The Screenwriting Life with Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna

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Welcome to The Screenwriting Life. Join us as professional screenwriters, Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna, whose combined credits include writing and production on such films as Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur and Captain Marvel discuss the craft, journey and business of writing for the screen. From dialogue to delivery, Meg and Lorien will guide you through the process, offering inside tips and tricks to help you become the best writer you can be. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thescreenwritinglife/support

 
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Recent Reviews
  • 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.
  • Wordworker6
    Meg
    As an older emerging writer aspiring to TV, I listen to a variety of writerly and crafty and even “when do you get up / write / have a life-ish” podcasts. This one is a go-to for one reason: STORY AND STORYTELLING and the reinforcement of just how hard it is and what a privilege it is IF you can be doing it for a living. The love of story and the craft (as well as struggle and headspace and difficult brain work) that goes into TELLING STORIES is PALPABLE in these conversations. They reinforce to me that this work is HARD and the profession is even harder than the HARD, FOCUSED WORK. Have I mentioned DIFFICULT? But listening to these conversations, I don’t feel as alone because the (quoting them) “creativity is the struggle” - it is real and the struggle never ends. The podcast reflects the creative life back to me in a way that makes me feel less isolated in the pursuit. THANK YOU MEG, LORIEN AND JEFF!
  • Nate Irvin 10.31
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    It’s difficult to succinctly put into words what this podcast promises its listeners and what it’s done for me as a writer. Lorien and Meg are an ideal pair, representing a spectrum of philosophies, interests, personality traits, and creative aesthetics - perfect to engage any and all creative writers. Since beginning The Screenwriting Life, I’ve written more pages than ever before due to their expertly balanced combination of craft-oriented tips and honest encouragement through their own experiences. As an aspiring screenwriter, I’ve heard the same advice for success from everyone everywhere: You just have to write. Meg and Lorien give the same message - “One must write to grow and learn and be a writer” - however, they are the first to offer more than a small handful of tips to put into use. Every episode sheds light on the process and the ability to overcome the obstacles of being a writer, from story problems to mind-numbing self doubt. If you’re a creative writer, a screenwriter, or just a fan of movies and how they work, The Screenwriting Life is the podcast for you. Once it’s done, you’ll probably just start over again from episode one as you wait for new episodes to be released! (or is that just me…?)
  • Soucyman
    Passion and professionalism
    Oftentimes it seems that the act of being technical is the act of sacrificing passion. The profession of writing can sometimes seem distant from the love of writing. This podcast inspires a love for screenwriting, which is a finicky animal unto itself. I have been the poster boy for struggling screenwriter for the better part of thirty years, and while my love never falters, my faith certainly does. But Meg and Lorien have such a celebratory relationship with the craft, joy, and business of screenwriting, that my faith is restored with each episode. Brava! And thank you for sharing your insights.
  • lkfreeland
    I love it!
    I just love it! This is irresistible brain candy. Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to produce this podcast. It is so appreciated. ❤️❤️❤️
  • tess harrison writer review
    🙏🏼
    Love! I always learn something. I am always inspired and productive after I listen. Thank you!
  • Sngwrtr
    Invaluable podcast
    This podcast affirms my experience as a writer, both on and off the page.
  • Abby Silverstein
    Thank you
    As an Amateur and aspiring screenwriter, it’s so easy to feel stupid, alone and vulnerable. That’s why I’m so thankful for this podcast. I turn to Lorien and Meg (my podcast Mama Bears) to help me realize, I can do this and I’m not alone. Thank you being my guiding light during my darkest hours.
  • OldWolfie
    Finally! I understand!
    Thank you so much for putting context and words to emotional rollercoaster of writing! Hearing working, successful writers lay bare the very same feelings I’ve experienced again and again, and to know it’s just part of the process ( not a fail) validates the journey! I was able to get to a completed first draft of a screenplay listening to the pod. And I now know the draft I want to go out with is still nine drafts away… and that’s okay. Thanks again!
  • Munnday06
    Love this podcast!!!
