The Sitcom Writer's Cookbook is a simple and easy-to-follow guide to writing television comedy spec scripts and pilots. Written by Emmy-nominated television writer-producer Kevin Kelton (Night Court, Saturday Night Live, Boy Meets World, Something So Right, A Different World), this step-by-step workbook (presented as a mock "cookbook") moves the reader from a basic story notion to constructing A/B stories, loglines, pitches, beat sheets, outlines, and completed first drafts for comedy spec scripts and original pilots. Kelton draws on his years of teaching screenwriting and television writing at UCLA Extension Writers' Program, Loyola Maryount University, Atlanta College of Art, Clayton State University, and IO West Theater Company to mentor readers on how a TV storyline is constructed, tricks to creating memorable characters and writing dialogue that pops, crafting jokes, pitching, finding universal themes, instilling subtext, and using symbolism and visual motifs to deepen and enhance a comedy story. Each chapter ends with a simple assignment the reader can do at home to apply the lessons and concepts taught in the chapter to advance their own writing project. Using examples from classic TV series, Kelton makes the process less intimidating and more accessible to writers new to the half-hour comedy format. And he shares writing exercises, tips and shortcuts that will help you avoid hours of staring at blank screens and the dreaded writer's block.
The author also talks about the differences between writing for readers and actors, how a television staff works, marketing your scripts, tips on landing your first agent, charting your career, and the business of the television industry. He also provides samples and worksheets to help you format and draft beat sheets, outlines, scripts, coverage reports, and web links to real, produced TV scripts and outlines from a variety of hit series.
Whether you're interested in writing for your favorite network shows, animation, streaming series, web series, half-hour comedies, one hour dramas, or a genre in between, the Sitcom Writer's Cookbook is a sure-fire recipe to comedy writing success. is a must-have resource for every aspiring writer's bookcase.
Available in paperback for $16.95 at Amazon.com