The three-semester Screenwriting & Narrative Design graduate certificate program provides students with the knowledge, writing experience and hands-on skills necessary to become screenwriters for the ever-evolving media field, as well as narrative designers for game and interactive storytelling worlds.

Female Screenwriting Student sitting in a chair at the studio with a notebook in her lap while looking at the camera.

Overview

Program name
Screenwriting & Narrative Design
Code
P400
Location
Duration
1 year (3 semesters)
Starting month
September
Credential
Ontario College Graduate Certificate
Method of study
FT

Year of Study

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Compare Programs

75161930172

Program Availability

Domestic students
Sept. 2019 Open
Jan. 2020 N/A
May 2020 N/A
International students
Sept. 2019 Open
Jan. 2020 N/A
May 2020 N/A

Full Description

The Screenwriting & Narrative Design program educates students on the challenge of writing a well-structured story within linear and nonlinear contexts. The elements of character, dialogue, scene, setting, texture, style and tone are rigorously explored. Students master the subtle variances of language employed through structured and open-world storytelling as they create memorable stories and scripts for film, TV, games and interactive media. Opportunities will be provided to work with fellow students (directors, actors and designers) on student-led projects as well as potential research projects.

Part Time Study Options

George Brown College also offers evening courses in acting and in screenwriting. See the Continuing Education Course Guide at coned.georgebrown.ca

Program Standards and Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Produce linear and non-linear narrative content to industry standards using current and relevant software.
  2. Create content employing traditional and non‐traditional dramatic narratives with advanced application for entertainment writing within linear and non‐linear mediums.
  3. Articulate the differences between the varying mediums’ production processes and how the writer integrates into each process.
  4. Investigate the varying guilds, associations, agencies, and groups and how they interact with relevance to the different industries.
  5. Differentiate the history of film, television, video game and interactive media from other media as well as the intersections between them.
  6. Analyze the evolving landscapes for production, distribution and content creation in order to anticipate challenges and opportunities arising from technological change and consumer demand.
  7. Prepare for employment in the field by evaluating the present business climate of the relevant film, television, video game, online, mobile and interactive industries, and using interview and presentation skills, resume writing skills, proposal and pitch development skills, and portfolio preparation.
  8. Conduct research using a variety of relevant research methods, including online and library resources to do effective world building and character creation.
  9. Engage and invoke an emotional response from an audience, recognizing and using relevant style and narrative structures including plot analysis, characterization, setting, dialogue, point of view, structure, length and originality.
  10. Evaluate personal and recognized works of entertainment writing for traditional composition techniques including “unity of effect” as these apply to both traditional rhetorical structures and narratives with branching structures and/or multiple narratively coherent conclusions.
  11. Manipulate point of view to develop narratives, analyze form and structure to apply evolving techniques, and compare setting and atmosphere to adjusting narrative time within linear and non-linear narrative.
  12. Assess personal and recognized works of traditional and interactive narratives for techniques in character development exploring limitations presented by traditional techniques in character development for non-linear and participatory character creation.

Required Courses

SEMESTER 1

semester courses
CodeCourse Name
WRIT1001Intensive I - Writers' Room
WRIT1002Writers' Studio I
WRIT1003Storytelling
WRIT1005Feature I
WRIT1006Video Game
WRIT1010Episodic I
WRIT1017Entrepreneurship

SEMESTER 2

semester courses
CodeCourse Name
WRIT1004Character Development
WRIT1007Entertainment Business
WRIT1011Intensive II - Acting for Writers
WRIT1012Writers' Studio II
WRIT1015Feature II
WRIT1016Interactive
WRIT1020Episodic II

SEMESTER 3

semester courses
CodeCourse Name
WRIT2001Experiential Project

The Industry

Professional storytelling/writing/content development is a highly competitive yet exceptionally rewarding field. Though concentrated around major cities such as Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles and New York, the globalization of the industry has meant that writers for media can work on projects all over the world.

