SITCOM SPEC WRITING WORKSHOP
The main reason to write a spec script these days is so you can apply to the different writing fellowships. I wrote spec scripts that got me into the NBC Writers on the Verge program and the Nickelodeon Writing Fellowship, and I’ll take you through the same process that I use.
WHAT TO EXPECT
We’ll go over everything from beginning to end, including picking what show to spec, pitching and writing loglines, writing a synopsis, an outline, and then your draft. The goal is to have a new, polished spec ready to submit to contests and fellowships. During the class, I also help you prepare for the interview process for the fellowships.
Each class will be around 2 – 3 hours long, depending on how many writers there are, and what we’re covering that week. There will be weekly assignments, and you’ll be expected to read and have notes for everyone’s work in addition to working on your own scripts.
Each session, you’ll get feedback on your material from me, as well as from the rest of the group. I’ll also be giving written notes on your scripts, and we’ll also have periodic private 1 on 1 meetings to make sure you’re on track, and to discuss any specific issues you’re having with your script. If you miss a class, you will still get written notes from me for that week, but you will miss group discussions.
Class is on Sundays. The workshop is 8 weeks long.
WHAT YOU NEED
The workshop will be online, so you’ll need a computer with a web cam and a good internet connection. All of the classes will be group video chats. You’ll also need Final Draft, Word, and Excel, or equivalent software.
The next workshop will start on Jan 5, 2015. 8 students max per workshop.
PAST STUDENT SUCCESS
2 writers were Semifinalists in the CBS Writers Mentoring Program
1 writer was a Finalist and 1 was a Semifinalist in Scriptapalooza
6 writers were Second Rounders in the Austin Film Festival
1 writer was a semifinalist for the Disney Writing Program
2 writers were Second Rounders in the Austin Film Festival
I’ve taken courses at acclaimed screenwriting programs and Kiyong’s class ranks among the best in script consulting. Kiyong was dedicated to his students and offered insightful feedback to push you to write your best. Fellowships and working as a writer is about more than just the script and Kiyong guided each writer through that minefield of actually talking about yourself so you don’t blow interviews and being able to accept and incorporate notes, which was worth the price of the workshop alone. In addition, the workshop offered a community of like-minded serious writers who were fun, were great sounding boards, and gave good notes. It’s not a fly-by class: there are homework assignments and deadlines — just like the real world. And if you keep up and put in the work, the cost of the workshop will pay itself tenfold. I would recommend this workshop to anyone wanting to take their script to a competitive level.
I knew from reading Kiyong’s blog over the years that he was a talented writer who was writing at a professional level as an alum of both the Nickelodeon and NBC Writing programs. At the stage I’m at in my career, I needed honest feedback from someone who knew what it took to write a high-quality spec.
Kiyong’s precise, clear notes on my work definitely helped define my storylines in the planning stages, and his lessons on goals and stakes especially resonated with me. The caliber of feedback throughout the course, both from Kiyong and the other students, really pushed me to write what I consider to be my best sitcom spec to date. Beyond the class meetings each week, Kiyong also provided written notes on each assignment and one-on-one meetings over two months. I enjoyed being put through my paces and writing a spec on the same schedule as professional writers. I would enthusiastically recommend the course to other people looking to up their sitcom spec skills, and I would love to go through the program again with another spec!
After three years of following Kiyong’s blog and being in awe of the way he gets things done and makes things happen for himself on the tv writing fellowship circuit, I was so excited to hear about his spec writing workshop. This class session began just as I’d finally completed my first ever spec, which I wrote on my own. So I feel like I can speak with some authority and credibility when I say that Kiyong’s way of conceptualizing, writing, and completing a spec was a million times easier, more efficient and it made more sense than how I’d struggled through my previous spec on my own. More specifically, on my own, I created a spreadsheet to help me breakdown produced scripts. No lie, it would take me 3-4 hours per script doing it my way. I lost desire to even write during that process. Kiyong’s way of breaking down scripts? An hour per script! And he had more information on his spec breakdown worksheet that was relevant to the actual spec writing process than I had. I really feel like I got a good grasp of the structure of the show with his guidance. And I got it quickly. This workshop was totally worth the time saved. Also, getting to see other people’s specs develop in a small group was beneficial. Any feedback I gave to my classmates was feedback I tried to also apply to my own writing. Kiyong’s feedback was delivered in a way that got straight to the point and he doesn’t add a lot of fluff around it. He sets high expectations as far as meeting deadlines and that’s exactly what I needed to finish several drafts of the spec in 8 weeks. Several drafts! Not just one crappy draft so I can say I wrote a spec! One of the biggest compliments I can think to give to Kiyong is to say that I would not take this class again….because he taught it so well that I got what I needed to get in order to keep writing specs in the most efficient way possible on this first time through. But if he ever teaches a pilot writing workshop (or one on features, or short films, or even gymnastics), I’m so there.
