Welcome to my website, where you can find out about my books, new writing and events. I hope you find something useful or interesting, whether you are a writer or a reader or both!

The Woman in the Story: Writing Memorable Female Characters in Trouble, in Love and in Power – Second Edition!

Well, it's here. The brand new, fully revised Second Edition of my industry bestselling guide for screenwriters – and for anyone curious about creating characters and stories.

Since publication in 2010, the book was the catalyst for my own ‘heroine’s journey’ around the world, from the US to Australia. I’ve had a wonderful time talking, teaching, and thinking female protagonists with all kinds of creative minds – writers, directors and producers. It has always been a two way learning process, one that remains a privilege.

With a foreword by Hollywood producer, Susan Cartsonis, the Second Edition has new case studies based on some of my favourite film and TV shows over the past few years. I have also added to the range of creative models to inspire your writing.

I’m thrilled the book has been useful for many people, and I hope you enjoy the Second Edition has much.

You can buy the book here:

Woman in the Story


What people say about the Second Edition:

‘For anyone in the film industry – or anyone wanting to understand the inner machinations of the film industry – this book is a must.’

Celia Walden, US Editor-at-Large, Daily Telegraph


‘The Woman in the Story provides a creative blueprint to inspire screenwriters. It gives writers looking to create smart, realistic characters the tools and advice to counteract biases and stereotypes. The goal of this is to increase strong and complex female characters on screen. This is something that is essential to the film landscape of today and for the future.’

 Melissa Silverstein, Founder and Publisher, Women and Hollywood


'More relevant than ever. Helen Jacey’s insights into female characters in movies is both thought provoking and timely. Compulsive reading for anyone interested in films or film-making’.

Julian Farino, Director, Entourage, Marvellous, The Oranges, Ballers


‘Helen's book has played an important role in the efforts to change the landscape of women characters in film. The new revisions are proof that females in film are increasingly a force to be reckoned with but that there is still work to be done. The Woman in the Story points the way ahead and is a timely reminder to all filmmakers to create complex, dynamic, authentic and truly representative roles for women in the 21st Century.’

Lou Hamilton, Author & Creator of Brave New Girl- How to be Fearless.


I love the way this book is so thorough, but also encouraging and never daunting - making it seem perfectly possible to easily create a wide variety of credible, relatable, multi-layered female characters. And how great to find a book like this with so many current references. 

Tim John, Screenwriter, A Street Cat Named Bob