|Writer||Twitter Handle||Script||Genre||Program||Bio (limited to 1200 characters)||Partner Bio|
When rookie commercial airline captain Kendra Campbell averts an in-flight disaster, the publicity from her act of heroism draws forth a dangerous threat from the life that she left behind.
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|Drama||Disney | ABC Writing Program - Finalist|
WB Writers' Workshop - Finalist
Imagine Impact2 - Finalist
|Amanda Parham is a drama writer from Walnut Creek, California. The daughter of an alcoholic bank president mom and an unfaithful rattlesnake wrangler-turned-chemical engineer dad, Amanda learned how to handle snakes, combative personalities, and dysfunctional relationships. But the reptile house wasn’t the only snake pit she wandered into. From fly-fishing to the misogynistic world of finance, Amanda often found herself the only woman in intensely male-dominated arenas. Amanda’s family dysfunction also fueled her passion for adventure; she was more comfortable anywhere in the world than at home. But it was only after surviving melanoma at 23 that Amanda set out to reach all seven continents by age 30 (a goal she accomplished by age 28). Whether backpacking across China, living with a Muslim family in Zanzibar, or exploring the Antarctic Peninsula, Amanda’s adventures have given her a wealth of stories and characters to draw from. Amanda’s unconventional upbringing also taught her the importance of the family you choose versus the one you’re born into, and the family Amanda chose is her husband Mark, an aerospace engineer and research scientist, and their three-year-old daredevil son.|
|Alexander De Koning||@blahzayfaire||ERA OF GOOD FEELING|
After being transferred to a new school, a muslim boy with a talent for puzzles participates in a National Spelling Bee, facing prejudice as he advances through the rounds of the competition.
|Drama||Disney | ABC Writing Program - Finalist||Growing up in a military household, I was constantly exposed to new perspectives while moving from country to country or state to state. I was always gaining and losing conveniences, though I never quite knew what a special gift it was until I was 15, when I thought this little craft called screenwriting would take me places, only upon pure speculation. Little did I know that all these experiences and perspectives could feed into something. And 9 years later, I still write to take me places, and it’s gotten me pretty far. Having lived in Germany, Kuwait, Texas, and Washington D.C., I found myself to be culturally sensitive as a part of my upbringing. I was able to combine my personality and my craft, realizing why I chose this career path in the first place: to use myself, to use what I know and my experiences to contribute to something bigger than myself. But to take that a step further, I crave intimacy through something that’s meaningful to me. Through making films, I make friends and find a connection with others through a common entry point. And from working various jobs in television, I’ve only further deepened my understanding of writing for the medium and appreciation for other people’s views and interests, because I now realize that writing episodic or serialized television requires collaboration and compromise. It’s about empathizing with each other’s voices. It’s not only talent that needs to be brought to the table, but hard work, constantly rewriting knowing that the result can be better.|
| Ayla Harrison |
& Jason Director
A snapshot bio about the Clinton / Lewinsky scandal from Monica's POV.
|Drama||Disney | ABC Writing Program - Finalist||Ayla Harrison grew up in the backwoods of Tallahassee, Florida, and her life was a series of near-death experiences from the moment she was born. A rare retinal disease caused her to spend three months in an ICU, and she lost more than half her vision before age one. Daughter to a disability rights activist father and a mother of Cherokee-Choctaw heritage, Ayla was a plain girl with a bad ten-dollar haircut. An easy target for bullies, she was once forced to eat a bug. Undeterred, Ayla spent summers learning to hunt deer. Expected to study medicine in college, Ayla chose to pursue theatre. After college she re-located to Washington DC where she taught inner-city youth a class on hip-hop and Shakespeare. She experienced a DC ER first-hand due to stopping a student fight—a chair was thrown across the room. Ready for a new challenge, Ayla moved to LA when she was accepted into UCLA’s MFA playwriting program. But eighty miles outside the city, she flipped her Corolla. A barbed wire fence saved her life. Later, as a college professor, she survived going completely blind, stalking, and gun violence. As a result, Ayla tries to make every minute count.||Raised in a blue-collar suburb outside New York City, Jason Director was an outspoken alt-punk who could hustle his way into anything. While still in high school, Jason talked his way into becoming the maitre’d for an underground gambling ring where he witnessed a myriad of white-collar crimes. While working construction with his father during the summer, he stole ninety-eight doors out of a mall when a contractor refused to pay. Jason unpacked these experiences at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, but after college found himself in the one situation he couldn’t talk his way out of—fighting cancer. Jason learned he had neurofibromas embedded in his right arm. Within weeks his father was also diagnosed with an aggressive stage four cancer, mesothelioma. He was given six months to live. During Jason’s recovery, he took care of his father and chronicled on video how his family was torn apart by asbestos-related lung cancer. Jason’s video was responsible for a civic protest against asbestos corporations. Today, Jason has curbed most of his rebellious quirks, and when he’s not writing he helps oversee a scholarship for high schoolers looking to learn a trade.|
After a Filipina gangster is released after several years in prison, she discovers that her family is on the verge of losing everything due to the crimes of her past. She must reenter a life of crime in order to save her family – even if it means endangering her newfound freedom.
|Drama||Disney | ABC Writing Program - Finalist|
NBC's Writers on the Verge - Fellow
|Celena Cipriaso has been a finalist for the 2019 Disney ABC TV Writing Fellowship and the 2019 MACRO Episodic Lab. She also was a fellow of the 2017-2018 NBC Writer’s on The Verge Program and the 2018 Writer’s Assistant Network Fellowship. She has written for All My Children, worked as a script coordinator for History’s Knightfall and The Arrangement on E!, and was also a writer’s assistant on Starz’s Teresa. Prior to her TV life, she was a pop culture and beer journalist writing for TheRoot.com, Draft, Bitch and CNN.com. She also was once a playwright and spoken word poet who has had her work performed throughout the Northeast, Chicago and San Francisco. She first became hooked on television as a child watching soaps with her Filipina grandmother so both of them could learn to speak better English|
|Phllip Yaw Domfeh||@philipp_yaw||STREET SONGS: THE LEGEND OF RICK JAMES|
After the commercial flop of his latest album, an 80s Pop Star reluctantly returns to his humble beginnings and faces his personal demons all while writing his greatest work yet!
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|Comedy||Disney | ABC Writing Program - Finalist||Born in Queens, NY to both Jamaican and Ghanaian parents, Phillip Yaw Domfeh is a Comedy Writer hailing from "Hard Hitting" New Britain, CT. At the age of sixteen, Phillip shot his first and only gun in Tulsa, Oklahoma under the guidance of his friend Bill Roberson, a recently divorced and severely depressed Itinerant Preacher. The items used for target practice, medicine bottles of antidepressants, were likely unused. After completing his Master's Degree in Strategic Public Relations at USC, he traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico to sing and perform country music standards with a Comedian/Recovering Sex Addict at a BBQ Festival because he couldn't find a job. The gig only paid $150 a day but the short ribs were delicious.|
|Maurin Mwombela||@maurinyourmouth||GET OUT OF MY SPACE!|
When NASA is unable to fund the first manned mission to Mars, they are forced to turn the mission into a reality TV show, leaving no-nonsense astronaut Alison stuck on board a spaceship with a group of nutty contestants.
|Comedy||Disney | ABC Writing Program - Finalist||I was born in Washington DC, a middle child of six. Like the city itself, I was always a hard person to label (seriously, is it a city? A district? A state?). Being the only mixed-race student at both an all-black elementary school and then an almost all-white prep school meant that I never quite fit into a box. But between my love for science, sports and theater, I always resisted limiting myself. After spending a summer doing research at the NIH, I decided to enter college as a bioengineering major. That lasted for a semester. I found my true passion writing and performing in a comedy troupe where I realized I would do anything for a laugh, even performing through a concussion against my doctor’s orders. I moved to LA with a job as a script PA on a reality talk show. That lasted for nine days. I reached out to my network and was able to find my current job as the writer’s PA on the Goldbergs. Here, I’ve fostered great relationships and learned about the TV writing process during the time I’ve spent in the writer’s room. I am hoping to get my first opportunity to write professionally and bring my unique blend of interests and experiences to the table.|
|JohnTom Knight||@johntomknight||FANTASY LAND|
When two friends in their mid-20s abandon their small town lives to pursue Hollywood careers in Los Angeles, they uncover a fantastical world living right behind the scenes.
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|Comedy||Disney | ABC Writing Program - Finalist||Growing up Mormon in Tulsa, Oklahoma, it was difficult to connect with kids at my school. This led to a lot of time alone in my room watching tv and playing video games. Of course, being infatuated with R-rated movies and violent video games made it difficult to connect with the kids at church. My obvious Mormon shortcomings led my parents to send me to Mormon Pioneer Reenactment Camp when I was 14. They assigned me and some other kids a “Ma” and a “Pa” (these were young married couples looking to get a taste of what parenting is like) and we pushed all of our possessions in handcarts for 20 miles over the course of a week. At one moment, my assigned brothers and sisters threatened to beat me and break my glasses because I was disinterested in the square dancing competition. The bizarre trauma inflicted during that week has served me well in comedy writing. So, I wrote plays. My local theatre agreed to put them on, and those scripts landed me scholarships to attend college. While I was confused and unhappy for much of my childhood, I found peace in making work that connected with people. Today, you can find me still playing video games and still disinterested in square dancing.|
|Valeska Rodriguez||@ValeskaRod||MIAMI LEGACY|
As estranged siblings feud over control of their mother’s Miami major league soccer team, they find themselves tangled in a web of lies, affairs, and revenge.
|Drama||Disney | ABC Writing Program - Finalist||Valeska Rodriguez is drama writer from Miami, FL. Raised by a Chilean stay-at-home mother and an Ecuadorian architect father, her upbringing was a fusion between US and South American cultures. Though she has an older brother and younger sister, she likes to believe she somehow managed to escape unscathed from middle child syndrome. At age 20, Valeska graduated from Florida International University with a double-major in Marketing and International Business. Before pursuing writing, she was a digital marketing analyst at a start-up tech company and spent a year as a substitute teacher at her Catholic high school, which is responsible for her everlasting sense of guilt. Valeska recently wrote an episode of Netflix's upcoming Fast & Furious: Spy Racers series. Previously, she was the Writers' Assistant on ABC's Grand Hotel and Netflix’s Chambers.|
|Victor M. Dueñas||@VictorMDuenas97||SLICE OF LIFE|
Two gay divorced fathers move their family from LA to a small California town after one of the husbands discovers he has a young daughter living there. Once in the town, they’ll struggle to uphold their urban gay identity as they co-parent alongside a conservative ex-wife, help run an overbearing mother’s pie shop, and coexist with the town’s quirky locals.
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|Comedy||Disney | ABC Writing Program - Finalist||Victor M. Dueñas is a Mexican-American comedy writer and director based in LA. His offbeat bicultural humor and love for storytelling are the result of having hella funny immigrant parents and early exposure to The Golden Girls. As a stand-up comic, he’s performed at legendary clubs like The Laugh Factory and The Comedy Store. For almost a decade, Victor worked as a school teacher and a popular kids party clown named Patches. In 2014, he left teaching and hung up his big red clown shoes to join the writing team of the Emmy-nominated Hulu original series East Los High. Two years later, he was chosen by the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) for its TV Writers Program sponsored by ABC and NBC. In 2018, he won a highly-coveted spot in Imagine Impact, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer's content accelerator program made up of 26 writers from around the globe. Later that same year, he was named a finalist of the Disney/ABC Writing Program. And in 2019, Victor had the great pleasure of co-writing and directing a short film called Bibi starring Academy Award nominee Adriana Barraza. The film will have its world premiere in the summer of this year. Currently, you can find Victor entertaining television audiences with a blend of heart and humor as a writer and segment producer on the beloved bilingual late night talk show Noches con Platanito, a show hosted by a clown. Coincidence? He thinks not.|
|Brittany Middleton |
& Shane Tully
An outspoken 24-year-old internet star, who is black, discovers that her biological father is a white, Trumpian billionaire and that she has a white brother. Her new family forces her to defend her woke persona and threatens the future of her popular Instagram Live show, Can't Relate.
|Comedy||Disney | ABC Writing Program - Finalist||That are not too many writing teams more unique than the duo that is Middleton and Tully. Britt, an African-American woman from Florida who prefers collard green quiche to Kool-Aid, and Shane, a white accountant from Boston, who loves improv comedy and the statistical analysis of basketball, may come from two different worlds, but their goals are the same: to create works of writing that people can connect and laugh with. Britt and Shane came together two years ago and have been writing ever since. You can find Britt online with the Nine Network as their global entertainment producer, and find Shane at the next PGA Tour event with Wasserman Media Group as the Director of Golf Finances.|
Faced with hard financial times, a straight-laced aspiring politician and his wife take a roommate-- a polyamorous, pansexual hipster. His influence might just save their marriage... if it doesn't completely throw their lives into chaos first.
|Drama||Disney | ABC Writing Program - Finalist||Brian Otaño grew up in Brooklyn, NY, where he worked as a playwright and a scenic artist at the Metropolitan Opera for nine years before moving to LA. He is currently developing new plays with Geffen Playhouse Writers’ Room and CTG Writers Workshop. His short film Call Me Daddy (winner, Best Narrative Short, Women's Film Festival; Best Comedy, Official Latino Film Festival) is currently making the festival rounds. Most recently, he co-wrote You Across From Me, the 2018 Humana Festival PTC show. Full length plays include The Dust, Dolores Slayborne, Tara, Zero Feet Away and The Dooley Street Trilogy. His work has been performed, developed and workshopped with New York Theater Workshop, Roundabout Theatre Company, Page 73, Ars Nova, Atlantic Theater Company, IAMA Theater Company, Actors Theater of Louisville, New Dramatists and SPACE on Ryder Farm. Residencies/Fellowships: NHMC TV Writers Fellowship, Page 73’s Interstate 73 Writers Group, New York Theater Workshop 2050 Fellowship, New Dramatists Van Lier Fellowship, ArsNova’s Playgroup. Brian was a two-time finalist for the Disney | ABC CTDI Writing Program. Education: BFA, Dramatic Writing (SUNY Purchase).|
|Xavier Stiles||@xavierstiles||THE FLAG|
After the passing of their father, two brothers inherit the most dangerous gang in Los Angeles at the dawn of a supernatural turf war.
|Drama||Disney | ABC Writing Program - Finalist||Xavier Stiles is a writer born in LA and raised in the STL. He's the product of a strong single-mother, teacher, social worker, and a retired LAPD officer father from Compton. He credits both cities and parents for his authentic blend of narrative, art, and diversity into media. He’s been selected as a finalist for the ABC-Disney Creative Development & Inclusion Writing Program Fellowship, a quarter-finalist for the Final Draft Big Break Contest, and Semi-finalist for the Macro Episodic Lab. He’s a former bouncer, a type 1 diabetic, and a comic book enthusiast with an observant eye and way with words. His expertise in sub-culture and a unique passion for television are just a few of the qualities he brings to a project.|
BLURS is a half hour comedy series that reveals the lives of the black people who were hidden in the blurry backgrounds of our favorite 80s and 90s films and TV shows.
|Comedy||NBC Late Night Writers Workshop||Jonterri Gadson is a staff writer on a half hour animated comedy that will air on Adult Swim in 2020. She wrote and directed the comedic short film, Bliss House, which premiered at the 2017 American Black Film Festival. She is also a creative writing professor who teaches comedy writing, screenwriting, and poetry/fiction/creative nonfiction and she’s the editor of Wit Tea, the humor section of The Offing literary magazine. She has published three books of poetry, most recently, Blues Triumphant (YesYes Books, 2016). She writes and directs sketch comedy and won a development deal for an original sketch show based on her pitch at the New York Television Festival. She's an African American writer who moved to Idaho when she was 10 and boy-crazy, but didn't get to see herself getting the guy on screens or in real life, so she has a deep need to see herself represented. She writes to provide others from marginalized groups opportunities to see themselves in stories that portray them as not only complex, but desirable. That’s why her comedy is funny and meaningful with a sneak attack of social commentary.|
|Amitabh Klemm||@amitabhklemm||SWING STATE|
Happily married with two kids, a sexually adventurous Ohio power couple decide to burn the political system to the ground when they are blackmailed into running against each other for the United States Senate.
|Drama||Disney | ABC Writing Program - Finalist||Amitabh Klemm is a drama writer with a biracial diversity background looking to staff. He specializes in smart characters, sharp dialogue, and creating scenarios where escape seems impossible. You can check out some of his writing on the WGA site: https://directories.wga.org/member/27e992a4-5a4c-40d9-a836-b2dbc5d9b5cd and get to know him better on his professional site: amitabhklemm.com|
Inspired by true events, when a brilliant but traumatized former forensic psychologist discovers a series of murders of young African American girls in Compton, CA, she goes on a rogue investigation to catch a disturbed serial killer and must fight against the corrupt cops who are trying to bury the case at all costs.