Before taking Kiyong’s class I had pretty much no idea how to approach writing a spec or how the industry worked. I had gleaned some insights from blogs and books about the industry, but I felt like I needed a more structured and interactive platform rather than me weeping in a corner with my laptop because I didn’t really know what I was doing. Going to grad school wasn’t an option and l and local colleges didn’t offer courses about TV writing, so it seemed that Kiyong’s workshop would be a perfect fit. Fortunately, it was!After completing the workshop I feel so much more confident and informed about the writing process, the way writer’s rooms work, and the skills I need to polish not only as a writer whose job is to create content but as a potential employee who needs to brand myself in interviews and in general. Kiyong was always supportive and helpful and the weekly assignments broke down the previously daunting task of writing a spec into smaller steps that ensured that our end product would be something great. He also made time for one on one tutorials in addition to our weekly class which were extremely helpful and really helped me when I was stuck. Kiyong is extremely approachable and funny and always had creative ideas and notes. His weekly feedback was so valuable as was getting the perspectives of the other classmates. I learned so much just in reading their drafts, seeing how other people approached the writing process and where they struggled and succeeded as I was going through the same process. I really enjoyed our dynamic of brainstorming and collaboration which, from what I understand, mimics the dynamic of a writer’s room. The fact that I enjoyed the entire process (though it could be challenging) has made me feel confident about pursuing TV writing full time.I would highly recommend Kiyong’s workshop to people from all backgrounds and levels of experience. It would be beneficial to those who are starting from square one, to writers who are much more experienced but are looking to polish their skills, and anyone in between.
Look, a lot of us have been there…you take a script writing class and by the end, you’re not sure if the hundreds of dollars you spent did any good at all. You don’t have finished script, or anything even close to it. You don’t even have a solid outline…or treatment…or even logline. Your classmates didn’t give you helpful feedback during or outside of class. Your instructor sent you one e-mail during the class and it was only because his/her LinkedIn account got hacked.And then, there’s Kiyong’s Sitcom Spec Writing Class. It’s seriously THE BEST.Kiyong sets up his goal for each student pretty clearly from the very first moment: “The goal is to have a finished script after these 8 weeks.” And then, he gives you all the tools, the encouragement and the feedback you might need to achieve that goal.Specifically, here’s how he does that: Limited class size to focus in on each student. One-on-one individual meetings each week. Written feedback on your work each week. Responds quickly to questions, freak outs, and all other writing-related concerns. An online class setting where he speaks truthfully, but kindly — and gives everyone equal class time for discussion of their spec.And as an added bonus, this class seems to attract really funny, really smart, really cool writers, comedians and all around TV nuts. All of my classmates were not only genuinely nice, but gave great feedback on my work and took the time (in and out of class!) to brainstorm ideas and solutions to problem spots in my story. We’re going to keep in touch and continue workshopping our specs, too…so, the fun doesn’t end with the class!Kiyong is friendly and hilarious, focused and professional, and he’s organized his class in a way that helps each writer succeed. Each class builds on the previous class, and each week’s homework assignment builds on each class session. If you’re willing to put in time and effort, Kiyong will help you take your script (and your outline, your treatment, your beat sheet and even your logline) to the next level.Even beyond that, Kiyong prepares you not only as a writer, but for the career of writing. He works with you on pitching, on selling yourself, and preparing for what lies ahead in the TV industry. He also gives fantastic insights into next steps — developing ideas for pilots, rounding out your writing portfolio, and submitting queries and completed work to agents. He shares his experiences from applying to, interviewing for and being chosen for both the Nick Writing Program and NBC’s Writer’s on the Verge Program. Where else do you get this kind of training in an 8-week course?I took Kiyong’s class after reading some of these testimonials here on this page — but I’m telling you, it’s even better than any of us could advertise. It’s well worth the price of admission. DO IT. I would take this class again and again because it’s been so valuable to my development as a writer.
