What we’re about
Montana writers: Have you written a screenplay or two (or ten) -- or are thinking about one? Maybe you write novels or short stories or have a life story people say would make a great movie. Or do you just want to improve your storytelling skills -- on the page &/or out loud?
***If you say 'yes' to any or all of the above, we hope you'll join us. ***We're open to Montana screenwriters of all genres and experience levels -- plus novelists, short story writers as well as writers of non-fiction or memoirs or personal essays.
Many of the writing craft topics we discuss are valuable for all types of writers. Using screenwriting techniques helps make novels, memoirs, personal essays and short stories even more visual and emotionally compelling.
(If you write novels and memoirs or non-fiction, also check out Authors of the Flathead, one of our sponsoring groups: http://authorsoftheflathead.org)
Since 2020 we've focused primarily on discussing screenwriting and screenplays. We've read award winning scripts and watched videos about screenwriting craft topics including how now-iconic films actually got made. (Check out Netflix's terrific series "The Movies That Made Us" -- it tells and shows how films like "Pretty Woman," "Home Alone," "Back to the Future" and also well-known low budget horror films actually got written, filmed and became box office success.)
We will meet monthly in 2024 via Zoom -- and may possibly also meet in person in Kalispell MT during summer months. Check each month's event posting for details.
In 2024 we'll try a new focus as an online BOOK CLUB for writers. Each month we'll read and discuss one book about the craft or business of screenwriting -- but we'll also include books of value for all types of writers. For example, crafting short personal essays for Live Storytelling; using the Chakras or Enneagram as character creation tools. Feel free to send a Meetup Message to organizer Barbara Schiffman if you have books to suggest - and let her know if you've read them already or not.
A list of our first few 2024 books will be posted in our "Discussions" section. Check back for this in December -- we will continue adding to it as more books are suggested.
Getting and reading the Writing Book of the Month is strongly recommended but not required. The library or online used book stores are good places to find a print or ebook copy (we do not provide them). But even if you don't get to read the Writing Book of the Month, you will benefit from learning what Barbara and other attendees who do read the book learn from it, and we'll also discuss the month's topic in general.
Since we'll meet primarily via Zoom in 2024, you will be able to join in from wherever you are -- even if you're not in Flathead Valley MT. And Barbara hopes some of the authors of our Writing Books of the Month may also be available to join us online!
Also, Barbara Schiffman is available to teach weekend workshops in Montana about screenwriting -- preferably within driving distance of her home in Flathead Valley Contact her if you have a local group -- at least 6 writers -- that would like to bring her to your area to lead a weekend masterclass on a screenwriting topic of your choice -- email her at: MontanaScreenwriting@gmail.com.
Meanwhile, stay warm and keep writing!
Upcoming events (1)See all
- 1/25/24 - NEW: MTSG monthly Writing Book Club - via zoom onlyLink visible for attendees
In 2024, we'll begin meeting via Zoom again -- so you can join us from wherever you are in Montana or elsewhere.
We'll discuss books about the craft and business of Screenwriting and also books about writing craft of value to all fiction or memoir writers.
Each month we'll meet on our usual 4th Thursday evenings -- from 7:00-8:30pm Mountain time in JANUARY (6:00-7:30 Pacific, 8:00-9:30 Central, 9:00-10:30 Eastern). In future winter months we may meet from 6:00-7:30 MT time -- be sure to check for each month's details.
Also check back here for our 2024 WRITING BOOKS OF THE MONTH list -- our first 3 book titles will get posted in January-March event postings in December. We'll also post an evolving list in our "Discussion" section.
If you have favorite writing or screenwriting books to suggest -- or books about writing that you'd like to read and discuss -- send a Meetup Message to organizer Barbara Schiffman. Include the book title plus author's full name (if you know it) -- and let her know whether you've read the book yet or not. All books must be writing related.
Each month, those of us who have read the Writing Book of the Month -- including Barbara -- will share what we learned from it, especially what's most useful for our type of writing (screenplays, novels, memoirs, short stories, personal essays, etc). This way we can all learn by reading these books ourselves and also from sharing what we learn with others.
If you don't get to read the book of the month, please join us anyway to discuss the topic in general -- and hear about what we read.
Please RSVP to let us know who plans to attend -- hope you'll join us!
Where can you get the books? We do not provide them for you -- but local libraries (including FVCC's library if you're in Flathead Valley, which is open to Flathead locals) plus online used book stores or subscription services*** are the best sources to find and get our Writing Books of the Month at low cost. Plan in advance -- you will be able access the books right away if you get them via a subscription service, but if you order online from used book stores allow for delivery time so you'll have time to read the Book of the Month before we meet.
Online bookstores -- we like these: ThriftBooks, Discover Books, SecondSale, and even Etsy. And there's always used books at Amazon...
Book Subscription Services: You may be able to find many of the books on our list as ebooks available for instant access at Everand.com. It's affiliated with online document library Scribd.com. Together, these two sites offer a unique and growing online library with ebooks, magazines, audiobooks, podcasts -- and even articles and screenplays (at Scribd)! You can get a monthly subscription to both sites for one affordable rate -- and read ebooks or scripts instantly on your phone, tablet or computer.
Get a free 60 day trial++ of both Everand + Scribd at: https://www.everand.com/g/7ve9ta
++ Full disclosure from Barbara: If you try them out via this link and then choose to subscribe to Everand+Scribd once your 60 day trial ends, I get a free month added to my subscription as a referral "thank you." But I truly do use both sites myself -- I check them first to find ebooks, scripts or other resources before I check my local library or online used book stores. It's one of the best online subscription services I have -- and a "best kept secret" resource for readers and writers! Let me know what you think if you try them out.