    I have learned so d*mn much listening to these wonderful people (while sipping on Evian, raspberry and ginseng sparkling water). I can not overstate the value these episodes have had on my development as a professional “storyteller” in the film/tv industry. You show up for a little insight, and these mofos smack you over the head with a bag of story jewels! It’s amazing! 5 stars!
  • zo.hudson
    Thank you!
    I’m a new screenwriter and work an admin job unrelated to writing but feel so inspired and connected to storytelling throughout the day because of this podcast. I blew through all of the episodes so quickly that I am now re-listening because of how motivational it is to me, and the advice given is so moving it helps me to push through and write before and after work as much as I can. Thank you Meg, Lorienne and Jeff for this amazing show!
  • Savie1
    My favorite podcast!!
    I’m usually drinking a dirty martini when listening to TSL 😉 In all seriousness, Lorien, Meg, and Jeff have created something really special here. I look forward to catching up with them each week. TSL has given me the courage to call my self a writer and has pushed me to do the work!!
  • Leila McCall
    Thank you!
    Thank you Meg, Lorien, and Jeff for all that you do! Not only is this podcast informative, but it is truly a place of refuge. As an emerging writer who struggles with all the things (self doubt, anxiety procrastination, loneliness, and so on), each week your voices fill me with comfort, strength, and inspiration. Most of all though, the courage to keep on writing! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
  • Mountain Man of Tujunga
    Excellent Podcast
    Enjoyable and inspirational; I like listening on my earbuds when I go hiking in the mountains.
  • twoblondepups
    So excited when there is a new episode!
    My favorite podcast. This show is such a great resource for writers, artists, but also for LIFE. I get a lot out of the discussion, beyond how to improve scripts or work in the industry. It’s funny and honest and absolutely a big highlight of my week!
  • chillfilms
    My Weekly Essentials
    I love listening to this show while crying into my double macchiato for finally being seen!
  • @PetrisRH
    New to Screenwriting
    I am a writer, who also happens to be an elementary school teacher. Although I don’t know what will become of my new added venture into screenwriting, I’m comfortable in knowing that my income does not hinge on screenwriting alone. Finding this podcast and joining the Facebook Group has been such a treasure trove of valuable information as I previously had zero knowledge about the in’s and out’s of this craft. Meg, Lorianne, and Jeff are all loaded with knowledge and they are *real people* to boot! I started with episode #1 and am listening on every commute ride. Currently on episode #48 in only four months, I know there will be a round-two for me once I’m caught up. Thank you, thank you for your honesty, knowledge base, and encouragement as we all work through this wonderful and beautiful craft of writing!
  • escribble
    The most helpful podcast !
    I listen to a handful of writing pods and this is one of the most informative and accessible pods w/ tools you can apply immediately. Meg, Lorien n Jeff are so smart, kind and really articulate concepts I can digest easily. I also love that they are working writers with a lot of experience and range.
  • TangoDuo
    Incredible insight that feeds the mind and the heart
    I’ve been a listener for the past two years, as a creative in another industry. The insights you share into writing, the film
  • lwnh
    This is a fun show
    You guys have such a fun, relevant and interesting show. It would be so easy for it to meander off topic but you rarely do that. So many other podcasts desperately try to be funny or “entertaining” but you guys stick to business. I think there’s plenty of fun doing that. I’m a long time listener to Jon August’s “Scriptnotes.” There’s a lot to be learned from that show, but this one is really for writers. Jon would never do a show on contests— Craig Mazen famously hates them! My one criticism is that “What I did last week” can get a little long-winded. I have just started listening but I plan to go through all the back episodes. Keep it up!
  • AshleyLA2London
    Thank you!
    I can’t even tell you how much I love your podcast! As a successful EP in production and visual effects, the creative pull started to tug at me in a different way two years ago and I found myself starting over yet again as a writer. I’m loving it, and realize there is still so much to learn being on this side of the production fence. Thank you for all the tips and encouragement!
  • littlebird1983
    Thank You.
