John Yorke has worked with subject specialists to devise online courses that help people put the philosophy outlined in Into the Woods to practical use.

  • Discover how narrative works in drama, factual TV, script development, video games and business.
  • Understand the practical applications of story structure common to every discipline: building empathy, creating order out of chaos, communicating with clarity and leaving an audience feeling satisfied.
  • Learn using practical exercises based on real-world examples.
  • Fit learning around a busy schedule, with 24/7 access wherever you are in the world.
  • Suitable for anyone who needs to create stories with impact, from freelancers and early-career creatives, to execs and teams.
  • Devised in partnership with specialist online educators Professional Writing Academy, the UK’s experts in online writing courses.

John yorke, online courses into the woods, phil peel

John teaching at a London Screenwriters’ Festival masterclass. Pic: Phil Peel

“Absolutely the best training course I have ever been on.
Fascinating, fun and really helpful. Just fantastic.”

BECTU Vision and Drama Training 2018


Learn the story-structure essentials key to retaining players and crafting richer, more compelling games.

This seven-week course, devised by John Yorke and narrative game designer Caroline Marchal, will introduce you to the principles of story structure and how to apply them to video games. It’s for anyone working in gaming who wants to craft richer and more engaging games, as well as writers intrigued by the possibilities of interactive stories.
Learn about the relationship between player and protagonist, discover how to merge story and gameplay, master story-structure techniques for games, and understand how to work as part of a development team.

13 January 2020

£1,200 (inc. VAT where applicable)


Find out why all successful stories share an underlying structure, and shape up a treatment for an original drama script.

This 16-week course will help you master the essential building blocks of story and how to structure them to leave your audience wanting more. It’s a great introduction to narrative for screenwriters and makes a perfect back-to-basics refresher if you have more experience, are stuck with a script or are looking to move into drama from another area.
Suitable for individuals and teams involved in writing or developing drama for TV, film and stage, including writers, directors, producers, technicians, execs and actors.

20 January 2020

£900 (inc. VAT where applicable)


Hone or kickstart your script-development skills for the new generation of TV drama.

On this course you’ll discover the underlying structure of all successful drama, learn why and how stories work, and practise applying this understanding to your work in script development. There’s a special focus on High End TV (HETV) drama.
This online course, made possible by Screenskills, is based on John Yorke’s Into the Woods, and will give you the skills to edit HETV drama scripts and work productively with writers, bringing together notes from large and diverse teams to craft more effective storylines both over individual episodes and across series.

27 January 2020

£900 (inc. VAT where applicable)


Find out why all factual programmes share an underlying structure, and how to apply it to create more dramatic documentaries.

John has worked with former Head of Channel 4 documentaries Peter Dale to create this online course, made possible by Screenskills.  You’ll master the essential elements common to all successful stories, dramatic or factual, and apply them to shape documentaries and factual content that speaks to audiences around the world.
Suitable for people working in factual TV – APs, directors, writers and execs –  as well as freelancers and those looking to break into the industry.

3 February 2020

£900 (inc. VAT where applicable)


Learn how to bring business stories to life – and what organisations can learn from the movies.

All aspects of business rely on stories: brand identity, human resources, product development, marketing, case studies, corporate reports and promotional content. All are about effective communication, making story an essential tool for business.
This online course, developed with Nick Parker and made possible by Screenskills, is based on John Yorke’s Into the Woods, the bestselling book on story structure. It will give you and your teams the skills to create meaningful stories for your organisation and the people you engage with – employees, customers, suppliers, partners and funders.

24 February 2020

£1,020 (inc. VAT where applicable)


We can also work with you to make a course or training programme tailored to your needs.

Discover how story can help you do things better with our seminars, masterclasses, conference keynotes, mentoring and consultancy for business, creative and education organisations.

More information


screenskills funding bursary opportunities

Story for Documentary & Factual TV, Story for Business and Story for Script Development courses have been made possible by the support of Screenskills, and have been approved as part of an informal or formal (CPD) programme. made possible by the support of Screenskills, and has been approved as part of an informal or formal continuing professional development (CPD) programme.

You may be eligible for a training bursary of up to £1000 for this course. Apply direct to ScreenSkills here, at least FOUR WEEKS before the course start date. 


I often think the mark of a great teacher is one who leaves you feeling like you should have already known everything that was covered, so obvious is its sense.

BBC Writers Festival attendee

I really enjoyed John’s dynamism. His lecture – even though informal – was well presented. I think we were all captivated for those two hours.

De Montfort University, Leicester, lecture attendee

That was an amazing class. It clarified areas that I have struggled to grasp. I would jump at the chance to take another class with John.

Galway Film Centre talk attendee

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