Adaptation- Turning Novels to Screenplays and Vice-Versa

By Greater Philadelphia Film Office (other events)

Tuesday, March 12 2019 6:30 PM 8:00 PM EST

Gain expert professional insight on the creative and business best practices for adapting a novel into a screenplay and a screenplay into a novel from a publisher, an agent, a novelist and a playwright/screenwriter. 

Our panel:
Bruce Graham, playwright/screenwriter/actor 
Liz Moore, writer of fiction and creative non fiction
David Borgenicht, CEO and owner of Quirk Books
Jess Dallow, Brower Literary & Management

In this panel event, some of the many questions covered in addition to the audience Q&A will be:

  • Does an author automatically get to write the first draft script adaptation of his book when a producer options it?
  • When should a screenwriter decide to adapt one of their original scripts into a novel (reverse adaptation) -- rather than write another original screenplay?
  • Are ‘book ‘genres the same as ‘film’ or ‘TV’ genres?  When a book gets adapted into a script, can its ‘genre’ change?
  • What will it do for the screenwriter’s career? How does an author-turned-screenwriter decide what elements of a story ‘stay’ and what must ‘go’ when adapting their novel/non-fiction book into a script?
  • How should an author who adapts her own books promote herself—as a novelist or a screenwriter?  If she’s ‘both’, will she dilute her career path?
  • Publishers don’t always make an issue of securing dramatic rights to works they are acquiring—why does Quirk, and what do you do with them?
  • What can authors and publishers do to give their works the best shot at making it onto a big or little screen?
  • How can a publisher ensure that the author stays as involved as he/she wants to in the process of adapting their works?


About our panelists:

Bruce Graham is a playwright, screenwriter actor and educator. Bruce will serve as our as host. began his career as a playwright at the Philadelphia Festival Theatre for New Plays (PFT) in 1984 with Burkie. Graham became playwright-in-residence at PFT and later served two years as Artistic Director. He has received grants from the Pew Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and was a past winner of the Princess Grace Foundation Statuette. He won the Rosenthal Prize for Coyote On A Fence. He has won consecutive Barrymore Awards for Best New Play (Something Intangible and Any Given Monday) and Chicago’s Jefferson Award for The Outgoing Tide. He is the first American playwright to be invited two years in a row to the Galway Arts Festival, which produced The Outgoing Tide and Stella and Lou.

Liz Moore is an American author. After a brief time as a musician in New York City, which inspired her first novel, The Words of Every Song, Moore shifted her focus to writing. She subsequently published the novels Heft in 2012 and The Unseen World in 2016.

David Borgenicht is the owner/CEO of Quirk Books.  David is the creator of the Worst Case Scenario brand and co-author of all of the books in The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook series. He has appeared on hundreds of television and radio programs, including the Today Show, 20/20/, Late Night With Conan O’Brien, The Tyra Banks Show, and The Big Idea With Donnie Deutsch. He has also given speeches at American Express, The Commonwealth Club, The 92nd Street Y, and at dozens of other venues to students, executives, and fans of the series.

Jess Dallow is an associate literary agent with Brower Literary and Management. She has a BFA in Writing for Film and Television from the University of the Arts and worked in Hollywood for eight years before returning to her home state of NY to work in publishing. She has previously worked in film - both in entertainment and the literary world. 

Greater Philadelphia Film Office

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