Steve Harper

About Steve Harper

STEVE HARPER is a writer, producer and actor. He was on the writing staff of the Emmy Award winning ABC show American Crime (created by John Ridley) and spent two seasons writing for the USA Network show Covert Affairs. Steve's original web series SEND ME, about time traveling black people (writer, actor and Executive Producer) was nominated for a 2016 Emmy. As a playwright he has written more than 20 works that have been produced across the country. Through, Steve has been working with artists of all kinds since 2008, helping them achieve clarity and focus in their creative careers. His specialty is working with artists as they write dramatic scripts. Steve has run workshops in New York, L.A. and in between. Through live events, online seminars, and his channels on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, he’s helped thousands of writers and artists. Steve taught for The Harvardwood Writers Group, Young Playwrights and The Creative Gym. He’s been an instructor at the UCLA Extension School and a guest artist at Interlochen School for the Arts, Drexel University’s summer program in L.A. and USC’s Annenberg School. A graduate of Yale, The A.R.T. Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard and the playwriting program at Juilliard, he was certified by the Creativity Coaching Association in 2013.

Call & Response

In any dramatic scene, the energy should flow back and forth – like a tennis match. Someone says or does something and the other person responds. In the best scenes this movement is palpable – the power dynamic shifts – and the resulting momentum moves us into […]

By | October 4th, 2017|Creative Survival, The Writer's Life|0 Comments

Here’s What They Think of Your Writing

Recently, I saw a post on Facebook about contest submissions for writers. The person who posted was making the point that assessments about the winners and losers are “sometimes subjective”. I posted an alternate view: they’re always, 100% subjective. 100% of the time. 

It can […]

By | September 22nd, 2017|Creative Survival, The Writer's Life|0 Comments

What’s Your Question?

Recently I’ve been posting on Twitter, inviting people to send in questions about playwriting, TV writing and the “writing life”. I’m willing to answer the juiciest questions on video, posted to my YouTube page. Part of the reason I coach, is that I enjoy being […]

By | September 8th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Stop Thinking

This strange phenomenon happens all the time. I encounter a creative person who says they’re stuck. Often they paint themselves as desperate: looking for a lifeline from anywhere. Sometimes they claim to have no resources, no idea how to find their way to a job in their chosen creative field.

We […]

By | August 25th, 2017|Creative Survival, The Writer's Life|0 Comments

Wisdom From Comic Con!

For the first time, I was invited to speak on a panel at Comic Con. The UCLA Extension School put a panel together of instructors who work in the entertainment industry. I was honored to be one of them.

If you’ve never been to Comic Con (I hadn’t […]

By | July 27th, 2017|Creative Survival, The Writer's Life|0 Comments

People Die

When I was in playwriting school, there were three distinct groups of artists under the umbrella of the school’s Drama Division: playwrights, directors and actors. We collaborated on occasion, but we had separate tracks in terms of classes and focus and goals. In the second year of […]

By | July 13th, 2017|Creative Survival, The Writer's Life|0 Comments

Curating, Conversing or Creating?

Someone told me this week that they’re cutting back on Facebook. I get it. It can be a time-suck. It’s tempting to spend time liking and posting and commenting. Your creative work (and other work) can be ignored in the wake of all that activity. There are […]

By | June 30th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Start Again!

I was talking, recently, to an artist friend who was experiencing some frustration about his creative life. His big issue was that he felt like his projects weren’t moving fast enough. He expressed a desire to have the artistic life of a friend.


By | June 15th, 2017|Creative Survival, The Writer's Life|0 Comments

Break All The Rules!

I’m teaching a class at the UCLA Extension School about developing your original story. Over 12 weeks, we’re exploring the basics behind TV movies, mini-series and TV shows. The class culminates in the students developing a pitch. They’ll turn in a written version and then they’ll pitch […]

By | June 1st, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

What Happens When Your TV Show Gets Cancelled

Last week when it was announced that ABC wouldn’t be renewing American Crime, I received the news like a punch in the gut.

I knew, intellectually, that it might happen: although our reviews were stellar [Deadline critic Dominic Patten called season 3 “the strongest installment yet in the Emmy-winning anthology series from John Ridley and ABC” and compared the […]

By | May 18th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments