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Finding your Authentic Voice

  • NIFCO (Red Building) 40 Kings Road St. John's, NL, A1C 1N7 Canada (map)
Ruth Authentic Voice.jpg

Finding Your Authentic Voice

March 22

Tickets: $25 available online only:

Write what you know is the kind of advice that writers love to hate. And rightfully so, well, sort of.

With recent surprise hits such as Get Out, Lady Bird, Roma and The Big Sick it’s clear that successful films often explore topics and themes that are closest to the writer’s heart.

But this is easier said than done. It can be hard to know exactly what themes and ideas you want to write about and writers end up writing to the marketplace or about what they think they should. This leads to scripts that don’t resonate with the reader and feel formulaic, derivative, inauthentic or worse, boring!

Clearly not what you want!

So we’ll do a deep dive into writing exercises that uncover the core themes and ideas that are closest to your heart. By exploring what you think and care about we’ll uncover the stories you’re most interested in telling. Every writer has their own personal “vein of gold” and by tapping into it you’ll begin to write from an authentic place that speaks to the ideas that are most important to you.

But we won’t stop there. We’ll take these core themes and look at how they can be used as the building blocks for a cinematic narrative (the all important second act turning point!). Then we’ll look at how to test your ideas before you start writing pages so you embark on a script that not only expresses your core themes and ideas but captures the reader and ultimately an audience.

This hands on workshop takes “write what you know” to the next level! Open to everyone!


Ruth Atkinson

Ruth Atkinson is a Los Angeles-based script consultant and story editor with over 25 years of experience in the film/television business. Ruth has story edited and consulted on many features and short films that have won awards and been distributed internationally including Sundance and SXSW special jury award winner Emergency (short), Berlinale premieres 37 Seconds and Liberty (short) Egypt’s Oscar submission Sheikh Jackson, TIFF premieres Saf and Regarde Moi (Look at Me), Jonas Chernick’s My Awkward Sexual Adventure, The Perfect Family starring Kathleen Turner, celebrated indie The People I’ve Slept With and Matt Bissonnette’s Genie-nominated Who Loves the Sun starring Molly Parker and Adam Scott.

In addition to individual project consulting Ruth is a story analyst for the Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Screenwriting and Directing Labs. She is also a screenwriting advisor for Project Involve, Film Independent’s signature diversity program, where she helps develop short film scripts. Many have gone on to win awards and play at festivals around the world. In addition Ruth is a story advisor for Film Independent’s Screenwriter and Director Labs as well as the Global Media Makers program, a joint venture with the US State Department involving filmmakers from the Middle East. As part of this program Ruth recently led a screenwriting workshop in Abu Dhabi.

Ruth is also an advisor and mentor for the Whistler Film Festival Praxis Screenwriters Lab held annually in British Columbia and screenwriting mentor for the prestigious RBC Michelle Jackson Emerging Filmmaker Award in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Ruth is an experienced instructor and presenter and has given seminars at The Great American Pitchfest, Screenwriters World Conference West, Scriptwriters Network, The Writer’s Store (workshops and webinars), On the Page Podcast, International Screenwriters Association, and at the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival including Scene & Heard and Framed West as well as DIGICOM a digital storytelling program for teens in Palm Springs, CA, where she annually hosts a filmmaking symposium for over 400 students.

Ruth is available for story editing, script consulting and screenwriting workshops and can be reached at Ruth’s website and blog is at and she can be found tweeting regularly at @ruth_atkinson.

Earlier Event: March 22
Scriptwriting Series with Ruth Atkinson
Later Event: March 22
Go Into the Story