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September 27, 2019

“Don’t Chase the Now, Chase the Timeless”

Notes from Stephen Chbosky’s Visit to the Writing Division's 'Conversations With...' Series

By Ben Del Vecchio

Stephen Chbosky ’92 is something of a renaissance man. He wrote/co-created fan-favorite TV series Jericho, wrote and directed Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) based on his 1999 best-selling, co-wrote Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast (2017), and wrote/directed his own feature film Wonder in 2017.

Chbosky is a busy man. Students of the John C. Wells Division of Writing for Screen & Television were lucky enough to have the writer/director sit in for an extended conversation and Q&A session with them, and he did not disappoint. Over the course of a couple of hours, he discussed everything from teen representation in both his stories and modern television, provided general tips for writing, and engaged in simple conversation with the students about their lives and their work. The stories, advice, and quips flew non-stop. 

After an extended moderated conversation, Chbosky took questions from students about everything from workflow/writing processes, adapting his work or others' work, pitching to studios, his previous and upcoming projects, and deciding on which scripts to devote your time. 

Chbosky's visit was a part of the John C. Wells Writing Division's "Conversations With..." series, an ongoing program where prominent writing alums are invited back to campus to speak and engage with students.