USC MFA Writing for Screen & Television (Screenwriting) 2021 (1 Viewer)

theMorrigan

Active Member
Supporter+
Hello! I didn't see a thread for USC's MFA Writing for Screen & Television, so I figured I'd start one. How many of you are planning to apply, or have already applied? How are we feeling about the essays, challenge scenes, and 10-page writing sample?

Personally, I feel like my essays are in great shape and am focusing on challenge scenes and picking a writing sample over the next few days. Sound off! Let's support each other in this journey.
 
@theMorrigan Hey! Third time applying to this program! I'm struggling a bit with my ACS essay, but everything else is fine. I'm also applying to two other places: NYU and UT Austin. I got interviewed for NYU back in February of 2019 but got denied. As far as how I feel about my USC application, I'm numb at this point. I'm doing things a little more daring? Honest? I'm not sure how to describe it, but I think you can see an evolution in my application. So, I'm hoping admissions finds it to be a sign of maturation.
 

arigold8

Active Member
Supporter+
Hey! I just submitted my application to USC yesterday, and I'm currently working on my final draft for NYU. Honestly, as stressful as all the components for USC are, I kind of love the different opportunities to show different writing strengths! I think I struggled the most with the challenges, because I'm scared my scenes aren't original enough for how long they have used this prompt.
 

theMorrigan

Active Member
Supporter+
Hi @heyambshey! Congrats on getting to the interview process in your first NYU application. That's huge and a great sign for you this year, I think!

This is my second time applying to USC, so I'm right there with you in hoping the admissions committee can see an evolution. I was planning on applying to UCLA again, as well, but they aren't taking applications this year. So, I looked into LMU and decided to go with USC, LMU, and AFI this year. It's such a weird time to be on this application train when there's so many outside stresses, but I'm at least finding it to be a consuming distraction. Glad to see another potential cohort person engage here.

What struggle are you having with the ASC?
 

theMorrigan

Active Member
Supporter+
Hey! I just submitted my application to USC yesterday, and I'm currently working on my final draft for NYU. Honestly, as stressful as all the components for USC are, I kind of love the different opportunities to show different writing strengths! I think I struggled the most with the challenges, because I'm scared my scenes aren't original enough for how long they have used this prompt.
Congrats on getting the application in! I'm aiming for 11/10, and trying to budget my time accordingly while trying to be disciplined about stress-checking political news. :-(

Totally hear you on the challenge scenes. Because I applied last year, I'm even more worried about that with that part of the application. Know that you aren't alone in that fear!
 

arigold8

Active Member
Supporter+
Congrats on getting the application in! I'm aiming for 11/10, and trying to budget my time accordingly while trying to be disciplined about stress-checking political news. :-(

Totally hear you on the challenge scenes. Because I applied last year, I'm even more worried about that with that part of the application. Know that you aren't alone in that fear!
Thank you!! Honestly, this impending election is why I tried to finish this week. My brain could not focus right now! Did you get any feedback with what they might be looking for through the process last year? How is your application coming now?

I love these threads and dealing with the anxiety together! It's very much comforting, especially with the waiting game ahead.
 

sabvan

New Member
Hi guys! I'm in the process of applying to the screenwriting MFA at USC, and Chapman's as well. So far the Autobiographical Sketch has been the biggest beast. I've written it 8 different ways and they're all terrible, but this last version might be salvageable? It's written like an essay, rather than a short story, and I'm just worried it's not 'creative' enough!
Anyway, best of luck to you all :)
 

arigold8

Active Member
Supporter+
Hi guys! I'm in the process of applying to the screenwriting MFA at USC, and Chapman's as well. So far the Autobiographical Sketch has been the biggest beast. I've written it 8 different ways and they're all terrible, but this last version might be salvageable? It's written like an essay, rather than a short story, and I'm just worried it's not 'creative' enough!
Anyway, best of luck to you all :)
I think with the Autobiographical Sketch, as long as it's unique to who you are it will definitely be 'creative' enough! :)
 

equus_auctor

Member
Supporter+
Hi folks! First time applicant. I submitted my USC Screenwriting app at the end of October. I'm also applying to AFI and a handful of playwriting/dramatic writing schools (including NYU).

