Emerging Screenwriters Institute

The Emerging Screenwriters Institute™ offers a fantastic opportunity for young aspiring screenwriters to hone their craft in a creative writing camp designed specifically for them. If you've ever felt you could write a better story than what you saw on the big screen, this program is perfect for you!

Led by a professional female screenwriter, the program provides immersive MFA-style workshops that delve into feature screenwriting fundamentals such as character, plot, structure, and theme. Students will embark on a rigorous writing journey, outlining, developing, and starting to write the first act of their screenplay while discovering their own authentic literary voice.

In addition to writing workshops, students will learn to read and watch films as screenwriters, studying the techniques of industry greats. They will also participate in daily one-on-one instructor evaluations, group editing sessions, and creative presentations of their work. Students will also learn tips and advice on entering contests and getting their scripts seen, and the program will culminate with students simulating how they might pitch their work to an industry executive.  

The Emerging Screenwriters Institute™ offers an unparalleled opportunity for young writers to develop their craft, build lasting literary friendships, and gain insights into the Hollywood industry.

This is a one week creative writing camp specifically designed for rising 10th -12th grade students who want to learn the basics of feature screenplay writing. During this week, a professional screenwriter will help students develop their script ideas by learning structure, character development, plot points, style and theme. Students will arrive with two ideas for a feature screenplay, the instructor will help them to decide which story they want to pursue, and start them on their storytelling journeys.  



Students will develop their movie script ideas into three acts. They will learn about conflict, story points and inciting incidents. Students will then write a four page treatment, exploring their ideas before starting the script. It’s important that the student master the unique structure of a screenplay in order to successfully start writing a script.


After mastering structure, students will do in-depth character work by studying classic movie characters and applying those journeys to their own unique characters. The students will also observe character behaviors, dialogue, and write character biographies.


What is the story actually about? Students will learn how to express the theme of the story by looking at other films and then applying those lessons to their own plots. How does the plot reflect the theme? How are the characters moving forward within the theme? Students will be encouraged to tell stories that have relevance to their own lives and to develop themes to fit their stories.


Much like a novel, a screenplay should have its own unique style. Students will be assigned to read professional, award-winning scripts, which will then be analyzed in class recognizing style and using the lessons already learned. Students will be challenged to find their own unique voices while telling a written, visual story.


Students will be assigned the viewing of both classic and modern films to be discussed in class. They will then apply these lessons to their own scripts. Students will evaluate the movies using structure, character, plot and theme analysis. A wide range of movies may include: To Kill A Mockingbird. Die Hard. Thelma and Louise. In the Heat of the Night. Witness. My Cousin Vinny. All the President’s Men. Rear Window. (All these movie are available on Amazon. Please note that some of these movies have R ratings.)


At the end of the week, students will have a treatment for their screenplay and will have started writing the first act. Inspired by the week of movies, scripts, and the art of basic screenwriting, students will be able to continue their screenwriting journeys.

To register for the Emerging Screenwriters Institute, please follow the below steps

  • Click "Apply Now" on the top right of this screen.
  • Follow the prompts to enter parent and student information on screens 1 and 2.
  • On screen 3, select the following options:
    • Camp Category: Emerging Writers Institute
    • Camp Name: Emerging Screenwriters Institute
    • Camp Session: Select the Session you prefer
    • Price Option: Select Online Camp, Extended Day Camp or Overnight Camp

Program Grades Location Start Date End Date Price Options Register

Click Here to View Sample ON-CAMPUS Schedule Click Here to View Sample ONLINE Schedule

Online Camp Schedule Emerging Screenwriters 10th - 12th

Pacific TimeEastern Time
Monday - Thursday9:00 am to 3:00 pm
12:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Includes a 1-hour lunch break plus shorter 10-15 min breaks
Friday9:00 am to 12:30 am
12:00 pm to 3:30 pm
Includes 10 min breaks as needed
*Schedule subject to change - Final schedule posted in Google Classroom the Wednesday prior to the start of class.
*In addition to the longer breaks noted above, instructors will give students a 10-15 min break approximately every two hours.

On Campus Schedule Emerging Screenwriters 10th - 12th

8:00 am Breakfast in the dining hall (overnight campers)
9-9:15 am Extended day camper check-in
9:15 am Morning class 
12:30 pm Lunch in the dining hall (included for all campers)
1:45 pm Afternoon class
5:30 pm Dinner in the dining hall (included for all campers)
6:30 pm Evening writing time/Camper downtime
8:00 pm Evening recreation activities
9:00 pm Extended day camper check-out
10:00 pm Floor check
10:30 pm Room check

Education Unlimited believes in small-group, immersive learning with subject matter experts and experienced teachers. We strive to provide industry-leading instruction to all of our students and hold all staff to the highest possible standards.

Elisa Bell - Instructor

Elisa Bell graduated from the USC Cinema School’s screenwriting program. She has been a professional screenwriter for 25 years. Her produced feature credits include the comedy, Vegas Vacation, rom-com Little Black Book and the teen comedy, Sleepover. She’s worked with
a variety of directors and actors including Steven Spielberg, Diane Keaton, Michael J. Fox and Matthew McConaughey. She’s currently working on a female-lead mystery/dramedy which is being produced by River Road Entertainment. Elisa lives in California with her winemaker
husband and two crazy dogs.