TV Writing: From Outline to Pilot Draft

Sundance Collab offers a robust collection of online courses in the Sundance spirit of amplifying your independent voice as a storyteller. Join our global community to hone your craft, network with other creators, and develop career strategies to help you navigate the film and television industry.


Learn how to give shape and form to the outline of your pilot with experienced TV writers as your guide. In this intensive live, online workshop, you move from your outline to a full draft of your original pilot through a review of the foundations of episodic writing, and lessons on dialogue, conflict, and introducing your characters and story.


In class sessions, you will discuss successful television 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 first draft of an original pilot. The course concludes with a one-on-one mentoring session with your advisor to get feedback on your project.


By the end of the course, you will:

  • review the foundations of serialized and episodic storytelling, including different structures and A/B/C storylines.
  • sharpen your main and secondary characters.
  • 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 rewrite, re-break, and adjust your script.
  •  learn how to give notes to your peers and process notes from your peers and advisors.


This course is ideal for:

  • television writers ready to write the first draft of their pilot script 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.


Participants will be placed in small group workshops of nine to ten writers. To apply, you must have a completed beat sheet or outline for your pilot. We recommend that you complete Sundance Collab’s TV Writing: Core Elements prior to taking this course.



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 accessibility@sundance.org to arrange for services.