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Hi there! I'm Susan and I'm mostly known as a screenwriter. 

I like to sit quietly at my desk and tell stories using pretty words and flawed characters.  


Sometimes folks want to know what I'm up to, so I made a website. I'm only slightly comfortable with this notion. 

Thanks for stopping by. It means a lot. 

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Little Swimmers in Great Lakes

a novel by Susan Brightbill

Coming soon!
About me

I am a screenwriter, indie film producer, novelist, Cheesehead and lover of salty snacks.

I write a little bit of everything – movies, TV shows, books, to-do lists and silly notes to a rambunctious five-year-old. Everything I write has a little comedy and a lot of heart. When I write, my goal is to make you feel something. If you laugh, cry or want to punch someone (preferably not me) I’ve done my job.


I’ve been a WGA writer for twenty years – selling projects to Warner Brothers, Disney, Paramount, Fox 2000, CBS, ABC, WB TV, Arnold Kopelson Prods, Lifetime and Hallmark. I’ve also been hired to write movies for Rachel Weisz, Tea Leoni and David Duchovny. 


My script “Wrecking Ball” was on the prestigious Black List and has been my calling card in LA for years. We are gearing up to shoot it. Please send thoughts, prayers and money. :)


I’ve also written two books --“The True Adventures of a Terrible Dater" which was developed as a TV show at CBS, and “Little Swimmers in Great Lakes” which will be out in 2024. 


Spring - 2024

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I’ve been developing a TV show that I’m so excited about. It’s based on Erin McMurray’s wildly popular social media account ICGMST – which is the acronym for I Can’t Get My Shit Together. If you’ve ever left groceries in your trunk, forgotten your husband’s birthday, put ice in your wine or killed your mums – this show is for you! Very excited to get this out into the world. In the meantime, you can check out her posts and follow her here: 

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Summer - 2023

If you like movies, TV shows and anything else on a screen,

please support writers and actors who are currently on strike.

We're just trying to make a living and ensure we're not replaced by robots. Yes, seriously. And let's get it done soon because we all need

season three of "The Bear."  Thank you, Chef! 

Fall - 2022

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Huge thanks to the McKnight Foundation and the Walker Museum for hosting a fun evening with the McKnight fellows in Media Arts. I've written two new scripts during my fellowship and I can't wait to get them out into the world.

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Fall - 2021

Super exciting news! "Sold Out" (the first movie I ever wrote and definitely the first movie I ever produced) has been picked up for worldwide distribution by Indie Rights. Woot woot. AND you can now stream on Amazon here. Years of work went into this. We are still recovering. It was pure joy to premiere it at Twin Cities Film Fest and finally share it with family and friends. I hope you love it. If so, please rate and review on Amazon and Rotten Tomatoes. If you don't love it, no worries. Just keep it to yourself. ;)

Summer - 2021

Well, this is some fun news. I’ve been chosen as a recipient of the McKnight Fellowship in Media Arts.

This is a huge honor and I’m in incredible company – both past and present. You can read the formal announcement here. Bottom line, I’m filled with gratitude and will be squealing with excitement about

this for the rest of the year. Also, I may need to put together an actual outfit. Please send help. 


Spring - 2021

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I’m having fun working with my friends at Everywhere Studios developing a movie that will likely air on Lifetime in 2022. It’s tentatively titled “The Signs of Christmas” and will star the wonderful Andrea Ferrell, who you may know from “Seventh Heaven” and a little movie called “Jerry Maguire.” It’s too early to spike the eggnog, but check back soon for updates.



I'm thrilled to announce that the feature film I wrote and produced, "Sold Out" is finally finished and was accepted into some cool film festivals like MSPIFF, New Hope and Twin Cities. However, due to the pandemic, all festival plans are on hold. We'll sit tight at home, wearing our masks and dreaming of the day we can safely share the movie with cast, crew and you. I'll post updates here or check out our website at

2019 has been a phenomenal year. We produced the first script I ever wrote called “Sold Out.” It’s a music-based drama about a female talent scout who takes a down-on-his-luck construction worker under her wing and helps him rise to his potential as a singer/songwriter.


We filmed the entire thing in Minneapolis during the second coldest winter in history. We worked our tails off, made lifelong friends and managed to keep all of our toes. We’re currently in post-production. With a bit of luck, it will sell in the spring and be in theaters in 2020. If you want to follow along, here’s the link to our Facebook page: Sold-Out-the-movie

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Also, if you like movies with a (*spoiler alert*) happy ending, check out “Holiday Hearts” on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. It’s based on Barbara Ankrum’s beautiful book “The Christmas Wish.” It was my first time writing or watching a Hallmark movie. They have a very loyal fan base, so it was an honor to be invited into their happy world. It’s going to run about a thousand times, so tune in anytime in the next five years. :)

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What I'm listening to:

Northern Lights Playlist 2024

If you know me, I probably made you a mix tape at some point. I served as the Music Supervisor on “Sold Out” and it brought together my love of two things – music and film. If you’re curious what I’m listening to, this page is for you. If you like what you hear, please support these artists directly. 


I’ll start with a version of “Hurricane Lamp” by my friends Jeffrey Foucault and Kris Delmhorst. 


"Hurricane Lamp"

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