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How I Wrote That

Arts & Culture Podcasts

How I Wrote That is a podcast presented by The Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting, and hosted by Khanisha Foster. In each episode, we sit down with the top women in writing. They invite us into their homes and studios so we may ask how they got there. We discuss how they write, what they write, and the advice they would give to those listening. Stephens is dedicated to increasing the number of women working in television and film. How I Wrote That cultivates the relationship between those who have already made it and those who are dreaming up.


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How I Wrote That is a podcast presented by The Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting, and hosted by Khanisha Foster. In each episode, we sit down with the top women in writing. They invite us into their homes and studios so we may ask how they got there. We discuss how they write, what they write, and the advice they would give to those listening. Stephens is dedicated to increasing the number of women working in television and film. How I Wrote That cultivates the relationship between those who have already made it and those who are dreaming up.




Screenwriter Jennifer Maisel from The March Sisters at Christmas, and Tempting Fate

Jennifer Maisel most recently developed an original pilot called “The 626” with Super Deluxe and adapted two Jane Green novels—Tempting Fate and To Have and to Hold, which aired in June. She currently is working on a two-hour about campus rape and institutional betrayal with Just Singer Entertainment. Her screenplay “Lost Boy” was filmed starring Virginia Madsen. She wrote The Assault and The March Sisters for Mar Vista Entertainment and Double Wedding for Jaffe Braunstein. She has written...


Screenwriter Laura Brennan from Most Likely to Die, and Faux Baby.

Laura Brennan’s eclectic writing career includes television, film, theater, web series, fiction and news. Behind the scenes, she has helped production companies develop movies, TV pilots and limited series. She has taught pitching workshops to executives at Netflix and Film Victoria, as well as MFA programs and undergraduate classes at universities including Stephens College, University of California, Los Angeles, University of Southern California, Boston University and National University.A...


Screenwriter Dawn Comer Jefferson from Our Friend, Martin and South of Nowhere.

Dawn Comer Jefferson is an Emmy-nominated, award-winning writer. On television, Comer Jefferson wrote on the CBS family drama Judging Amy, served as writer/consulting producer on MTV's teen drama, South of Nowhere, freelanced on the CBS hit NCIS, and developed a drama pilot at NBC Universal Studios. She was nominated for an Emmy for writing the Fox-animated family film, Our Friend, Martin, and for the last nine years has written Emmy-winning arts programming for PBS, performed at the Walt...


Screenwriter & producer Rachel Shukert from GLOW and The Baby-Sitters Club

Rachel Shukert is a producer and writer, known for GLOW (2017), Supergirl (2015) and The Baby-Sitters Club (2020). Her plays include Bloody Mary (NYIT nominee), Everything's Coming Up Moses and The Three Gabor Sisters and her books include the memoirs Everything Is Going To Be Great and Have You No Shame? When you know these characters so well you can get into a rut. You get caught up in what you thought their arc was. Characters become their own people and you have to keep yourself open to...


Screenwriter Deborah Starr Seibel from Sisters and 21 Jump Street

Deborah Starr Seibel is a multiple award-winning journalist and screenwriter. For the past eight years, she has been an instructor at USC's School of Cinematic Arts in the John Wells Division of Writing for Film & Television. In addition, she serves as a mentor for Stephens College's MFA in Screenwriting program. In prime time television, Deborah recently sold two pilots to CBS and is credited with four years on staff. During those years, she wrote six episodes for the final season of NBC's...


Screenwriter/Director Julie Hébert from 'American Crime' and 'Man in the High Castle'

Julie Hebert started her creative life as a theater director and playwright (Ruby’s Bucket of Blood). She's written and directed for the Magic Theater, Steppenwolf, Victory Gardens, LaMaMa, The Women's Project, Cornerstone and many more. Her plays were honored twice with the Pen Award for Drama. Moving into television, Julie has written and directed for some of the most respected shows in television including American Crime, The Good Wife, Boss, Numb3rs and The West Wing. Her films have been...


Screenwriter/Producer Valerie Woods from 'Queen Sugar' and 'Any Day Now'

Valerie C. Woods is a writer/producer in television and film, and is also a publisher, editor and author. Valerie is currently Co-Executive Producer/Writer on the critically acclaimed television drama series Queen Sugar, created by Ava DuVernay and airing on Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). She has also been Adjunct Faculty for the Master of Fine Arts in TV and Screenwriting program since 2015. Recently, Valerie served as Creative Director for Syd Field – The Art of Visual Storytelling. Valerie...


Screenwriter Kate Gerston from The Good Place and Mozart In The Jungle

"The most important thing is to show up and write every day. Don't wait for inspiration to strike." Kate Gersten is a graduate of the Lila Acheson Wallace Playwrights Program at The Juilliard School under the mentorship of Marsha Norman and Christopher Durang. Her play Benefit of the Doubt was produced at The Juilliard School, and was further developed at the Roundabout where she currently is under commission. Her other plays include A Body of Work, (also developed at Roundabout), The...


