Gill Dennis

Our beloved friend and colleague Gill Dennis died Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at his writing desk at home in Portland. Gill was a staunch friend to the Community of Writers for more than thirty years, a founder (along with Tom Rickman) of the Screenwriting program, and an inspiring and teacher in the Fiction program, where for many years his “Finding the Story” workshop has been highly sought-after and a life-changing elective. He is best known for his screenplays of Walk the Line,Return to Oz, and Forever. Until his death, he was Master Filmmaker in Residence at the American Film Institute. He was a highly accomplished writer and a widely read appreciator of contemporary literature, always enthusiastic, generous and encouraging. He was deeply invested in the writers he met in Squaw Valley whether published or not. Gill’s jubilantly funny humor and his warm self-effacing manner were tempered by a trenchant insight into his fellow human beings and the narratives we devise to understand them. All these traits were treasured resources in the critical world of a summer writing conference.