The Screenwriting Life with Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna

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TV & Film #197

Welcome to The Screenwriting Life, a podcast where Oscar-nominated writer Meg LeFauve and Emmy-nominated writer Lorien McKenna discuss not only the craft and business of Screenwriting, but also the emotional life: the ups and downs of being a creative, to remind you that you are not alone and to keep writing.

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Recent Reviews
  • Cscul
    Incredibly insightful and empowering. Must listen for all emerging writers.
    Thank you Meg, Lorien and Jeff for your wisdom, generosity and devotion to the craft. I discovered the podcast about 6 weeks ago and I have listened to it constantly since. I am 30 years old and an attorney by trade. My only education in filmmaking comes by way of my lifelong obsession with movies and cinematic television. I learned how to write in the context of academia where I developed a voice and a perspective, but learned very little about the the elements of storytelling with respect to plot structure and character development (and learned even less about the more basic components of screenwriting like how much detail to include in a scene description or character introduction). As a result, I kept getting stuck in the middle of various screenplays I started. Listening to this podcast has helped me get unstuck, so to speak, in that it has provided me with, among other things, a general blueprint for proper story structure and character development and a different perspective as to the emotional components of story telling. This podcast has been my film school and it has empowered me to get into the lava and get past my mental blocks to continue writing a story which is quite personal to me. This is a must listen for all aspiring/emerging writers and filmmakers generally.
  • directorpatrick
    Real tools from serious pros
    As a director that often dabbles in writing, listening to the established and talented writers on this show help keep my ship on course. There’s always new tools and new ways to look at classic techniques, all while making it fun, engaging, and very importantly, encouraging. We all need that “go and get after it” speech. This team does it so well. Nearly every episode I learn something that changes my game. Integral to anyone who needs help with their storytelling.
  • crys goliath
    So happy I found this podcast!
    Meg and Lorien are so helpful. I feel like I am taking a screenwriting course listening to their podcast. I just joined their Patreon Workshop level because it is a steal for how much content and value I am getting from this show. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
  • MicheleB16
    Support this show!
    Because these folks are supporting us as creators and writers with all their great tips and insights. Thank you!
  • TDO104
    The best podcast for your first screenplay!
    What a wonderful show and free screenwriting class absolutely filled with wisdom. This podcast is essential if you’re writing a screenplay or feel too lost to start making your dream film.
  • LeoWrites
    Inspiring and human
    Finally writing a review for this incredible podcast. This show has been the best thing I’ve ever stumbled upon. Listening to Meg, Lorien, Jeff and all the amazing guests they’ve had I feel has unlocked something inside of me. I tell everyone I know to listen to them, writer or not, because they just have so much to offer. The show is so human and really helps make being a writer feel achievable. The fact that a community has blossomed from this is incredible and the support that everyone shared with each other is unmatched. In a world where ego drives so many people to feel “superior” - this is a place of comfort and peace. I have a million other things to say about how awesome and helpful this podcast has been for me, but I’ll let other reviews do the talking. Sincerely, thank you for doing this podcast and everything else that you folks do. ❤️
  • MandaMama91
    Found what I needed
    As an emerging writer I was looking for real substantive information about the industry and how to break through my mental barriers. Found what I needed here with a scoop of humility on the side. Your work here is much appreciated!
  • Dooney&Cami72
    The best writing podcast out there
    Literally can’t live without it. I keep writing everyday because of this podcast. It gives me the hope and insights I really truly deeply need. Please keep talking to us!
  • GG in Alaska
    Simply the Best!
    As an emerging writer, I’ve listened to a lot of screenwriting podcasts and, hands down, this is my absolute favorite. There is so much important information that I literally have to take notes and many times listen two or more times only to find out that I still missed a nugget of information. Meg and Lorien are amazing teachers and they’re also in the trenches with us—they break that old adage “Those that can’t do, teach.” Love, love, love this show! Thank you so much for sharing so much of yourselves and your knowledge and experiences and for helping so many writers through the highs and lows of The Screenwriting Life!
