Thursday, February 22, 2024

Glass City Screenwriters: the Power of Connection and Creativity

FilmToledo, a non-profit group bringing outside film productions to the Toledo area, acts as an invaluable hub for local filmmakers to meet, network and support each other.  Local filmmakers also rely on the skills of screenwriters. 

Glass City Screenwriters started 8 years ago with a mission to gather like-minded writers who want to learn and connect. Writing can be a solitary practice, making it tough for writers to connect with each other and with others in the industry. As founder Virginia Shine points out, “(Screenwriters) work on stories sometimes for years, and until recently, not many were talking about screenwriting in Toledo, Ohio.” 

Shine, a self-taught screenwriter with a degree in psychology and a passion for writing supernatural horror and grounded science fiction, is a Toledo area native, who has written about the area in The Legend of Holcomb Road and Old West End.

Shine credits the Toledo Lucas County Public Library with helping to  grow the fledgling group. Glass City Screenwriters hold regular meetings in reserved Library conference rooms, allowing those curious to experience the group, explore their own writing and to connect with local film creators.  Those regular meetings, along with more informal coffee shop meetups, place writers in a social but focused environment where they can benefit from advice and the creative inspiration from interacting with other writers.

Local Screenwriters, Local Films

Over the past few years, Glass City Screenwriters has been involved in short films that have screened at festivals and won a few awards.  “This started as fun and practice, but our passions push us to stretch further each time,” Shine explains, adding, “We all want to create something an audience is entertained or moved by. This year our (2022) film, Old West End, continues to play at festivals. It has screened locally at The Valentine Theater, Maumee Theater and the Carriage House in the Old West End. It’s been wonderful to share the film with so many people, and open eyes to the beauty of the area.”

RELATED: Toledo Writer’s Workshop: Where Dreams Become Reality

Shine works closely with Michael DeSanto, the founder of FilmToledo. Both DeSanto and Shine feel a strong connection to the area and want to share what Toledo has to offer in terms of both stories and locations. FilmToledo has been successful in bringing local and outside productions by showcasing Toledo’s versatility with shooting locations and an awareness of opportunities that the City offers. 

A New Project

After working on the film in Toledo’s Old West End for a year and a half, Shine became involved in a project that she’s exceptionally passionate about: a biopic/documentary about Joyce Perrin, whose “Any Wednesday” gathering in the Old West End made her a legend in the Toledo Arts scene. 

“Sometimes a creative work becomes part of you and the universe guides things to put you in the right place at the right time,” Shine says. “Even though this is the first I have written in this genre, I was chosen to write it because of (my) connection (to the neighborhood). Our team has been working very hard on research and timelines. We are excited to be moving forward to the interview phase of the project soon.”

Find out more about Glass City Screenwriters at

Shine invites anyone who knew Joyce Perrin to share their stories for the documentary. Contact her at

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