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|Drama||Disney | ABC Writing Program - Finalist||Camille is a thriving writer/director who has sold screenplays to major studios including Sony, Universal, New Line Cinema, and Disney. While on a brief hiatus from the entertainment industry, Camille put her love for Latin culture and Spanish to good use as a senior copywriter and marketing exec for a Hispanic TV Network. When she’s not cooking up stories that put women and people of color in roles we’ve never seen them in before (read: thriller, sci-fi, superhero), Camille spends her time as a university professor. She credits her students for slowly turning her into a fangirl. Recently, Camille was a finalist and the drama alternate in the 2019 Disney|ABC TV Writing Fellowship. Only close friends know her superhero name, DJ Cammy Cam. Yes, she was once part of a three-girl rap group that almost got signed to a major record deal. If you bribe her, she may just spit a few rhymes for you.|
|Rochan Liu||@RochanLiu||LIBERTY LANE|
With the help of her undocumented staff, a Caucasian mother-of-three and her son’s Asian-American ex-girlfriend, run an illegal Luxury Maternity Hotel catering to the Chinese Elite, who want to give their unborn children everything they can dream of, including a US passport.
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|Comedy||Disney | ABC Writing Program - Finalist||Rochan grew up on a table grape farm in Paarl, South Africa. She spent every summer in the farm’s packing shed earning her allowance stamping expiration dates and sticking price tags onto boxes. Stamp, stamp, stick. Stamp, stamp, stick. That was the soundtrack of her childhood. It wasn’t quite the “hakuna matata” safari wet-dream people hope to hear about, but the monotony was occasionally interrupted by elephants trying to kill her-- Okay, fine, that only happened once. You see, her father thought it would be a “good idea” for Rochan to learn to drive on a family trip through a game farm. “Less traffic,” he said. And it was all going according to plan when Rochan leisurely turned a corner only to be confronted by an elephant stomping towards her, ears flapping furiously. It was quite the scene, but nothing compared to the scene playing out inside the car: Rochan’s dad calmly telling her to reverse, then realizing – fuck – another car had blocked the way out; her two younger sisters screaming blue-fucking-murder; and her mother crying, praying, cursing at the same time: “God all mighty! Eddiiieeeee! You said there’d be no fucking traffic!!” Now, this would be a hilarious way to go, Rochan remembers thinking. But it was not her time. Today, Rochan attempts to embody that elephant, desperately trying to break up the tedium of life by writing scenes as entertaining as the one she lived through. She was a 2019 ABC-Disney Writing Program finalist and her Catastrophe spec placed 2nd at Cinestory 2019. Rochan currently works as the Writers’ Assistant on HBO’s QualityLand.|
|Siena East||@sienaeast||MIXED UP|
Inspired by the true story of Siena's mom's tumor, Mixed Up follows Venice, a mixed race and mixed up 24 year old who relies on her mom, Angela, for everything: career advice, life advice, and frequent rides home. When Venice's mom is diagnosed with a tumor, Venice has to step up by no longer being a dumb bitch and instead being a grown bitch.
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|Comedy||Native American TV Writer's Lab||Siena East is a Choctaw writer, director and comedian. Growing up in Los Angeles, Siena was entrenched in a world of diverse people, minds, and perspectives. Her own family was diverse. Her mother’s family immigrated to the United States from Italy, and her father raised on a bus between New Mexico and the west coast. Siena grew up with two younger siblings each paler than the last. While Siena had dark hair and tan skin, her youngest brother was such a pale baby, they joked their mother ran out of ink by the time he was born. Siena graduated with a BFA in Film and Television Production from New York University. Her thesis short film, Lycanphobic was a selection of NYU’s First Run Film Festival, and nominated for best emerging director at the LA Skins Film Festival. She currently works as a Writer’s Assistant. As a writer and comedian, Siena loves pillaging from her own experience as a mixed race woman who makes butt-loads of mistakes.|
|Jason Marcus||@TheJasonMarcus||GAS MONEY|
A millennial woman finds financial independence selling her farts online, but when she becomes known as a one-whiff wonder, she’ll do whatever it takes to reclaim her success – even if it means partnering with her overbearing mother.
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|Comedy||NBC Late Night Writers Workshop||Jason Marcus is a writer and comedian, raised by a professional criminal seriously; his dad’s a leg-breaker for the mob. His father is Indonesian/Hawaiian, while his mother is Native American/Cuban – so he grew up very mixed in the racist, Irish neighborhoods of South Boston. He started performing standup when he was 19, and after winning comedy festivals like, the Detroit International Comedy Festival and contests like, Catch A Rising Star's “Catch a New Rising Star” Competition, Jason was touring internationally by his 22nd birthday. He wants to shape the industry by generating content that is more inclusive of the cultures he grew up around. A testament to the importance of representation, it wasn’t until he saw John Leguizamo on House of Buggin’ that he remembers ever seeing himself on screen. For that reason, he champions those within his household and community by shining a spotlight onto the most underrepresented faces in television. His goal is for everyone – especially children – to be able to recognize themselves in the heroes they look up to on TV, so they can hear their stories told through characters that share in their hardships and inspire through perseverance.|
YARA SOLEIMAN (26) is a millennial Muslim working through the ranks of a digital tech company as a listicle writer. Caught between the rules of her faith, and the give-no-fucks culture of her peers, Yara is left to make some difficult decisions about life, love and what it truly means to “be yourself.”
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|Comedy||Disney | ABC Writing Program - Finalist|
WB Television Writing Program Fellow
|Sahar Jahani is a first generation Iranian-American screenwriter, and director raised in Los Angeles. She earned a BA degree in Film & Media Studies and Literary Journalism from UC Irvine and received an MFA in Film and Television Screenwriting at Stephens College. Sahar worked in scripted development at YouTube Originals before becoming the writers assistant / script coordinator on the new Hulu series RAMY, where she wrote her first episode of television. Her first short film GREY MATTER was awarded the 2017 Islamic Scholarship Fund Film Grant and she was a 2018 Film Independent Project Involve Fellow where she wrote and directed JUST ONE NIGHT, that premiered at LA Film Fest this past fall. Sahar's pilot, UNCOVERED, was recently awarded the MACRO Episodic Lab grant, powered by the Black List, with executive producers Lena Waithe and Eva Longoria.|
|Milton Liu||@LiuMilton||THE LINS OF LYNWOOD|
Relying on life lessons learned as a child, Frank Lin moves his Asian American family back to his blue-collar hometown of Lynwood, WI and struggles with his estranged siblings, friends and neighborhood.
|Comedy||Fox TV Writers Lab Fellow|
Disney Feature Writing Fellow
|Asian Am comedy & horror writer born in Kansas City, which probably explains the dichotomy. Tribeca feature screenplay winner, Disney Feature Fellow and Fox TV Writing Fellow (comedy). Writer of action/comedy webseries AWESOME ASIAN BAD GUYS and writer/director of comedy webseries JOHN HUGHES RUINED MY LIFE and short doc I HATE BIG PHONY – all having Asian Am leads. The youngest of 3 so Mama Liu dubbed me “The Mistake”. She’s technically not wrong, but it’s my sole purpose in life to upgrade my status to “He… OK” in her mind.|
GRACE CHEN is serving 20 years in prison for a crime she didn't commit so her best friend KYLE WANG could live out the promise of an amazing future. Seven years in, she buys her freedom in exchange for spying for the FBI on prominent leaders of a Chinese human smuggling ring -- who happen to be Kyle's own family. THE DEPARTED meets REVENGE.
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|Drama||CBS Writers’ Mentoring Program - Finalist |
NBC Writers on the Verge - Finalist
Imagine Impact - Creator
|Born in China, raised in San Diego and schooled in Santa Cruz, Linda Ge is a one-hour drama TV writer based in Los Angeles. A recent graduate of Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Impact content accelerator program, she is a former journalist who covered the business of television for trade publications like TheWrap, THR and Tracking Board. Having grown up without seeing anyone who looked like her on her favorite TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dawson’s Creek, she’s excited to write character-driven dramas about complicated families full of secrets and many shippable love stories — with Asian characters. Lots of them.|
|Tessa Scott||@whoistessascott||8-WHEELED ASSASSINS|
A down on her luck, single mom takes a walk on the wild side when she joins a roller derby team, only to find out she's been initiated into a murdering vigilante gang.
|WB Fellowship Finalist (x2)|
NBC Late Night Writers Workshop
|Tessa Scott is a biracial, LGBT, dramedy television writer by day and by night, the hilariously self-deprecating voice behind Instagram's popular comedy account: @yourfavoriteexgf. Hailing from Virginia, Tessa always loathed her home state. In attempt to escape, she joined the U.S. Navy only to get stationed in Norfolk, Virginia for the duration of her term. Four long years and two unpleasant deployments later, Tessa was finally free and on her way to the City of Angels with a full ride to a great acting school. It wasn’t long before an Emmy-nominated writing teacher at her school convinced her to donate her playbooks and download final draft. Her connection to the comedy genre was instant. She started writing comedy sketches, dabbled in stand up, and eventually created a comedy Instagram account that today has over 350,000 followers. One divorce, rock bottom and quarter life crisis later, Tessa’s odyssey of self-exploration introduced her to a new understanding of love, life and her own vulnerability, allowing her to become a more authentic storyteller and now, a drama writer. Two-time Finalist for Warner Bros. Fellowship, NBC Late Night Writers, Blcklst’s Macro Episodic Lab.|
After spending several years behind bars, a suburban stay-at-home mom emerges as a new woman ready to take no prisoners when it comes to motherhood, marriage, and the town’s cutthroat social hierarchy.
|Comedy||Fox Writers Lab Fellow|
Imagine Impact Creator
Sundance Episodic Lab Finalist
|Elizabeth Stamp was born and raised in West Virginia, where she went to a school with a graduating class of 54. Her father is a federal judge and because of that she did not get invited to any parties in high school. (That’s why, right?) After graduating from Brown University, she began her career as an editor at Elle Decor and Architectural Digest, but started doing comedy when she got tired of writing about couches and “pops of color” all day. She is a Senior Contributing Video Writer at The Onion and she also writes for Vulture, Architectural Digest, and CNN Style. Her original pilot Maternal Instinct was named best comedy script at the 2017 New York Television Festival and her workplace comedy Classified was performed at the 2018 ATX Television Festival as part of the Black List Script Reading. She was a member of the 2018 Fox Writer’s Lab and was part of the inaugural class of Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s content accelerator, Imagine Impact.|
|Jai Tiggett||@JaiTiggett||BLACK MAGIC|
The story of the rise and fall of the 1920s Harlem Renaissance arts movement, told through the eyes of its rowdiest disruptor.
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|Drama||Fox Writers Lab|
WGA TV Writer Access Project Honoree
Sundance Episodic Lab Finalist
|Jai Tiggett is a black woman writer, producer, and Florida native who writes character-driven stories about outsiders and rule-breakers. She wrote two episodes of Spectrum crime-drama series LA’S FINEST, as well as FLYY GIRL, a coming-of-age feature film in development at Lionsgate. She is a 2019 Honoree of the WGA TV Writer Access Project and an alum of both the FOX Writers Lab and the Hanks-Miller Screenwriting Fellowship. She is a film school graduate of Florida State University and UCLA. Jai began her career in independent film before transitioning to Hollywood.|
|Mark Kramer||@kramerkram||ISO BALL|
An antisocial college basketball recruit with a penchant for trash talk on the court earns unwanted attention as the university’s first Asian-American star – much to the disappointment of his immigrant parents.
|Comedy||NBC Late Night Writers Workshop|
NBC Scene Showcase
|Mark grew up the son of a Filipina immigrant and a Jewish Brooklyn Dodgers fan, on Staten Island – where diversity means serving red sauce and white sauce. He has always felt parts of many things, but never a whole. From this POV he likes to write about the structures that divide us and the people who get caught somewhere in between. He’s worked at a myriad of interesting, if not soul-crushing jobs: at a juice bar for meatheads, Target, making websites for a Scientologist CPA, planning ad campaigns for a branch of the military, and sadly more. Mark’s half-hour comedy ISO BALL was a 2018 NYTVF Official Script selection and he briefly worked as a writer’s assistant at WWE (yes, the wrestlers). Mark has also made words on Splitsider, Vulture, Funny or Die, Weekly Humorist, and in Issue 02 of Slant’d magazine. After studying sketch at UCB, he put up monthly sketch comedy shows at the PIT as a writer for BoogieManja.|
|Robert Forman||@robsforman||IDENTITY CRISIS|
Growing up in the closet taught Jesse Blake to lie to everyone around him. It was perfect spy training, and shaped Jesse into an unparalleled secret agent for a covert branch of the CIA. Only now, Jesse has fallen in love with another man and is struggling to keep up his lies. Will he risk endangering them both by telling the truth?
|Drama||Rideback TV Incubator - 2019, Finalist||Rob Forman's first memory is of Princess Leia in her iconic golden bikini, choking Jabba the Hutt to death. It explains everything about his love of kick-ass female characters, escapism, and genre storytelling, but nothing about his sexuality. His childhood heroes were Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Xena: Warrior Princess, and Sailor Moon. Rob grew up in Princeton, NJ, the middle child of three boys. He moved to Los Angeles immediately upon graduating with a business degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania to pursue a career TV writing. His writing focuses on the POV of outsiders & misfits, usually with a grounded genre twist. Rob has a penchant for puns and witty banter, and loves choreographing story-specific action sequences, but he specializes finding the heart of any story and then delivering a brutal, heart-wrenching character twist. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his boyfriend.|
Two inner city black kids are convicted of selling drugs but are sent to a very rich, very white, reform school in the rural area of Amherst, Massachusetts.
|Comedy||Disney ABC Fellowship 2017 Finalist||Anthony Shields is a first-generation Jamaican American who grew up in the Bronx, New York. He developed his love of film in high school by working as a projectionist at the historic Pelham Picture House theater, wherein he watched hundreds of movies and collaborated with his co-workers in creating short films. After getting his B.A. from Fordham University, he briefly worked as a Wall Street journalist, during which time many of his articles were lauded for being both daring and humorous, and often reached the front pages of http://Yahoo.com , http://USAToday.com , and http://Aol.com . The experience taught him how to find a good story, but when he was off the clock, he was always writing his own, so in 2013, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in screenwriting. He was soon admitted into UCLA’s prestigious Screenwriting MFA program, and upon graduating found himself the recipient of many awards such as; the first-place selection in the 2017 Sony Crackle Initiative at UCLA for his television drama, Fraud, Best TV Comedy at the 2017 UCLA Screenwriters Showcase for his half hour, Juveniles, the 2017 NAACP/NBCUniversal Fellowship, and a spot on The Tracking Board’s 2017 Young and Hungry List.|
|Ken Pisani||@kpsmartypants||4 CORNERS|
A desert-set “Fargo”-like mystery with pitch-black humor: A disgraced former Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist finds himself stranded in a strange desert town of quirky oddballs, where he’s stunned to be charged with a gruesome local murder. Quarreling jurisdictions, Native American feuds, oddball desert rats and a strange local newspaper that hires him all figure into the investigation.