  • JillTheWriter333
    My Lifeline
    I’m in the throes of writing my first feature and it’s WAY harder than I thought! Meg and Lorien have been my constant guides. They accompany me on my afternoon walks and assure me I’m not alone in my up and down feelings of worthlessness! My most listened to podcast, I’ve recommended this to several friends who are writing their first features too!
  • ShouldBeWritingNow
    Always recommend to EVERY WRITER under the sun
    This podcast has been so formative in my screenwriting journey. I listened to a lot of podcasts but a lot of them were very blunt and brutal with the truth. "This is the business." Okay, sure but how do I develop my craft? TSL podcast hosts Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna truly care about getting your story on the page. I'm telling you, this is home base for me. They have a Facebook group and a Slack. Definitely consider joining both because it's just a wealth of knowledge and advice. Their advice will almost always default to JUST WRITE IT. It blows my mind. At work, on a car ride, with morning tea, just listen to one episode and you’ll be hooked. I’ve recommended this podcast to screenwriters, playwrights, novelists, etc. Regardless of medium, TSL is talking story and you’re going to want to be part of that.
  • Hola bee
    A must for screenwriters
    I have looked forward to these conversations with Meg, Lorien, Jeff and guests every week since the show started in 2020. While the hosts and guests are highly accomplished professional writers and filmmakers, the conversations are deeply human and accessible to early career and emerging writers, and never look down on their audience ‘outside’ the mainstream industry. They give insight and access by sharing their knowledge with unique generosity, and the podcast has only gotten better with time. Highly, highly recommend to anyone who has a story to tell!
  • StefLK1
    Fantastic!
    This is my absolute favorite podcast, my MFA in screenwriting. I get so much out of each and every episode and find it invaluable. When I work on a new project I re-listen to my favorite episodes to make sure that I am asking and answering the right questions, the ones that will guide me down the path of creating rich characters, a solid structure etc. I recommend joining the Patreon in order to get access to the live Q&A’s, open pitch sessions etc. I really appreciate Meg and Lorien (and Jeff’s!) honesty, kindheartedness and generosity of spirit. They are lovely voices to have in your head when embarking on this oftentimes frustrating path!
  • Ksbraz
    A must-listen!
    This isn’t your typical podcast! While it’s always great to hear from someone at the top of their game, Meg and Lorien use their own well-earned expertise to ask insightful questions and draw critical lessons out of each guest. They also draw back the curtain a little so we can see that everyone experiences challenges and maybe worries a little about their work. Their transparency inspires me to keep on writing. And the TSL community, which takes its cues from Lorien and Meg, is also welcoming and supportive. If I could only have one screenwriting podcast, this would be it.
  • Artfully John
    Screenwriters’ Fireside Chat
    Pursuing a career in screenwriting can feel like you’re fighting a lonely war. That’s why it’s comforting to listen to the TSL podcast. Not only do I get invaluable insights on the craft, I also hear the thoughts of veteran screenwriters who have the same struggles as me. It’s like climbing into the minds and hearts of professionals which is comforting and enabling. There’s no other foxhole I’d rather be in as I fight battles that seem insurmountable.
  • V19730
    A Must for Any Writer Looking to Improve Their Craft
    This podcast changed my life. I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to tune in and continue to be enriched by the wise, yet down to earth insight that this show brings. Whether it’s demystifying the industry or just speaking on how to deal with the emotional battle that is the writing process — The Screenwriting Life has it all.
  • tadaamadam
    So Smart and Lifechanging!
    Meg , Lorien and Jeff have created a podcast that nurtures us screenwriters by sharing their experiences and insights with vulnerability and honesty. It is a treasure trove of wisdom a screenwriter does not want to miss.
  • akckarate
    Best Podcast for Screenwriters
    This is the best podcast for screenwriters whether emerging or experienced. Lots of invaluable information, guest interviews and encouragement. Thankful for this wonderful podcast. You guys Rock!!!!
