KWU Offers Screenwriting Course

For anyone who has ever wanted to write a movie script, Kansas Wesleyan University is offering a new 16-week fall course. The class, called TeamScreenwriting, will be taught by Jon O’Neal, who earned his M.F.A. in Screenwriting from the UCLA Film School.

According to the school, students will learn the process and systems of writing a script that will eventually be produced. This class of 10-12 students, led by an experienced independent filmmaker, will brainstorm and through teamwork create a single complete movie script ready for production.

The class will meet Mondays and Thursdays 6–8 p.m., starting Thursday Aug. 20. The course is open to high school students and community members, as well as students at other colleges. For more information about this course, call Barbara Marshall at 785-833-4390. To register, visit

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: While earning his degree in History from the University of Kansas, Jon T. O’Neal spent his junior year at the USC Film School. He returned to Kansas to complete pre-med and went on to earn his M.D. from KU, a Master of Public Health from Harvard, and eventually an M.F.A. in Screenwriting from the UCLA Film School. While living in Los Angeles, he made five short films, one for less than ten dollars, and they were shown at about 25 film festivals around the world.

The last script he wrote in graduate school was “Au Pair, Kansas” (a.k.a. “The Soccer Nanny”), about a Norwegian soccer player coming to a small town in Kansas to help a recently widowed woman raise her two sons. It was a semi-finalist script at the Austin Film Festival. With the help of private investors, O’Neal directed and produced the film in a three-week shoot in Lindsborg, KS. “Au Pair, Kansas” won Best Low Budget Feature Film at the 2011 Cannes International Film Festival.

O’Neal served as an executive producer for the debut feature film by writer-director Stéphanie Joalland, “The Quiet Hour” (2014), shot in Ireland. The ambitious science fiction drama spins a tale of alien invaders and a young woman protecting her blind brother in their family farmhouse against marauding humans. “The Quiet Hour” won Best Narrative Feature at the 2015 Kansas City FilmFest and received Honorable Mention in the Feature Film category at the 2015 Myrtle Beach (SC) International Film Festival, and was nominated for Best Foreign Feature Film at the 2015 Fantafestival in Rome, for Best International First Feature at 2014 Galway Film Fleadh in Ireland, for Best UK Feature at the 2014 Raindance Film Festival in London, and for Grand Prix at the 2015 Sofia International Film Festival in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Jon T. O’Neal, M.D., M.P.H., specializes in Occupational Medicine and is medical director at Occupational Health Partners in Salina, KS. He is also Senior Flight Surgeon with the 190th Medical Group, Kansas Air National Guard, Forbes Field, Topeka, KS.


John Oneal

Jon O’Neal, who earned his M.F.A. in Screenwriting from the UCLA Film School, will teach the course.