In this paper, we examine screenwriting and higher education in terms of emergent, digital ‘ecologies of screenwriting expertise’. Established forms of screenwriting guidance and instruction, such as ‘how-to’ guides and higher education academic-practitioners, now sit alongside new, digital and networked sites for screenwriting education such as Lynda.com and The Blacklist 3.0. Examining Lynda.com, the online learning platform, and The Blacklist, a fee-based professional script reader service, we argue for the need to address the teaching of screenwriting both inside and outside higher education. Bound into ‘ecologies of screenwriting expertise’ are complex and overlapping questions concerning how professional boundaries are policed, about who has or claims to have industry access, and about how and where efforts are made to ensure that aspiring writers are supported with relevant insights and advice. Across our examples, we argue that expert biographies and profiles are created and operationalised with varying levels of visibility which correspond with authority and legitimacy, especially from the perspective of those aspirants and amateurs who are paying to use these sites and spaces.
- higher education