Writer in Residence

 Writer in Residence

Michael Graf

About Michael
Emmy Award winning writer/director Michael Graf has written a number of award winning screenplays that have garnered international acclaim. THE LAST INDIAN WAR has been making waves around the world winning Best Feature Screenplay honors by unanimous vote at the Paris Arts & Movie Awards Festival in France, the Culture & Heritage Award at the Fresh Voices Screenwriting Competition in Los Angeles, Best Historical Screenplay at Table Read My Screenplay contest in Park City, Utah, Best Screenplay at the Bahamas International Film Festival, Best Sports Screenplay at the Las Vegas International Screenplay Competition and took first place honors for best Biopic at the Fade In Awards in Los Angeles.

His screenplay, THROWING HAMMERS, which he is also directing, is currently in development and won the Filmmatic Screenplay Awards for Best Screenplay, was a National Lampoon’s Search For Comedy Gold Finalist, named a Hot 100 screenplay by Capital Fund Screenplay Competition and won the Los Angeles Independent Feature Film Awards for Best screenplay.

Graf’s first screenplay, WINTER OF FROZEN DREAMS, produced for the Lifetime Network, starred Thora Birch and Dean Winters, and won top honors at the IFP Market in NYC. Michael’s also a working member of the Director’s Guild of America and lives on a small Wisconsin farm with his artist wife Linda Massey, a miniature horse, and three Jack Russell terriers.

Residency Project:

During the residency Michael will be researching and writing a screenplay about the effects of global climate change. The dramatic story is set some ten to fifteen years after the collapse of Antarctic glaciers and the melt off of the Greenland Ice Shelf.

He envisions “lab shadowing” researchers and scientists working on climate change, meteorology and dendrology/arboriculture with the goal of incorporating factually correct science, accurate scientific terminology, and translating the most current and cutting edge theories and understanding of climate change into the easy to understand vernacular of pop culture.

The screenplay will also challenge gender stereotypes in science and filmed entertainment genres.


More about our Writer in Residence Program 

Are you working on a science story? novel? script? play?
Are you looking for science inspiration and access to cutting-edge scientists for your next story?

Focus on your science story at the UW-Madison campus in Madison, Wisconsin’s capitol city. At the Discovery Building on UW-Madison’s campus, you’ll have access to cutting-edge science research and office space. And, to further inspire your writing – Madison offers 15,000 acres of lakes to explore – not to mention the UW-Madison Arboretum.

Learn more here. 

Writer in Residence Program – in a nutshell

The Science to Script Writer in Residence program is located at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery within the Discovery Building. Residency appointments timelines and lengths vary depending on writer needs, project scope and scientist availability. The Writer in Residence program supports writers crafting works featuring science within their field (scriptwriting, poetry, playwright, spoken word, music, etc.) The writer residency may be renewable based on previous semester participation and progress.

As the Writer in Residence, writers may have:
– access to UW scientists
– opportunities to shadow labs
– ability to host science inquiries in the Discovery Building and utilize ID hub spaces for writing
– access to volunteer student and community actors for closed readings

Expectations for the Writer in Residence:
– complete a science-inspired work during the residency
– recognition of the Science to Script Writer in Residence program at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery in publications or as otherwise appropriate
– write a one-page description of their Writer in Residency experience
– write one page about a science concept they are now fascinated with due to the residency
– attend all Speed Science-ing events
– implement one science writing outreach event at the Discovery Building (optional; may be in collaboration with Speed Science-ing)
– participate in media highlights or inquiries about their residency

To be considered for the Writer in Residence appointment, writers must:
– be working on a science work to be published within their field
– be a working professional within a storytelling field
– have experience leading, hosting or teaching storytelling outreach events or classes within their field

Interested in becoming our next Writer in Residence? Contact Ginger, Program Co-Director at ginger.ann@wid.wisc.edu