I took Kiyong’s class in order to write my second sitcom spec, get feedback from other writers, and watch and learn from the creative processes of others. As an aspiring writer, it’s easy to sit in a dark corner of your room, hacking away at your script, but ultimately, TV writing is a collaborative medium, and Kiyong provided a positive environment where I could discuss my script, from logline to dialogue, with others. Kiyong gives feedback after every class, meets one-on-one with his students, and allocates time for each student’s script during every class. His approach is blunt, but positive, which I found perfect. He is also endlessly knowledgeable about TV writing and fellowships, and we spent class time pitching pilot ideas, crafting bios, and answering interview questions in addition to writing our specs. I think I got lucky in that the other students in my class were also fantastic. In fact, I liked everybody so damn much that I flew out to LA (I’m based in Austin, Texas) to meet them towards the end of our session, and we continue to share and review each other’s work. I could go on and on about how much I learned, but I think this might convey it better: I would repeat Kiyong’s Sitcom Spec Workshop.
I did my research before I chose Kiyong’s sitcom spec workshop. With the limited number of students, Kiyong connected with us as writers and people. Plus, the fact that it’s online was so convenient. It was more than worth the price of the workshop, and I’d take it again.Kiyong is down to earth and funny, but most importantly he offered helpful and very specific insight, edits, and ideas at each step of writing. He asked specific questions about our ideas so that we could get used to thinking like a sitcom writer. I liked that he offered tools to break down scripts and understand the formula behind creating a spec, so when I’m sitting down to actually write the actual script, it’s (dare I say it?), easy.I think what differentiates Kiyong’s workshop is that he not only focuses on writing a great spec, but he also covers how to submit to fellowships, shares his experience applying for, interviewing, and working at fellowships, and has students pitch ideas for both specs and pilots. This information is vital for the serious aspiring sitcom writer. He even asks his students interview questions they can expect to be asked once their hilarious, wonderful, perfectly-written script is chosen. He also asked us about out goals are once the class is over, and encouraged us to write another spec as well as a pilot.We discussed which writing books were the most helpful and which writing programs were happening when.
Kiyong is accessible and gives written and verbal one-on-one notes. He opened the floor for students to share ideas, which made a fun and collaborative environment. I was delighted to meet like-minded comedians, writers, and TV lovers.
Since a majority of the students were based in LA, the class met up in person once. We plan on keeping in touch and workshopping together, which is a huge added bonus.I highly recommend taking Kiyong’s spec writing class – there’s no reason to look anywhere else!
Being part of Kiyong’s Spec Script Workshop allowed me to write my best spec yet! Each week was well structured at an achievable pace. His feedback was well rounded and invested in making my script a success. It was exactly what I needed to energize my writing and meet some challenging goals!
Before taking Kiyong’s spec writing workshop, I had no idea where to even begin with a spec script. Yes, anyone could read the “TV Writer’s Workbook” and other self-help books of that sort, but it will never compare to what you will actually learn in his hands-on course.
Kiyong provided each writer with detailed feedback weekly and his comments and suggestions were indispensable throughout the entire script-writing process.
What I liked most about Kiyong’s course is that he didn’t spoon feed us. While he did explain and give examples for each step of the process, a lot of it was left up to the students to figure out on their own. I can’t speak for the other writers, but as an aspiring TV writer, the challenge is what drove me to get my assignments done each week. After 8 weeks, the final result was a spec script for “The Mindy Project” that I feel confident and proud of. Most importantly, my spec represents me and my voice as a writer.
I’d also like to add that I got lucky enough to share the class with 4 additional amazing writers/comediennes from different cities across the country. Each week, we would give each other feedback, suggestions, and joke pitches that helped me improve my script tenfold. The team work was without a doubt a glimpse of what it will be like in a writer’s room in (hopefully) the near future!
I was referred to Kiyong’s workshop by a friend who spoke very highly of his course. After a rigorous 8-weeks of writing a spec with Kiyong, I can fully endorse his program. He takes a lot of care in giving notes, and shares bountiful amounts of knowledge about the industry and what Execs look for in a spec. He was always available to help outside of class, and would always find the time to assist you. His care and thorough notes are what enabled me to finished a polished draft of “Bob’s Burgers.” I highly recommend this workshop if you’re serious about getting staffed.
If you’re looking for a better way to organize your ideas and improve your story structure, I wholeheartedly recommend Kiyong’s workshop. You’ll actually spend more time breaking down scripts, creating a beat sheet and writing outlines instead of writing pages – and it’s a good thing. It’ll make you a more efficient writer. Once you start with your script, you’ll have more fun writing jokes because your story structure will be solid. Kiyong’s notes are always on point and his in-depth knowledge of various writing programs will help you focus on what’s most important when you submit your script. The workshop will also connect you with a group of fellow writers who will read your ideas and give you valuable notes. It was the most fun I’ve had writing a spec script.
I heard about Kiyong’s class from a former screenwriting teacher who had just completed his course. Knowing full well that, at this point in my life, it was time for me to get some honest-to-goodness feedback from People Who Know, I didn’t think twice about taking this class.
Kiyong’s detailed notes and feedback helped me more than I dreamed. From the first class to the last, you’ll go through the same schedule as most writer’s rooms. If there’s anything I love more than writing comedy, it’s science. Through Kiyong, I learned about the science behind writing a sitcom spec. From concepting loglines to taking intensive notes on your shows, plotting out scenes, and ultimately starting the script, Kiyong helped me pace through the process, leading me to write the most complete and funniest spec ever to come out of my mind grapes.
Think of this as an AP course’s AP course. The resumés of Kiyong and the other students are enviable, and if you don’t show up ready to write and–more importantly–contribute, there’s no point in showing up at all.
It’s a lot of work, but the process is insanely fun. And rewarding. After all, we’re writing comedy scripts, shouldn’t it be an awesome time?
Kiyong’s workshop will leave you with a finished half-hour-sitcom spec script and enough notes and tools to revise and polish it to perfection. While the workshop is structured to take you from researching shows to writing log-lines, treatments, beat sheets, outlines, and pages (your script), it is so much more. While guiding you though the entire process of writing a spec script from start to finish, Kiyong provides you with a wealth of information and resources on how to go about applying to the various writing programs and competitions. For example, Kiyong will give you excellent notes on how to polish your biography, and go over likely interview questions. Kiyong is patient, prepared, and goal oriented. These classes will work especially well for anybody who wants a finished spec script by the end of the workshop. Furthermore, Kiyong’s workshop is very reasonably priced when you consider that classes frequently are three hours long and that the workshop includes one-on-one chat sessions with Kiyong. You’ll also get amazing feedback from all the other students. For these reasons and more, it’s a great workshop. I’d never written a spec script and, all due to Kiyong’s workshop, I now have one.
Kiyong’s class is awesome. Period. I prayed to Zeus that it could continue forever but alas it could not. Essentially, Kiyong’s course was better than any other screenwriting class or workshop I’ve ever taken. He takes you through each section of writing a spec and makes sure you get it before you go on to the next step. There’s no half-assery here because Kiyong will tell you (nicely but honestly) where you need improvement. I highly recommend this course for people seeking to understand the science and formula behind creating a sitcom episode without losing your unique voice. Take the class. Taaaake iiiiit. *shakes fist like homer simpson*
I would definitely recommend taking the writing workshop with Kiyong. I had always wanted to write a spec script but the process seemed so daunting to me. The workshop was a great place to start. Kiyong shared his techniques and strategies to break down the whole writing process. Each week we would have new assignments that incorporated different parts of writing a spec. This definitely made it easier for me, as it was less overwhelming than starting with a blank page. Kiyong was very supportive and made sure to make himself available to us as much as he could. The class was made up of writers from different writing backgrounds, but Kiyong made it feel like we were on a level playing field. He would always offer constructive criticism, instead of shooting our ideas down, which made it a positive learning environment. I also enjoyed his insight on the different writing fellowships that Kiyong has done. I feel prepared on what to expect in the interviews or meetings if I were ever to take part in them. The workshop was a great experience overall, and I now feel I have the tools to write stronger scripts in the future.
I’ve taken a lot of writing classes for television and many of them don’t really guide you in comprehensive and useful way, most them don’t even give assignments or examples that you can work with. Kiyong, however, shows you his own writing process, tips and tools, to help you get through that draft. He provides one-on-one meetings in addition to the workshop, and gets you thinking about all the little things you never think of, like your bio and your interview if you make it through the first round. Take this workshop if you want an inside view on what it’s like to be a fellow, and if you want to get that first draft done!