Online Master Screenwriting Courses

Online Master Screenwriting Courses Studying Personally With Max Adams are six week online accelerated master screenwriting courses.

Online master courses open each week Monday at midnight with a lecture, viewing clips, assigned reading material, and a weekly written assignment.

The course goals are to study, learn and master writing tools and techniques that can be implemented immediately to elevate and strengthen students' writing projects and scripts. All assignments are reviewed personally by Max – and by fellow students. Review of fellow students' assignments and Max's reviews of each gives students a broader learning experience studying writing techniques explored in class.

Each week students and Max meet for a one hour online real time chat. Class chats are usually scheduled Thursday nights at 7 PM EST, 8 PM EST and at 9 PM EST. In rare instances, chat times are scheduled midday to accommodate international students attending classes.

Online master screenwriting course admission studying personally with Max Adams requires submission of a writing sample and Max Adams' approval prior to acceptance into class. There is an eight person cap on online master screenwriting courses.

To apply for admission to an online master class studying personally with Max Adams, you must send email. Please apply early to reserve you seat and tell us a little bit about your writing experience and background in your email.

Max Adams

Max Adams is an author and award winning screenwriter. She has written for Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures, Tri-Star Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, & Universal Pictures – and a couple others to remain unnamed because no one around here wants to get black listed. Oops.

She is a former volunteer AFI Alumni reader and WGAw online mentor, has appeared as a speaker at AMPAS, USC, and Film Arts Foundation, is a former University of Utah and New York Film Academy instructor, is the author of The New Screenwriter's Survival Guide, and is the founder of two international online screenwriting workshops including the semi-notorious 5150.

In addition to screenwriting, Max is a published author, journalist, short fiction writer, essayist, humorist, and produced playwright & radio writer.

Course Syllabus

  • WEEK ONE: Story Versus Plot ||
    Lecture: Why Linear Writing is Not Your Friend

  • WEEK TWO: Connect the Dots Writing ||
    Lecture: The Dots Must Die

  • WEEK THREE: Cause & Effect ||
    Lecture: The Matt Stone & Trey Parker Model

  • WEEK FOUR: Boy on a Skateboard ||
    Lecture: Good News, Bad News – A Practical Study of Cause & Effect

  • WEEK FIVE: Scene Sequencing ||
    Lecture: Cause & Effect and Scene Sequences

  • WEEK SIX: Act Sequencing ||
    Lecture: Cause & Effect and Script Acts

  • WEEK SEVEN: Grace Week ||
    No Lecture

Additional Course Details

  • Assigned script materials, additional reading materials and clips are provided in class.

  • Weekly class chats are one hour and take place in AFW's private online chatrooms on Thursday nights at 7 PM EST, 8 PM EST, or 9 PM EST. (On rare occasions, class chat is scheduled Fridays.)

  • A short writing sample is required for admission to this course – 5-10 script pages saved as a PDF is a good sized writing sample. Please have a writing sample ready to submit BEFORE applying.

  • There is an 8 person cap on this course. Please apply early to reserve your seat.


  • "The input I got from Max Adams lifted my script, 'Redemption,' from a SemiFinalist to a Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting award winner."

    Patricia Burroughs
    Nicholl Fellowship Winner

  • "I've taken all of Max's classes and quite simply, her focused methods and attention to detail blow every other screenwriting class out of the water."

    Julie Howe
    Austin Film Festival Winner

  • "If you want someone to challenge you to dive deep and pull the BEST out of yourself, Max is that whip-smart coach, teacher, and mentor."

    Ana Maria Montoya
    Sundance Screenwriting Labs Winner

  • "Max Adams is one of the most knowledgeable and talented people in screenwriting that I know, all writers need to hear what Max Adams has to say."

    Kerry Valderamma
    Writer/Director: Garrison; Sanitarium

  • "Max is as smart, tough, and entertaining as she sounds in her book. It’s hard to imagine a better mentor."

    Al Finocchio
    Los Angeles Independent Film
    Festival Award Winner

  • "Max’s workshop was a transformative experience for me as a young writer."

    Gwenda Bond
    NYT Best Selling Author

  • "The brilliance of taking Max Adams’ classes is you start seeing improvement in your writing almost immediately."

    Toni McGee Causey
    USA Today Best Selling Author

  • "I carried Max's advice over to my fiction and have now sold & published five novels."

    Nancy Bilyeau
    International Award Winning Author

  • "Max Adams is the kind of smart, engaging teacher that made me want to be a better writer — and she helped me do it."

    Alvaro Rodriguez
    Staff Writer: From Dusk Till Dawn The Series; Chicago Fire


  • If I'm a returning AFW student do I need to submit a writing sample?

    No. If Max is already familiar with your writing, just email us and you are in.

  • What should I include in email applying for the course?

    •Your name. (Not kidding. People forget that part.)

    •Something about your writing background & any prior writing experience and study or industry experience.

    •The AFW class(es) you're applying for (include dates).

    •Be ready to submit a writing sample when you apply.

  • What if I'm not a writer, I'm an industry pro in another activity?

    •If you're an industry pro wishing to study craft, but not to submit assignments, you may skip the writing sample and audit the course.

    •Caveat: This isn't a work around for just anyone wanting to sit in on a course. There need to be some credentials to back up an industry audit request.

  • Is it a deal breaker if I cannot attend scheduled weekly chats?

    No. It's optimal if you can attend scheduled chats in person, but this is often an issue for international students and life happens. If you cannot attend a scheduled chat in person, a chat transcript is saved each week for students who could not attend chat in person that week.

  • May I register for more than one in-person course during the same course period?

    Yes. This is common on university campuses and it's no different here. Assume a minimum of four hours per week per class and, if you believe you can swing that, talk to Max about simultaneous class sessions.

    *Caveat: Some classes are more time intensive than others, if we think you're trying to take on too much at once, especially with the structure courses, we will tell you so.

  • Hey I emailed an age ago & haven't heard back. What's up with that?

    Odds are we did respond and our response is sitting in your spam folder. Check your spam folder and maybe white list to make sure that doesn't happen again.

  • Why might my course application be turned down?

    Usually, the writing sample is not yet strong enough for admission to a course this advanced. The in-person courses are high intensity and fast moving. We won't admit you if, based on the submitted writing sample, we don't believe you will be able to keep up.

  • When is Tuition Due?

    •A course deposit is required at the time of application and acceptance into the course.

    •Final tuition is billed two weeks before the course opens and must be received at least three days before the course opening date.

  • Are Course Deposits Refundable?

    No. Once we receive your course deposit, we hold your seat and that seat is no longer available to other course applicants. There is an eight person cap on the course. If you cost us a seat, it will cost you your deposit.

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