Jonathan  O'Brien, Th.D.

Jonathan O'Brien, Th.D.


A successful program designer/grant writer for the past 15 years, Jonathan O’Brien’s offbeat, humorous approach incorporates his experiences as a network TV executive, professional screenwriter, creator/co-host of NPR’s Beyond Words and college screenwriting teacher. As part of writing teams or thorugh his own company, he has won more than $850 million in competitive grants.

Jon is a UCLA film school graduate, a former network program executive, a former juvenile hall writing instructor, and currently an ever-popular adjunct screenwriting instructor at Santa Barbara City College.

Jon has combined 35 years of diverse creative experiences with his passion for teaching to create his groundbreaking program design method. One of his educational program designs is permanently enshrined in the Smithsonian Institution. Two of the charter schools he helped to create are in the top 20 Charter Schools in the nation.

He is also the author of RIGHT BEFORE YOU WRITE: The Groundbreaking Planning Process Used to Win More Than $385 Million in Competitive Grant Awards. RIGHT BEFORE YOU WRITE has won six national book awards and was called by one reviewer, “the funniest book about writing I’ve ever read, and the most serious!”