USC Screenwriting 2012

I started a UCLA screenwriting thread, so I figured I would also start a USC 2012 thread as well. The application deadlines creep up really fast, especially if you are applying to multiple schools, and I know that even though I found this site after I had applied last year, I found the advice and community very helpful. This is a good place to bounce ideas around and to go through the process with other people. So, don't be shy. I am applying to USC for a second time, along with UCLA. I made it to the interview round at UCLA and will be doing the professional program this year. In the meantime, I will be working on my MFA in fiction after getting my BA in English with a creative writing emphasis last year. So, the thread is open. If you have questions, ask them. If you are nervous, be nervous. If you want to know something about the process, this is the place.

I'm getting started on my app soon, but I've decided to do the Stark app first.

Since you applied last year, which aspect of the Screenwriting application process did you find most difficult? It seems to be an inordinate amount of work relative to other programs (even at USC). I'm not exactly thrilled for the autobiographical character sketch.

A side note: where are you getting your fiction MFA? I studied creative writing and split time between Fiction and Screenwriting, so I'm always curious about other programs.
@i_spit_hot_fire: I'm sorry it took me so long to respond to you, since you posted in July. I never received an email about your post. As for what I found most difficult about USC's application, it was definitely selecting 15 pages of creative writing samples and writing the emotional moment. It was difficult to narrow d own 15 pages of my writing and putting them into context. The emotional moment was difficult to write, because it was difficult to narrow down that one moment that was most emotional to me. This being said, part of my problem was that I filled out 11 applications last year for screenwriting and creative writing applications. As for where I studied and am currently studying fiction writing, if you want to send me a private message, I'll tell you the schools.

I am nearly finished with my USC app for this year. I have my ideas for the new challenge scenes, and I already have my new creative writing materials chosen. All that is left is sitting writing the actual challenge scene pages and editing them, and writing a new emotional moment.

How is everyone else coming along with their USC apps? Did anyone go to the graduate school meetings?

I went to the USC graduate school seminar last year, and I found it very helpful and informative. You get to meet with a representative from the School of Cinematic Arts and ask them all of the questions you wish.


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Hey Honey badger, im actually working on the app for USC right now. I had taken the GRE a couple weeks ago(thak god, spent majority of my prep time studying just for that), have creative sample writing picked out, just have to edit it. and one of the two creative challenges done. The ACS and emotional moment only have drafts of those...

Guess im coming along ok, I work on it a little bit each day after work and confident I can have it all ready by mid November.
The deadline for USC is midnight tomorrow! Is everyone getting their apps finished up? Have people already turned their apps in?
@i_spit_hot_fire and @Russell Blanchard: Congratulations on getting your apps turned in! I just submitted mine a few minutes ago. I wanted to do more last minute proofing of my creative materials. Good luck to both of you on your apps, and good luck to anyone else who applied or still has an application to finish at the last second!
@tsroach: Congratulations on finishing your application! It is a relief, isn't it? Good luck to you and everyone else who applied!


I've noticed that Production and Peter Stark applicants on here are getting called in for interviews about now. Does anyone know if the Screenwriting program also has interviews, and if so, has anyone been called in for them as yet? I am starting to get kind of antsy about my application.

Fingers crossed, and good luck to everyone.


*steps out from behind a bush*

Hi, I'm a lurker. I finally decided to post, since the anticipation is driving me batty. I'm applying for the USC MFA as well.

TWO whole people have posted on the gradcafe forum that they have gotten their admissions decision from the School of Cinematic Arts (one accepted to Critical Studies and one rejected from Interactive Media). My neurotic need to check my status has gotten a little out of control.

It's almost like compulsively checking won't make them decide any faster...

Anyway, nice to meet you all!
@Deanna: Welcome to the forum! I would urge you to find another way to occupy your time than checking the boards constantly and checking your application page for its status. I don't say this to chide you, but I applied last year to USC and UCLA, and I know how much time you can waste checking your status, running the numbers, checking, etc... The best thing you can do for yourself is know that you got your application in, that you worked hard on it, and that you delivered the best application you possibly could to USC.

I know this process is full of anxiety and would haves, could haves, but the best thing you can do is live your life, put the application process out of your mind, and work at your writing.

The application is out of your hands, now. It is up to USC. You did everything you could. They will notify you of your acceptance or rejection when they are ready, and there is nothing you can do to hurry up or cheat the process.

The process requires patience.

I know it is difficult. I've been through it, and I'm currently going through it, which is why I am giving the advice I am--concentrate on yourself, hanging out with friends, improving your writing, going to a concert, going for a run, whatever. Live your life and don't let your anxiety or worry get to you.

I've written extensively about this subject on the UCLA MFA Screenwriting forum, as have others, if you want to check it out.

The bottom line, you are going to feel anxious--there is no getting around it, but you can manage your anxiety and choose not to let it get the best of you.

Good luck, and I hope you are accepted!


You remember that old psychology experiment where they told people not to think about white bears for three minutes...and the test subjects could think of nothing else? White bears, white bears in bow ties, white bears doing the conga?

It is good advice, and you're very kind, though. I'm exaggerating, of course, but I think that's ok when you're making fun of yourself. :)
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Hi there, Screenwriters!

I applied to the Stark Program, but am wishing all of you the best of luck. I hope we'll be seeing each other (and hopefully working on projects together) in the fall!


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