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Speaking the Youth: Writing Teenage Series

24.02.2020 - Julia Penner, Ronja Salmi, Sandra Stöckmann, moderated by Meredith Burkholder

Want to sound like a teenager? LOL! Because authenticity is easily at risk when creating teenage dialogues or scripting slang, we’ve invited the creators of popular youth series to share their secrets about writing short form content. Julia Penner and Sandra Stöckmann from the authors' collective Q3 are the cowriters of the series Druck, Germany's successful adaptation of the online phenomenon Skam. They are in great company with Finnish social media storyteller Ronja Salmi, creator of Karma, the world’s first Instagram Stories series. Drawing examples from their latest creations, the writers illustrate how they grab the attention and keep the trust of young audiences.


Julia Penner

photo of Julia Penner
Julia Penner is a Berlin-based screenwriter, who previously worked as a theatre-trained actress. In 2014, she founded the writers collective Schreibkollektiv Q3 together with six other screenwriters. She is head writer of the successful Web/TV series DRUCK (seasons three and four) about teenagers in Berlin. She is currently working on the next season. Her feature MY BEST FRIEND VOLKER about a drag queen in the suburbs, will be shot this summer for NDR.

Ronja Salmi

photo of Ronja  Salmi
Ronja Salmi is an author, journalist and the CEO of Ryöväri, a company specializing in social media storytelling. They launched the world’s first Instagram Stories drama series, KARMA, and Finland’s first chat-fiction series, GIRLSQUAD. She hosts her own TV show WHAT’S UP, RONJA SALMI? where she works together with her Instagram community. Since 2018, she has been the programme head for the Helsinki Book Fair, the biggest literature event in the Nordics.

Sandra Stöckmann

photo of Sandra Stöckmann
Sandra Stöckmann is a Berlin-based screenwriter. In 2014, she founded the writers collective Schreibkollektiv Q3 together with six other screenwriters. She is head writer of the Grimme-nominated Web/TV series DRUCK (season four) about teenagers in Berlin and is working on the next season. In 2019, she screened her docufiction STUNDEN DER ENTSCHEIDUNG about Angela Merkel and the refugee crisis.

Moderated by

Meredith Burkholder

photo of Meredith Burkholder

Meredith Burkholder is the founder and CEO of Webfest Berlin, the first international short form series festival in Germany. She is co-author of, "Short, Narrative and Serialized: A Complete Guide to the Web Series Phenomenon" (2019). She is a regular speaker and moderator at TV series events around the world and consults on short form series development, production, and sales. The sixth edition of Webfest Berlin will take place on Dec 4-5, 2020.