On Writing

Initiates file downloadOn Writing #29 [October 2008]

Special Political Issue

Initiates file downloadOn Writing #28 [April 2007]

Paul Auster, Mike Figgis, Elmore Leonard and Donald Westlake

Initiates file downloadOn Writing #27 [April 2007]

Marshall Brickman and Tom Stoppard

Initiates file downloadOn Writing #26 [April 2007]

In this issue Paul Haggis, Douglas McGrath, Jeremy Brock and Doug Wright discuss how intuition and structure come into play in their writing.

Initiates file downloadOn Writing #25 [November 2006]

In this issue John Weidman and Stephen Sondheim discuss their history of collaboration.

Initiates file downloadOn Writing #24 [May 2006]

A tribute issue to Herb Sargent.

Initiates file downloadOn Writing #23 [March 2006]

In this issue, David Breckman interviews David Rayfiel about Rayfiel’s unproduced screenplay A Fine Blue Day–which we are publishing here, its first time in print.

Initiates file downloadOn Writing #22 [August 2005]

This issue launches a new look for the magazine. We are pleased to welcome graphic designer Tom Beckham to our staff. And we extend our appreciation to Barbara Sproul Gardner for allowing us to use Herb Gardner’s unique cityscapes as an integral part of the cover design. In this issue, Wes Anderson and David O. Russell talk about writing and directing, and Tony Kushner and James Schamus talk about film and theater.

On Writing #21 [December 2004]

In This Issue: Judy Crichton and Michael Winship, Tom Bettag and Ted Koppel

Broadcast news producer, teacher and writer Fred Friendly once said, “My job is to make the agony of decision making so intensive that you can only escape by thinking.” He believed that it was the job of newswriters, producers and reporters, not just to impart information, but also to question, challenge and provide context.

Initiates file downloadOn Writing #18 [February 2003]

In This Issue: Aaron Sorkin and the pilot script of The West Wing.

Aaron Sorkin does not have a political agenda when writing an episode of The West Wing–the various sides of a political argument are less important to him than the process of crafting words into an active debate.


On Writing #16 [September 2002]

In This Issue: Budd Schulberg and his original screenplay for On The Waterfront.

On Writing #15 [May 2002]

Part I: Horton Foote and John Guare.

Part II: Larry Gelbart and Neil Simon.


Initiates file downloadOn Writing #12 [June 2001]

In This Issue: William Goldman, Richard Wesley, and the screenplay of Marathon Man.

In this issue, we borrow a format from the magazine, Scenario, and publish William Goldman’s screenplay of Marathon Man–based upon his novel–along with Richard Wesley’s conversation with Goldman about the script.

On Writing #11 [April 2000]

How do writers sustain their own voices in the transition from the page to performance, particularly in film and television, mediums that call for collaboration and compromise? The writers in this issue–Glenn Gordon Caron, Tom Fontana, Walter Bernstein, and Tim Robbins–have navigated through the labyrinth of actors, networks, studio executives, and test screenings to have their distinctive voices heard. These conversations provide a glimpse into how they do it.

On Writing #10 [May 1999]

In This Issue: Lindsay Doran, Scott Frank, Caryn Mandabach and Marilyn S. Miller.

The relationship between the writer and the producer is as complex as it is varied. Doran and Frank discuss the producer/writer relationship in film; Mandabach and Miller talk about television, particularly women in television.

Initiates file downloadOn Writing #9 [May 1998]

In This Issue: Jeff Greenfield, Robert Krulwich, David Grubin and GeoffWard

The explosion of communication technology has brought with it more access to more information than has ever existed in history. But while technology changes the ways in which information is delivered, the public need for the integrity of that information remains unchanged. In this issue, we talk about broadcast news and documentaries.

Initiates file downloadOn Writing #8 [December 1997]

In This Issue: Bill Bell, Claire Labine, Rob Burnett and Robert Smigel.

Late night comedy and daytime episodics. One may wonder what the two might have in common. Actually, quite a bit. Aside from the obvious fact that both are not in primetime, they are both daily shows, (called “strip shows”), both credit writers collectively rather than individually, and they both have their roots in radio.

Initiates file downloadOn Writing #7 [August 1997]

In This Issue: Ring Lardner, Jr., Maurice Rapf, with an introduction by Doug McGrath.

The interviews in this issue cover five different elements: Hollywood screenwriters in the 1930s – 1950s, the role of political involvement among Hollywood writers of that era, the formation of the Screen Writers Guild, the Hollywood blacklist, and the film Woman of the Year.

Initiates file downloadOn Writing #6 [February 1997]

In This Issue: Ted Tally, Wendy Wasserstein, Jay Cocks, and Donald Westlake.

The writers in this issue each began their careers as playwrights, novelists, or journalists. They all currently write for film and television. Do different genres of writing complement each other, or do they lead parallel lives? Paul Rudnick was once asked: Does your playwriting inform your screenwriting? He replied: They never speak. In this issue, these writers speak to that issue.

Initiates file downloadOn Writing #5 [May 1996]

In This Issue: Michael Small, Carter Burwell, Alan Heim and David Ray.

Film is a collaborative medium in which the collaborators rarely get a chance to talk to each other. And all too often, the writer whose job begins at conception ends at production. Most films are not the work of a single filmmaker, but rather an amalgam of many people. Crafts join together in a mysterious alchemy creating an entirely new element, one that exists only as the sum of all its parts. This issue is a small window into two other pieces of the whole: composing the music, and editing the film.

Initiates file downloadOn Writing #4 [June 1995]

In This Issue: John Markus, Bill Persky, Robert Nathan, and Dick Wolf.

We felt it was time for an issue about writing for primetime television. We tried to strike a balance between informing Guild members who know nothing about television writing, and providing interest to those who work in the field.