RECAP Soulful Screenwriting: Connecting to Self, Character, and Story

SIFTER Stephanie Malson’s Workshop – Screenwriting: Connecting to Self, Character, and Story sold out a week before the event.  This course was aimed at intermediate students,  those already in the screenwriting  process, but are either feeling stuck, need to develop better writing habits,  unsure about their process or looking for ways to infuse their scripts with more life.

Stephanie began with a self-reflective writing exercise which proved a perfect way to segue into character development and getting into the headspace of each of your characters; knowing their inner life.  Attendees got to watch a scene from Barry Jenkin’s  If Beale Street Could Talk as an example of a single scene character having great impact or foreshadowing on the main character(s).  When Stephanie’s  workshop turned to talk of scene development, we watched a subtle, but important scene from Ava DuVernay’s Middle of Nowhere to discuss character dynamics. 

Stephanie’s slide deck was full of tips to keep in mind and things to ask yourself as you’re writing to keep your story on track.  Not  plot development, rather the importance of connecting to those things that allow an audience to connect to the richness of the full story.

See excerpt of the workshop below:

Original Post 6/30/2021

Date: Thursday, July 15, 2021
Time: 7-9pm

Place: Virtual Workshop 


Join SIFTER  Stephanie Malson (@slminspired) for our next workshop exploring the connections between story & character in scriptwriting.

SOULFUL SCREENWRITING is an intermediate workshop for writers and filmmakers who need support around the drafting of a screenplay-in-progress. The workshop aims to hone in on the connections between You, your characters, and crafting a dynamic story.

Attendees will learn timeless techniques for building dimensional characters and enhanced scenes that will make your script come alive.

This is an interactive workshop where questions are encouraged. Writers are also encouraged to bring two pages of a current screenplay for constructive feedback.

STEPHANIE MALSON  is an Adjunct Professor at Temple University teaching Creative Scriptwriting. She’s also a cinematographer, writer, and producer with over 16 years experience in developing content for varying independent, non-profit, and corporate entities. She is currently in development on a short narrative film Slow Burn and is also in post-production on a feature documentary Ulrick, which she is co-producing. The documentary chronicles the life of New Orleans based, Haitian painter, Ulrick Jean Pierre. Her cinematography was recently featured in the short experimental film We Are Free Because of Harriet Tubman, which was an official BlackStar Film Festival selection. Stephanie holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Rosemont College.


The SIFTMedia 215 Collective is a cooperative that centers Black and Latinx women-identified independent media artists who work in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. As filmmakers, we seek to educate ourselves and the wider community by creating socially conscious, culturally relevant work that challenges mainstream narratives and structures. Our mission is to use our collective strength to amplify the work of and create meaningful opportunities for Black and Latinx Women content creators by providing a community of support to share resources, skills, and creative space.

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