feedback extremely objective and well-balanced. I will certainly recommend your college to other aspiring writers as well. I have already started the novel course.

  • Scriptwriting Course

    It was an enjoyable experience. I learnt enough to kick start my career in Scriptwriting. My tutor was very helpful and always willing to answer questions I had for her. A great way to learn without having to step inside a classroom.

Get These Additional Benefits

Lifetime Course Access

Benefit from free lifetime access to future course updates and access to our writing resources.

Join a Community of Writers

You will have access to our friendly Facebook community, daily writing tips and writing inspiration.

500+ Bonus Articles on Our Blog

A superb, constantly updated resource with articles on writing and interviews with writers.

Work at Your Own Pace

Our courses work around you. You can pace your course around your busy life.

Work Opportunities

Top students are invited to join our writers and editors for hire service.

Be the First to Know About Writing Competitions

We'll help you keep up to date with the latest competition announcements

Risk-Free 100% Money-Back Guarantee

We are so confident that you will love your course that if you're not 100% satisfied with the quality of our training, simply ask for a refund within 30 days.

Terms and Conditions

Complete the Application Form to Enrol on the Scriptwriting Course

You will receive an approval email and invoice within one working day.

  • Female
  • This is in case your primary email address bounces or is undeliverable.

Questions? We've Got Answers

How does the course work?

Detailed course notes covering the content of each module will be emailed to you. At the end of each module, you will be required to complete one or two writing exercises. In total, the course includes ten short writing assignments, all of which count towards your final result. Once a writing assignment has been completed and emailed to your tutor, you will receive an assessment and feedback, and the module will be considered complete.

Is it interactive? Can I ask my tutor questions?

Absolutely. You have direct communication with your tutor for the duration of the course. The more questions you ask, the more you will get out of the course.

For how long will I get access to the course?

You will get lifetime access to the course, and you'll benefit from all future updates and improvements to the course.

Will anyone else see my work?

For the majority of our courses, only your tutor will see your work. Your work will remain completely private unless you get it published. In the journalism courses, your work might be published in the public domain, but you do have the final say as to whether or not it is published.

What are the conditions of certification?

Students will receive a Writers College Certificate upon successful completion of the course, provided they meet the following conditions:

  • Students must complete all 10 writing assignments
  • The course must be completed within twelve months of registration
  • Students are expected to attain a minimum average of 50% for the course
What are the admission requirements?
  • Basic writing skills are essential.
  • Basic computer skills, as well as email and Internet access are required.
  • No previous tertiary qualification is required.
When can I start a course?

Because you will work with an individual tutor, you can apply for a course and start as soon as you want to. There are no specific start dates as would be the case with a traditional college.

An application is usually approved within one working day. Once we see proof of payment, your course will start.

You could be starting your course today!

What is the minimum estimated time commitment?
  • Reading Time: 10 hours
  • Writing Time: 30-40 hours
  • Research Time: 2-5 hours
When will I get access to the course?

Once your application has been approved, you will receive notice of approval and an invoice via email. As soon as we see proof of payment, you will receive the first module. We will also send you your tutor's email address and your login details. Your tutor will also be in touch to welcome you.

Who owns the rights to the work I produce?

Any work you create on our courses is owned by you. We will never make a claim to anything you produce. We follow the rule that copyright subsists with the creator (you).

  • 'This course is one of the best educational decisions I’ve ever made. Absolutely loved it. It pushed me out of my writing comfort zone and I was challenged to think beyond ‘words on a page’. I’m in awe of Karen’s patience and detailed feedback. I honestly wish I’d had her as a tutor when I was in varsity.'

Got More Questions?

We would love to help you choose the best course for you. Tell us what style of writing you want to develop and we'll give you some options.

Contact Us

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