|Drama||WB Writers Workshop - Finalist|
FOX Diversity Program - Fellow
|Before joining the WGA, KEN PISANI was a sports producer and writer, including 9 years at Sports Illustrated. He has an Emmy nomination for telling true stories, and recently traveled to Africa with Oscar-winner David Seidler to co-write a feature about the Rwandan Cycling Team—all children of the genocide. All that serious stuff notwithstanding, Ken is a former stand-up comic and especially good at injecting comedy into any genre. He mentors military veterans and young writers, most recently as faculty at the 2019 Red House Writers Retreat. Ken is also a playwright, comic book author, and Los Angeles Times best-selling novelist. (Ken needs to learn how to focus.) He lives in Los Angeles with his beautiful wife Amanda and is allergic to dogs. kenpisani.com|
|Sara Alize Cross||@SaraAlizeCross||BFFS|
At 42, Simone is happily single, child-free by choice, tours the country playing lead guitar in a Go-Go’s tribute band, and has no plans to settle down. Jackie, her BFF since junior high, runs a non-profit, owns a beautiful house in Historic Denver, and has been trying everything under the sun to get a baby since going through early menopause. When Simone pops into town to attend their 25th year high school reunion, she finds herself unexpectedly pregnant and must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice for her best friend. BFFS is a half hour dramedy that explores the depth of genuine, lifelong female friendship, and the personal and professional challenges faced by modern, complex, feminist, Gen X women. The tone of the show is similar to cable/streaming dramedies Better Things, GLOW, Looking, SMILF, Shrill, You’re the Worst.
|Comedy||HBOAccess Writing Fellowship Fellow |
|Sara Alize Cross was one of 8 fellows chosen for the 2017-2018 HBOAccess Writing Fellowship. While earning her MFA at USC School of Cinematic Arts, Sara received the Jack Oakie Comedy Fellowship and the Jeffrey Jones Scholarship for Screenwriting, and her Production II short film screened at multiple LGBTQ film festivals. Sara’s professional directing experience includes commercials, branded content, webisodes, and short narrative and documentary films. Her feature documentary producing credits include Murderball (Sundance Audience Award, Oscar Nominee), The Order of Myths (Sundance Premiere, Peabody Award), and 21Up America. A lifelong dog lover, Sara founded the 501c3 Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue after fostering one dog saved from death row at a high kill pound in her one bedroom apartment. Badass has since rescued, rehabilitated, and rehomed over 2400 dogs in 8 years. Sara has independently traveled in over 20 countries on 6 continents. She earned her BA in Film Studies at Columbia University, and a Masters in Women’s Studies at Oxford, where she wrote her thesis on Screwball Comedy of the 1930s.|
After assaulting one of her players in a widely publicized mental breakdown, the first woman to coach an NCAA Men’s Basketball team divides her family when she is hired to coach her twin sons’ struggling team.
|Drama||Fox TV Writers Lab Finalist 2018||Born in former Yugoslavia, Tara's family was torn across political lines when a civil war declared her Mom Croatian and her Dad Bosnian. As war-refugees, Tara and her family escaped to Italy for six years and then to the U.S. Since, she's been the only girl on the soccer team, the only white girl on the basketball team and the only broken-ankled player on the volleyball team. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley on full scholarship and served as the showrunner's assistant on ABC's SCANDAL. She produced the multiple award-winning short MUTED, starring Chandra Wilson and Malcolm-Jamal Warner, which ran on HBO and Cinemax. Her short CUDDLE PARTY, with EP Emmy-winner Jill Soloway, starring Michaela Watkins, Rob Huebel and Yvette Nicole Brown was licensed by Tribeca and is currently on Amazon. Her pilot BIANCA won the Junior Hollywood Radio & TV Society Pilot Competition and her pilot AMERICAPHOBES was in the final round for the Sundance Episodic Lab.|
A fifteen-year-old girl, with Olympic dreams, must survive the hellscape of high school with a godforsaken beard. BEARD is a half-hour dramedy. Think PEN15 and SHRILL.
|Comedy||Humanitas New Voices - Finalist||I grew up with an alcoholic single mother and spent my childhood feeling like an outsider and creating the family and circumstances I wanted. In this world I had a father (and knew his name), I went on vacations, and had a family who’d go on Double Dare with me. In high school, I developed a disorder that left me with a beard (a dream for any girl), and it further cemented my status as an outsider and freak. But the silver lining was that I was able to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to help create the kinds of people and worlds that I had found solace in. Since then I co-authored a book with a friend about our adventures to meet Bette Midler during college, and I drove across the country in the pre-Kickstarter days trying to collect a buck from everyone in America to raise money to make a movie. I've had jobs ranging from researcher to a dresser for a group of showgirls who were all over the age of sixty. Most recently, my husband and I quit our jobs, sold our house, I cashed out my tiny 401K, and we moved 3,000 miles across the country with a baby, a dog, and two cats. There’s no Plan B. It’s time to show what I’m capable of and find an outlet for the stories I’ve been creating since I was a kid.|
|Alexis Pivnicny||@alexispivnicny||HOPE'S WAY OUT|
Numbed from years of antidepressants, Hope’s world and mind are blown wide open when she falls in love with a female stripper. When her fiancé and friends balk at her coming out, she’ll have to do something drastic to take control of the life she wants.
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|Comedy||Imagine Impact 2 Creator||Alexis was born and raised just outside of Boston. She has a degree in writing for television from Emerson College that she hasn’t put to good use until recently. She is a LGBTQ writer who takes special care in writing underdogs and female protagonists. She’s looking for representation and for someone to take a chance on someone who will work obsessively to land the jokes.|
|Daniel Gámez||@valleyslum||LITTLE EL SALVADOR|
Upon getting dumped by his boyfriend for being too white-washed, Devon, a Salvadorian-American LatinX, attempts to win him back by moving into an ethnically populated apartment complex in a sketchy part of LA in a desperate attempt to get in touch with the Latin roots he suppressed upon over-assimilating in America.
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|Drama||Disney | ABC Writing Program - Finalist|
Sundance Episodic Lab Finalist
|Originally from El Salvador, Daniel fled from Central America during the Salvadorian Civil War at the age of three. Along with his single mother and older sister, Daniel immigrated to California where they were taken in by a holocaust surviving Jewish couple living in Culver City. As previous refuges, the Jewish couple taught Daniel all about the assimilation process… and some Yiddish. By the age of twelve, Daniel showed artistic promise and was encouraged to become a cartoonist. Dreams of going to college for Art School, however, took a nosedive when Daniel realized the perils that came with being an immigrant—his best friend (and at the time, secret boyfriend) was deported, never to be seen again. Consequently, fears of deportation lingered well into Daniel’s disillusioned high school experience, where he was enrolled in a Law and Government Magnet Program, ironically learning about the rights he wasn’t entitled to. As senior year approached, at age seventeen, Daniel was granted legal status through the Ronald Reagan’s Amnesty Act, a turning point that empowered a new direction in his life. Now, as a college educated American citizen, Daniel’s passions lie in stories of otherness representation. He currently runs the Cinema Arts Focus Program at Providence High School in Burbank and previously taught filmmaking to teens and adults on the Autistic spectrum.|
|Brandi Nicole Payne||@creativelyb||EDEN|
EDEN follows a Southern Belle with a picture-perfect family who steps outside of her faith when she embarks on an affair with another woman.
|Drama||HBO Access 2017 Drama Fellow||The daughter of a juvenile detention officer mom and 2nd strike convicted felon dad led Brandi to writing dramas and dramedies that explore duality. While she started off as an actor, she fell in love with the storytelling process after writing & producing Muted, a short film about media discrepancy when a child of color goes missing, that aired on HBO. She followed that up by writing & directing Aloha, a short film about infant loss, and recently completed the HBO Writers Program where she wrote Eden, a half-hour dramedy about a married mother of two who has an affair with another woman. As an artivist, Brandi is a Sexual Assault Victim's Advocate with Day League and is a proud member of RAINN'S Speakers Bureau.|
(Scifi/Crime/Thriller) After her daughter disappears into the Darknet, an ex-DEA agent, now a heroin addict living on the street, is forced to digitally enter the network to get her back.
|Drama||Imagine Impact 2 Creator||Justin Calen-Chenn grew up in a rundown motel in Sante Fe Springs, CA, a city bordering South Los Angeles. He was a normal Taiwanese-American kid until his teenage years when his family lost everything and he ended up homeless. Justin got involved in a life of street crime and organized crime, but left that world behind after seeing the decapitated body of a friend. He put himself through school and graduated from Pasadena Art Center with a BA in illustration.|
|Edward G. Excaliber||@edwardexcaliber||SPELLBOUND |
A down-on-his-luck street magician who’s actually a real freaking wizard with weakening powers spends his days just trying to stay powerful enough to pay the rent. But when a daughter he never knew he had shows up on his doorstep, more powerful than any other wizard or witch he’s ever met, even though she’s actually half-Italian, he sees a possible path to reclaiming his identity and seeking redemption.
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|Comedy||NBC Writers on the Verge - Fellow||Edward G. Excaliber knows exactly what you’re thinking. And yes, that is indeed his actual last name. He’s a diehard Star Wars fan, adores Mel Brooks films, and can most times be overly competitive at board games. Edward’s a Puerto Rican-Italian comedy writer from Miami, FL where he and his brothers devoured sitcoms and cartoons on a half-hourly basis along with enduring the humidity, hurricanes, and hanging chads. After failed attempts at starting a band and becoming an emo-MySpace poet, Edward began writing for the stage, penning numerous full-length plays, one-acts and short films for the Miami community. In 2016, he graduated from the American Film Institute Conservatory, where he focused on writing self-deprecating comedy features and half-hour pilots. After being selected as a member of the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s 2017 TV Writers program, Edward was also named one of NBC’s Writers on the Verge in 2018. Here, he developed two single camera comedy pilots. Currently, and always, Edward is working on new material. He lives in Los Feliz with his wife and a cat.|
|Amy Thurlow||@athurlow||THE UNICORN |
After years of stagnation, June take a leap of faith in her career only to realize that it's her personal life that has fallen short of her true desires, upending her long term relationship with her fiance and inviting the temptation to go on a sexcapade with a less than traditional married couple.
|Drama||2019 Sundance Institute Episodic Lab |
|Amy Thurlow is a writer and filmmaker currently living in Los Angeles, California. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area to parents from starkly different cultural and economic backgrounds, Amy is drawn to stories about what defines us and unites us among our many differences. Her work focuses on telling female driven stories with heart, humor and above all else truth. Amy has worked in television for many years. She started her career as a Writers' PA on the groundbreaking show "Gossip Girl" and has just wrapped as Script Coordinator on "Krypton" for SyFy. Her other credits include "Sleepy Hollow" "Witches of East End" and "No Tomorrow". Amy graduated in 2010 from the USC School of Cinematic Arts with a degree in Film and Television Production. Amy's work has been recognized by the Austin Film Festival, Final Draft Big Break Contest and the Sundance Institute. Outside of writing, Amy has a myriad of interests including performing the occasional stand up routine, teaching friends how to cook the perfect roast chicken, and deciding to run marathons even though she hates running.|
|Samantha Levenshus||@geekygrlfrnd||COMPANY TOWN|
Set in 1894 in the company town of Pullman, the lives of three families intertwine in unexpected ways confronting issues of racism, sexism, and the rights of government in the months leading up to the bloody railroad strike that defined the American Labor Movement. Based on actual events.
|Drama||Black List x Women In Film Episodic Finalist Zoetrope Screenwriting Finalist||Samantha Levenshus is a drama writer and a giant geek. A reformed actor, Sam first discovered a love for characters and story on stage, but soon learned that she much preferred being behind a keyboard. Whether it’s a virtual reality simulation keeping humanity alive (and maybe trapped) or the 1894 strike that started the U.S. Labor movement (go unions!), Sam’s work is tied together by her thorough world building and grounded characters. Over the last few years she has worked numerous assistant jobs both behind a desk and in a writers’ room. She’s a produced and published playwright, a published comic book writer, and a television writer with optioned pilots. She has great board handwriting, is a passionate collaborator, and is ready to staff.|
(crime-drama) Inspired by the incredible true story of the NYPD’s first black cop. BATTLE tells the story of Sam Battle as he faces racism, violence, and a corrupt police force during the 1920’s Harlem Renaissance and on the case that would ultimately earn him the rank of detective.
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|Drama||Fox TV Writers Lab Fellow||Puerto Rican from New Jersey that grew up surrounded by cops, criminals and Catholicism. Growing up in 90’s Jersey City, flanked by family on both sides of the law (cops and criminals), came in handy when producing thirty-two episodes of true-crime television for the Investigation Discovery Network. Those shows put me in daily contact with homicide detectives, prosecutors and defense attorneys, crime reporters, and families of the victims. It’s been a visceral education in the investigative process and how all the players are personally affected — especially the cops. Crime story-telling is in my blood.|
& Julie Sagalowsky Díaz
A female-led science fiction character drama about a group of refugees stranded in an abandoned town inside an asteroid.
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|Drama||2019 Rideback TV Incubator Finalist||Julie and her writing partner/husband Alex got their start by selling their multi-cam tween sitcom to Canada’s Disney XD and writing on the series for its 40 episode run. This was strange because they aren't Canadian or particularly funny. They then transitioned to their true passion: high-concept dramas about people striving to change their world. They served as Staff Writers on "The Shannara Chronicles” and as Executive Story Editors on "Tribes". They have series in development with IDW, Skybound, and ASAP. Before becoming a TV writer, Julie studied theater at Dartmouth College. She also trained at the National Theater Institute, the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, and the Moscow Art Theater. And before all of that, Julie was simply a first grader who failed out of “Pink Lemonade”, a weekly manners class for the budding socialites at her all-girls school in Dallas. Apparently, being the daughter of a socialist-leaning immigrant from Denmark wasn’t as charming as she thought. Julie still doesn’t know how to properly set a table, but she does manage to hold her own in a house full of boys and relishes subjecting them to impromptu performances from her college a cappella days.||Alex was once a young undergrad studying neuroscience. But he couldn’t shake the sneaking suspicion that his life-long dream of becoming a real-life mad scientist wasn’t meant to be. So he decided to create them for television instead. His writing partner/wife Julie convinced him that even though the two of them weren’t exactly funny, they should definitely write a multi-cam tween sitcom. A year later, Alex and Julie sold their show What’s Up, Warthogs! to Canada’s Disney XD. Their series ran for 40 episodes and was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award (Canada’s Emmys) for Best Children’s Fiction Series. Then, Alex and Julie transitioned to their true passion: writing sci-fi, thrillers, spy shows and YA with complex characters, cool world building, and hot-button issues. Alex grew up in the border city of El Paso, Texas. After earning his B.A. from Harvard, he served as a director at a futurist think tank called the National Hispanic Institute (NHI), where he mentored and challenged thousands of America’s most talented Latino teens to become leaders of the 21st Century. Alex now resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Julie, and their young sons, Máximo and Félix.|
|Priscila García-Jacquier||@priscilagarciaj||WHATEVER IT TAKES |
When her powerful Colombian family loses everything, Helena engineers a plan to fund her American Dream through an older man’s pockets. In other words, she finds herself a sugar daddy. WHATEVER IT TAKES is not the Gf Experience; it’s a LatinX Insecure.
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|Drama||Imagine Impact 1 Creator||Priscila García-Jacquier is a Television Academy Young Writer to Watch. Most recently, she was part of Brian Grazer and Ron Howard's Imagine Impact's inaugural class. She has served as the writer's assistant to Alexander Dinelaris (Birdman) and most recently, Graham Moore (The Imitation Game). In 2018, she appeared in Forbes for her digital talk show QUIERO. She assisted Kenny Leon on Broadway's HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME, and Kamilah Forbes' on The Labyrinth Theater's SUNSET BABY. A native of both France and Colombia, Priscila was the first Latina to graduate from Carnegie Mellon's undergrad directing program in 2014.|
|Ryan Maples |
& Brian Lerner
Based on the true story of AM radio DJ Tom "Big Daddy" Donahue and his wife, Raechel, who led a cultural movement that transformed FM radio and gave a voice to the counterculture of the 1960s and '70s.