  • JennyYM
    Amazing resource for writers at all levels
    Meg and Lorien have created an amazing community with this podcast at the center of it. They bring the best of the best writers and writing-related professionals and get all of the important questions answered. Like being a fly on the wall on intimate insider conversations.
  • Andwrit
    Essential listening!
    I can think of any other source for screenwriting guidance than these two wonderful hosts. The content is consistently stellar, the guests terrific and topically relevant, and most especially, the overall vibe is nurturing, inspiring and enlightening, whether you’re a newbie or you’ve been at this game a long time. Huge kudos to Meg and Lorien! Long may they reign!
  • CourtneyLeckeyBussell
    This Podcast Saved My Life…
    …or at the very least, it helped me save my own life. While I may be using a little hyperbole here, I am utterly serious that this podcast and the surrounding community (Facebook group and Patreon) is like being in a free graduate level screenwriting program. It is an incredible resource for anyone who wants to be a screenwriter. And although I really do mean ANYONE, I must say, as a 47 year old woman who is new to screenwriting, TSW is an absolute breath of fresh air amongst the testosterone-laden fumes of some other bro-culture screenwriting communities. I was looking for women screenwriting mentors and I found some that are better than I even imagined! And Jeff is awesome too! :) Thank you so much for everything you are doing for emerging screenwriters!!
  • Cousin Deb
    Wisdom, inspiration and giggles
    We screenwriters look to so many sources to hone or crafts - between books, classes, webinars and more. Yet despite the crowded field, this podcast stands out. In interviews the hosts make every incredible guest feel welcome enough to answer questions honestly. And they create an atmosphere where everyone’s goal is to help each other. But it’s not just the kindness - which is amazing in a business that can be cruel - it’s also a treasure trove of knowledge and experience that this show will bring you. I listed for the first time while on a plane to a writing retreat and it was the perfect way to kickstart my love for this show. Writer friends - you will loooooove this more than I can express!
  • BosCelts17
    Superb Resource for Screenwriters
    I always look forward to the next episode of this podcast. Aside from the many wonderfully talented guests I especially love the bookends “Adventures in Screenwriting” and the “Three Questions” and the way that Meg, Lorien and Geoff work so well together. If you feel lost, discouraged or needing help on a particular element of your dream screenplay listen to The Screenwriting Life.
  • 320RiverBar
    Addictive!
    This podcast has become a mainstay for me. As a writer of different genres I learn something in each episode that is applicable to whatever story I am writing at the time. It’s about storytelling. And inspiration and ha-ha moment after ah-ha moment. I look forward to the show every week and the FB group is absolutely phenomenal! I recommend this podcast all the time.
  • Richard koman
    Deep dive into screenwriting!
    Learn about the lava, how to write emotionally, hear from A list Academy Award winning writers, tune into the life of real writers, join a vibrant community, and more. Excellent!!!
  • CG5678!
    Cynthia
    I am so grateful for this podcast. It is filled with information and knowledge. One of those where you can listen to the same episode numerous times and keep learning something new. Thank you all for how much heart and honesty you give during each show and for the amazing guests you have come on.
  • google c hater
    Nurturing * Intelligent * Informative
    Though late to this podcast since its start I’ve had the pleasure of binging! I’m an — ahem — older emerging writer. Meg, Lorien, and Jeff provide a nurturing, intelligent, and super informative podcast. Their generosity and vulnerability nurture this new writer’s soul. Their guests and their own experience challenge and inspire. It is a treat to grow with you. Thank you for sharing your screenwriting life with us… it makes our screenwriting life better with each episode!
  • Lhendler
    Community!
    Meg, Lorien, and Jeff have created not just an informative, fun, supportive podcast, but they have also created a community. I always learn something new when I listen to an episode. Thank you all for your vulnerability and honesty.
  • christinatee2
    My top 2 screenwriting podcasts!
