I know how it feels. The frustration. Writer’s block. Not quite knowing how to get there.
Maybe you have a story to tell, but aren’t sure where to begin. Perhaps you’ve written a screenplay or novel but haven’t sold it… yet.
That’s because great, marketable stories have a specific DNA. Typically, you’d have to spend a fortune on tuition or workshops to learn these invisible, beneath the surface, building blocks of great stories with an industry professional, like me. If it doesn’t seem fair, that’s because it’s not. And I’m determined to provide great writers — aspiring and veterans alike — access to the resources you need to succeed. Why? Because on one hand, it frees up my time. (I spend a lot of time every year explaining these principles to writers one-on-one or in my live courses.) And on the other, I believe stories, and storytellers, can change the world.
You have a voice, and story, that deserves to be heard. Basics of Story Design™ empowers you to get from FADE IN to FADE OUT… and well on your way to a sale. By popular demand, I’ve also included an Appendix on Documentary Film, to connect the dots and show you how to apply these principles to documentaries.
Many successful directors and producers work with me to clarify their story, from development, to the final edit, and through the sales and distribution process. Others engage me as a writer for their projects. And some even work with me in unique one-on-one apprenticeship settings, to complete their project.
Next, due to a landslide of requests, we’ll be hard at work creating a special Story Design and Story Hacks™ course, book, and apprenticeship program to help entrepreneurs find their Core Story, scale their business, build press exposure, and move into a blue ocean. That’s because Story Design™ empowers you to harness the power of great storytelling and elevate your passion and purpose to meet your goals, no matter your medium or space.
What do you have to lose? Start building your dream today. Your project is worth it. You’re worth it.
EMMY®-nominated and award-winning screenwriter and producer
SJ Murray, Ph.D.
SJ Murray is an EMMY®-nominated and award-winning writer and producer. Born in Ireland, she earned her PhD from Princeton and studied screenwriting at UCLA. SJ's love of storytelling began at a young age. During her childhood in Ireland and France, her father read to her every night — especially J.R.R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Today, as an author and tenured professor at Baylor University, she imparts the tools of insanely great storytelling to her students, and to participants worldwide in her highly sought-after story workshops.
Inspired by her own research into how stories shape our cultural landscapes, and the field of Story Design™, in which she is recognized internationally as a pioneer, SJ is deeply committed to shifting the needle on important social issues through film and media. She has written, produced, advised and executive produced several acclaimed feature-length documentaries. More recently, she is migrating back towards her early love for narrative feature films, with several projects in development, and has directed several short films — both for brands (including an award-winning project for CatSpring Yaupon), and for an exclusive project featuring trafficking survivor and activist Brooke Axtell. Her work in film has been released at major film festivals and acquired by major distributors, including PBS and NETFLIX.
SJ is also passionate about using storytelling to build movements for individuals and businesses and is a sought-after business strategist for entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs, who understands the power of story to hack growth and scale market share by helping companies break into blue oceans.
She is the founding co-chair of the NEXUS working group on film, media & story, and has spoken and curated panels for the WhiteHouse, the United Nations, Sundance, Harvard, the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris, and beyond. She is the author of two books and has delivered two very popular TEDx talks, "Hardwired for Story" (2014) and "Write and Wrong" (2015). In 2018, SJ was selected for the inaugural cohort of #50WomenCan, celebrating the rising female stars in the media and entertainment space, most likely to revolutionize the industry and help achieve gender parity in Hollywood.She lives in Austin with her feisty Wheatonpoo, Coco Chanel, and travels frequently to both coasts.
Hardwired for Story
Write and Wrong
SJ's Clients have been featured in:
Andreas Nicholas, Business Manager
Speaking engagements/ Workshops
Story Design ™ for entrepreneurs
Feature script notes
Documentary film consulting