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|Drama||Imagine Impact 2 FInalist||Let us introduce ourselves. We are Brian Lerner and Ryan Maples, two film and tv geeks, music nerds, an indie rockaholic, a recovering metalhead, a yoga enthusiast, a wine connoisseur, a health nut vegetarian, a thoughtful carnivore, an Austin Film Festival winner, a director on an Emmy nominated show, and two very passionate advocates of our awesome scripts. We have a shared love of comedy and drama and the power both can have on people from all walks of life. Our most recent project, AM/FM was a Finalist in Imagine Impact.|
|Ryan Willison||@ryryredux||GUYS LIKE YOU|
A queer rom-com about toxic masculinity, GUYS LIKE YOU follows Jon, who's gay, just not “that gay” – but when he falls for a dancer who’s more out-and-proud than masc-for-masc, he has to break it to the other man in his life: his frat-boy best friend.
|Comedy||Sundance Episodic Lab Finalist||Ryan is a writer, theater-maker, and hopeful Star Baker who hails from Orange County. He got his start at the early age of ten, remaking classics like Kill Bill and Moulin Rouge! starring his two dachshunds and his sister’s stuffed animals. After that footage was tragically lost to the ages, he turned his sights to television. After graduating from Tufts University, he worked his way up in production on HBO shows such as Game of Thrones and Getting On, before working in the writers' room on Starz's Blunt Talk and Netflix's GLOW. He just wrapped up as the Writers' Assistant on ABC's The Kids Are Alright, where he wrote and produced his first freelance episode. On weekends (and late nights), he runs the mime comedy troupe The Quiet Kids, which has received sold-out showcases at The Bob Baker Marionette Theater and Comedy Central Stage. He is passionate about writing stories that shed light on lesser-explored areas of the queer experience.|
|Steven J. Kung||@stevenjkung||ARCADIA|
A Chinese American violinist living in Los Angeles grapples with her career trajectory, her friendships and her romantic future. (Think an Asian American version of Insecure.)
|Comedy||NBC Writers on the Verge - Finalist|
Disney ABC Directing Program
|The son of Taiwanese immigrants, Steven J. Kung wrote an upcoming episode of Dear White People Vol. 3. He’s been telling Asian American, minority, and female-forward stories for his entire career and has worked in the Dear White People writers room for all three seasons. Steven wrote and directed A Leading Man, a feature film about Asian American representation in entertainment, leading Mic to proclaim him as one of Six Filmmakers Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling. Other ways he’s broken aforementioned ceiling? Becoming a salsa and merengue instructor, and learning to vogue, hunty. Steven started his writing career as Matthew Weiner’s assistant on Mad Men where he learned to always order #19 from Langer’s. He graduated from the Disney ABC Directing Program, the DGA Mentorship Program and is co-chair emeritus of the DGA Asian American Committee. A native of Virginia Beach, Steven holds an MFA from the USC School of Cinematic Arts and BA with High Distinction in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia.|
|Leslie Nipkow||@LeslieNipkow||CARWASH DONUTS|
Dot has cancer. She goes home to tell her mother she’s dying, but Mom doesn’t want to hear it, and her sister, the brain surgeon, has other lives to save. Before Dot can break the news, she goes flying through the windshield of her car into an odd new world filled with lipstick, Furies, tumors named Tippy, and carwash donuts. A highly-theatrical black comedy for five fearless women and a ferocious creative team.
|Comedy||Humanitas New Voices Finalist||Leslie is a +50 female, a solo performer, music theater geek, incessant reader, cancer survivor, and girl boxer working in whatever medium suits the story she needs to tell. She especially digs smart drama with a comic edge that's tied to true events. Her one-woman show, Guarding Erica, about her stint playing Erica Kane's prison guard on All My Children was optioned by PSNBC and shot by the late SoapNet. Her cancer comedy, Carwash Donuts won her a slot as a Humanitas New Voices 2019 finalist. She is shopping a shockingly timely feature spec about Mexican immigration, union labor, and the Blacklist; a 1960s boxing-based pilot whose androgynous female lead packs a ferocious left hook, a short about Dick Nixon and Tennessee Williams locked in a powder room with a bottle of gin, and a comic novel, while putting in ten rounds most mornings and writing essays for outlets including http://Salon.com , O magazine, and the New York Times.|
An Indian American woman marries her gay best friend. It’s the perfect plan – they get both their families to shut up about marriage. Things get complicated when her mother-in-law moves in with them… and then she realizes she’s pregnant with her very white ex-boyfriend’s baby.
|Comedy||Imagine Impact 2018 Fellow||Vidhya was born and raised in Nigeria. A child of Indian parents she was sent to India at the age of 12, to live alone in an apartment with no adult supervision. With no one to stop her from living her best life, she did the one thing she could never do with her parents around - she watched a fuck ton of TV. She is a computer engineer and managed an Italian restaurant, all while continuing to watch a fuck ton of TV. She then made the natural transition to screenwriting.|
|Lisa Bao||@lisabaowrote||THE PETROSSIANS|
A prominant Los Angeles family comprised of a constitutional lawyer, FBI agent, and high school student becomes entangled with a rising street gang suspected to be a faction of the Hong Kong triad taking root in the United States.
|Drama||2019 CBS Writers Mentoring Program Fellow|
2018 CAPE New Writers Program
2017 Disney-ABC Finalist
|Lisa Bao was born and raised in Shenyang, China by a group of well-intended Communist hippies that accepted her delusions of grandeur and encouraged her to follow her dreams. At age 8, Lisa immigrated to the U.S. with her parents, and spent her teenage years desperately trying to assimilate to the cutthroat environment of an Asian dominated magnet high school. Having pulled off the role of the well-behaved, dutiful, immigrant daughter, Lisa moved to New York City for law school, while secretly pursuing her dreams of becoming a writer. Currently, Lisa lives a double life and is a merciless litigation attorney by day, and a sensitive writer by night who continues to chase her dreams and turn them into reality. Her relatives are proud.|
|Chance Muehleck||@chancemuehleck||VOID ALICE|
A high-strung narcoleptic gamer discovers her dreams are a bridge to a dystopian world -- and when she falls asleep, her vengeful doppelganger wakes up.
|Drama||WB Writers Workshop. Finalist, 2014||Chance Muehleck's highlight from middle school was when he managed to kick a soccer ball all the way downfield and score for the opposing team (which was why the goalie seemed so familiar). When he wasn't being a complete spaz on the Astroturf, he was hiding from bullies and creating weird sci-fi mashups with his action figures. The only child of a stockbroker father and an artist mother, Chance discovered theatre in his teens and went full drama nerd. He moved to New York after graduating college and fell deeply and madly in love -- first with the city, then with a girl. The girl became his wife, and they formed a non-profit company together to produce new plays and short films. He now hangs his hat in LA and continues to work on twisty genre mashups. If you ask him about his cats, you might get more than you bargained for.|
|Justin S. Lee||@justinslee||WELCOME TO THE SCENE|
In the late 90s, a reclusive Chinese-American high school student turns to cybercrime to pay off his family’s debts. As he moves up the ranks of The Scene — a community of hackers fueling the internet piracy revolution — he’s forced to balance life as a teenager with pulling heists and taking on hardened killers.
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|Drama||Imagine Impact 2 Creator||Justin S. Lee is a Student Academy Award-nominated writer/director with multiple projects in active development. His storytelling roots began at an early age in childhood, when he grew up in the foreign cityscape of Taipei, Taiwan. Unable to speak its language and truly fit in, he took solace in watching movies, and writing soon became his expressive outlet. Eventually, he moved to California as a teenager and decided to become a filmmaker. He made movies on the side while studying business at UC Berkeley, and spent a year between schools working in the industry before enrolling at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. His short "Drone" was nominated for a Student Academy Award and he co-directed the feature film "Actors Anonymous," starring Oscar-nominated actors Eric Roberts and James Franco. In 2019, he was selected by Paramount Television to participate in Viacom's Emerging Directors Program. Most recently, his hourlong TV series "Welcome to The Scene" was accepted into Imagine Impact, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer's content accelerator, with James Shin and Scooter Braun attached to produce.|
|Gisselle Legere||@GisselleLegere||GAIN OF FUNCTION|
Dr. Grace Landau and her crack team of forensic epidemiologists take on a powerful cabal in the U.S. government when they discover a series of illegal human research programs.
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|Drama||Sundance Screenwriters Intensive 2015 |
Disney-ABC 2017 Drama Fellow
|The child of political refugees from Cuba, Gisselle was inspired by her family's history and developed a passion for human rights, which eventually led to chasing disease outbreaks across the globe as an epidemiologist, and later, exploring difficult subjects through her writing.|
|Paul Ditty||@paulooza||THOROUGHLY MORMON MILLIE|
A seemingly by the book Mormon girl returns from her two-year mission in Manila only to find the secret life she led as a Mormon fetish porn star poses a threat to her squeaky-clean image at home in Provo, Utah.
|Drama||WB TV Writers Workshop - Finalist||Paul Ditty was in seventh grade when The Bemidji Pioneer took out a quarter page to christen him Paperboy of the Year. No one in his Northern Minnesota hometown has been bestowed this honor since, making him the region’s undefeated champion of newspaper delivery. After graduating with an English degree from the University of Minnesota, Paul moved to Los Angeles to pursue TV writing. His first writing break, however, came in the form of a book when his satire of the Nancy Drew series, “The Straight Shooter: A Nate Dainty Manhunt” was published. Since then, Paul has received recognition for his TV writing as a finalist in the 2018 Warner Brothers Television Writers’ Workshop, a top 3 finalist in Final Draft’s Big Break, and a semi-finalist in NBC Writers on the Verge 2017 and Fox Writers Intensive 2017. While writing, Paul also enjoys a career in the restaurant industry, where he recently oversaw six different concepts ranging from a burger shack on the Santa Monica Pier to a Michelin-starred restaurant in Downtown LA. Paul currently lives in Long Beach with his husband Eddie along with their cat, dog and drought tolerant yard.|
Inspired by my family’s experience during the Second World War, INTERNMENT follows a sexy but self-hating Japanese-American surgeon who is forcibly reunited with his corrupt and seductively dangerous family by the internment of all Japanese Americans during World War II.
Script link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/17nZTWvjGXNpEcbeH2nolJlnf2aJH8UTB/view
|Drama||ABC Disney Writers Program - Fellow 2013||I’m a half-Japanese/half-Irish drama writer, playwright, former dirty skate punk, and ABC Disney Writers Program Alum. I cut my artistic teeth in the theatre, where I learned through blood, sweat, tears, and a good run of on-stage nudity how to make ART. I love it when it's three AM and things get weird and the real truth finally comes out. I believe tragedy and dirty jokes taste better together than apart. Some days I write about the Internment Camp my dad was sent to. Others, I write about wealthy cannibals. I've written numerous plays, as well as 3 pilots for ABC Studios. I've developed projects with Mark Gordon Company, New Regency, and Erica Messer Productions, among others. I've also gotten drunk and spent the night in an Irish graveyard. LA Weekly has called my plays, “tough, and cruelly funny… with an honesty that might be called full frontal“ and VARIETY called me “an impressively original voice“. I love The Sopranos, Soloway, Alan Moore, Arthur Miller, PT Anderson, Kurosawa, Seinfeld, GOT, Blade Runner, and the ghosts of Ghostbusters (I'd give anything to work with Bill Murray). I live in L.A. with my actor/chef wife and our future president daughter.|
Priscilla Taku just graduated from Brown and is about to start her new life. The only thing standing in the way is her trip home to East LA, where she faces her dysfunctional parents, bum brother, drug-dealing sister, and her own determination to keep them all together.
|Comedy||CBS Writers Mentoring Program Finalist||Annie Nishida is a screenwriter, illustrator, and activist who uses her experiences as a fourth-generation Japanese-American, East Los Angeles native, and product of the MySpace Era as inspiration for her coming-of-age themed stories about womxn with strong convictions. She graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts with a degree in Writing for Screen and Television, was nominated for the Humanitas Prize’s Angell Comedy Fellowship, and worked on a pilot with Bill Prady, creator of The Big Bang Theory. She has pitched projects to 20th Century Fox Television and Adult Swim, written two stage plays performed at USC’s Bovard Auditorium, and illustrates feminist/intersectional books, which she exhibits at indie publishing events across California. She is also very proud to have led a school-wide frog dissection protest in the seventh grade.|
|Ty Freer||@TyFreer||HOW I GOT HANGED|
Outlaw Dondo Rivers uses his “last words” to tell the story of how he became the most notorious criminal in the West.
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|Comedy||Nickelodeon’s TV Writing Fellowship||Ty Freer came of age amongst the corn stalks and meth-heads of Losantville, Indiana, a rural town of 229 people, one gas station, and zero Democrats. The son of a third-generation farmer, Ty was born with a crippling condition: hands too soft for manual labor. He had no choice. He had to write. Ty graduated from Purdue University with a degree so humiliating his parents prefer telling friends he was kicked out for hazing exchange students. Desperate to rebrand, he received a master’s degree in Advertising from the University of Illinois. Ty then spent years writing copy for mostly boring clients no one’s ever heard of. But he got to name one of the NBA’s G-League teams. That was pretty cool. Later, Ty’s Western comedy pilot, How I Got Hanged, won Best Half-Hour Pilot at the 2015 Final Draft Big Break Awards. It was optioned by an Australian TV producer. Recently, Ty did double duty as the Writers’ Assistant and Script Coordinator on Amazon’s upcoming animated kids’ show, Costume Quest. He wrote two episodes of the show and named an absurd amount of side characters after his family. Ty’s scripts have been recognized by Nickelodeon’s TV Writing Fellowship, the Warner Brothers Television Writers’ Workshop, the Sundance Institute, Slamdance, the Austin Film Festival (six times), and the NBC “Writers on the Verge” program (twice). He also wrote and directed sketches for the comedy podcast, PC on the Radio, and worked as a|
|A.P. de La Caridad||@coloropolis||HANDCRAFTED|
Brujas run a shop selling enchanted botanics in gentrifying L.A. & cope with a terrible family secret whose folklore stretches back to the time of the conquistadors.
2018 CBS Diversity Writing Mentorship
2019 Sundance Episodic Lab Finalist
|At 4 my parents divorced & my working warrior mom remarried a super white, autistic rocket scientist and relocated us from Anaheim to the tiny mountain town of Kernville. When my browness waltzed in for the 1st day of school, it was as if an elusive white buffalo had just busted into a 2nd grade classroom & started chewing the classroom alphabet. As the son of a Cuban refugee, I've had to scrap for everything: from tuition for junior college, scholarships for universities, and my recent survival of stage IV head & neck cancer. To keep this Latinx boat afloat I've been an odd-jobber holding down at least 2 jobs since 14: All the usual actor/writer jobs + class IV river raft guide, unlicensed construction worker, high school motivational speaker, animal rescue facility worker, & pro wrestling writer. I'm currently a confused husband to a brilliant LAUSD teacher living in L.A. with our menagerie of rescues and a wee one due in October. In my "spare" time I write fiction, renovate a money pit my wife inherited, shout passionately at plot twists in binge-worthy shows, and am a passable vegan chef.|
Since NASA moved their headquarters to Hanksville, the small Utah town hasn’t been the same. Back home after her mission to Mars, Commander Kiersten Thorton becomes the main suspect in a murder. Plagued by disturbing visions and with her family and career in jeopardy, she fears she has been infected by something sinister on the red planet.