    And they’re tied! I love this unbelievable resource for screenwriters!! Thank you, Meg, Lorien, and Jeff for the inspo & wisdom & brilliant guests.
  • Djaff3
    Fantastic podcast
    Fantastic podcast on screenwriting! I always love checking in
  • gracebeauty
    So Helpful!
    Makes me feel that I’m not alone in the difficulties of the creative process. Gems in every episode, my writing has improved so much since I’ve become a listener!
  • britney= reinvention
    Great podcast ❤️
    Writing can be so lonely. I love listening to this podcast and relating to the creative process/struggle.
  • Roscorg
    Writers block buster
    Just finished ep 179 and immediately jumped back into a screenplay that’s currently being page 1’d (after this review). Grueling and soul-crushing at times, however, this episode about the story engine really helped me visualize key elements I’m working on in the rewrite, and holy cow! It’s flowing like an open wound, which is kind of is. Thank you 🙏
  • kanfbdixocn
    Thank you!
    This review is for Jeff. 😉 This show is for everyone who wants to be, or already is, a writer. Meg and Lorien, or as I call them, “My Moms of Screenwriting” strike the perfect balance of hard truths and positive encouragement that will push you through every draft. Their willingness to be vulnerable about their struggles as “boss hog” storytellers is a great reminder that writing is hard no matter how talented you feel. Thank you all for what you do!!! This includes Producer Jeff who also clearly puts a lot of love into the show.
  • Nika Hollywood
    Real Talk and Welcoming
    I love this podcast, I listen everyday!! I love hearing about everyone’s day and their real experiences that they have while writing. The topics are super well-rounded and I never feel dumb or as if I can’t follow the conversation. This podcast speaks to me and I am sure many others. I’ve been able to look at my writing in a much deeper and thoughtful way since I begin enjoying this podcast. Such a great show for all screenwriters, led by two amazing women and Jeff!! Cheers and thank you for an amazing show!
  • JocelynJacobs
    The best screenwriting podcast out there.
    I feel like I’m going to grad school without getting $100,000 dollars in debt. I could say many wonderful things but the biggest difference between this and other screenwriting podcasts (besides the focus on process) is Meg and Lorien’s generocity and HEART. Also they are pros and offer a ton of insights about the craft and the biz.
  • zhoerim
    Thank you!
    My name is Becca and I wanted to thank you for not only the podcast but the insight and in depth conversation about craft. I’m an actor, retired dancer, musician and writer and feel like this is more of a community than just a podcast. Thanks for the transparency, vulnerability and laughs!
  • Jason122195
    I really needed this!
    I’m a new aspiring screenwriter. I’m very passionate about it he work and committed to honing my craft and bringing something new to the world. The only problem is, when you do a little research, 95% of the time, you hear “you’ll never make it”. “It’s impossible to break into Hollywood “. “It’s not how good you are, it’s who you know”. As much as I love the guidance from Meg and Lorien as well as their guests, what they really give me is hope. Hope that I can make something worthwhile and also a rem that I’m doing this because I love it. I really love it! This podcast is like therapy for me. I’m 45 and trying something new. In 10 years, I’ll either be 55 with a bunch of screenplays under my belt and possibly a new career or I’ll just be 55.
  • gigilogic97
    5 stars
    The strike made it hard to listen to industry talk because most of which were negative and it impacted my ability to write. This podcast focuses a lot on craft and it reignited my love for writing and the field. Thank you for taking the time to upload episodes consistently and drop gems. It’s truly appreciated.
  • Landercello
    Learn Craft and Career
    Just finished episode 18 on voice and now I see why so many people rave about this podcast. I’ve heard so many discussions about voice, but this one nailed it. I’ve also enjoyed hearing from writers about their writing process as well as their career experiences. Definitely a great source for writers no matter where you are in your journey.
