TV Writing: Crafting Your Pilot (Mar. 2021)

Live Online Learning

Learn how to give shape and form to the outline of your pilot with experienced TV writers as your guides. In this intensive live, online course, you move from your outline to a full draft of your pilot through a review of the foundations of storytelling craft, and lessons on dialogue, conflict, and sharpening your characters.

In class sessions, you will discuss successful pilots, watch how they move from script to screen, and discuss core concepts. You will then move into a small group breakout session with a course advisor where you will workshop your writing and those of your peers, and work to complete your original pilot. 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:

  • Review the foundations of serialized storytelling, including different structures and A/B/C storylines.
  • Sharpen your main and secondary characters.
  • Identify your character arcs and season stories.
  • Set up character conflicts that will keep your viewers watching.
  • Effectively use dialogue to bring your characters to life and move the plot forward.
  • Manage your pace and story engine for your pilot.
  • Learn how to process notes from your peers, collaborators and studio execs.
  • Learn how to rewrite, re-break, and adjust your script.

This course is ideal for:

  • Television writers ready to write the first draft of their pilot in a fast-paced environment.
  • Writers who already have the first draft of a pilot, but want the guidance of an experienced mentor to go back and dive deeper into their work. 

Course enrollment is approximately 36 participants per session, with a participant to advisor ratio of nine to one. To apply, you must have a completed beat sheet or outline for your pilot. We recommend that you complete Sundance Co//ab’s TV Writing: Core Elements prior to taking this course.


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, March 19 - May 9
  • SCHEDULE: Friday, 10am - 12:30pm PT
    • Extended last class session: Friday, April 30, 10am - 12:30pm PT
    • One-on-one mentoring sessions are held between May 3 - May 9