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Genre Screenwriting – Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror & Beyond [Virtual]

Starts October 18

Online. 7 sessions: Wednesdays, October 18-December 6 (no class Nov. 15), 6:30-9:30 pm CT

For too long, the genres of sci-fi, horror, and fantasy were dubbed “unserious” and dismissed as exploitation and B-movie fare by the film industry. However, this did not stop these creatively rich genres from tackling serious social issues and changing the world through visionary storytelling – eventually becoming dominant genres in today’s entertainment landscape.

This writing workshop celebrates the vibrant and infinite creative possibilities of genre screenwriting of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and more. Participants will learn the unique tools for writing genre scripts while pushing the boundaries of their own imagination. At the end of the course, each student will have completed an original genre short film script that is either a pilot or stand-alone story.

The primary focus for this course is developing each participant’s original voice as a genre screenwriter while also learning:

  • Genre Expectations
  • World Building
  • Writing Three-Dimensional Characters and Creatures
  • Plotting and Pacing
  • Rules of Unreality
  • Understanding and Subverting Audience Expectations
  • Professional Standards for Formatting
  • Genre Audiences, Competitions, and Breaking into the Industry

By the end of the course, students will have a fully realized genre script ready for submissions or filming! No previous screenwriting experience necessary.

NOTE: Participation in this online course requires that you use the free Zoom cloud-based video conferencing service. For optimal performance it is recommended that you install Zoom on your computer rather than running it from a web browser. We’ll e-mail you a course reminder and Zoom link a few days prior to the first session. Click here for a Zoom tutorial.

Tuition: $335 regular | $250 member | $190 low-income

Hailing from a family of genre filmmakers, Jake Yuzna is a Minneapolis based writer, director, and genre curator. Their films have screened at the Cannes Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, London Film Festival, New Museum of Contemporary Art (NYC), and the British Film Institute, among others. Yuzna is the first American feature director to win the Teddy Jury Prize at the Berlin Film Festival and has received additional awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Creative Capital Foundation, Frameline Foundation, McKnight Foundation, IFP, and FilmNorth, as well as a Richard P. Rogers Spirit of Excellence Award from the American Film Institute. Yuzna founded the cinema program at the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC where they curated the first American retrospectives on Italian Zombie Films, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Dario Argento, Sion Sono, and the medium of VHS. In addition, Yuzna has curated retrospectives on Andrei Tarkovsky, Crispin Glover, H.R. Giger, and Science Fiction cinema of the 1990s. His curatorial work on genre filmmaking has been collected by the libraries at Yale University and NYU.

Class Registration Guidelines & Cancellation Policy

  • Space is assigned on a first-come basis. Registrations must include payment in full. Registrations are accepted after registration deadlines if space is available.
  • If minimum enrollment has not been reached by 7 days prior to the start date of a class, FilmNorth may cancel it, in which case registrants will immediately be notified and receive a full refund within 2 business days. A check will be issued for registrations that were paid in cash. In lieu of a refund, students have the option of applying their tuition to another class scheduled in the same calendar year.
  • For those needing to cancel a registration at least 7 days prior to the first class session, 100% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee. For registration cancellations received less than 7 days prior to the first class session, 50% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee. As of 5:00 pm the day prior to the first class session, no refunds or credits/exchanges will be given (Friday at 5:00 pm for Sunday classes). 
  • Tuition is not prorated for missed class sessions.
  • By registering for this FilmNorth class you are agreeing to our Community Values Statement.




October 18 @ 6:30 pm
December 6 @ 9:30 pm
Event Categories:


Jake Yuzna
Registration Deadline
October 13
Maximum Enrollment
Class count or Info
7 sessions: Wednesdays, October 18-December 6 (no class Nov. 15), 6:30-9:30 pm