    This podcast, every episode, is truly such a gift. The time and effort and experience and care and honesty you’ve put in to it has made a remarkable difference on my creative adventure. I can’t thank you three enough ❤️❤️❤️
  • doobutiger
    great writing resource
    Always amazing to see people who are great at what they do sharing their knowledge and experience. An amazing resource for anyone who is a budding writer.
  • LMillerATX
    Solid gold in the second act
    In my first act, I was a “PR professional with a dream of being a writer,” a “stay-at-home mom who secretly dreams of being a writer” and am currently embodying that classic trope, “woman turns 40, has a mid-life crisis and finally decides to pursue her dream of writing.” The character wants have been established for a long time, but life kept getting in the way, in part because, I now understand, I wasn’t ready to tap into my own lava. My second act is because of this podcast, which should possibly be re-branded as the “Writer’s Life” podcast as so much of it applies to ANY writer. This is my masterclass of writing and because of it, I have now established a daily writing discipline that includes mediocre essays, short stories, and poetry in addition to amateur screenwriting. So what do Meg, Lorien, and Jeff give you that no other podcast does? Humble, gracious advice; enthusiastic cheerleading when imposter syndrome creeps in; a supportive community of talented writers serving up equal doses of accountability and motivation (shoutout to my TSL Slack sprinters, TSL writer’s group, TSL Facebook group, and Patreon!); and most importantly, such generous expertise on every facet of the writing craft. I leave each episode feeling inspired and uplifted; some episodes are introspective leave me feeling like I’ve done an hour of awesome therapy. Most importantly, they’ve helped me see that I am already a writer, one who is hopeful that with diligence, her third act will conclude with the sale of the story they helped their protagonist write, which happens to be a pilot script about second acts. Thank you, Meg, Lorien, and Jeff for pouring your hearts into us. We are not alone!
  • thebigdb
    Learning so much
    I love this podcast. I’m getting so much inspiration, aha moments, “you are not alone” moments and the honesty of Meg, Lorianne and Jeff is refreshing. I’m new to screen-writing but the advice resonates as a performer and as a business owner. It’s a relief to find a tribe and kindred spirits who have practical and spiritual wisdom in bucket loads. Very grateful.
  • zhoerim
    New fan
    I just stumbled across this great podcast. What heart and encouragement, especially the end tag line of “you’re not alone.” Love it!
  • Cmichelle15
    My first ever listening…
    I stumbled across their Podcast and just happened to listen to episode 78. Wow. Just wow. The gems, the energy, the way they speak (share information). I learned so much in one episode and it was only through audio. Great great show. Thank you ladies.
  • buf2tr
    A Master Class in Screenwriting
    I’m a college professor and novelist hoping to add screenwriting to my skillset, and as someone who usually learns best in a classroom, I believe I could have no greater teachers than Meg and Lorien and Jeff. Every episode feel like a master class. Your emotional honesty is only matched by your knowledge of craft, and though the terminology may be different in screenwriting than it is in novel-writing, the ideas feels so familiar and *right* to me that I no longer wonder “Can I be a screenwriter?” But think, “yes, I can.” I’ve been telling all my writer pals to listen in. I’ve even shared snippets of the show with my own students. Keep up the great work, and thank you all so much for everything you do. Rebecca Johns
  • Gogo-Boston
    Giving Us The Gold
    As a person in mid life who is diving into screenwriting after a lifetime of writing for business, I must thank you both. The nuggets of gold you both offer so freely is fun, crazy, inspirational and encouraging. I listen to my “Master Class” with Megan and Lorian at the beach and in the car. Keep going. Sincerely- GoGo Chapman
  • Jamiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie
    Down-to-Earth and Amazing Podcast!
    I have never been much of a podcast person but I decided to try something new, and I absolutely ADORE this podcast. I love all of the advice given by the hosts about starting out and working your way in this screenwriting industry — and the way they banter with each other feels so genuine! I feel like I am in on a conversation every episode, not that I am being talked at. I love this show!!
  • LFLocke
    Wonderful resource for writers of all types
    I confess, I’m not actually a screenwriter, but I’ve found so much in this podcast that can apply to my career as a novelist. Highly recommend for anyone who is looking for more insights into what makes a good story.
