How to Have a Writing Career

How to Have a Writing Career

UCLA Extension Writers’ Program
Saturdays 10:00 AM PST – 1:00PM PST
April 3, 2021 – June 5, 2021

Beyond writing a great story, writers must learn to compete for the attention of professional readers. They must also learn to develop an understanding of the interpersonal collaboration among a wide array of literary insiders, since, like many other kinds of professional systems, the insider network in film, television and publishing is a closed system. In this course, students learn to navigate through this barrier by acknowledging common feelings of intimidation while exploring the unique behaviors of insider culture. You learn to constructively focus on a dedicated practice of reputation building in order to make your work visible to the people who are the best advocates for it. By the end of this course, you understand how the agent/writer relationship works, what literary agent actually does, and what rubric for success an agent uses for a client’s work and their potential for a successful career.

UCLA Extension Writers’ Program has been a world class incubator of literary talent since 1966.


On The Job In Hollywood

On The Job In Hollywood

I’m excited to be participating in the 6th Annual Lit Crawl L.A., a community partner of The Los Angeles Review of Books and the CicLAvia-Heart of LA annual all day event on October 6, 2019. I’ll be joining TV showrunner and author Bruce Ferber at the LA Central Public Library, meeting room B from 2:30 to 3:15 pm. We will be reading our essays from Bruce’s anthology, “The Way We Work: On The Job In Hollywood”, a collection of insightful stories from a diverse group of working professionals who span the Hollywood ecosystem.

On The Job In Hollywood

My essay, “Master Class On Mulberry Street” looks at how I landed my first job in the film business as the New York location script supervisor for Martin Scorsese’s seminal classic, “Mean Streets” while still a student at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Little did I suspect this small independent film would win the Palm D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, or be selected years later for preservation by the National Film Registry for the Library of Congress, or that the experience ultimately took me to Hollywood, where, unlikely as it seemed at the time, I would find my calling as a literary agent.
On The Job In Hollywood

On the set of Mean Streets

Here’s an audio clip of another recent reading I did from for Dynasty Typewriter’s Improv presentation of “On The Job In Hollywood” at Jenji Kohan’s historic Hayworth Theatre.

If you’re interested in reading more, On The Job In Hollywood is available to purchase on Amazon.

Nancy Nigrosh on the Going Gray in Tinseltown Podcast

I was recently featured on the Going Gray in Tinseltown podcast, in an episode called “Wabi-Sabi; Accepting Imperfection w Nancy Nigrosh.”

Artist Mandy May Cheetham interviewed me about the process of self-acceptance. We began by talking about my personal and professional history in Hollywood. Then we segued into present day experiences with questions about self-consciousness and how that awareness allows for self-discovery, an essential quality to propel a career in the arts, or fuel the art of living.

The Matilda Effect

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