Screenwriting: Writing Your Horror/Psychological Thriller Feature (Sept. 2020)

Live Online Learning

Applications are now closed. APPLICATION DEADLINE: Thursday, August 27 at 2pm PT.

Learn how to give shape and form to the outline of your horror/psychological thriller screenplay with an experienced screenwriter as your guide. In this live, online course, you move from idea to outline through a review of the foundations of compelling storytelling, and lessons on character, conflict, dialogue, and the components of the horror and psychological thriller genres.

In lecture sessions, you will analyze clips from horror films and psychological thrillers, complete interactive exercises, and discuss concepts with course advisors. Weekly homework designed to move your concept to a completed outline is reviewed by your advisor. The course concludes with a one-on-one mentoring session with your advisor focused on your project.

By the end of the course, you will:

  • Gain an overview of the genre.
  • Learn the difference between a beat sheet, an outline and a treatment.
  • Review the foundations of screenwriting, including three-act structure.
  • Sharpen your main and secondary characters.
  • Create mood and finesse the tone of your story.
  • Build your story world.
  • Identify your character arcs.
  • Set up character conflicts.
  • Effectively craft dialogue to bring your characters to life and move the plot forward.
  • Learn how to process notes from your peers, collaborators and studio execs.

This course is ideal for:

  • First-time writers who would like to understand core concepts of horror/psychological screenwriting and how to move their project forward.
  • Experienced writers who want a more formal setting and/or the guidance of an expert in horror/psychological screenwriting.

Course enrollment is capped at 50 participants, with an advisor to participant ratio of no more than twelve to one. 

To apply, you should have an idea for a horror/psychological thriller screenplay.


The course will be held live in our virtual classroom. All sessions are recorded for registered participants who are unable to attend live.

  • DURATION: Eight weeks, September 17 - November 8
  • SCHEDULE: Thursday, 10:30am - 12:30pm PT
    • Pre-course Intro Session: Wednesday, September 16, 12:00PM - 1:30pm PT
    • One-on-one mentoring sessions are held between Nov 2 - Nov 8
  • APPLICATION DEADLINE: Thursday, August 27 at 2pm PT