So, Palgrave Macmillan has just published an excellent volume:

Women Screenwriters: An International Guide (2015)

From the book’s web page, about the volume:

`Women Screenwriters is a study of more than 300 female writers from 60 nations, from the first film scenarios produced in 1896 to the present day. An overview is given of the history and background of women screenwriters in each nation and the challenges they faced. Individual entries illuminate the work of many of the most influential women writers. The scope and range of the book is far beyond any existing coverage of the subject. The volume is divided into six sections by continent: Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, North America and South America, and includes detailed coverage of female screenwriters from the United States, United Kingdom, France and Australia as well as nations such as Malta, Romania, South Africa, Russia and Switzerland. The volume is a rich resource and investigates the rarely discussed tradition of female screenwriting across the globe.’ (WSIG web page, 2015)

More about the Editors from the book’s Amazon web page:

Jill Nelmes is Reader in Film at the University of East London, UK. She is the author of The Screenwriter in British Cinema (2014), Writing the Screenplay (2012), the editor of An Introduction to Film Studies (1996) and Analysing the Screenplay (2010), and the founder of the Journal of Screenwriting. She studied screenwriting at UCLA, has been a script reader in Hollywood, and has had a number of feature length screenplays in development.

Jule Selbo is Professor and Leader of the MFA in Screenwriting Program at California State University, Fullerton, USA. She is an award-winning American screenwriter with work in feature film, network and cable television and animated series, working with filmmakers such as George Lucas, Michael Newell, Aaron Spelling and Roland Joffe, as well as with all the major Hollywood studios. Produced credits include projects for Disney, Columbia Pictures, Paramount and Universal, such as Hard Promises, Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, Melrose Place, Space Above and Beyond and Hercules. She is co-editor of the Journal of Screenwriting and has written two books on screenwriting structure (2007, 2008). Her latest book is Film Genre for Screenwriters (2014).

Two blurbs about the book Women Screenwriters-  An International Guide:

“At last there is a comprehensive book dedicated to the female voice in film – internationally heralded women screenwriters and also those whose work may have been forgotten or unacknowledged beyond the borders of their own countries. It is an inspirational document for all female storytellers, wherever they may be in their careers, to know that they are part of a tribe with such deep roots globally. It is at the same time an extraordinary social history that will be of great interest to anyone passionate about filmmaking. It’s time that the curtain to be lifted on female screenwriters! This book has been compiled and written with thoroughness and insight. It is a gift to the archives of film history.”

– Kathryn Himoff
Film editor and producer of features, television, documentaries: Man in the High Castle (2015), Pollock (2000), Appaloosa (2008), Georgia O’Keefe (2009), Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005), The Office (2005), Ugly Betty (2006), Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion (2002) and more.

“A remarkable accomplishment! Women Screenwriters transforms both global film history and women’s history. Jill Nelmes and Jule Selbo have provided a treasure-trove of information and analysis that should lead to discoveries about all national cinemas and the creativity of women worldwide.”

– Janet Staiger
Film theoretician and historian and William P. Hobby Centennial Professor at University of Texas, Austin, author of Media Reception Studies (2005), Perverse Spectators (2000), Bad Women: Regulating Sexuality in Early Cinema (1995) and more.

I also have an essay in the book, about Nia Vardalos, the writer-star of the top 20 RoI movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002).


See also: Trailers of the Top 20 RoI Movies.

And – for more detail on the evolutionary systems (or, complexity) view of narrative and bioculture in general, see, this book chapter:

StoryAlity #132The holon/parton structure of the Meme, the unit of culture – and the narreme, or unit of story – book chapter (Velikovsky 2016)

And for a great consilience & creativity & evolution reading list, see:

StoryAlity #71On Consilience in the Arts / Humanities / Communication

Comments, always welcome.


JT Velikovsky

High-RoI Story/Screenplay/Movie and Transmedia Researcher

The above is (mostly) an adapted excerpt, from my doctoral thesis: “Communication, Creativity and Consilience in Cinema”. It is presented here for the benefit of fellow screenwriting, filmmaking and creativity researchers. For more, see https://aftrs.academia.edu/JTVelikovsky

JT Velikovsky is also a produced feature film screenwriter and million-selling transmedia writer-director-producer. He has been a professional story analyst for major film studios, film funding organizations, and for the national writer’s guild. For more see: http://on-writering.blogspot.com/



Velikovsky, J. T. (2015). `Nia Vardalos: Canadian-American (Greek) screenwriter’, in J. Selbo & J. Nelmes (Eds.), Women Screenwriters: An International Guide (pp. 690-692). London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Velikovsky, J. T. (2016). `The Holon/Parton Theory of the Unit of Culture (or the Meme, and Narreme): In Science, Media, Entertainment and the Arts.‘ In A. Connor & S. Marks (Eds.), Creative Technologies for Multidisciplinary Applications. New York: IGI Global.

3 thoughts on “StoryAlity #125 – Women Screenwriters: An International Guide (2015)

  1. Pingback: StoryAlity #117 – Velikovsky’s 40 Domain Problems in Screenwriting (or: Consilient PhDs We’d Like To See) | StoryAlity

  2. Pingback: StoryAlity #135 – PhD Dissertation Addendum | StoryAlity

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