John Mosetich gives the young authors in the audience a tip on what not to try to accomplish as a screenwriter. Photos by Laura Drinan
By Laura Drinan
Hometown Weekly Reporter
While we all love the taste of Thin Mints and Caramel deLites, there’s much more to Girl Scouts than the cookies. For the Girl Scouts who remain dedicated to the program, they learn courage, confidence, and character to benefit our world and those in it. As she goes for the Gold Award – the highest Girl Scouts award one can receive – Walpole High School junior Katie Hurwitz utilizes the traits she learned throughout her years as a Scout to benefit the community.
“I’m working on a community writing project because it’s something I’m really passionate about,” said Katie, who organized for screenwriter John Mosetich to speak about his work at the Walpole Public Library. “Writing has been something I’ve been doing since elementary school and continue to do throughout high school, as well, so I want to get the community involved with writing.”To make progress towards the Gold Award, which requires 80 to one hundred hours of service on a Take Action Project, Katie has arranged several presentations and workshops called “genre weeks,” which feature a different genre for every session.
With John Mosetich joining an intimate crowd to discuss his career, screenwriting kicked off Katie’s second genre week. Before talking about writing, John revealed that he was also once a Girl Scout, having received the 20-mile hiking merit badge after getting lost with his sister’s Scout troop in the Wisconsin wilderness.
John shared some interesting tidbits about screenwriting, including that one page is about one minute on screen, meaning screenplays don’t include nearly as many details as a novel would. He shared how to fit a narrative arc in a 30 minute TV show, how music is fitted into an episode, and how to write and develop characters.
Listening to John’s tips and experiences were sisters Zeeva and Sasha. Zeeva, a second-grader, is an avid writer and aspires to be an author. While fourth-grader Sasha isn’t as interested as her sister is in a writing career, she’s a fan of a good story and watched intently as John drew narrative arc diagrams.
“I used to say: ‘As an actor, I’m in movies. As a writer, I make movies,’ and I would much rather be a part of the creative process,” said John, as he reflected on his path in the entertainment industry. “It’s all about what you’re passionate about, and finding that passion within yourself and not being afraid to grab ahold of it – within reason.”
Katie’s passion for writing has led her to become a Silver Key holder from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards program and become a positive force in Walpole’s writing community. The upcoming “genre weeks” include fiction and fantasy writing, as well as nonfiction writing. To make a lasting impression on the community, Katie will also be filming and uploading interviews with Walpole High English teachers to YouTube, for students to learn more about developing and refining writing skills.
As Katie completes her project, the town’s young writers will surely remember and admire her efforts to enrich Walpole’s writing community.