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Universal Pictures Writing Program
|Some say it’s best to write what you know. I’m not an orphan spy or an astronaut who has walked the red planet, but I do know what it feels like to lose both parents and the excitement of exploring new lands. I’m a world traveler, a southern belle (Georgia) and savvy fact finder, which all have come in handy when writing the often underestimated, complex female character. As a former VFX Coordinator (10 years), my writing often incorporates action, thriller, and sci-fi genres usually grounded in a family element and theme of loss. I often weave details of my working class/blue collar upbringing into my heightened worlds. While I’ve tried my best chasing adventure as an avid camper or one-time sky-diver, the closest I come to combat is wielding a Nerf sword in my office while wearing Star Wars Vans. In short, my characters are more of a “badass” than their creator. |
Features: Universal Pictures Writers Program, The Writers Lab (funded by Meryl Streep), Napa Valley Film Festival Artist-in-Resident TV: WriteHer List, Bitch List, WIF/BlackList Episodic Lab Finalist (2016, 2017), ScreenCraft Fellow
|Augusto Amador||@LAroughwriters||THE MONEY SHOT|
1992. An ambitious businesswoman's vision of Silicon Valley's first tech empire is thrown unpside down when she takes funding from the Adult Entertainment Industry.
|Drama||2019 Humanitas Prize New Voices||I am a first generation American born to a music composer Peruvian father and a culinary chef Austrian mother. Raised in San Francisco on old school jazz and amazing French cuisine from my mother's restuarant. I'm a nationally produced, published and award winning latino playwright. I received my first writing break as a writing fellow at the prestigious Public Theater in NYC where I lived and wrote, cutting my teeth in the highly competetive playwriting world. Currenly, in live in L.A. and write bold, character-driven dramas about broken people living in the most unlikliest of places|
Watching her hometown grow more divided each year, a mother of three young daughters decides the only way try to make their lives better is to run for mayor.
|Drama||WB Writers’ Workshop Finalist 2017||I, Mike Azzopardi, solemnly swear I grew up in the state shaped like a mitten. That’s right - Michigan, the state we can point at our hand to tell you where we lived. Yep, the Great Lakes State bred a bunch of us weirdos. At least in my family. Dad was an alcoholic weirdo, mom was an overly religious weirdo, and we were all poor weirdos. After amassing a sizable amount of student loan debt, I was the first in said weirdo family to graduate from college. It took me a year and a half to start to like Los Angeles, where I eventually met my first/last/only love: Korean bbq. I wrote for a late night show on ESPN where I never once met a single coworker. I’ve driven for a rideshare service for a year based on a dare, I grew up at Tiger Stadium, and can’t understand why more people are voting in elections. This is all to say that if you’ve made it this far, congrats! This was probably the most Cliff’s Notes-y Cliff’s Notes I could’ve provided for this.|
|Stacey Miller||@thenerdberg||TRUTH BE TOLD|
When MAGGIE, an aspiring investigative journalist who happens to be the black sheep of America’s foremost family of soap opera stars, accidentally publishes an expose on her famous family, a series of subplots too twisted for even daytime TV propels her into the family business and all of its drama.
|Comedy||Imagine Impact Finalist 2018||Originally from Texas, Stacey Miller came to Los Angeles with dreams of acting in daytime television. When soap producers did not find a 105 pound redhead keen to scour their sides for grammatical errors to be the fodder of afternoon fantasies, Stacey turned to serious acting. She enrolled at Playhouse West where she joined forces with fellow tortured artist James Franco, acting with him in numerous plays and films, and eventually joining Franco’s Rabbit Bandini Productions as a writer. Life with Rabbit Bandini was not without small miracles, as evidenced by the fact that Stacey’s very first screenplay, Sal, premiered at the Venice Film Festival just six months after its completion. Stacey has since written multiple projects, including Tenn, a biopic of the early life of Tennessee Williams, which premiered at the 2017 Austin Film Festival, and I Am Michael, the story of a gay rights activist turned fundamentalist preacher, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Stacey lives in LA with her baby daddy, Joe, who greets her every night with those three little words every writer longs to hear (how many pages?), and her four-year-old son, Rory, her finest production to date.|
|Dimitry Pompée||@pompeedb||VALKYRIE COMICS|
A talented but untested comic book creator joins forces with the embittered owner of a failing publishing company to save the company from financial ruin and worse, industry ridicule.
CBS Writers Mentorship Program - Fellow
|Dimitry Pompée was born and raised in Manchester, NH by Haitian immigrant parents. He holds a BA in political science and a BS in public policy from James Madison University, as well as a master’s degree in legislative affairs from The George Washington University. Before moving to Los Angeles, Dimitry worked in government relations for the United States Navy and the United States Postal Service in Washington, D.C. In 2016, his satirical article, “Make a Smart Choice at the Polls This Primary Season in 7 Easy Steps,” was published on The Second City Network. Dimitry is an alumnus of the CBS Writers Mentorship Program’s 2018-2019 class.|
|Lisa Kors||@hippiechickflix||PRINCES' HOSPITAL|
PRINCES' HOSPITAL is a one hour drama based on a real hospital in Saudi Arabia that only caters to the 20,000 members of the royal family -- and follows the adventures of the ex-pat doctors and nurses who come to work and play in this very foreign land. Think GREY'S ANATOMY meets HOMELAND. The script just won 1st place in UCLA's Screenwriting Competition for Best Original Drama.
Humanitas New Voices Finalist, 2016
Sundance Finalist 2018
|As a first generation kid born and raised in Yonkers, Lisa's love of storytelling is likely the result of having a Dad who played handball at the 92nd Street Y with FBI guys named "Bad Legs Phil" and a social worker Mom whose clients kept finding dead bodies on the job. (Yonkers was a big garbage mafia town back then, so not so odd...) To this day, she loves writing stories with a vein of truth in them but now only has relationships with dark, twisty bad guys on paper. She's often hired to write for show about topics she knows nothing about -- like fast cars, killer diseases and exotic travel. A research queen and a confetti gun of ideas, Lisa has never had a job she didn't love|
|Rashaan Dozier-Escalante||@Rashaan1972||MCKENNA’S CALLINGS|
In 1978 an elite team of female CIA exfiltration specialists is sent around the world extracting CIA assets from hostile situations, unaware that their team leader is using them to kill for her. Is she a patriot or a murderer?
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|Drama||CBS Writing Mentorship Program||A 2018-2019 CBS Writing Mentorship participant, Rashaan Dozier-Escalante is former U.S. Army Reservist and Senior Physical Security Analyst for several Federal government agencies. While finishing an MFA in Television and Screenwriting, Rashaan worked as a contracted writer, director, and producer for the Federal government, and interned at TNT/TBS in unscripted development, and in two HBO internships on the television series’ “Westworld.” and “Big Lies S2. ”Currently, Ms. Dozier-Escalante resides in Los Angeles where she still contracts as a writer, director, and producer of Public Service Announcements for the Federal Government and non-profits, and volunteers her time within the Veterans and entertainment community.|
|Nadia Abass Madden||@MaddenNadia||TONGS OF CHINATOWN|
When a young Chinese cook discovers that the drug syndicate that killed her family is now operating in 1900 Chinatown, San Francisco, she makes her first play in the long game of revenge by way of infiltration in an upward climb to become an opium tong leader.
|Drama||Humanitas New Voices FInalist, 2017||Nadia Abass Madden is a one-hour drama writer. She happened to meet her husband in jail-–she worked there. She married a cop. Wanting to be more in the action, she transferred from answering jail phones to 911 lines as a Police Dispatcher. Nadia found it difficult not to take the trauma home and developed a deeply rooted gallows humor to handle the most heinous calls from hangnails to suicidal “swingers.” She was ultimately promoted to Lead Dispatcher while her husband held every rank up to and including Homicide Captain. Nadia is well-versed in many wild stories. She enjoys writing underdog characters, as she often felt like an underdog herself throughout childhood. Nadia’s father emigrated from Lebanon. Growing up as a Lebanese-American was difficult, especially when others dished out racist slurs, like “sand ni**er.” The reality of being Arab really hit home when she was thirteen and her uncle was executed by Hezbollah back in Beirut. Nadia went through her early teens wondering if her father was next on the list. Along with a trying upbringing, Nadia has experienced a lot of horrific cases during her law enforcement career; writing about it is her way to exercise power over it.|
Summoned to Hong Kong for her father-in-law’s funeral, a pregnant American goes into an early labor and is stunned to learn she’s expected to follow the ancient Chinese tradition of Confinement. For thirty days she’s restricted to her sinister mother-in-law’s luxury penthouse. She can’t bathe, she can’t drink water and — most importantly — she can’t leave.
|Drama||Imagine Impact 2 Creator, 2019||Meredith distinguished herself as a child playing a tall white girl in the Pennsylvainia Slatebelt. It was a small town that didn’t have a library, but did have a Blockbuster! Summers living on the Bunny Trail meant hawking $4 violin lessons and putting together magic markers on a Crayola assembly line. All this while she dreamed of life in a big city — a place with traffic lights…and sidewalks! Her metropolitan ambitions were realized when she was accepted at Yale and then moved to New York City as a TV sports producer. Yearning to see the world beyond the Atlantic, Meredith set out on an adventure that took her from producing TV news in London, to penning a modern love series in the Middle East, to being declared an Overseas Citizen of India, and starting a mixed-race family in a Muslim country.|
& Baindu "B" Saidu
African-America is a half-hour comedy in the vein of BLACK-ISH meets INSECURE which revolves around a young woman, Bintu, as she juggles her liberal American tendencies with her ultra conservative and religious African parents’ constant judgement and expectations, all while trying to forge her own unique path in life and love.
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|Comedy||2018 BET & Issa Rae’s ColorCreative "Script To Screen" Competition - Finalist||Baindu "B" Saidu and Courtney Perdue are comedy & drama writers from the East Coast. B (a girl!) is from Philly (via Sierra Leone) while Courtney (a guy!) hails from Maryland, no place specific enough to mention. They first met while earning their MA’s from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School. Affectionately nicknamed “Sass and Shade” for their snarky one-liners and tell it like it is personalities…but in a good way, they are avid consumers of pop culture with voracious appetites for everything TV, film, and beyond. Growing up in their respective families (quirky Africans—B; bold, independent women—Courtney) has prepared them for anything: comedy, drama, tragedy, horror—you name it! The duo was recently staffed on the upcoming BET/Will Packer Prods. ensemble comedy series, BIGGER. Prior to becoming Staff Writers, Courtney was the Writers’ Assistant on LEGACIES (The CW) and THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE (Netflix), while B was the Executive Assistant to Gaye Hirsch, EVP of Development at The CW.|
|Shuo Zhang||@shuoz10||MUTANT LOVE |
Twelve-year-olds, Love and Will are ripped from their war-torn homeland after a biological attack that left them infected with a deadly spore. In their new country, they are forced to live in isolation for fear of contaminating others. Years later, all Love wants is to be able to live freely again, but she realizes that in order to cure herself, she must work for the people that destroyed her homeland in the first place.
|Drama||CBS Writers Mentoring Program (2018)||Shuo was born in Beijing and grew up outside Philadelphia. Although she spent most of her childhood playing the violin and acting in musicals, she decided to go to MIT to tackle big problems like cancer and climate change. While there, she realized what really inspired her were the stories and people behind these complicated problems. So she dedicated herself to becoming a storyteller. Since then, she has written and acted in plays in New York and LA, while working jobs like cigarette girl, census worker, and waitress at the Plaza Hotel and Soho House. Shuo also holds an MFA in Screenwriting from USC and was a mentee in the CBS Writers Mentoring Program and a recipient of the NAACP Writing Fellowship. She was most recently a staff writer on CBS's Bull.|
|Matthew T. Price||@littletoyboat||EXCHANGE STUDENTS |
Plans change for high schooler Jason Pierson on his semester abroad-- instead of France, he's going to Cartoonisia, a country populated by animated creatures. Back in America, his family is surprised the foreign exchange student they received is a cartoon character: Trixie. Basically, it's Who Framed Roger Rabbit in high school.
|Comedy||Imagine Impact 1 Creator||Matthew T. Price grew up in Michigan, and his wife is from New Zealand. They met in Maine, as you probably assumed. They met at a summer camp, and in the fall, he followed her to her home country, where he convinced her to come back to the US and marry a guy with no job prospects and a degree in cinema. Matthew has worked in film and television for fifteen years, while shooting short films on the side. He made his first feature film and first daughter in the same year. The movie's pretty good, but he's even more proud of his daughter, who knows all the words to Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Her first day of preschool was also Matt's first day back to college to begin work on earning his MFA in screenwriting. Coincidentally, this was also also the day he got the call from Ron Howard informing him he would be part of Imagine Impact's inaugural class. It was a big day.|
|Jessica L. Funches||@funchesjl||ONE LAST BOW|
In a last ditch effort to revive her dismal career, an aging actress convinces her reluctant former co-stars to reunite for a revival of the musical that once made them all famous. Through laughter, tears and song, they face their insecurities head-on and learn that you are never too old for a new beginning.
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|Comedy||Imagine Impact 1 Creator||Jessica is a former Account Executive for Procter & Gamble who decided to pursue her passion for storytelling by changing careers and attending the University of Southern California’s (USC) Peter Stark Producing Program. While attending USC, Jessica was awarded one of three coveted Peter Stark Special Project grants to produce the short film HOPE’S CHOICE. HOPE’S CHOICE has since played at the 2005 Cannes International Film Festival and won several awards including a College Emmy from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Additionally, Jessica produced the multiple award-winning feature film, SOMETHING IS KILLING TATE that garnered a dozen film festival awards as well a cable deal with the Starz Network. While Jessica enjoyed producing, she desired to utilize her creative muscles more often. So, she began writing screenplays. Her screenplay titled “Lost People” was the 1st Runner Up in the 2018 Copper Mountain Film Festival Screenwriting Competition. In 2019, her screenplay titled “One Last Bow” was selected as 1 of 22 projects from over 4100 submissions to be developed by Imagine Entertainment’s project accelerator program – Imagine Impact. Though her career has included writing and directing several short form documentaries and DVD special features for Warner Brothers titles, Jessica is excited to spread her wings as a writer-director on the narrative side of the business.|
|Katherine Vondy||@walkingdeadpan||EL LINCE |
If you want to find a thief, murderer, or ne’er-do-well during the California Gold Rush, El Lince’s the man for the job! But El Lince has a secret: he’s not a man. He’s Mariana Howell, a Mexican immigrant who refuses to let society decide who she can be.
|Drama||WB Writers Workshop Finalist, 2015||Katherine Vondy grew up in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, where no holiday is more thrilling than the annual Apple Blossom Festival! From a young age, Kat chased after all things artsy, from music (classical piano, flute, and choir) to drama (acting in school plays and a traveling Shakespeare troupe) to writing (editing her high school’s lit mag and obsessively attending local poetry readings). She attended Amherst College where she double majored in English and Music, then moved to NYC. After blundering through a stable job in financial communications for two years, she alarmed her lawyer parents by moving across the country to attend film school at USC, where she concentrated on writing and directing. She’s especially drawn to projects that infuse weighty subject matter with wry comedy and stories that make you fall over with laughter and then break your heart. Also, she likes puns. When she’s not writing, you can find Kat trying out new recipes, sewing items for her wardrobe, or convincing her friends to take day trips to the ostrich farm (and, OK, the vineyards, too) in Santa Barbara Wine Country. Visit http://www.katherinevondy.com for more info about all her creative adventures.|
|Zoe Ward||@therealzoeward||TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER|
A disaffected teenager stumbles into the crosshairs of an international (and intergalactic) crisis when a lost alien mistakes her for his Earth chaperone.
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|Drama||Sundance Episodic Lab, finalist||Zoe Ward is a high-school drop-out and former meth addict, though you’d hardly guess it today: her skin glows like a baby’s ass and her Sunday crossword skills are unparalleled. A Michigander by birth, she spent her 20s in NYC living like a dirtbag and working as a freelance proofreader, dogwalker, runway show assistant, bookstore clerk, and farmer. Along with her husband, she traveled around Mexico and New Zealand for a whole year on $10k without even a little bit of whoring. A recent graduate of UCLA’s MFA Directing program, Zoe has written and directed many short films and written several features, TV pilots, and spec scripts. She’s also had a short story published in the Iowa Review. She loves collaboration, is an excellent conversationalist, and aches to be part of a writers’ room.|
|David Cornue||@davidcornue||THE PRESUMED|
A mysterious woman averts authorities by pretending to be a missing girl who disappeared years ago as a child, but when that girl’s family welcomes the impostor home, she’s forced to keep the deception alive or face the consequences. THE PRESUMED is a dark and twisted psychological drama about the lengths people will go to believe a lie they wish to be true.
