To register, click here!

Project Write, the Shenandoah Valley Writing Project, SU’s Department of Media and Communication, and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema are teaming up to bring a day of screenwriting and production workshops to the area for the THIRD year!

We are holding this year’s Conference on Saturday, October 2, in conjunction with the Virginia Emerging Filmmakers Festival, presented by The Film Studio at Shenandoah, held October 1-3. All screenings for VEFF will be held Friday and Saturday evenings so that Young Screenwriters’ Conference attendees may attend for free (with paid YSC registration)! The Festival is open to films by students in high school and college. Visit the Film Freeway site for more details to enter by the May 31 Early Bird Deadline or September 10 Final Deadline!

Project Write is happy to announce that Rebekah McKendry will be the keynote speaker for the Young Screenwriters’ Conference on October 2. We’re excited by the wealth of experience as a screenwriter, director, and producer as well as experience writing about the industry that McKendry will share. Click here for more information on McKendry.

The inaugural keynote speaker was comic creator and screenwriter Joe Kelly, known for BEN 10, I KILL GIANTS, and his contributions to reinvigorating the Deadpool comics. Comic creator, screenwriter, and animation director Dash Shaw joined us in 2020 with his animated film MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL SINKING INTO THE SEA.

Other established filmmakers and screenwriters will be part of the instruction, including Shenandoah University faculty Kelley Crowley, Paul DiFranco, and Blayne Weaver.

Thanks to a grant from the Marion Park Lewis Foundation for Arts and additional funding from the Nora Roberts Foundation, we are able to offer this conference for an especially low price.

The conference for students in grades 8-12 and their teachers will be held Saturday, October 2, 2020, from 9 am until 3 pm. We are planning both in-person and virtual options.

Can’t wait for Saturday? Check out this interview between one of our Project Write creators and McKendry!


Why Screenwriting?

  • Video is everywhere.
  • Media literacy is a must.
  • What better way to understand the genre than by immersing in the writing and production?
  • Project-based learning lends itself to film production.
  • Many schools are adding film programs and the conference is designed to complement them.

Tentative Schedule

9-11:45 a.m. Breakout Sessions with University Film Professors (Topics: Harnessing creativity, Screenplay formatting, Using a script to direct, Creating TikTok stories with a narrative)
12-1 p.m. Lunch (included at Allen Dining Hall for on-campus writers; virtual students will eat on your own) / Time to create a smartphone video
1-3:00 p.m. Keynote Speaker: Rebekah McKendry

Breakout Session Descriptions:

Tease your ideas out of the dark and on to the page
Kelley Crowley: You have a great idea. Maybe it’s only the edges of an idea that might be something, Actually, you’re not sure what it wants to be. This workshop is designed to help you give more structure and coherence to your script idea. These tips and techniques are useful no matter what your creative project. Come with just an idea in mind and let’s see where it takes you.

From Script to Screen
Paul DiFranco: This hands-on session will take screenwriters into the Film Studio to share pointers on how to prepare a script from page to screen, including tips on lighting and behind-the-scenes preparation.

 From Blank Page to the Big Screen
Blayne Weaver: We will discuss the screenwriting process from inception, through writing, to setting the film up independently or at a studio. An understanding of the path to production will help the writers accomplish their goals.

REGISTRATION COST is $35 for students OR advisers. Advisers can attend for FREE with six paid student registrants. The Early Registration Deadline is September 20. Due to our planning of events relying on accurate numbers of participants, refunds are NOT available after the early registration deadline. In emergency situations, we will consider a partial refund on a case-by-case basis. We will allow LATE registrations for $45 without penalty in 2021. If you are organizing a group trip after Sept. 20, please let us know to expect your registrations. We’re excited to have all young screenwriters!

Special Circumstances:

  • October 2 SAT takers: If you want to attend the keynote only (1-3 p.m.), please let us know and we can make arrangements for a discounted tuition.
  • Shenandoah University students and faculty are always welcome to attend for free.
  • Lord Fairfax Community College students can attend for a discounted price. Please email for instructions!

Ready to register? Click here to register!

For more updates as the day draws near, bookmark this page at Project Write, Inc.. follow us online @ProjectWrite on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or email our main office and ask to be added to our Young Screenwriters’ Conference mailing list.

Any questions can be directed to our main office at

We look forward to working with you!

Write On!

Other costs:

Additional tickets for Emerging Filmmakers and the keynote speaker’s showing TBD will be available from Alamo Drafthouse-Winchester.

Please note that you must attend the showing in-person and follow the mask & social distancing policies for Alamo Drafthouse.

To register, click here!

Other Workshops:

Second Saturdays Series

Advanced Young Writers’ Workshop

College and Scholarship Application Essay Workshop, TBA

Summer 2022, June 20-24 (Summer 2021), Shenandoah University Winchester, Va. (virtual or online)