Posted by: Kathy Temean | April 16, 2013

How to Break Into TV Writing Intensive Workshop

alan_newcroppedAlan Kingsberg was asked to be part of the New Jersey SCBWI Conference, because we a few of our member are studying with him in NYC.  The things I have heard from them about what they are learning from him and how he has helped improve their middle grade books are fabulous (see Connie Colon below). So if you can see your book as a TV show or just want to enhance your book with more visual scenes, then you should consider signing up for this intensive workshop. Here is the description:

This intensive workshop is designed to teach children’s book authors and illustrators How To Break Into TV Writing. Topics will include: How to adapt your book or story for TV; how to structure a TV script that sells; how to build a writing portfolio to get an agent or a job; story telling for books vs. TV, and how to start writing a pilot script or improve the one you’re writing. This class is designed to teach you how to break into a growing and lucrative market with your existing talents and creative skills. The class is suited for beginners and experienced writers. Whether your goal is to turn your book into a successful TV series, get staffed on an existing TV show, or simply explore a new creative arena, this workshop will help you move forward. Clips will be screened from iCarly, Victorious, 30 Rock, News Room and Seinfeld.

In 1999, Alan Kingsberg created the popular TV writing workshop at Columbia University’s Graduate Film School.  He’s been teaching TV Writing and Advanced TV Writing to Columbia MFA students for over a decade. His students’ TV scripts have won many national contests, including the Humanitas Award and multiple first place prizes at the highly competitive film festivals.


Alan has written for numerous network and cable shows including NBC’s “Law and Order: Criminal Intent” and Nickeloden’s “Are You Afraid of the Dark?”  He has been a show runner on five animated TV series including the hits “Winx Club”, “Pokemon” and “Cubix”.  As a show runner he produced or wrote over 220 half hour episodes.

Email Alan

Here is Connie Colon, who attends Alan’s class.

I’ve been listening to my gut feelings more and more lately so when a gut feeling urged me to take one of Alan Kingsberg’s TV Scriptwriting workshops, I listened.

After I had registered and paid, I delved deeper into his bio and found out he was currently writing for a kids show on Nickelodeon. Well that’s good new for a children’s writer, don’t you agree? He also had been a producer, show runner and writer for other kids shows in addition to writing for adult shows. So I pitched one of my chapter book series concepts to him after my first one day workshop and Alan thought it would make a great animated TV series.

Next, I signed up for a TV Scriptwriting workshop with a fellow Kidslit writer from NJ, Linda Bozzo. We were both blown away by the fabulous suggestions Alan had for everyone in the group! He really makes you think about the big picture along with the tiniest of details. Writing for TV also forces you to make every word count as you adhere to a strict time limit, which is what we all need for every genre (especially all of my picture book writing friends

I have taken several writing courses, countless workshops and numerous one-on-ones throughout the past few years and no offense to anyone who has helped me throughout this journey, but Alan’s advice to me has hands down been the best I’ve received so far. And it shows in my writing. I’ve completed my first pilot episode for an animated kids show!  All of my characters motives and problems are more clearly defined and the humor throughout the entire manuscript has been significantly punched up. I am thrilled with what I’ve produced so far with Alan’s help

I went out of my comfort zone to do this and I’m so glad I did! I am about to revise my book manuscript for this project to more closely coincide with the TV script. I am also planning on working with Alan to write a TV pilot episode for another one of my kids concepts. Can’t wait! This genre is especially great for all those out there who, like me, tend to think “visually” as you write

And now for even more great info about Alan — he’s going to be teaching an intensive at our NJ SCBWI annual conference this June in Princeton! Deadline to register is April 30, so don’t miss the boat on this one. (Anyone who has already registered can add an intensive as well.) My gut tells me you should look into this one — and my gut has been right about lots of stuff lately

Connie will be doing two workshops at the conference — one for First Timers and another on Magazine Writing…! See you all in June


“Alan is a phenomenal teacher, who taught me everything about TV writing, from story structure to dialogue.  In his class, I wrote and revised the scripts that launched my career in the industry.”  –– Vanessa Reisen, Supervising Producer, WEEDS, CALIFORNICATION.

“The script I wrote in Alan’s class won first prize at the Austin Film Festival, secured me an agent, and got me my first feature screenwriting job at Fox Searchlight Films.” – Martina Broner, Writer/Producer.

“Alan inspires you to write.  He is straightforward and clear.  When you take his class, you’ll end up writing a spec script for a TV show.  He is the real deal.”  – Beth Einhorn, Writer: THE TONIGHT SHOW.

“The Scrubs Spec I wrote in Alan’s class won the Humanitas award ($10,000).  Alan’s class prepared me to work successfully in the industry.”  Chris Carlson, Editorial Director, SPIKE TV.

Conference Link:

Talk tomorrow,



  1. I too have heard nothing but good things about Alan, the intensive sounds amazing! Thanks for spreading the word Kathy. 🙂


    • Leeza,

      Thanks for leaving a comment. I expect that this will be a great workshop, especially since most of us have been buying screen writing books to help our writing.



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