Another singular, exciting feature of the Eugene International Film Festival is the intensive 3-day course, taught, one-on-one by successful Hollywood professionals from whom you’ll learn:

  • Vital, essential writing skills and techniques, from dialogue to scene structure to character-creation.
  • How the movie/TV business really works, and how you can break into it.
  • How to nail – for yourself and for your target-market – what your screenplay or series is reallyabout.
  • How to pitch and sell your project and yourself, via the creation of loglines and synopses that willhook them.

In this unique course, Hollywood Literary Agent Ken Sherman and Screenwriter/TV Show-runner/Novelist Tom Sawyer will share with you their experiences and answer your questions about how to successfully launch your career.

Read what former attendees say about this remarkable course, now in its 4th successful year:

  • “Tom and Ken helped me develop my skills as a storyteller as well as make top-notch industry contacts. Great people, great information, great time!” ~ JoJo Jensen
  • “Thank you for your invaluable knowledge and insights…your down to earth teaching methods!  I have been inspired to polish and improve my screenplay…the logline and synopsis now express the essence…” ~ Peter Holden
  • “I learned about structure and what makes for a good story.  Again, thanks for the help and encouragement.” ~ Ann Clark
  • “…A kindly but rigorous atmosphere for experimentation. Their high-level skills in evaluating student work were helpful beyond my expectations.” ~ Patricia Burkhart
  • “It was a pleasure learning your insights on writing, specifically the emphasis on conflict and emotion.  Equally inspiring were your stories from your experiences in Los Angeles. Next week, I am making the move to LA with a carload of possessions and a pocket full of dreams.” ~ Justin Hogan


Novelist, screenwriter, playwright Thomas B. Sawyer was Head Writer/Showrunner of the classic CBS series, Murder, She Wrote, for which he wrote 24 episodes.  Tom has written 9 network TV pilots, 100 episodes, both comedy and drama, and was Head Writer/Showrunner or Story Editor on 15 network TV series.  He wrote/directed/produced the feature-film cult comedy, Alice Goodbody. His documentary film, Reunion, was honored by the New York Film Festival, and received national theatrical release. Tom is co-librettist/lyricist of Jack, an opera about John F. Kennedy, backed by the Shuberts, that has been performed to acclaim in the US and Europe. Edgar and Emmy-nominated, he is publisher of Storybase 2.0 writer’s software. Tom’s book, Fiction Writing Demystified, and Storybase, are Writer’s Digest Book Club Selections. He’s taught writing at UCLA, at other colleges, at writers conferences from Maui to Cape Cod, Florida, Las Vegas, Dallas, Biloxi & elsewhere. Tom currently teaches Storytelling online at Writers University. A member of the DGA, WGA, MWA, ITW and ATAS, his latest novel is the best-selling thriller, No Place to Run.


President of Ken Sherman and Associates, the Beverly Hills-based literary agency representing screen, TV and book writers.  Ken’s clients include, to name a few, David Guterson, author of Snow Falling on Cedars, Tawni O’Dell, whose first novel, Back Roads, an international best seller and Oprah Book Club selection is soon to be a major movie, Adrian Lynne (Fatal Attraction) directing Tawni’s screenplay,Starhawk, considered the best-known witch in the world, Anne Perry, the world’s best Victorian murder mystery writer and author of 50 books, plus the estates of John Updike, Luis Buñuel and John Hersey.

Ken teaches at major colleges and universities, and at numerous writers conferences, from Maui to Santa Fe and elsewhere.  His course, “The Business of Writing for Screen, Television and Publishing,” has been featured at both USC and UCLA for eight years.  He serves as an Arts and Cultural Affairs Commissioner in the City of West Hollywood, is a founding member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts/Los Angeles (BAFTA) and is a member of both the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the International Advisory Board of the Christopher Isherwood Foundation.

If you have a script worthy of a Hollywood agent, this is the Screenwriters’ Retreat you must attend. Ken will be looking for exciting new talent at the festival.