Eighteen lucky students are getting the chance of a lifetime this summer at Boise State — taking a free television writing class from the screenwriter of a hit series.
Boise State’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program welcomed Heather Marion to campus this week. Marion, screenwriter for the television series “Better Call Saul,” is teaching a three-week class on writing pilots for television.
The class of 18 students will spend 18 hours in class. That’s the equivalent, noted Marion on the first day of class, “of one and a half days in a real, live writer’s room.” Each student will write an original television drama pilot.
As soon as the writing program staff knew the class was a go and would fit with Marion’s schedule, they put out the call to MFA students, majors in film and creative writing, and writing students at the College of Western Idaho. They asked faculty to spread the word about the class to their top students. Within 48 hours, the class roster was full, said Elizabeth Gutting, program coordinator of the creative writing MFA program.
The class is free for participants thanks to support from the Boise State President’s Office and Office of Research.
Marion has visited Boise State’s campus twice before. In March 2017, she spoke to an audience of students, faculty and community members about her professional journey from Hollywood assistant to screenwriter of a hit series. She spoke again in the spring of 2018 through Boise State’s Arts and Humanities Institute, and moderated an event with actor Erich Lane, a star of the series “Dear White People.”
Marion is a writer, actor and producer who earned her MFA in screenwriting from the University of California, Los Angeles. She was one of 10 writers chosen to participate in the Episodic Story Lab at the Sundance Institute in 2014. Prior to her work on “Better Call Saul,” she was a crew member on “United States of Tara,” “The Goldbergs” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”