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Imagine Impact 1 Creator, 2018
Fox Writers Lab Fellow, 2016
|David Cornue is a writer, producer, and conservatory-trained composer who somehow survived growing up in a family of six boys. He has developed projects at Fox, USA Network, A&E Network, and Stage Network. The founder of New Core Productions, he produced and sold four independent features and premiered an episodic at SXSW in 2018. David recently adapted Stephen King’s novel, INSOMNIA, and he created a medical drama which is currently in development at FBC/20th. He was fortunate enough to be a fellow in the Fox Writers Lab and a creator in the inaugural class of Imagine Impact. He is a big science advocate and promotes the Science & Entertainment Exchange whenever possible, even in his bio. David also formed an exclusive writing group and script development service for professional writers, and he has composed film scores, acclaimed musicals, and songs on produced albums. He can work locally in LA or NYC, and he’s a WGA and WGC member. Showrunner references are available upon request. For more information, please visit http://davidcornue.com .|
|David Merritt II||@KingDavidFilms||UNRAVEL|
Gage awakens to discover he is caught in a hellish time loop controlled by a blood-soaked watch. Gage desperately struggles to change the outcome before he spirals into madness
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ABC Directing Finalist 2016
CBS Directing Finalist 2017
|David Merritt II is a writer, director, and producer from Durham, North Carolina who now resides in Valley Village, California. David, a life-long artist with a passion for painting and sculpture, earned his Bachelor Arts degree in Arts History from East Carolina University followed by a Master's Degree in Film from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.|
229 year old Aaron Frank works as a doctor at The Hell’s Point Health and Trauma Center in New York City. Utilizing ancient medical practices and the latest western technology, he heals patients and embraces his humanity while the biotech conglomerate, Regenesis Worldwide, plots to capture his secrets and then, him.
|Drama||Humanitas New Voices, 2017, Finalist||After finishing her B.A. at LMU, Val planned to become the next Meryl Streep, but eventually came to realize she was Sally Hawkins in a Dynasty world. Practicality got Val working behind the camera. Then, she discovered writing and went at it with a vengeance. Having grown up with a schizophrenic mother, Val spent her formative years pretending to be a member of the Enterprise’s crew, Maddie and David’s best friend and a member of the Murph’s team. She’d create stories and scenes in her head endlessly, giving herself bigger parts and imagining ways to save the day. This was the key emotional survival tactic which allowed her to escape her mother’s illness. As a result, Val developed a deep love for genre TV and women’s stories, drama and comedy. A big life change sent Val back to school for an MFA in Playwriting and Screenwriting from UC, Riverside. She followed it up by teaching college and at-risk high school kids. School became another muse, inspiring her with stories, conflicts and characters.|
& Stephanie McFarlane
A small town struggles to pick up the pieces after a mass shooting devastates the local high school.
|Drama||HBO Writing Access Fellow (2017)||Bryce and Stephanie, a black LGBT writing duo, are both recent graduates from NYU Tisch School of the Arts where they each graduated Cum Laude from the Dramatic Writing Department. During their senior year, they were two out of eight fellows selected for the 2017-2018 HBOAccess Writer’s Fellowship where they got to pour their personal ties to gun violence and love of character driven ensembles into Sterling, a pilot about the aftermath of a school shooting in a small Texas town. As the only dramatic selection chosen to be produced through the program, Sterling went on to premiere at SXSW. Most recently, Bryce and Stephanie completed staffing on the CW’s Legacies where they wrote and produced two episodes.|
There is a world above a world where beings called Mages fight for territory in the boroughs of Los Angeles. These Mages were once one clan, but a Great War separated them, creating the distinct ethnicities we see today: Filipino, Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese. The leader of the factions is brutally murdered, and the mantle falls to his untested and coward of a son, Alex Ba.
|Drama||FOX Writers Initiative Program - Fellow||Wallaine grew up in a small Filipino community in San Diego called Paradise Hills. Living with a father who was a gambling addict, and a mother who was a religious enabler, she is able to clearly write stories about families and the relationships therein. She particularly focuses on writing stories about mother daughter relationships, and how difficult it is the moment when you find out your parents are not super heroes, but in fact, human beings. She is a survivor, and although she was ashamed of her past, she now knows it is a part of her story. She has a BA in English from SDSU, and a MFA in Screenwriting from USC. PAST DUE was in the Black List Feature Writers Lab in 2017. She also writes TV and was accepted into the FOX Writers Initiative program in 2010.|
In a corporate-controlled future, a cop in charge of policing black market genetic enhancements finds himself framed for murder by his own clone.
|Drama||WB TV Writers Workshop Finalist, 2002||I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania. After graduating from Wesleyan University, I worked as a music journalist in Athens, GA, then as a teacher and travel writer in China. Returning to America, I got my MFA in screenwriting from UCLA. I’ve written for TOP STORY WEEKLY, a sketch show lampooning culture and politics, as well as TWO ROADS, a Lebanon-based drama series. I’ve also produced, wrote and co-directed several online videos with combined views of 240,000. One series, FRENEMIES, just premiered on the Roku channel SmartTV. Currently, I write the webcomic MY ROOMMATE, THE INTERNET. Last year as part of #Inktober I collaborated on an illustrated fantasy novel about a pirate cabin boy who befriends a siren. It peaked at #6 on Kindle’s list of illustrated fantasy books.|
|Frank Cappello||@heycappello||FAMILY STYLE |
When a former mafia enforcer is released from prison after a twenty year sentence, he moves to San Francisco to reconnect with his mild-mannered son and help him run his unsuccessful vegan-Italian restaurant, which quickly descends into the world of organized crime.
2018 NBC Writer's on the Verge - Finalist
|Frank Cappello grew up on the Jersey Shore where he was raised by a stereotypical Italian-American family. His father is a conservative restaurant owner and his mother is a liberal special ed teacher. They got divorced when Frank was ten, solidifying his future as a comedy writer. Frank started working in his dad’s Italian restaurant when he was nine years old. Although child labor was definitely illegal by this point in American history, Frank learned the importance of hard work from a very young age. Being constantly surrounded by food and his contentious parents, Frank quickly became an adolescent fat kid, processing his emotions with the help of cheese whiz and Gushers. In high school, Frank discovered his love of theatre which helped him come out of his shell, shed his weight and become more confident. He received his BFA from Carnegie Mellon’s School of Drama and then moved to LA to pursue his career in comedy. Frank has been temporarily homeless, publicly choked during high school, gotten lost during a mushroom trip, been part of a high-speed chase, and has met Sir Ian McKellan. Basically, Frank loves telling stories and wants to help you tell yours.|
|Matthew J. O'Neill||@MatthewJONeill1||THE TIMES |
Dorothy Chandler fights her family from within in order to change the Times from a fake news empire in the 1940's to a well-respected, award winning paper in the 60's and beyond. MAD MEN meets THE CROWN.
Imagine Impact 1 Creator
Humanitas New Voice 2010
|I'm a TV and feature writer looking for staffing, assignments, to develop, spec and re-write. I specialize in inspired-by true stories, TV drama, big action-comedies and sports - and have samples for all. Originally from the Boston area, I'm a Syracuse University and Chapman University graduate.|
|Bernard Badion||@bernardbadion||SLO NEWS|
A Buzzfeed pop culture editor who will never fill the shoes of his journalist father has to return to his hometown when his father dies in a freak bbq accident. But when his Dad’s death doesn't seem like an accident anymore, he sees an opportunity to do some real journalism, make his father proud, and shed light on a sinister conspiracy.
|Comedy||NBC Writers On The Verge, 2018-2019||Bernard Badion is currently a fellow in the NBC Writers On The Verge Program. He has served as an assistant to Writer/Co-Executive Producer Sanjay Shah at Fresh Off The Boat and also assisted in Shah’s pilot with Jonathan Krisel. Previous to that he was the writers production assistant at Netflix’s One Day At A Time. A San Francisco Bay Area Native and a first generation Filipino-American, the road to writing television started when he made the first feature film to originate from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in his undergrad, taught high school for a year in Silicon Valley, cleaned stacks of dishes as a Top Chef Masters production assistant, was a 30 year-old intern (undercover because Asian don't raisin) at Conan on TBS, an MFA recipient at Loyola Marymount, and now a father (his wife can’t believe it either). He also was a DJ for ten years, for which he is deeply, deeply sorry.|
On the night of his brother’s coming-of-age ceremony, a seven-year-old Powhatan boy is kidnapped by Spanish conspirators plotting to colonize his homeland. For ten years he is raised like a prince in the Spanish Empire before returning home and upending his captor’s plans with a plot of his own.
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|Drama||Imagine Impact 1 Fellow, 2018||Paul Marchand is a writer with a background in culturally-themed feature documentaries. As an editor, he was responsible for the structure and story of films like Chris Rock’s “Good Hair,” Martin Scorsese’s “The 50 Year Argument,” and his own “Jaco.” Paul was raised by his mother, a nurse, in a low-income neighborhood of northern Colorado. He was first motivated by the working-class stories of the people he grew up with, and after receiving a full-ride scholarship from LMU’s film school and studying abroad in Beijing, his tastes broadened to include the art, cinema, and literature that he was exposed to and humbled by. After college, Paul did many odd-jobs to make ends meet, including but not limited to: a traveling 35mm projectionist, a punk rock roadie, a dockworker, a roustabout, a weed-dealer (sorry mom), and a forklift driver for various non-profits. It wasn’t until he became a projectionist at HBO that Paul met Chris Rock who graciously helped jumpstart his career in the industry. Now, after ten years of working with his heroes in comedy and documentary, Paul has transitioned into screenwriting by selling his first feature and by having his first pilot selected by Imagine Impact 1. Paul is drawn to themes of identity, power, history, and the hidden class-struggle in American life. He loves a good thriller, a dark comedy, a beautiful drama, and a rough-terrain telescoping boom-forklift.|
A 13-year-old Vietnamese girl struggles with her identity after she meets her long-lost father and discovers he’s a white guy.
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|Comedy||2016 CBS Writers Mentoring Program - Fellow |
2018 Sesame Street Writers Room - Fellow
2016 Disney-ABC - Finalist
|Cynthia Furey is a Viet Hapa who hopes to one day live in a world where lactose intolerance doesn’t exist. Until then, she spends her free time eating domestic cheeses and asking WHY GOD, WHY does cheese (and her last relationship, and gambling, and a really bad joke) hurt so good. A Los Angeles native, Cynthia has spent much of her professional life working as a food writer, restaurant critic and recipe developer for The Orange County Register, the ZAGAT Restaurant Guides and Google. Since making the TV-writing leap, Cynthia has written episodes of Clifford the Big Red Dog, and has earned fellowships in the 2018 Sesame Street Writers Room and the 2016 CBS Diversity Writers Program. Cynthia continues to write kids TV and feel-good, network family comedies. She is a fan of coincidences, http://Reddit.com/r/aww , and the NES Classic. Cynthia is a culinary school survivor.|
|Deborah Swisher||@dswishrox||BARBIZON GIRLS |
Kit, Helen and Lillian are conflicted, complicated 50s girls living at the Barbizon Hotel whom must figure out how to keep the secrets that the images they present of themselves are not their own but rather who they strive to be in order to fulfill their dreams of success. Tonally, think “Hidden Figures” meets “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”
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|Drama||Rideback TV Incubator Finalist - 2019||Deborah hails from Berkeley where her Jewish mother eloped with her Black father somewhere between the Free Speech movement and a Black Panthers rally. She spent her formative years growing up in a commune called Synanon, which started out as an alternative lifestyle for social change, but became a cult by the time she left at the age of eighteen. After culture shock and learning you don’t hug every stranger you meet, Deborah did what any cult survivor does: Became a stand-up comic. Writing followed. Deborah is a Sundance Fellow and her play, “Hundreds of Sisters and one BIG Brother” about her life in Synanon premiered Off-Bwy at the Harold Clurman Theatre to critical acclaim. In TV, Deborah’s currently writing “Synchro” for NETFLIX and her latest pilot, Barbizon Girls, is in development with Debra Martin Chase (Harriet, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Princess Diaries, Sparkle.) Deborah recently wrote on legal dramas Benched and In Contempt for (BET). She is a 2019 Rideback TV Incubator Finalist and a WGA Writers Access Honoree under Glen Mazzara. Deborah holds a BA in drama from S.F. State University and lives in Los Angeles.|
|Daniela Bailes||@danibailes||THE LETTERS|
After discovering her mother's extensive correspondence with a notorious serial killer, Violet Bryce finds herself entangled in family secrets when a similar murder occurs in her own backyard.
|Drama||FOX Writers Initiative Program - Finalist||Daniela Bailes is a Mexican-American writer raised in the greater Los Angeles area. She began her career in the fashion industry, working in the photography offices of ELLE magazine. She also co-founded a luxury menswear company sold at Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue. Her script, The Letters, was honored by advocacy group We For She’s WriteHer list as one of the best unproduced scripts featuring female-driven inclusive content. The script is in active development. In 2018, she was selected for the National Hispanic Media Coalition TV Writer's program, and was also selected for the 2019 NHMC Graduate Writer’s program. Daniela is a member of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, and a proud alumna of the Yale Writers’ Workshop. Her dramatic/genre work explores flawed characters, high concepts, and inclusive worlds.|
|Aron Tennant||@arontennant||YESTERDAY, TODAY AND PROBABLY TOMORROW|
Naive, but intellectually brilliant, teenager Noah tries to stop his parents from moving towns, while a new girl moving into the area causes friction between him and his best friend Owen.
Nickelodeon Writing Programme - Finalist
|Aron Tennant is from South Yorkshire in the North of England and is a graduate of a Masters course in Play and Screenwriting from City, University of London. Coming from a family of working class labourers he decided to seek a more creative path using his upbringing as the catalyst for his storytelling. He began writing original prose stories during school and at the age of 13 had a short story chosen to be published in a collection of short horror stories entitled Fiendish Fiction. Some of his plays have been performed throughout fringe theatres in London as well as excerpts from his feature length screenplays acted out in front of a live audience. In 2018 he worked on a short film entitled Donkeytooth, which was screened at the Sundance film festival in London and he is currently working on the production of a web series based in London. He is passionate about telling stories which reflect the working class person and their struggles in society that are relatable to audiences all over the world, by shining a comedic light on what it is we experience growing up and how these experiences develop and change us.|
|Josephine Green Zhang||@josephinetheg||THE GOLDEN AGE|
The black sheep of the family, Randy Sanchez, aims to take over his stepfather’s dinner theater restaurant, even though his stepbrother is set to inherit the castle. Seriously, the restaurant is shaped like a castle.
Universal Writers Program, 2017 - Fellow
|Josephine Green Zhang studied film and screenwriting at UCLA, despite her Taiwanese immigrant mother’s hope that she would become a nun with a law degree. Originally from the Latinx and Asian communities of the San Gabriel Valley, she has lived in both China and Chile, and incorporates her multicultural experiences and her own immigrant upbringing into her work. She's been a Film Independent Project: Involve Fellow; a Sprite Film Finalist; a recipient of the Peter Stark Memorial Scholarship; and a screenwriter in the Universal Writers program. She also writes and performs sketch comedy with her all-female sketch group, Glamazon, and is a host for the WGA podcast 3rd & Fairfax. Ultimately, Josephine aspires to create stories which empower misfit characters to find their own happy endings – with a special focus on loud, strong and funny women. In addition to grounded and broad comedy, Josephine loves writing stories that mix and challenge genres. She recently directed an all-female cast in a film noir spoof entitled “The Dick Pickford Detective Agency;” it is currently in the festival circuit and won the best film award at the Broad Humor Festival.|
When an impoverished 14-year-old girl has her pregnancy exposed by her school to an enthusiastic social worker, the teen is forced to tell her mentally ill mother the news and must also adjust to taking classes at the city's progressive facility for "troubled students."
