Neutralizing the Matilda Effect: How Women Can Forge Successful Writing Careers

Neutralizing the Matilda Effect: How Women Can Forge Successful Writing Careers


February 24, 2018
Saturday 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, DTLA Campus
261 S Figueroa St Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Designed for women creative writers and screenwriters with serious professional aspirations, this course unpacks strategies and solutions to counter the prevailing bias in favor of men’s innate ability to self-generate prominence, known as “the Matthew Effect.” When it comes to the fame game, most women are rookies and deeply influenced by the “Matilda Effect,” a term coined by sociologists to reflect inequity when it comes to getting or taking credit. In order to prepare you to compete in the professional writing arena, you need the proper equipment and training, including a strong belief system about having a writing career and a set of behaviors that can get you there, independent of natural talent. The course goal is for you to learn how to level the playing field by preparing yourself for the realities of the writing career game and engage in it actively, decisively, and successfully.

More Info

Neutralizing the Matilda Effect: How Women Can Forge Successful Writing Careers


Creative Writing (Fiction & Special Topics)
Carla Janas
(310) 267-4888

Screenwriting (Onsite & Online)
Jeff Bonnett
(310) 206-1542


Bill Shakespeare: An Agent’s Dream Client

Many writers often mistake writing as a source of personal identity, instead of a job, a business or a product.

The original Greek dramatists celebrated the gods in their work, but they had no issue claiming ownership as authors. They were successfully self-promoting to the extent their work is still performed and still attracting profitable enterprise. If the Greeks are too distant a reference, let’s take a look at the king of all the writing gods: Bill Shakespeare.

He is unmistakably the consummate businessman who founded a repertory company, secured patrons, erected a theatre, and promoted its product while writing some of the world’s greatest plays as a line item alongside all the rest. He is the credited writer of over 1,000 screenplays. At this very moment films based on his work are being prepped, while countless theatrical productions of his work are being performed all over the world.

How to Get a Literary Agent and Launch Your Career as a Professional Screenwriter (Online)

How to Get a Literary Agent and Launch Your Career as a Professional Screenwriter (Online)

This is an inquiry-based course about how to effectively enter the screenwriting profession by understanding what an agent’s rubric is. This is a rubric that gives insight into how to attract an agent. If you can attract an agent’s attention, you will understand how insiders think. This class will provide a step-by-step guide in ‘How To’ identify the established community of artistic and executive entertainment industry collaborators, as well as how to become visible to them. Understanding exactly what an agent does exposes you to how the entertainment business actually works. You complete the course with your mental state re-wired about Hollywood and your own work, and your chances of success greatly enhanced.

Date: TBA

Pirates of the Caribbean

ARGH! The Pirate Guy: A Dream Client

As head of the Literary Department at The Gersh Agency and team member of both the Literary and Talent departments at Innovative Artists, I not only had an eye for talent, but also the ability to develop it.

Every so often, a rare individual would come from “nowhere” with a level of raw talent who exuded the promise to become a dream player.

A producer I knew and trusted referred a writer named Stuart Beattie. He was from Australia, and totally unknown – at the time working as a waiter. But, I saw superstar potential, and signed him. I asked Stuart to furnish two ‘spec’ scripts. The first, Lords of The Sea, was an international thriller about contemporary high seas piracy, chockfull of technically detailed action. My marketing strategy for the script attracted the attention of major producers and studios, and resulted in my pitching Stuart to Disney to write a film script based on the theme park ride, Pirates of The Caribbean. At the time, the idea of turning the ride into a film franchise was only a notion, no more than a glimmer in the studio chief’s eye. Stuart’s draft was able to get the project out of the station and onto a fast track. The other spec, Collateral, I sold to Dreamworks. It became the Tom Cruise/Jamie Foxx film directed by Michael Mann. For his role in Collateral, Jamie Foxx was nominated for Best Supporting Actor, while the year before, Johnny Depp received a Best Actor nomination for his role in Pirates, which by that time had become a mega hit.