Bio/Claudia Hunter Johnson
Pulitzer-Prize nominee Claudia Johnson was a member of the founding faculty of the Florida State University School of Motion Picture Arts (a.k.a. The Film School), returning in 2008 as Distinguished Writer in Residence to teach the Feature Workshop to graduates and undergraduates. She is the author of the groundbreaking textbook CRAFTING SHORT SCREENPLAYS THAT CONNECT, now in its 3rd edition, which introduced the narrative theory that human connection is as essential as conflict to the story of our lives and the stories we tell, and the critically acclaimed memoir STIFLED LAUGHTER: ONE WOMAN'S STORY ABOUT FIGHTING CENSORSHIP (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize) which chronicles her five-year-long effort to restore literary classics to the classrooms of rural North Florida. For her “ongoing and extraordinary efforts on behalf of the First Amendment,” she was the winner of the inaugural $25,000 P.E.N./Newman’s Own First Amendment Award, presented by the late great Paul Newman. Her plays and screenplays have won numerous awards including the Warner Bros. Scriptwriting Award, the Lorraine Hansberry Award, and the Florida Screenwriters Award, and her articles and essays have been widely published. She has just completed her feature Civil Rights documentary THE OTHER SIDE OF SILENCE, and will begin pre-production for her documentary about Birmingham artist Patricia Ellisor Gaines, LABYRINTH, this summer.
Claudia and her writing partner are working on a musical based on their recent novella A CHRISTMAS BELLE, a sequel to Dickens’ timeless classic, A CHRISTMAS CAROL. They are also co-authors of the first book about the art of collaborative screenwriting, SCRIPT PARTNERS: WHAT MAKES FILM AND TV WRITING TEAMS WORK, praised for its “witty and high style” by SCR(i)PT MAGAZINE. Two of their screenplays were finalists for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. They’ve also conducted screenwriting workshops at such venues as the Stella Adler Theatre, ArcLight Cinemas, and the L.A. Creative Screenwriting Expo, which named them “Star Speakers.”
A member of Writers Guild of America West, Claudia earned a B.A. in Letters from Oklahoma University, an M.A. in English from the University of California at Berkeley, an M.A. in Folklore from Indiana University, and a Ph.D. in English and Creative Writing (with a minor in film theory and technique) from the Florida State University.