Disney | ABC Writing Fellowship Finalist
|Sammy Sarzoza was born with dark brown skin in one of the whitest and most frigid states in America. Having to survive long and hard Minnesota winters has given him a Viking-like work ethic that he applies to everything except household chores. Coming from a blue-collar family, he attempted to pick up the tools of the family trade but quickly dropped them when they made his hands calloused. He later parlayed his love of soft hands into a career in high-end lotions. From there, he kept on using his brain instead of his brawn and enrolled in film school at a Minneapolis community college where he fell in love with screenwriting. For many years that love was unrequited, but after a lot of hard work, he's won it over... kinda. Upon graduating he built his own production company from scratch and had many clients nationwide. His biggest client was a Twin Cities based bong manufacturer, which cranks out the most cutting edge devices in smoking technology. While building his business, he also spent many years making his name in women's roller derby as the sports premier videographer. He left all that behind though to move to Los Angeles, where he stacks pages like a bricklayer in the pursuit of becoming a full-time writer and part-time sun soaker.|
|Megan Woeppel||@mwoeppel||OFF THE RECORD|
A reporter and her tight-knit crew travel the world reporting on the grim realities of war and natural disaster, on a quest to tell every side of the story. Frequent danger and high stakes reporting draw the crew together, perhaps too close, causing them to lead double lives – life on the road, and life at home. All stories eventually leak – how long can they keep their duality a secret?
|Drama||Warner Brothers 2015 Finalist||Megan Woeppel grew up in a small town in Kansas working in the family music store. At 12 years old, she made her first film project, which was a hit all over town, and she was instantly hooked on the power of film and television to share stories and create conversation. Megan spent the early years of her career as a camera operator and DP, learning the ins and outs of production and expanding her perspective traveling the world with production. However, writing was always her first love, like a bad habit she couldn’t kick. After years of getting up hours before call time to get some writing time in, Megan finally came out of denial that ultimately, she’s a writer and producer at heart.|
|Wesley Yiin||@YiinsideOut||THE GRINDR GAMES|
When trophy boyfriend Warren Wu gets dumped by his college sweetheart, he rebounds into the wormhole of gay hookup/dating apps. But without a job or money—and nearly without a home—Warren struggles to re-establish his life, career, and self-worth in New York City. Colorful and stylized imaginary FIGHT SEQUENCES manifest as Warren grows to recognize the competition, objectification, and performance that are inherent in gay hookup culture.
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CBS Writers Mentoring Program (Finalist)
|Wesley Yiin was once called the “platonic ideal of a human being” by his journalism professor, Bob Woodward. A lapsed reporter, Wesley has published in The Washington Post, Slate, and Salon. He stopped reporting after moving to Alaska, where he tutored while hibernating through the 2016 election. He emerged from this slumber newly committed to telling culturally and politically impactful stories. As a queer, Taiwanese-American writer, Wesley writes offbeat characters who interrogate systems and institutions of power. He recently graduated from USC's MFA program in Screenwriting and optioned a pilot at Gaumont Television.|
|Obiageli Odimegwu||@ObyInRealLife||PECULIAR ANIMALS|
After beginning her job at Hudson Elliott, a prestigious investment bank in New York, Billie Scott, a young, black trader, finds the body of best friend and fellow analyst, Mia Foster, hanging in a bathroom closet. Though the police rule Mia’s death a suicide, Billie begins to suspect that Mia was murdered for looking into Dynslex, a pharmaceutical company, which is about to go public in the market’s most anticipated IPO since Facebook.
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|Drama||CBS Writer’s Mentoring Program Finalist 2018||Obiageli grew up in Lagos, Nigeria with a voracious appetite for experiences. She fed this appetite by attending a Christian fundamentalist boarding school in Northern Nigeria, transferring to a crunchy-granola “learning community” (AKA boarding school run by ex-flower children) in Westchester, Pennsylvania and working as an international equity trader on Wall Street. Obiageli likes to write about outsiders who find themselves in novel situations. She was a finalist for the CBS Writer’s Mentoring Program, her feature, The Show, was an American Zoetrope finalist and she was invited to be a panelist at NATPE. Obiageli recently graduated from USC's MFA program in Screenwriting.|
& Melissa Marlette
Fresh off a World Series win, a major league catcher is forced to retire. Now a coach, Joe struggles to fit in with his former teammates, coaches, and family, while still desperate to play the game.
|Drama||WB TV Writers Workshop fellows 2018||In 2011, writing team Jen Vestuto and Melissa Marlette met in New York on the set of Person of Interest. Spending 14+ hours a day together as PAs, they quickly developed not only a great team dynamic, but a lasting friendship. After bonding over baseball, great films and huevos rancheros, they decided to take their first stab at writing a script together. As a team, they love telling stories about seemingly ordinary people put into extraordinarily difficult circumstances. They gravitate towards complex character dramas and stories that forge identities and question people’s humanity. In 2016, they got their first taste in TV writing when they were given the opportunity to co-write the penultimate episode of The Vampire Diaries and in 2017, were selected for the Warner Brothers TV Writers' Workshop.|
|Nicole Glantz||@nicoleglantz||FAMILY CAMP|
A broken family attends a college alumni family camp to fix their problems. This ensemble drama follows characters from different generations as they grapple with the inevitable complications of growing older, wiser, and in love.
|Drama||WB Finalist 2018||Growing up near the Fox lot, Nicole Glantz was lured towards productions filming in her neighborhood by the heavenly smell of crafty donuts that she was not supposed to eat. At age five, Nicole had her epiphany. She wanted to tell stories and eat donuts for the rest of her life. Years later, Nicole ventured cross-country to Poughkeepsie, New York. She majored in Film and Political Science at Vassar College, and thrived in this academic haven for misfit toys. Nicole founded VCTV, Vassar’s first student-run production company, which quickly grew to 80 students and remains a vibrant part of the Vassar community. Nicole then gained exposure to the Writers Room as the Writers PA, and subsequently landed her first Writers Assistant position after being interviewed in Spanish at the Grand Havana Room Cigar Club. She was very thankful that she accurately represented her Spanish proficiency on her resume, and that her abroad experience in Madrid had amounted to more than 4am debauchery at Kapital. As a Writers Assistant, Nicole has written outlines and regularly contributed ideas that end up in script. She was a semi-finalist for NBC’s Writers on the Verge, and a finalist for the WB Writers’ Workshop. Nicole develops pilots that challenge viewers to question their preconceptions, and examine the world through a wider lens.|
|Lucy Luna||@LucyLuna||SOPHIE & VALENTINA |
Losing her eyesight to macular degeneration, a dance teacher hires a Mexican transgender woman to escort her to Mexico in hopes of finding a "curandera" healer.
|Drama||HBO Access Writing Fellowship, 2019 - Finalist||I am Mexican who was raised by a hard-working, single mother aka, my hero. I grew up in a small town called Morelia, where sometimes gun shots would wake me up at night. A beautiful town shadowed by its insecurity. I grew up surrounded by fear, fear of being the next. With cousins being kidnapped by mistake, and with our house getting robbed more than once. I grew up in a town where the cartel asks for a fee to allow you to work, a fee too high that 80% of the people could not afford and thus, ended up shutting their businesses. A town where it's easier to be employed, getting minimum wage, because it's safer. Yet, I also grew up with Mariachi. Ah, mi Mariachi. I grew up with the best food, the best traditions, and the best family I could've asked for. Among the chaos, I understood love. My family always pushed me to continue dreaming. They helped me turn my dreams into goals. I survived the danger, the bullets, the trafficking. I carry with me all the beauty, all the scars, all the love. I turned my fear into courage, and then into stories. And here I am in LA now, writing. For myself and for my family.|
|Naja Rayne||@najarayne||CHICKENHAWK |
After her son is murdered, a neuropsychologist trying to start over is pulled into a research trial that asks whether or not pedophilia can be cured resulting in unexpected encounters and ethical dilemmas at a special commitment center for sexual predators.
|Drama||Black List/Women in Film Episodic Lab (2018 Fellow)||From the time a computer was introduced into my home, I’ve been writing. While my early “short stories” were merely plagiarized versions of the books I loved at the time — Go Ask Alice, It Happened to Nancy; things of that nature — I exercised my writing muscles early and often. In college, I majored in journalism thinking that was the only type of writing that “made money.” Despite hustling in the media world and landing the news internships everyone wants on their resume, I quickly realized journalism wasn’t for me — and, really, neither was New York. Towards the end of my college career, I pivoted to screenwriting. After a year of churning out hundreds of articles for People Magazine’s digital vertical, I left to focus solely on my craft. I wrote my first two feature screenplays in the course of my year in the UCLA Professional Programs, before focusing primarily on television. Things were starting to fall together, but the unexpected and sudden death of my father — followed by my executing his estate without a will or any guidance — forced me to put a pin in my nascent career and cater to familial obligations. Coming out of that as both, a stronger person and writer, I was invited to participate in the Black List/Women in Film Episodic Lab, and started work as a WPA on an ABC drama shortly after. As it’s been, writing is my salvation and way of coping with and responding to the world. Whatever I’m faced with; I write my way out.|
|Khadijah Iman||@_KhadijahIman||JESSICA EXALTED |
On the search for the truth about her grandmother’s mysterious death, a young girl gets more than she bargained for when she discovers that she’s the key to stopping war between witches and warlocks and saving the world from darkness.
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|Drama||Native American TV Writers Lab||Khadijah Iman is a Native/Black/LGBTQ+ screenwriter from Boston, MA. When she was just shy of seven years old, she snuck into her mother's VHS collection and watched the world's most notorious fictional killers: Chucky, Jason, and Freddy. From that moment on there was no turning back and overtime she became the weird kid who always chose to stay in a watch a classic horror flick than to go outside and play. The inciting incident that pushed Khadijah into her writing career journey was when she saw her grandmother die in front of her nine year old eyes. She used writing as a means to heal and understand her emotions. She went on to study Creative Writing for Entertainment at Full Sail University and received her BFA in June 2015. Khadijah’s scripts center around POC and/or LGBTQ+ characters struggling with their identity while simultaneously dealing with a death or sickness.|
After a car accident leaves her with a rare medical condition that results in a lack of fear, a suburban housewife begins taking matters into her own hands to turn her life around.
|Drama||ABC Writing Program 2017 Finalist|
NBC Writers on the Verge Fellow 2016-17 Fellow
WIF Black List Fellow 2016
|A Los Angeles native and a child of Vietnam War immigrants, Jeane is Vietnamese-Chinese. She was raised Buddhist and developed a sweet tooth as a child while manning the cash register at her parents’ Chinatown bakery. She grew up on a steady diet of Asian folklore and superstitions, English dubbed Sailor Moon, and reading her weekly comic issues. She survived high school in the diverse San Gabriel Valley. Jeane received her BA in English Literature from UCLA and studied abroad in Paris. After graduation, with hopes of working in diplomacy, she interned for her local congressman with a focus on public healthcare and did a stint working at an oncology research lab. She used to be trained first responder, as well. But this work convinced her to live by her favorite Han Solo line "Never tell me the odds" and dive headfirst into her real passion: Hollywood. She is an alumna of NBC Writer’s on the Verge program, the Women in Film Black List Episodic Lab, and the Producer’s Guild Workshop. She has had numerous short stories published, did a run on DC’s Vampire Diaries comics, and self-published her debut comic with artist Roy Stewart. She has sold a pilot to Universal Cable Productions and her current pilot is set up at Homegrown Pictures (Netflix’s Dear White People). She has also written several freelance episodes of The CW’s Arrow. She writes about identity leaning towards serialized worlds with deep mythologies and genre settings with a subtle nod toward the zeitgeist and telling these stories in a character-driven way with heart is her modus operandi. Currently, she catches typos and Oxford commas like nobody’s business as a Script Coordinator for The CW’s Arrow. She is repped by Circle of Confusion. Jeane volunteers as a clinic escort and is constantly searching for the perfect old-fashioned recipe.|
|Gilli Messer||@NetflixandGil||YOGA POSERS |
A workplace comedy about yoga and what happens when its devotees drink the corporate Kool-Aid of the high-end retail world at Pippa Papaya Apparel, which isn't just a brand: it's a lifestyle! It's Superstore meets Silicon Valley with a female-driven, new-age twist. Loosely (okay, snugly) based on my experiences working for luxury fitness brand lululemon athletica.
|Comedy||2018 Fox Writers Lab Finalist||The granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, Gilli Messer uses the trauma inherited on her DNA to write comedy. Her Israeli-American upbringing, affinity for languages (she speaks Hebrew, French, and Russian), and lifelong compulsion to tell and consume stories led her to study Anthropology at Barnard College, where she graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa (Latin and Greek for “nerdy”). Most recently, Gilli developed and scripted a musical comedy series for AwesomenessTV, wrote an episode of Wondery’s podcast Imagined Life, and wrote for the 2018 CBS Diversity Showcase. She was a finalist for the Fox Writers Lab, the Sundance Episodic Lab, Film Independent’s Project Involve, and a writer for the two ABC Diversity Showcases. Gilli wrote and starred in the comedic digital series, The Drunk Lonely Wives Book Club, directed by Emmy-winner Mary Lou Belli, and Meme Queens, distributed by WhoHaha. She has published humor prose for McSweeney's Internet Tendency and Hollywood Dementia.|
|Jessica D. Shields||@jessicadshields||RUE PIGALLE |
In 1930s Paris, on the seedy streets of Montmartre, a group of musicians, mobsters and misfits desperately cling to their slice of utopia as they battle against the forces of change, contending with the global depression and the ever-encroaching war.
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|Drama||HBOAccess Writing Fellow (2019)|
HUMANITAS Prize College Drama Fellowship (2019)
|I’m a black, queer, female drama writer, weaving stories that center POC, queer and marginalized folks at a crossroads of difficult choices and moral ambiguity. I love grit and laughter in equal measure. Influenced by fables, fairytales, and Southern gothic macabre, I delight in crafting rich worlds populated with intriguing characters who reflect my insatiable curiosity about the human condition. Originally from Atlanta, I came of age all over, including boarding school in New England, college in Nashville and graduate studies in Singapore and New York. My first love was theatre. I read Tom Stoppard’s The Invention of Love and was mesmerized. By the end of the first act I believed I could write a play. Like Houseman, “My life was marked by long silences” but now I heard the whispers, exclamations and witty dialogue of myriad voices chattering in my head. After a period of stasis and soul-searching I chose to pursue film. Enthused, I went to film school in Singapore with no practical experience or expectations. It was an exhilarating time that paved the way for me attend Columbia University where I earned my MFA in Screenwriting/Directing. I currently reside in Los Angeles.|
|Anil K. Foreman||@forforeman||THE CLAPBACK |
To secure a partnership and defeat her office nemesis, an ambitious yet insecure attorney undergoes a risky personality makeover from an outspoken old friend.
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|Comedy||Universal Writers Program, 2018-2019||Before moving to Los Angeles in 2018 for the Universal Writers Program, long-time Atlanta resident Anil K. Foreman worked as an attorney for the Georgia Department of Community Health. While practicing health care and administrative law, Anil discovered the power of storytelling and service in listening to constituents and using the law to assist them in resolving their issues. She began writing female-driven comedy screenplays in her spare time with a focus on life in the South and its vibrant art, music, culture, and rich history. Her characters often struggle with self-acceptance but learn to rely on others to persevere. She received a degree in English Literature from Barnard College, where she graduated with honors. Passionate about trivia, Anil appeared on America's favorite quiz show, Jeopardy! in 2013. She lost, which means her life can be described by a Weird Al song. She's actually quite proud of that.|
|Arun K. Vir||@ArunKVir||DAD! I’M AMERICAN |
DIM underscores the challenges faced by the SINGH's, a turbaned American family from Queens,NY seen through the lens of TALVIN, a top-knot teen, big sister AYSHA, college-drop-out, lil sister, MALA, Brainiac, SIDHAK, dad, aspiring politician with hawkish tendencies, and JASLEEN - OCD, unhelpful mom.
|Comedy||Finalist - Nicholl Fellowship - 2016||WOC writer. Crisscrossing India, London, New York, and Los Angeles, my narrative storytelling career began at Nickelodeon and The Nuyorican Poet’s Café, Fifth Night. I wrote my first script, The Last Weekend – a story reflecting on the end of a volatile marriage. A single mom, I moved to Los Angeles; bar tending, PA'ing paid the bills until I landed in the writers’ room at Warner Bros. My stories include Suburban Turban about the experiences of a Turbaned American family in the years following 9-11. I write about life experiences that shaped me. Single mom, supporting my daughter through addiction and recovery, brown girl rebel who defied traditional parents and married outside of her community; the funny and not so funny about raising an eclectic family and DWMR (Dating while Mixed-Race) LOL!, love me some family patriarchy drama and I have a panache for historical social justice. I’m not afraid to lean into the vulnerable: my last story examines eating disorders. Yes, black/brown women face these challenges too! ATF Citizen Academy Graduate taught me a lot about fear. I'm LA based and willing to travel anywhere to work.|
|David Ngo||@beststorynever||STARTER HOUSE |
A fierce Korean American daughter stuck under the thumb of her overbearing mom, becomes a new mom herself and breaks free from this control. However, when she becomes desperate to find a house in a baby-friendly area, her mom puts a down payment on their first home, resuming control once again.
