writer NELL SCOVELL: “A Way with Words”


Friday, January 22, 2016, 4:00pm to 5:30pm


Fong Auditorium, Boylston Hall 101

Presented by: Office for the Arts in association with the Harvard Alumni Association
Admission Free: No Tickets Required; free and open to all Harvard affiliates and the public. Registration is closed, but some seating may be available at the door starting 15 minutes prior to start time. Admission first come, first served, subject to venue capacity.
Blog post: Nell Scovell '82: Write now. Sleep later.

Nell Scovell '82—a frequent contributor to Vanity Fair and The New York Times, with TV credits that include “The Simpsons,” “Monk,” “NCIS,” “Late Night with David Letterman” and her own hit series “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch”—says that “what you do with words determines what words do to others; they can be arranged to educate, inspire, and entertain. And you can do all three at once.” Scovell will discuss how to jump between literary genres including journalism, book writing, screenplays, speechwriting and television, each form having its own set of structural rules and stylistic demands. If you are interested in a broad range of writing that includes both fiction and non-fiction, prose and dialogue, this discussion will challenge you to try new genres and expand the way you express yourself.

A native of Newton, Massachusetts, Nell Scovell was the first staff writer hired by Spy magazine in 1986. Tina Brown recruited her to work at Vanity Fair, contributing quirky visual features about money and culture. Scovell wrote a spec script for “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show,” which was bought, and after serving as story editor for the final season of “Newhart” she worked for David Letterman. As a television writer, Scovell wrote the season two episode of “The Simpsons” entitled “One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish.” Other TV writing credits include “The Wilton North Report,” “Coach,” “Monk,” “Murphy Brown,” “Charmed,” “Newhart,” “The Critic,” “NCIS,” and many others. She also wrote the season two episode of “Space Ghost Coast to Coast” entitled “Urges.”

Outside of television, Scovell has written for Vogue, Rolling Stone, Self, Tatler, and The New York Times Magazine. She currently blogs for Vanity Fair’s web site. Scovell has also directed two made for television movies: “Hayley Wagner, Star” for Showtime; and “It Was One of Us” for Lifetime. Scovell also co-wrote Sheryl Sandberg’s 2013 best-seller, “Lean In.”