“Act One is all you need to succeed in Hollywood as a writer. Don’t waste your time in a four-year screenwriting program. You can do it better and faster with Act One.”

We hear this a lot from alums about our writing program.

How are we different? Better?

First, we draw from a large (amazing!) team of teachers who are also professional, working writers. They come off the lots, off the set, and out of the writers rooms to teach you the basics (character, dialogue, formatting, structure) and more advanced topics. Each teacher has a unique and compelling angle on the industry and how to succeed. They share their industry “secrets” openly and are driven to make you the best writer you can be.  The wealth of their knowledge and expertise is unparalleled… and yours for the having.

Second, our community of teachers, mentors, and writers are, in large part, professionals who hold Christian values and desire to see those instilled in their creative work, no matter what genre or storytelling arena. They offer a transparent and supportive environment in which to tell redemptive stories grounded in a Biblical worldview. We’re not talking about faith-based content (although we definitely support that), but rather transforming mainstream culture with works of truth, goodness, and beauty in the world around us… through all types of stories.

Third, we don’t mess around. Our training is concentrated and extremely thorough. We incorporate a variety of teaching modalities—  lecture-style, video-based, writer panels and interviews, small groups, real world writing exercises, and mentorships with professional working writers. We focus on getting you to mine great ideas, find your voice, develop truly memorable characters, work within script structure and format, and so much more.

Last, (and maybe best), once you go through Act One we welcome you as part of a life long community of entertainment professionals. Act Oners are a close-knit group who continue to support and encourage each other in our professional creative journeys. After you complete the program, alums helps alums by forming writing groups, locating jobs, encouraging each other, and offering continuing education and support in becoming competitive storytellers.

During the year we offer two programs: Spring and Fall. More information below.

“A wonderful concoction of knowledgeable speakers, prayerful team leaders, and dedicated participants. A top notch group of kind hearted and world successful individuals who welcomed us and truly want us to thrive.”

Erika T.

“It has changed my spiritual and technical vision. It has shown me how to improve my skills as a storyteller. Christian writers must enroll in Act One if they are looking for direction and structure.”

Poliana A.

“Act One has made a difference. I have tools to improve my writing, friends that love Jesus in the industry, and a far better understanding of the climate I am attempting to be a part of. Act One is packed with professionals that take their craft seriously and clearly hope to inspire other Christians to do the same.”

Dave B.

“Act One is a huge blessing, both professionally and spiritually. The mentors and speakers are filled not only with wisdom about their craft and the industry but also with compassion for their students. This program really is the perfect place to hone your writing and producing skills for the glory of God and to build a life-long community of believers and fellow writers.”

Zach V.

“More than anything, the community of Act One has encouraged me to keep going in this city. The stories they share have been invaluable. I’m really thankful to have found a group of like-minded people who are also excellent at what they do.”

Hannah C.

“The Act One Writing Program did more for me in 10 weeks than four years of college was ever able to get me."

Nicholas C.

Over the 12-weeks, screenwriting basics (plot, character, dialogue, structure, world building, and more) will be taught via video courses, group Skype sessions and one-on-one mentoring. The 12-weeks are structured like this:

  • 22 Video-based Lessons
  • Weekly Group Skype Sessions
  • Bi-Weekly One-on-one Mentoring via phone or Skype
  • Weekly writing assignments
  • Weekly film viewing assignments
  • Reading assignments (Save the Cat, The Hollywood Standard, Making a Good Script Great, etc.)

Week One
Lesson 1: The Act One Difference
Lesson 2: How to watch film?

Week Two
Lesson 3: A Beautiful Movie
Lesson 4: A True Movie
Lesson 5: A Good Movie

Week Three
Lesson 6: Generating Ideas
Lesson 7: Finding your voice

Week Four
Lesson 8: Loglines: This is an analysis of compelling loglines and the steps to create them.
Lesson 9: Genre

Week Five
Lesson 10: Structure Methods

Week Six
Lesson 11: Characters
Lesson 12: Dialogue

Week Seven
Lesson 13: Beyond Formatting: Crafting a Script that Comes Alive on the Page

Week Eight
Lesson 14: What’s so important about themes?
Lesson 15: Subtext

Week Nine
Lesson 16: Writing is Rewriting
Lesson 17: Film Exegesis

Week Ten
Lesson 18: Cracking the One-Hour TV Script
Lesson 19: Writing for Half-Hour Television

Week Eleven
Lesson 20: Writing & Directing Commercials
Lesson 21: Storytelling & Technology

Week Twelve
Lesson 22: How then shall we write?


FALL Application Deadline: EXTENDED DEADLINE September 17, 2017
FALL Course Dates: September 20 – December 13, 2017

SPRING Application Deadline: February 16, 2018
SPRING Course Dates: February 19 – May 11, 2018




#1: Writing Sample of 10 pages (any narrative content)

#2: 2 Loglines (Original Ideas)

#3: Resume

#4: Statement of Faith: No more than 3 pages detailing the following: (1) Briefly describe your spiritual journey and your belief in Jesus Christ. (2) Why do you, as a Christian, want to write for movies or TV in Hollywood? (3) Cite examples of movies or TV shows that are most like what you aspire to write, and tell us why. (4) What are you hoping to learn at Act One? (5) What are your plans upon completion of the program?