Inside the TV Writers Room

Weekend Intensive

Have you ever wondered what happens in the elusive TV writers room? How and when do you pitch ideas? Who runs the board? When does one go to script? How are notes handled? 

In this online weekend intensive, writer/producer Luisa Leschin (Mr. Iglesias, Gentefied, From Dusk Till Dawn, Just Add Magic, George Lopez) will walk you through who does what in a writers room, finding and owning your role in the room, and navigating the imposter syndrome that sometimes comes with being staffed. Luisa will explain the importance of being a great collaborator in the room and making yourself an expert at something and will give you tips for pitching ideas that land. 

Over the course of the weekend, you will apply what you have learned by participating in small simulated writers rooms with your peers during which you will break a new episode of an existing show. Led with the support of additional Sundance Collab Advisors, you will be tasked with developing an episode worthy of being greenlit. 

Whether you’re a writer trying to break into TV or you are looking for insight into how American writers rooms function, this course offers insider information and hands-on activities that will help you gain a real understanding of how this creative business works.

PLEASE NOTE: You will need to be familiar with the shows Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Curb Your Enthusiasm. You should watch Season One (eight episodes) of Mr. and Mrs. Smith and at least three episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm to familiarize yourself with both formats. 

What you bring to the course:

  • An interest in working in episodic storytelling
  • An understanding of television writing structure
  • A willingness to pitch ideas and work in a group
  • A draft of a complete TV pilot (half-hour or one-hour)

What you’ll get from the course:

  • An understanding of the rules and dynamics of the writers room
  • Interactive group exercises to improve your ability to pitch and come up with ideas on the fly
  • Tools for generating ideas and solutions to problems
  • Tips for reading the room and giving notes

This course will:

  • help you develop your emotional intelligence as a writer 
  • allow you to collaborate creatively with your peers
  • provide tools and techniques that apply to any television project
  • connect you with other creators via a discussion board where you can discuss core concepts and share your work

Intensive Schedule

Friday, June 21:

4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. PT

Saturday, June 22:

9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PT

1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. PT

Sunday, June 23:

9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PT

1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. PT

Sundance Collab provides accommodations and support services to participants with disabilities. Accommodations and services are designed to meet the needs of each participant. Please email us at to arrange for services.