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Film, TV professionals bring expertise to screenwriting forum at DePaul University

Courier 12 conference set for Saturday, Sept. 30

CHICAGO — Entertainment industry executives will bring their experience and expertise to the annual Courier 12 Screenwriting Conference, hosted by DePaul University’s School of Cinematic Arts. Considered one of the premier screenwriting events in the Midwest, the Sept. 30 conference will take place in downtown Chicago at 247 S. State St. on DePaul’s Loop Campus.
Courier 12 Screenwriting Conference
The annual Courier 12 Screenwriting Conference will be held on DePaul's Loop Campus Sept. 30. (Image courtesy of Courier 12)

“There are many conferences and festivals that feature actors, directors and producers, but very few that exist solely to serve screenwriters,” said Brad Riddell, an assistant professor of screenwriting and cinema production in DePaul’s School of Cinematic Arts.

“Our faculty and students work hard every year to draw A-list talent to Chicago so that our burgeoning creative community can benefit from the experience and insight of those who have achieved great success as professional content creators. I count our faculty moderators among them, as well, as each has an impressive record of writing for film and television. We’re proud to serve as one of the nation’s most prominent venues for discussing the art and craft of screenwriting,” Riddell said.

The Courier 12 Screenwriting Conference will be held from noon to 7 p.m. and feature a series of panel discussions. Admission is free and open to the public, but seats are limited.

The Courier 12 Screenwriting Conference will be streamed live on YouTube ( Follow the conference on Facebook ( for updates.

This year’s panels include:

The State of Streaming Media – Noon
David Tochterman, an Emmy-nominated producer, will discuss streaming media in the 21st century with Chris Parrish, a screenwriter who teaches television writing at DePaul. Tochterman is the co-founder of Canvas Media, and previously served as executive vice president of the Carsey Werner Company, where he played an integral role in hit shows including “That 70’s Show” and “3rd Rock from the Sun.” He was also an executive producer of “Grace Under Fire.”

“Brown Girls”: From the Web to HBO – 1:30 p.m.
Sam Bailey, who produced and directed the web series “Brown Girls,” and Minita Gandhi, a cast member on the show, will discuss the show and its move to HBO. “Brown Girls” presents the intimate stories of two young women of color. Anna Hozian, an assistant professor of screenwriting and directing at DePaul, will moderate.

On the Black List – 3 p.m.
Tom Dean, a DePaul alumnus, will discuss his experience with the Black List, a prestigious Hollywood ranking of the best unproduced screenplays. Dean made the list in 2016 for his feature screenplay “The Time Traveler’s La Ronde.” He will discuss it with Matt Quinn, an assistant professor of screenwriting at DePaul.

On Staff and Working the Room – 4:30 p.m.
Writers Jalysa Conway (“Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal”), Jenna Richman (“Designated Survivor,” “Limitless,” “Allegiance” and “Mistresses”) and Sarah Tarkoff (“Arrow”), will discuss what it takes to get staffed and work in a writers’ room. Riddell will moderate.

Storytelling in the Digital Era – 6 p.m.
Mary Coleman, head of creative development at Pixar Animation Studios, and Scott Myers, an assistant professor of screenwriting at DePaul, will explore how Pixar has been at the forefront of storytelling in the digital era.

More information about the School of Cinematic Arts in the College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University is online at

Brad Riddell

Media Contact:
Russell Dorn