  • DCNYCHOU
    The perfect ingredients to a deliciously winning experience.
    This podcast has the perfect amount of professionalism and humanity, moral support and realistic expectation, to be the absolute ideal companion on a screenwriter’s journey. Undeniable experience combined with great humor and good intentions make this podcast feel like a best friend that shares your passions. I am grateful for the advice, the insight, the support and companionship I’ve found in this wonderfully generous lot of people. Thank you for all that you do and share with the rest of us. This podcast is constantly feeding my enthusiasm for the craft. I hope you all see the genuine value in your participation with the community!
  • Kathy Holzapfel
    Hits ALL the right buttons
    What a treasure trove: seasoned pros sharing their collective knowledge and dishing on the everyday stuff of life as creative writers, plus...guest speakers! I'm a novelist, newish to screenwriting, and this podcast is both educational, inspiring and encouraging. So glad I found this.
  • WiNk15
    Food for the screenwriters soul
    Wow do I cherish this podcast! Meg, Lorien and Jeff are truly an amazing team. Not only do they share brilliant pearls of wisdom for those interested in storytelling, but they also openly dive head-first into the emotional ‘lava’ of how it feels to be creative. I’d bet my last dollar that this is the best podcast for any aspiring screenwriter.
  • Travis Baechler
    Best Podcast
    New listener in the past few months, but I am so glad I found this podcast to support and share in my screenwriting journey!
  • Annie O'Shea
    Game changer? No, LIFE CHANGER
    This podcast is great entertainment for Anyone, and a total game changer for anyone who aspires to write Anything! Thank you Lorien, Meg and Jeff for all your hard work on the show, for sharing yourselves and your process so completely, and for bringing so many wonderful guests to speak about their processes. Listening to you all has propelled my process forward in all the ways that are soothing, terrifying, and exciting. My heart is full with the richness of incite and encouragement offered here. Can’t say enough. With Gratitude, Annie
  • gyndok
    Finally I wrote a screenplay
    “Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a show about…”. I have always had grand ideas about something I would like to see in TV and movies. I have read books and watched videos on screenwriting for years. Yet, whenever I would try to do it, I would inevitable get stuck 30-40 pages in and set it aside. I found this podcast last year. Listening to Meg, Lorien, Jeff, and all of their wonderful guests has given me the tools to push through and actually finish one. I think this is the first step to actually getting good at writing. Thanks. I am now a faithful listener to every episode when it comes out..
  • Ecrab365
    Newbie here!
    I was wanting to add some new podcasts to my lineup since so many are currently on break. I am not a screen writer, and so t plan on becoming one, but I’ve listened to about 10 episodes already and love it. Love the personalities and love learning about something I don’t really know about! Keep it up!
  • LisaP8709
    Completely changed the game for me!
    My writing accountability partner shared this podcast with me, and it has completely changed the game. I recently sold a short film (very unexpectedly), so now I feel a LOT of pressure to churn out new scripts and specs. This podcast is giving me the encouragement and discipline I needed. THANK YOU for providing us with all of your wisdom, victories, and shortcomings. I'm more comfortable calling myself as a writer thanks to the tools you provide.
  • KatieTheHutch
    Writers Listen to This Podcast!
    I was recommended by a fellow writer to listen to this podcast, and it has become my very favorite friend when I’m stuck, frustrated or unmotivated with my writing. I so appreciate that they talk about being a writer from all sides and feel like my favorite writing buddies. Cannot recommend enough!
  • Rebekah Swann
    A Podcast That Helped Me Overcome Writer’s Block
    This podcast is so vital to screenwriters. Ive been listening to it since the beginning and it has helped me overcome so many fears and insecurities about writing. I truly feel seen and understood by Meg and Lorien and their brutal honest about how difficult it is to write has made me feel less alone. I used to beat myself up when the writing process got difficult, thinking it was something I was doing wrong. But now I understand how to better navigate the tumultuous waters of being a screenwriter and that the most important thing is to keep writing. After years of being frustrated by a lousy first or second draft, I finally understand that a script has to be layered and it takes 10, 15, 20 drafts. So now I keep writing and I don’t give up. Thank you for all you do Meg and Lorien. You’ve helped a young writer overcome her fear of writing and given her the tools to make her writing better. So thank you and please never stop making this podcast!
