Finding Your Voice and Your Next Big Idea

Event Date: Saturday, October 20, 2018 || Speaker: Ruth Atkinson || Check-in: 12:30 pm ||

Write what you know, is the kind of advice that writers love to hate. And rightfully so, well, sort of. With recent surprise hits such as Get Out, Lady Bird and The Big Sick it’s clear that successful films often explore topics and themes that are closest to the writer’s heart. With Hollywood always searching for THE NEXT BIG THING, it’s vital that writers write what they know… in their hearts. See more details below:


**The deadline has passed and REGISTRATION is now CLOSED for this event. Please view our calendar for upcoming events. Check-in begins at 12:30 pm.


More details:

Easier said than done. It can be hard to know exactly what themes and ideas you want to write about and writers end up writing to the marketplace or about what they think they should. This leads to scripts that don’t resonate with the reader and feel formulaic, derivative, inauthentic or worse, boring!

Clearly not what you want!

So we’ll do a deep dive into writing exercises that uncover the core themes and ideas that are closest to your heart. By exploring what you think and care about we’ll uncover the stories you’re most interested in telling. Every writer has their own personal “vein of gold” and by tapping into it you’ll begin to write from an authentic place that speaks to the ideas that are most important to you.

But we won’t stop there. We’ll take these core themes and look at how they can be used as the building blocks for a cinematic narrative (the all important second act turning point!). Then we’ll look at how to test your ideas before you start writing pages so you embark on a script that not only expresses your core themes and ideas but captures the reader and ultimately an audience.

We’re taking “write what you know” to the next level. Know yourself and you’re on your way to being THE NEXT BIG THING.

Ruth Atkinson is a Los Angeles-based script consultant and story editor with over 25 years of experience in the film/television business. Ruth has story edited and consulted on many features and short films that have won awards and been distributed internationally including Sundance and SXSW special jury award winner Emergency (short), Egypt’s Oscar submission Sheikh Jackson, TIFF premiere Saf, Jonas Chernick’s My Awkward Sexual Adventure, The Perfect Family starring Kathleen Turner, celebrated indie The People I’ve Slept With and Genie-nominated Who Loves the Sun starring Molly Parker and Adam Scott.

In addition to individual project consulting Ruth is a story analyst for the Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Screenwriting and Directing Labs. She is also a screenwriting advisor for Project Involve, Film Independent’s signature diversity program, where she helps develop short film scripts, which are produced and showcased at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Many have gone on to win awards and play at festivals around the world. In addition Ruth is a story advisor for Film Independent’s Screenwriter and Director Labs as well as the Global Media Makers program, a joint venture with the US State Department involving filmmakers from the Middle East.

Ruth is also an advisor and mentor for the Whistler Film Festival Praxis Screenwriters Lab held annually in British Columbia and screenwriting mentor for the prestigious RBC Michelle Jackson Emerging Filmmaker Award in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Ruth is an experienced instructor and presenter and has given seminars at The Great American Pitchfest, Screenwriters World Conference West, Scriptwriters Network, The Writer’s Store (workshops and webinars), On the Page Podcast, International Screenwriters Association, and at the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival including Scene & Heard and Framed West as well as DIGICOM a digital storytelling program for teens in Palm Springs, CA.

Ruth is available for story editing, script consulting and screenwriting workshops and can be reached at Ruth’s website and blog is at and she can be found tweeting regularly at @ruth_atkinson.




Join us on the Third Saturday every month at:






CBS Studio Center
4024 Radford Avenue
Studio City, CA 91604



Free Parking — Enter the CBS* lot at the main gate & inform security you are there for the Scriptwriters Network event.

*You must RSVP by the deadline mentioned above in order to be on our RSVP list for Security clearance onto CBS’ lot. If you do not RSVP by the date above, you may not be allowed onto CBS’ lot.

You’ll be asked for your government issued photo ID, and then given directions to the meeting location. You may park in any available space on the lot, unless CBS’ Security directs you to park at a different area.

As this is a professional event, we ask that you please arrive prior to the event start time for networking.

Meeting Timeframe: 1:00 pm to approximately 3:00 pm

Please remember to bring a picture ID!

Any questions, email us at

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