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Everyone’s heard of the Hero’s Journey, but what about the Heroine’s Journey? Creating authentic, gripping, emotionally resonant films about women is not about simply gender-flipping the Hero’s Journey. This illuminating, inspiring and deeply practical two-day screenwriting workshop will introduce you to Maureen Murdock’s underrated classic study of female myths and archetypes, The Heroine’s Journey, and show you how the model can help you craft, develop and write your own female-driven movie. Through lectures, discussion and guided writing you will develop your own feature film idea, and leave with a set of tools which support an on-going writing practice that is grounded, rewarding and productive.


In this two-day weekend workshop you will deep-dive into The Heroine’s Journey and learn: ​ ​

  • All ten stages of The Heroine’s Journey and their attendant roots in myth and archetypes, and how these stages translate to screen;

  • How the model can be used to develop, structure and effectively dramatise your heroine’s story;

  • How to avoid the common mistakes made in writing female protagonist films;

  • How to create plot through authentic characterisation;

  • How to support yourself as a writer as you do the hard graft of writing and development of your feature film;

  • What a healthy development process looks and feels like (and what to do when it’s not);

  • How to engage with and embrace critical feedback;

You’ll be inspired, awed, stimulated, nurtured and provoked, and leave feeling focused, motivated and excited to write, with a palpable, practical development outcomes for your feature film.​​


Right now the lack of women’s stories on screen is a hot topic all over the world. There’s a huge hunger for stories by, about and for women, but at the same time there’s real confusion about how to best tell these stories and a lack of appropriate development tools. The Heroine’s Journey fills this gap, with a warm, witty, fun workshop delivering a deeply useful set of practical tools and valuable insights.


Feedback on Jessica Redenbach’s course GIRLS ON FILM: WRITE WOMEN WHO ROCK:

​​ "This was an eye-opening (and heart-opening) course. By placing us at the centre of the practice, we came to understand not only how to consider deeply the crafting of female characters, but what it will mean to see them on screen. Jessica is an excellent, passionate and knowledgable teacher." (June 2017)

"Excellent. Fabulous. Great learning experience. Good materials. Thought provoking. Mind and life changing. Run by a very beautiful personality!" (June 2017)

"Course made me focus on what I didn’t know - that years as an advertising writer doesn’t prepare me to another kind of writer. Jessica showed me what strong female characters are and how to write them by understanding them first - and how to eliminate my own internalised attitudes and stereotypes." (June 2017)

"Jessica Redenbach exceeded my expectations as a lecturer. Her material and effective communication helps pry out interesting female characters, which would have otherwise been missing in my stories."
(June 2017)

“Enjoyable and inspiring course that has given me lots of new ideas and tools for creating more interesting characters and stories. Thank you Jess!” (July 2016)


The Heroine’s Journey is designed for writers, developers and producers of all levels. If you are an experienced writer, you will benefit from insight into this fantastic multi-dimensional, non-linear story model and produce deeply valuable development work in only two days. If you are an aspiring writer, you will get started, and leave with the tools to keep going. If you’re a producer or developer, you’ll gain an understanding of how to support writers through the process of writing authentic, dramatic, exciting work for, by and about women.

If you have done the GIRLS ON FILM: WRITE WOMEN WHO ROCK workshop, this weekend will take you deeper into some of the ideas introduced in that short course, and provide structured exercises to guide you through practical application and towards the realisation of those ideas. However you do not need to have done GIRLS ON FILM. This is a stand-alone, practical screenwriting workshop.


THE HEROINE’S JOURNEY is a two-day weekend workshop and runs from 9am until 5pm Saturday and Sunday. There is suggested viewing to be done in advance of the workshop, and you will have homework overnight on the Saturday - expect to devote 1 hour to that overnight.


Jessica Redenbach is an ADG award-winning writer/director, AFI-nominated producer and an accomplished long form screenwriter (Spirited, Rush). She is a highly regarded freelance developer, who has worked for many of Australia’s leading production companies, feature film distributors, screen agencies and broadcasters. Jessica is passionate about women’s stories on screen and has developed her AFTRS Open short courses in response to the lack of adequate practical local development support specifically for women’s screen stories.
See Jess' credits http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3539539/

Meet Jess as she talks about Girls On Film http://www.aftrs.edu.au/short-courses/meet-the-tutors/jessica-redenbach-on-girls-on-film


Please dress in loose, comfortable clothing (as though you are going to the gym) and bring a 60 page minimum note book and several working pens. Students are discouraged from bringing laptops to the workshop.

Have any questions? Please get in touch: open@aftrs.edu.au or 1300 065 281


AFTRS reserves the right to cancel any course for any reason at any time. In the event of a course being cancelled a full refund of course fees will be provided. If a participant wishes to withdraw from a course, they may do so up to 15 days before the course commences and get a full refund. Cancellations 14 days or less before course commencement will incur a fee. For more information on AFTRS Open's policies, including refund policies, please see our policies page​


The Australian Film Television and Radio School would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, the Bidjigal people and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, on whose land we meet, work, study and teach. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.