NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—In late 2014, several Rutgers alumni and other community members collaborated to create an ongoing forum for aspiring New Jersey writers.

These students created a group called New Jersey Screenwriters with the mission to provide formal tools to both established and aspiring screenwriters alike, while also fostering a sense of community and mutual learning that engenders friendship, fellowship and the potential to create marketable products.

New Jersey Screenwriters began in November 2014 as a club organized by Kyra Willans.

Rishi Mathur, another leader in the new organization, said that the “goal is to connect artists from New Jersey to come together to help each other write and give ideas and to help inspire writers to keep writing and submitting content also.”

“We also wanted a platform to learn from distinguished guests like Rutgers professors and writers for Hollywood films,” Mathur said.

Since it’s inception the group has become an eclectic mix of both students and professionals.

On February 16, New Jersey Screenwriters had its first guest speaker in an ongoing screenwriting workshop series, Patrick Stettner.

Stettner a renowned director has an MFA in Film Directing from Columbia University and has recently taught in Columbia’s graduate film program.

Variety named the award-winning director one of the top directors to watch in 2006.

Patrick Stettner has directed original films starring Robin Williams and Sandra Oh (The Night Listener, 2006), Stockard Channing (The Business of Strangers, 2001), and Allison Janney (Flux, 1996).

The lecture was held at Alfa Art Gallery located on 108 Church Street, New Brunswick.

The hour-long session was attended by about 15 aspiring writers, and it focused on drama in screenwriting: primarily structure, elements of suspense, and dramatic irony.

It was  immediately followed by an engaging question and answer discussion.

On Thursdy February 19, New Jersey Screenwriters will again be meeting at the Alfa Art Gallery for a film screening. filmLAB, a program of local organization coLAB Arts, is hosting the screening of the 2005 film Water (Deepa Mehta).

The hosts explained, “Water is a beautiful and poignant film that makes a powerful comment on traditional Hindu beliefs. Water is a dark look into the tales of rural Indian widows in the 1940s and covers controversial subjects such as misogyny, child marriage, and ostracism”

There will be many opportunities over the coming months to get involved with New Jersey Screenwriters. Anyone interested in joining can sign up through the meet up page at:

More information about the independent movie screening and future events is available at