As the television and film industries shift in response to changing trends such as online access to traditionally aired content, the industry supplements its series and films with online and interactive content. As the internet becomes a major gateway for consumers to access traditional media, the industry is becoming increasingly entrepreneurial with the advent of webisodes and web series. These new avenues have opened up a new area of development for the screenwriting field.

Career Options

Creative writers for entertainment are able to move across multiple platforms, including film, television, interactive storytelling, gaming and animation. Potential job titles include:

  • Script Writer
  • Assistant Producer
  • Advising Writer
  • Creative Writer
  • Content Writer
  • Interactive Media Writer
  • Staff Writer
  • Editor
  • Story Editor
  • Showrunner
  • Narrative Designer
  • Creative Designer
  • Script Consultant
  • Story Consultant
  • Freelance Writer

script writing class

Tuition

$9,156.00 †

Additional Cost

† Amounts listed are the total of tuition, materials, student service and ancillary fees for the three semesters of programs starting in Fall 2018. Fees are subject to change for programs starting in Fall 2019 and at later dates.

International students: Visit the International Fees and Related Costs page for more information.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree, two- or three-year Diploma, or Graduate Certificate (postgraduate studies)
  • Resume
  • Writing samples*
  • Interview**

OR

  • Demonstrated competence through related work experience (minimum 3 years of experience in the entertainment industry or performing arts)
  • Resume
  • Writing samples*
  • Interview**

* Further details on the writing samples will be provided to the applicant via a letter and/or email, once the applicant meets the academic and/or work experience requirements.

** An opportunity to interview will be offered to select applicants upon review of writing samples.

Please note that Domestic applicants who are submitting International transcripts require a Canadian equivalency evaluation. This can be obtained through ICAS (International Credential Assessment Service) at icascanada.ca or WES (World Education Services) at wes.org/ca

English Language Proficiency

Applicants with international transcripts who do not provide English language proficiency test results must test at the College level in the George Brown College English assessment to be considered for admission. Applicants who are accepted based on work experience only will be required to take the English Admissions Assessment in order to evaluate the appropriate level of English language proficiency.

Please visit georgebrown.ca/englishproficiency for more details.

Course Exemptions

College or university credits may qualify you for course exemptions. Please visit georgebrown.ca/transferguide for more information.

International (Visa) Students

Visit the International Admissions page for more information.

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Success Stories

Mitchell LeBlanc

Mitchell LeBlanc, one of our Screenwriting and Narrative Design students, won the 2017 Reddit Screenwriting Contest. He also successfully placed top 10% in the Academy Nicholl Fellowship, a prestigious international screenwriting competition.

Mitchell had this to say about the Screenwriting and Narrative Design program:

“At the onset, by its very nature, writing tends to be a lonely endeavour. The program gave me an opportunity to share what I had learned in my solitude and to glean what others learned in theirs. Combine that with a faculty that genuinely cares about your trajectory and it’s no surprise I emerged a better writer.”

Mitchell LeBlanc (Graduate 2017, Screenwriting and Narrative Design)

Contact Us

School of Media & Performing Arts

Phone: 416-415-5000, ext. 2015

Email: media@georgebrown.ca

For more information, you may also call the George Brown College Contact Centre at 416-415-2000 (TTY 1-877-515-5559) or long distance 1-800-265-2002.

Visit Our Campus

The School of Media & Performing Arts is located at the St. James Campus at 230 Richmond Street East, Toronto.

Campus tours are offered on a regular basis. Sign up today!

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    George Brown College is continually striving to improve its programs and their delivery. The information contained in this calendar is subject to change without notice. It should not be viewed as a representation, offer or warranty. Students are responsible for verifying George Brown College admission, graduation, and fee requirements as well as any requirements of outside institutions, industry associations, or other bodies that may award additional designations concurrently with, or after completion of, a George Brown College program.