screenwriter | teacher | Misfit Film School founder

USC Screenwriting MFA

Hello there. If you’re here, it’s likely because you came from my YouTube video I posted called:
“How I Got Into USC’s Screenwriting MFA Program” (You can watch it here.)

I loved the program and got so much out of the two years I spent writing and learning at USC so I wanted to share my insights about the application process in case it helped any anxious applicants. God knows I was incredibly anxious while working on my application and I even cried over not being able to put a bookcase together during the last couple weeks of working on it, so maybe these vids and resources will help some applicants be less stressed through the process.

The videos I made on this topic are specifically about the writing sample portion of this application. In my video, I discuss things I thought I did well in my writing sample, things I think I could have done a little better, and any insights or tips I have that will hopefully ease an applicant’s mind about what to write about.

But I also wanted to share my actual writing sample documents with you guys, so here they are below. The original documents that made up my USC writing sample as well as some additional downloadable PDF files are below.


My Autobiographical Character Sketch

My Most Challenging Moment

My Challenge A Scene 
(In addition, here’s a version that includes my present-day, hand-written notes: Challenge A Scene with new notes
And here’s a revised version of this scene that I’m quite proud of and just revised this week. Give it a read here:
Challenge A Scene – NEWLY REVISED )

My Challenge B Scene
(is not included here, because—as I mentioned in my video—it became a project that I’m actually expanding into a young adult novel so… hopefully you can understand)

My 10-page Writing Sample
(In addition, here’s a version with my present-day, hand-written notes: 10-page Writing Sample with new notes )

And that is what I have for you! Best of luck applying to the program, and, remember, if you don’t get in this year, you can always apply again next year.

Writing is a process and no single program should get to decide if you see yourself as a writer—that is completely up to you. Without a doubt, there are many avenues you can take to become a professional writer and I for one believe in you. 🙂