  • Nor Cal New Writer
    Great Beyond Great
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for your work on this podcast. It is nearly perfect. Ha. The one comment I have is, maybe you all shouldn’t yell into your mics. Is it a Zoom thing? But, really, thanks much.
  • therealctorres
    When student is ready the teacher will appear
    I am very early in my career so I still have lots to learn and this podcast has already taught me a lot. I loved this most recent episode on building the emotional fortitude to be a screenwriter. Such wise advice and much needed.
  • gillianinsantamonica
    Essential listening
    I’m a professional screenwriter and this podcast has been enormously helpful for the emotional side of my creative process. It’s the discussion and community that this deeply weird job requires.
  • Juanjuliodelafantoya
    This podcast revived my dream of being a writer
    I’ve always had a love of movies, and dreamed of one day being a screenwriter. Somewhere along the way life happened and my dream went to wherever dreams go to die. Through a few recent lifestyle changes I found myself looking for a hobby, and I thought possibly writing. I didn’t intend for it to be more than a hobby. After finding this podcast, I really started to think what if, and what if is the first step to a dream come true. I find myself listening intently and taking notes on every episode. It’s so great to hear that everyone struggles and faces the same issues. Thank you for rekindling a dream and for making excellent content. Can’t wait for the next episode.
  • Watermark is huge
    Producer Jeff should get his own podcast (and not talk on this one)
    I love the energy and connection between Meg and Lorien. Jeff, who I do still like, does not belong on this show. He’s on a different journey (same with the intern). Would 100 percent listen to his podcast about breaking in, but his presence and questions don’t fit. Not even as a stand in for the audience.
  • Writingin213
    Thankful
    I'm writing this review on Thanksgiving because I am so thankful for this podcast. I've been an emerging writer for about 10 years now and while I've spent most of that time focusing on improving my craft, I didn't realize until recently that I also needed to develop the emotional strength required to be a screenwriter. That's where Meg and Lorien come in. They do talk about craft but what's really invaluable is their honesty and vulnerability around working -- and trying to work -- in this business. In many ways it's so much harder and yet I've never heard anyone talk about it as openly as they do on TSL. You need to develop both skills to be successful. This podcast has given me the strength I needed to really dive back into a creative career and for that I'll always be grateful. Do yourself a favor and listen!
  • kekama808
    Awesome Screenwriter Podcast
    Aloha: As a screenwriter/director, listening to this podcast has been invaluable. My wife and I are writing partners, and we both met Meg at a filmmaker conference. I’ve been listening to this podcast since the start. All the episodes are great, and my favorite on is #49 with Michael Arndt. His his perspectives on writing, his analysis of other scripts, and his strategies of how I can possibly apply my own experiences and ideas to work with these examples helps me every time I go back and listen to that podcast. So valuable to keep that podcast saved and ready to re-listen when I need it. And such a bonus to hear how Meg’s and Lorien’s perspectives interact with each guests’ thoughts and ideas. Awesome Screenwriter Podcast! Mahalo!
  • Beach Dog Writing
    Great for Writers at all Career Stages
    I love how this podcast helps writers in all stages of their careers. Work-life balance is something people in all professions deal with. The positivity and encouragement are motivating and give me confidence that I can and will reach my screenwriting goals. Thank you!
  • KHolly12
    Be your best writing self
    The screenwriting life has made me a better writer, a better teacher, and a better writer/friend. Pretty much every week I’m pulling some snippet or idea or entire episode and sharing it with my writers group, or sharing it with my students, or writing it on an index card and taping it to the wall over my desk. Meg and Lorien are experienced, honest, and straightforward. Enabling, that’s the word I’m looking for. They enable us to become the writers they know we can be.
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