  • Globe Thief
    This Is The One
    If you have been looking for a screenwriting podcast that captures the frustration and euphoria of writing, this is it. Meg and Lorien share the vulnerable details of their writing lives, and the result is a frank and supportive dialogue about the feeling of sitting in front of the blank page and pounding out stories. Meg and Lorien are like colleagues, sharing their life and craft with us, and giving permission for us to feel, and to make our characters feel too. It’s an invaluable resource for anyone who wants to feel connected to other artists in the foxhole.
  • jelly88belly
    Portable Writing Teacher, Buddy, Counselor, and Shrink
    I’m a working writer in Hollywood, and this podcast is a godsend! Can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought of a question that Meg, Lorien, Jeff, or one of the guests has wound up answering. I love that the topics run the gamut from the writing process, working with collaborators, the emotional ups and downs of an artist, tips on how to manage the creative life, and on and on. It’s a treasure trove of insight and tools that I return to, again and again, when I’m stuck or just need a shot of inspiration. I recommend it to all creatives!
  • DaisyCanDo
    Inspiring podcast
    One of my favorite podcasts! I am an aspiring children’s book writer and I find so much inspiration in every episode. The content, knowledge and support that Meg, Lorien and Jeff provide is always astounding. I come away wanting to be a better writer, and a bit more confident that I can achieve that. And even if I falter, I know that I am in good company. Truly wonderful!
  • Tinker Seafun
    A great resource!
    Love the generous spirit with which Meg and Lorien share their experiences, and the guests are great!
  • Marie G22
    Hands down the #1 podcast for Screenwriters!
    As an emerging writer, TSL is my daily dose of inspiration, direction, wisdom and encouragement. If someone asked me for my go to resource for all things screenwriting THIS would be it! I am so thankful for how generous Meg, Lorien and Jeff are in sharing their time, expertise and lived experience.
  • On My Way_1000
    I Appreciate the Authenticity!
    If you’re a writer of any kind I highly recommend this show! They keep it real about the crazy/ ridiculous/ awesome/ horrible/ fabulous-ness of this craft, and they genuinely encourage emerging, novice and experienced writers to: a) keep going b) not suffer in silence and c) improve improve improve (rewrite, rewrite, rewrite!) They are emotionally-focused which I have found to be super validating as a human who has emotions and as a craver of stories about real people going through real things. The hosts and their amazing array of guests reinforce that the emotional drive of the characters, regardless of genre or medium, IS what makes a compelling story. Hearing from a diverse swath of Currently-Active-in-the-industry-guests that emotions & character & craft are ALL so crucial, and how they all got to where they are today and their advice for writers is what keeps me listening. As an emerging writer I especially appreciate the writing exercises they (or the guests, ie. Jodi Foster!) offer up. And as an aspiring director, I really appreciate hearing about the actual nuts & bolts of what it takes to get our work off the page & on to the screen. Thank you so much The Screenwriting Life Team! And you, potential listener, stop reading reviews and start the podcast now! : D
  • Hzgpxofz
    Super Insightful for Aspiring Writers
    Hey guys! This podcast has given me a lot of inspiration and different ways of thinking about my writing that I’ve never even considered! As a screenwriting student in college there’s a lot of anxiety and fear surrounding everything I write and listening to your struggles and advice helps me feel like I’m not the only one.
  • ScubagirlNY
    A gem full of inspiration
    I discovered this podcast after a webinar I watched. I was in a real funk regarding my screenwriting when I came across it. What they spoke about really resonated with me. They speak about lava: that feeling you get when something touches you so much while writing that it burns you. I felt like a lightbulb went off. I’m writing a very emotional, personal story with a lot of lava. I am so inspired now and fired up. I no longer feel like I want to abandon screenwriting altogether. Thanks so much Meg and Lorien!
  • Dex9519
    Replay
    I find myself downloading episodes for my flights out and others for reference and inspiration just in case they come down. Some episodes are classics.
  • DJMagilacutty
    Simply the best
    Giving me the tools, and the courage, to return to writing. Invaluable insights and advice.
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