Youth Summer Camp: 8th-12th Graders
Screenwriting with Diana Abousaleh

Online for summer 2023

StoryStudio is proud to offer multiple week-long writing workshops for young scribes across the nation. That’s right, now that we’re online, you can join us from anywhere. With our talented instructors, young writers can expect to learn elements of writing, build friendships and community with fellow peers, and get feedback on their creative works. Check out our different sessions here, ranging from 5th grade to 12th grade, and a special session for our genre writers.

StoryStudio is pleased to offer full scholarships to students who are unable to meet the tuition requirements.
If your child would like to apply for a scholarship, please ask them to fill out this form.

June 27 – July 1: 10am – 12pm Central
Instructor Diana Abousaleh will lead this genre-specific camp for writers who are looking to write their stories for the screen.

Whether your dream is to write an action film, a comedy or a thriller—every great scene needs to be memorable.  But how do you write the kind of scenes that keep the audience at the edge of their seats? If you’d like to learn how to do the work of putting a scene together, then this screenwriting summer camp is for you!

Over the course of one week, students will transform their own original concepts and ideas into 2-3 page scenes. They write the same scene in three different ways: using only spoken dialogue, using only visual action, and non-verbal dialogue. By the end of the week, students will have created a 2-3 page scene and will have gained the knowledge  to improve their scenes by rewriting the same scene, while focusing on different elements each time. They will workshop their ideas with their peers.

They will also learn basic screenplay formatting, the importance of the opening scene, internal and external conflict,  location, and the concept of “getting in and getting out early”.  Our week will culminate in a celebration where students will have the opportunity to read their works aloud in a table read. 

This class welcomes writers from all backgrounds and experience levels (especially students brand new to screenwriting)!

  • Reading Short Scripts & Film Critiques: Students will learn how to analyze the elements of a script and short films.
  • Writing: Freewriting exercise to generate ideas and spark imagination. Each day, students will send their work to the instructor and she will read, make comments, and return the work with feedback the following day.
  • Workshopping: You will share work and give feedback on what’s working well and what opportunities we can find in each scene. We’ll talk about where we can extend scenes and dialogue to push the narrative, how word choice can affect the piece as a whole, how to spice up language and how writers can find—and trust—their own amazing original voice.
  • Table Read Showcase: At the end of the week, we will have a table read via Zoom. A link can be shared with friends and family members from around the globe; anyone who wants to tune in is welcome. 

Diana Abousaleh is Syrian-Venezuelan independent writer/director, mental health advocate, and educator based in Texas. She insists that writing is a journey, and not a destination. That being said, she loves to encourage young writers  (and all writers) to aim for progress, not perfection.  She is passionate about amplifying unique SWANA voices and experiences through her monthly newsletter titled Screenwriting &. Diana has sold several screenplays and has films at different stages of development.  She loves writing grounded sci-fi drama as well as stories that highlight themes of multiculturalism.  She has provided script reading/consulting experience to several festivals and production companies including Eclectic Pictures, Televisa USA, BlueCat Competition, International Screenwriters Association and most recently, the Emmy-nominated indie web series, “WASHED”. Her work has been selected to participate  in New York’s  Cinephilia Productions Film Development workroom for African & Middle Eastern filmmakers and in Stowe Story Labs. In 2021, her feature was a finalist in the Mosalsalat Screenwriters Lab of the Royal Film Commission of Jordan. One of her favorite things about storytelling is the ability to make interior life visible, and also show that exterior life can be worth a second look. She has a Bachelor’s in Radio/TV/ and Film and a Master’s in Entertainment Business.