I found the series of small assignments a really welcome change from a single manuscript meant to totally define your work and sensibility.

Good luck, y'all! Glad to have this community as we bite our nails for the next four months.
 
Hey! I just submitted my application to USC yesterday, and I'm currently working on my final draft for NYU. Honestly, as stressful as all the components for USC are, I kind of love the different opportunities to show different writing strengths! I think I struggled the most with the challenges, because I'm scared my scenes aren't original enough for how long they have used this prompt.
I'm feeling the exact opposite! I'm comfortable in my 20pg sample, but the challenges for me feel a little dull and shakey. Best of luck!!
 

lucychoi97

Korean Forum Moderator
Staff member
Hey I also applied to USC Writing for Screen &Television this year. First time applying. I’m an international student from Korea and quite nervous to be applying to the greatest schools like USC. Hope everyone here gets the results they want!
 

its_me_mari

Well-Known Member
Supporter+
Hey guys,
First time applicant and I just hit send on my application! So nervous hahahaha
I'm also an international student, from Brazil!

For some reason I had a hard time with Challenge B. It was a long time until I had an idea that I really liked.
And the Most Challenge Moment was hard. Brought me back a lot of memories but I was really happy with it in the end.

I'm applying for NYU, AFI and Chapman too! Working on them as well and will probably finish them soon!

Best of luck for us all!
 

viipyramids

Member
Supporter+
Is anyone flummoxed about how to write the three scholarship essays in only 300 words each? 🤔 That's barely two sentences!

This application is going to be the death of me. Just as I finish one section theres another sneaky essay I forgot about.

Edit: Just realized I was counting characters, not words in my drafts. So, considerably more than two sentences. Whew!
 
Last edited:

its_me_mari

Well-Known Member
Supporter+
Guys, I finished my Slide Room application on Saturday and, on the USC Application for Admission, there is a section called "Program Materials". What do I have to do to complete it? Or I will just automatically complete itself?

This application is going to be the death of me. Just as I finish one section theres another sneaky essay I forgot about.

I could imagine! I didn't sign up for scholarship and already had a hard time with it! I hope everything works out!!
 

equus_auctor

Member
Supporter+
@marianass45 I had this problem too. I submitted my Slideroom stuff first and then couldn't submit the main app. Try logging out of everything and then logging back in. If that doesn't work, make sure you check all the tabs on the Slideroom app. You might have to manually reenter your Slideroom ID.

Hope that's helpful. Mine worked after a few minutes of clicking around.
 

its_me_mari

Well-Known Member
Supporter+
@marianass45 I had this problem too. I submitted my Slideroom stuff first and then couldn't submit the main app. Try logging out of everything and then logging back in. If that doesn't work, make sure you check all the tabs on the Slideroom app. You might have to manually reenter your Slideroom ID.

Hope that's helpful. Mine worked after a few minutes of clicking around.

Oh, it worked! Thank you so much!
 

sabvan

New Member
Does anyone know if the Autobiographical Sketch, Challenge Essay, and writing sample are supposed to be single-spaced or double-spaced? Either way it kind of changes everything haha. My essays are single-spaced, but my writing sample is in manuscript format so it's double :p
 

arigold8

Active Member
Supporter+
Does anyone know if the Autobiographical Sketch, Challenge Essay, and writing sample are supposed to be single-spaced or double-spaced? Either way it kind of changes everything haha. My essays are single-spaced, but my writing sample is in manuscript format so it's double :p
For my Autobiographical Sketch and Challenge Essay I did single space, and then my writing sample was in script format! I hope that helps!
 
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