What we're about

Montana writers: Have you written a screenplay or two (or ten) -- or are thinking about it? Maybe you write novels or have a life story people say would make a great movie. Or do you want to improve your storytelling skills -- on the page &/or out loud?

We're open to writers of all types, but focus mostly on screenwriting and screenplays. (For support with writing novels and memoirs or non-fiction, check out Authors of the Flathead, one of our sponsoring groups: http://authorsoftheflathead.org)

In 2020-21, we read and discussed screenplays by top Hollywood or indie film writers to learn about writing our own best scripts. We also interviewed some film/TV industry pros -- including judges of the 2020 Montana Screenwriting Competition -- online via Zoom. In 2022, we prepared to meet with a film/TV producer at the Flathead River Writers Conference by polishing our loglines, synopses and first 10 script pages at Barbara Schiffman's in person "Screenwriting Summer School" sessions.

In 2023, we're meeting online during the snowy months with guest speakers, including forensics experts, literary attorneys, and produced screenwriters.

Starting in the spring, we'll meet again live in Flathead Valley to discuss the craft and business of writing. Subjects may include ways to submit scripts or books to writing contests, make your synopsis and loglines stand out, or create a gameplan to market your scripts or writing work, among others. The in-person sessions -- led by organizer/ script consultant Barbara Schiffman -- will focus on various aspects of screenwriting craft or marketing.

In addition, we may host Table Readings (out loud) of finished screenplays by member writers, for feedback and fun! If you have a finished draft that you think is ready for a group read, email Barbara at MontanaScreenwriting@gmail.com to submit it for consideration (pre-selection is required - this is not an "open read" opportunity).

All levels of Montana screenwriters -- plus novelists, short story writers, poets, writers of non-fiction or memoirs -- are welcome! Keep writing!

Upcoming events (2)

4/10-to-5/1/23 @ FVCC: Start Your Screenplay Today course LIVE w/Kathy Dunnehoff

Flathead Valley Community College

Do you have an idea for a movie but aren't sure where to begin? This course covers the basics from ideas to scenes to understanding the basic structure of a screenplay. When you break it down, it's easy to start your screenplay today!

Taught by popular (and always funny!) Kathy Dunnehoff -- an FVCC writing instructor, published author and screenwriter/ playwright -- for 4 Mondays - 4/10-5/1 (from 11am-1pm).

Where: Flathead Valley College - Arts & Technology Building - room 204
When: Mondays - 4/10-5/1 - 11am-1pm

Course fee: $79 standard ($74 for seniors)
Space limited to 12 students.


NOTE: RSVPs at this Meetup indicate interest but do not RESERVE your space -- you must register online to FVCC or phone the FVCC Continuing Education office at[masked] to secure your space.

QUESTIONS? Email Barbara Schiffman at [masked]. Include your name and email (and phone # if you want a return call).



Kathy Dunnehoff is a national bestselling and Zola award winning novelist and screenwriter. A "hybrid" author, she's both independently published through her business, Blue House Publishing, and traditionally published. She's taught writing and creativity courses at FVCC for 30 years and presents writing workshops for both creative writers and those wishing to become more effective in their daily business communication.

5/25 LIVE Kalispell> MT Screenwriting: Script Contests = why, where, when, how?

A-1 Sewing & Vaccum (AofF meets 2023)

Join us for our first LIVE IN PERSON session in 2023 to discuss SCREENWRITING (OR WRITING) CONTESTS - are they right for you and your work? If yes, how can you find them, when should you submit your writing to them, and what do you need to have ready for your writing to get its best shot at contest recognition?

This will be a discussion plus a "how to" session. Led by Barbara Schiffman, who's been a reader or judge in dozens of film industry and local writing contests for over 3 decades, she also created and ran the Montana Screenwriting Competition, sponsored in 2020 by the Bigfork Indie Film Festival, which honored 20 Montana screenwriters or teams.

If you've submitted your script, book or other types of writing to script or other writing competitions, come and share your experience. If your work was honored as a Quarter-Finalist or above in any competition at any time -- yay! Let's celebrate and hear what you learned from this.

If you're thinking of sending your script, book or other work (essays, poems, memoir, etc) to a competition this year, learn about what you you need for your work to get its best shot out of thousands (or hundreds) of submissions:

  • why this can be a good idea for you -- and why it might not,
  • where you can find reputable and affordable competitions,
  • how to choose which to enter (some provide feedback for your entry fee, others do not; some hire experienced readers, others use free student-readers -- or cats?),
  • how to submit to contests and what materials you need to have prepared in advance (fyi, more than just your script, book or essay...)
  • and what to do if your work gets recognized in any competition - as a quarter finalist through category or contest winner!

Questions on this meeting? Email Barbara at [masked].
Include your question, your email, full name and, for a call to discuss your question, your phone # and times to reach you directly.

See you in person in Kalispell!

cat reader photo by Sarah - @dichohecho at Flickr.com

Past events (79)

online} guest = Garry Rodgers, crime writer&blogger turned film content producer

This event has passed

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