Screenwriter/Producer Tara Hernandez of The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon

Tara Hernandez started working on The Big Bang Theory as an assistant to the executive producer in season 4, and became a staff writer in the middle of season 5. From there she rose in the ranks to be a co-executive producer, helping to craft the series finale before moving to work on the show’s spin-off Young Sheldon. The key to pitching sitcoms – there’s the event and then there’s the story. The event is the thing that happens but the story is her emotional realization that comes from the...


Screenwriter/Producer Cindy Chupack - How I Wrote That

Cindy Chupack has won two Emmys and three Golden Globes as TV writer/producer whose credits include “Sex and the City,” “Better Things,” “Divorce,” “Modern Family," “Everybody Loves Raymond,” and most recently Showtime’s darkly comic hour “I’m Dying Up Here.” She is the author of two comic memoirs: the New York Times bestseller The Between Boyfriends Book: A Collection of Cautiously Hopeful Essays, and The Longest Date: Life as a Wife. Last year she directed her first episode of television...


Dominique Morisseau - How I Wrote That

A Macarthur Genius Grant fellow in 2018 Morisseau has written a 3 play cycle, titled The Detroit Projects which includes: Detroit '67, Paradise Blue, and Skeleton Crew. In television, she served as a story editor for the television series Shameless and she wrote the book for the jukebox musical Ain't Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations which is slated to open on Broadway in March 2019. “It was so transformative to see how many people responded to seeing something new, to hearing...


Screenwriter Marie Jamora from What Isn’t There

Marie Jamora is an award-winning Filipino music video director and commercial director who is best known for her music videos, commercials, and feature film What Isn’t There. “As a woman I always feel like my work has to be perfect, or else why am I there, but that’s unmanageable because you have to give yourself room to make mistakes so that you can be better.”


Denise Hewett - How I Wrote That

Denise Hewett founded Scriptd, a script database for the entertainment industry (think google for scripts) that is a pipeline for diversity and content discovery, creating a script culture similar to the book culture so the public can pay to read scripts for the first time ever (like e-books) and upvote them on the site. “What’s cool about our platform is that because it’s inclusive you can go on there and read all kinds of different stories.” “I think the thing that breaks the noise, that...


Rachael Feldman - How I Wrote That

Writer-director Rachel Feldman has directed more than 60 hours of television, beginning with Doogie Howser, M.D. Thanks to her mother’s love of sharing stories Feldman became enamored of classic films, worked as a professional child actor into her teens. “I think like most artists I was very comfortable with my imagination at a very early age. As a child I occupied myself very well by turning almost any inanimate object into a character, including my box of Crayola crayons which was the...


Teresa Hsiao - How I Wrote That

Teresa Hsiao majored in finance and worked for Lehmann Brothers before finally chasing her true life dream of being a writer. She began writing for a Canadian children’s show and credits now include Family Guy and American Dad. “I went from one male-dominated industry to another male-dominated industry. It’s a little demoralizing, but It’s the nature of how it is right now. Hopefully it will change as we do get more voices in the room.”


Amy Rardin - How I Wrote That

Amy Rardin has written as part of a team with Jessica O'Toole for dramas from Greek to The Carrie Diaries to Jane the Virgin and became the executive producer of the Charmed reboot in 2018. Moving from writing unproduced features into television she realized, “This is the most creatively fulfilled I’ve been in years.” “You have to always find the emotion behind it. If it gives you a visceral reaction, it’s a good thing and you shouldn’t ignore that.”


Helen Estabrook - How I Wrote That

Helen Estabrook, producer of Whiplash and executive producer of Casual began her career as an actress but quickly transitioned. “I see the role of the producer as the person who can speak all languages fluently, all aspects of the budget and the business of it and you know all aspects of the creative.” “Being a producer is being someone who is ready to encourage every other person’s best work.”


Allison Schroeder, Elizabeth Martin & Lauren Hynek Podcast

This week How I Wrote that sat down with a trio of working writers who also work hard for their union. Elizabeth Martin & Lauren Hynek are a writing team responsible for the live action Mulan but they also serve as Co-Chairs of the Committee of Women Writers at the Writers Guild of America, West. They each offer solid advice on the business of screenwriting as well as the craft. Hynek says the benefit of writing as a team is a more cohesive script, “We would fight about a scene and then...


Dara Resnik Podcast

Writing for I Love Dick and Pushing Daisies, Dara takes us through the worst move to LA, writing partner breakups, and the thrill of each writers room. It was a full on party sitting down with her at Jim Henson Studios. Tune in. Tell your friends. On the show she writes for, I Love Dick, “It’s foreplay.”


Samantha Bailey And Fawz Mirza Podcast

A peek at how Chicago does it. Sam Bailey of Brown Girls fame (Hey HBO!) and Fawz Mirza of the critically acclaimed film Signature Move talked about careers that start outside of Hollywood, and how you find success by creating your own work. Samantha Bailey “I wasn’t seeing it, especially for younger women of color, like women in their 20s. I always felt like I heard in college like, “Oh you’re gonna work Sam when you’re in you’re late thirties.” I was like, that’s dope, but like in the...