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|Comedy||NBC Writers on the Verge Fellow||David is a writer and content creator. He is a past honoree of NBC Writers on the Verge, Project:Involve, and the Visual Communications Armed with a Camera fellowship. David’s screenwriting has earned him a Top 75 distinction from The Tracking Board and a CAPE New Writers Award. David holds an MFA in Writing for Film and Television from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, and his career spans several areas of entertainment ranging from script reading, television programming, commercial photography, podcasts, and corporate content. As a filmmaker, David directed THE QUEEN FROM VIRGINIA, an award-winning feature documentary chronicling his aunt’s journey from Vietnam War refugee to beauty queen as she competed in Ms. Senior America, a national pageant for women over 60. Recently, David served as a lecturer in Asian American Film and Video and currently hosts the podcast series Best Story I Never Told while developing several writing projects.|
& Shawna Baca
CURANDERA is about a Latina, DACA immigrant, and med school valedictorian, who has to raise her younger siblings after their father suddenly dies, navigate a medical internship in a hospital in an underserved Los Angeles community, and ultimately become known as the neighborhood Curandera, or healer, much like her grandmother was in Mexico. She works with a doctor at the hospital clinic who is an atheist and plays as the male Scully to her Mulder.
Fox Diversity Writers' Program
Humanitas New Voices 2011
Fox Diversity Writers' Program
|Shawna is an award-winning filmmaker, is half Latinx and half Native American. She was raised by her Apache/Yaqui grandmother in Los Angeles. Her life experiences have taken her from working for a Shaman on the Pala Indian Reservation, to Dartmouth. She and Dustin first met in the Fox Diversity Writers' Program, have been friends for years, then decided last year to write together.||Dustin wrote two freelances on "House," where he also worked as the Script Coordinator for all eight seasons. He has many years of experience as a Script Coordinator on one-hour dramas. He grew up in southern New Jersey and drove out to Los Angeles in his hatchback after college to pursue writing television. He is a veteran of the Army National Guard. He and his wife raise their three boys in the Pasadena area.|
|Nadine Jolie Courtney||@nadinecourtney||ALL-AMERICAN MUSLIM GIRL |
When 16-year-old Allie begins practicing Islam in suburban Atlanta, consequences stemming from her new religious practice impact the lives of her family, friends, and new boyfriend—the son of America’s most famous Islamophobe.
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|Drama||Athena Film Festival TV & Screenwriting Lab Finalist 2019||As a white-passing Muslim, Nadine Jolie Courtney was taught to hide her Islamic heritage to avoid judgment. Secrets figured prominently in a childhood bouncing between 12 schools & 10 states as the daughter of a Jordanian-born CIA asset father. Nadine grew up with phones tapped, cars following her, and a kidnapping attempt, never knowing if this would be the business trip her dad didn’t return from. Volatile finances meant she was as likely to be chauffeured in the back of a Mercedes 600 gifted by a Saudi prince as witness her mother stealing food from Trader Joe’s. Following a post-college career as a magazine editor, she began an anonymous blog chronicling the excesses of the industry, prompting the New York Post to out her and leading to a two-book deal with HarperCollins. Her husband was the first person she felt safe enough to confide in: they got engaged weeks later and starred on a Bravo series chronicling their marriage, though she had to publicly keep her daughter’s birth quiet until the show’s finale. With her fourth book forthcoming, Nadine is determined to shine a light on modern young Muslim women and is fascinated by the secrets we keep as we struggle to find our way.|
A queer Latina bounty hunter fights her own family more than the cons she’s chasing, all while staying a step ahead of meathead rivals and making terrible relationship decisions. *Noho Hank voice* My friend, you like HBO’s Barry? This is 1/2 hour dramedy just like Barry, only if Barry like to kiss girls and shoot people. Oh, wait…
|Comedy||Disney | ABC Writing Program - Fellow||I grew up in the “Murder Capital of the World,” along the Texas-Mexico border. One Christmas morning a bullet blasted through our front door and lodged itself in the living room sofa. Concluding Santa had gone rogue (obviously), I devised a scheme to take him down using decoy reindeer and smoke bombs. Because that’s how my mind works. After teaching myself screenwriting, I sold my first script to a producer who loved it but then died soon after reading it. My second script got me into the Disney/ABC Writing Program. Now I write comedy, SF, fantasy, and quirky dramas set in strange worlds filled with colorful characters who never give up despite overwhelming odds. Also, it is perfectly safe to hire me as people hardly ever die anymore when they read my scripts.|
|Celeste Chan Wolfe||@CelesteWolfe||PUNKERS |
PUNKERS tells the story of a 1980's gutter punk band that breaks into the L.A. underground music scene with their unique hardcore sound and special brand of anarchy, as they fight a growing territory war against a violent gang of O.C. Nazi Skinheads.
|Drama||FOX Fellow 2010||Chinese-American Celeste Chan Wolfe descended from two Mandarin families who fled China during the Communist takeover. Her Shanghainese mom had a Kuomintang Secret Service father and her dad was the grandson of a Cantonese provincial mayor. So, it’s no wonder Celeste likes to write stories about whistleblowers, families with secrets, and worlds full of hidden trauma and dysfunction. Celeste’s father became an IBM Engineer who cracked the quantum formulas behind CPU clock speeds, and she inherited her father’s ability to see patterns and structures, but with people, not math. She’s also inherited her Secret Service propaganda minister grandfather’s love of stories and penchant for digging beneath appearances. She fled an abusive home and channeled her young adult anger as a punk, specifically a Skinhead Against Racial Prejudice. Celeste was a California Licensed Family Therapist before she turned her attention to writing TV drama, which explains why she loves writing about outcasts, rebels, and people searching for love and belonging in an unfair world. A Fox Fellow, her most recent writing credit is a freelance episode of ELEMENTARY. Based in LA, willing to relocate. .Her Find-A-Writer link is: https://directories.wga.org/member/0afe9077-421a-4519-93ab-24d6494f2039|
|Lorelei Ignas||@loreleiable||LIMERICK |
A Park Avenue OB-GYN whose alcoholism nearly destroyed her career must struggle to stay sober, employed, and sane in the red suburbs of Pennsylvania after accepting a controversial job at one of the few remaining women’s health clinics in the country that performs abortions after 22 weeks.
|Drama||2015 Disney | ABC Writing Program finalist|
2016/17 NBC Writers on the Verge Fellow
|Lorelei walked into her Philadelphia kindergarten classroom not only already a voracious reader, but also performing Madonna’s early hits word-for-word, with choreography: early indications of her passion for storytelling and spectacle. Born out of wedlock to a single mom in an Irish Catholic extended family whose dysfunction makes Angela’s Ashes look like a dramedy, Lorelei’s crash course in outcasts, underdogs, and Black Sheep began pretty much as soon as the ink on her birth certificate dried... which might explain her affinity for writing these kinds of characters today. After graduating from NYU/Tisch with a degree in directing and playwriting and a minor in gender studies, Lorelei worked in theatre in New York for nearly a decade before migrating west in 2012. She is an alumni of NBC’s Writers on the Verge, the WeForShe WriteHer List, and the Bitch List and has sold pitches and developed in both features and TV. She loves writing provocative drama that explores the darker side of human nature through a womanist lens. Like any true theater kid, Lorelei thrives when she’s creating collaboratively, and would love nothing more than to bring that team spirit to a writers room.|
|Jason Nieves||@JasonNievesTV||RUBBER ROOM |
A varied group of NYC teachers accused of wrong doings, including Ben who is innocent, are exiled to a teachers' union reassignment room where they spend their time in “teacher detention” waiting to see if they’ll return to their classrooms. Based off real NYC teachers and “rubber room” stories.
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|Comedy||NBC Writers On The Verge - Fellow 2008||Called a “best new voice” by CBS, Jason Nieves mixes comedy and commentary that retains a mainstream appeal. Jason jokes his entertainment career started as David Letterman's janitor (true story). Prior to that, this Brooklynite in LA was an organ donor, a teacher, and worked with juvenile offenders. The new dad of twins is an NBC Writers On The Verge fellow, a Disney ABC Writers semifinalist and NHMC/ABC/NBC TV Writers fellow. His work was performed in six ABC and NBC showcases. He created and currently develops two series, an animated Latin family sitcom at Valence Media and a sketch series at Lionsgate. He recently developed an animated action-comedy series for MGM. Previously, he wrote a diverse workplace pilot for BET. Jason was creator/EP of LATINO 101 on Fuse. The series let Latino and non-Latino celebs comedically "educate” viewers about Latino life. It broke ratings records at Fuse, found success on Hulu, and was nominated for awards against It's Always Sunny and Real Time w/ Bill Maher. He was also on a TBS pilot and wrote a teen girl vigilante comic for Lion Forge. Formerly, Jason was head writer at LATV where wrote animated and sketch series, live TV and many pilots.|
|Bernadette Rivero||@cortezbrothers||HEXXED |
A 1-hour drama that follows the detective reluctantly put in charge of Miami’s Ritual Killings Division.
|Drama||Fox Writers Intensive Fellow, 2014||Ghostwriter to dozens of producers and directors. Mexican-American trapped in a Cuban-American family.|
|Aaron Ho||@aaron_ho||I GOT YOU ABE |
Disgusted with Trump and what he’s done to the country, Abraham Lincoln asks God to resurrect him back on Earth so he can restore America to its former glory. Along the way, he teams up with his last living descendant — a young black man from the Bronx whose life is also in need of a turnaround.
|Comedy||2010 Disney ABC Writing Program - Fellow||After paying his way though film school with poker winnings, Aaron got his start on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” where he was often featured in sketches as the “token Asian guy” and submitted jokes for Jay’s monologue. The defining moment in Aaron’s life came at age 25 when he unexpectedly inherited his father’s engineering firm. Wanting to both honor his family and continue his path toward writing, Aaron took on the task of working as a writer’s PA by day and CEO by night. That whirlwind experience lead to new writing samples, landing him a coveted spot in the Disney ABC Television Writing Program. Since then, Aaron has written on several comedies for ABC, Netflix, Disney Channel, and Nickelodeon. Aaron continues to champion diversity and acceptance, not just in his writing, but in his personal life as well. Aaron recently got engaged to his longtime girlfriend – a vivacious, white, country gal from Montana who has somehow managed to win over his strict Chinese immigrant family. When not writing, Aaron can be found playing poker to fund his upcoming wedding and addiction to SoCal theme parks. For more about him and his work, visit http://www.aaronjho.com .|
|Mimi Jeffries||@BotchedIdiom||HOLY GHOSTS|
When a State Trooper’s corpse washes up on the shores of a fishing community in 1980s post-Vietnam War Texas, Detective Josephine Walden and Officer Khang Le investigate the mysterious circumstances surrounding the homicide amidst the tensions of a racially divided community.
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|Drama||HBOAccess Writing Fellowship Finalist||Growing up equidistant from farmland and DaimlerChrysler’s headquarters in Southeastern Michigan, Mimi became interested in the social and economic relationship between class, race, and gender at an early age. Now, primarily based in New York City, she lives equidistant from three specialty ice cream parlors because, well, it’s Brooklyn. Though her scenery has changed since her childhood, she continues to explore similar themes and is particularly interested in examining the idea of inherited identity and social obligations across various genres. Her dramatic and comedic writing has been recognized by Columbia University’s MFA Film Program, Nantucket Film Festival, Slamdance, and Page International Screenwriting Awards. Most recently, she was a finalist for the 2019 HBOAccess Writing Fellowship. Her personality and tone might be best summed up in the title of the one-act play she wrote in 2008, “Titus Andronicus: The Kindergarten Class of Woodside Elementary Proudly Presents.” When she’s not writing, she can be found fawning over rescue dogs (all dogs, really) and, of course, eating ice cream instead of proper meals.|
A dark, surrealist dramedy that follows a foul-mouthed, mental health worker as she struggles to balance a demanding job, complicated love life and deteriorating grip on reality. Imagine “Insecure” meets “Nurse Jackie.”
|Drama||2019 HBOAccess Writing Fellow 2018 |
BET/ColorCreative “Script to Screen” Finalist
|Darnell Brown’s been telling stories since that time in 7th grade when he told his teachers he was sick and skipped an entire month of school. (Don’t ask) A native son of Chester, Pennsylvania – he’s seen his share of drive-bys and inner city violence, (His sister was shot twice, mere hours after her high school graduation and thankfully survived) but refused to let that become his narrative. With a creative imagination, ambitious career goals and a sweet Kia Forte Koup, he packed up his things and headed West – towards an uncertain future. For the past 5 years, Darnell has traveled the world writing and working his day job as a Trained Assassin! Sike! Legal Videographer. That unique life and world experience has allowed him to see places he thought a kid from Chester would never see like: London, Paris, Versailles, Findland, Amsterdam…Jersey. Whether it’s writing poetry, getting up there at an open mic and dropping that hot fire, shooting short films or coming up with the next great story, Darnell Brown has always sought to be a creatively adventurous believer in the power of storytelling.|
|Ryan W. Smith||@RyanWarrenSmith||BLACK MESSIAH|
In 1968, Chicago, Illinois, a black teenager is busted for car theft and recruited by the F.B.I. to inform on the rising Black Panther Movement.
ScreenCraft Fellowship Winner (2017);
|Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Ryan is a writer for film and television, living between Los Angeles and Vancouver. As an immigrant to North America, Ryan grew up as a middle child of four in a secular Jewish family. His siblings were his first creative collaborators and the driving force in finding his passion for the Arts. Ryan began in theater as an actor, performing improv comedy at Vancouver TheatreSports League. He was also a childhood magician. But as he grew, writing for film and television became his main focus. After dropping out of Law School in order to pursue a writing career, Ryan gained an MFA in Screenwriting, which built upon his honors BA in Comparative Religion, Literature and the Arts, and his Minor in Theater. While his roots are in comedy, Ryan has more recently moved into the drama space, winning the ScreenCraft Fellowship for his Apartheid-based thriller, JACARANDA. Ryan has since gone on to adapt an undisclosed Bob Woodward book into a feature for Anonymous Content. He was an early writer on Netflix’s animated feature, NEXT GEN. Additionally, he and his brother have recently produced an independent grounded sci-fi thriller, entitled, VOLITION.|
|Lauren Glover||@wolfiegoldmine||THE DIRTY SPOON |
In 1930s Savannah, Georgia, blues, jazz, and supernatural forces prevail at rural juke joint The Dirty Spoon. The Spoon's proud owner, SADIE MACK (30s), fights to save her beloved business—and later her life—after a powerful white man is found murdered on the premises.
|Drama||Sundance Episodic Lab Finalist 2017 and 2018||Lauren is drama and dark comedy writer born and raised in in a planned community created by Edward Norton's grandfather. Spoiler alert: Much like her hometown hero Aaron McGruder, she did not like it there. She earned a degree in nursing and worked as a registered nurse in the psychiatric, intensive care, and hospice fields. The experiences she gained from patient care fueled her love of storytelling and she self published a book about her experiences caring for dying patients. In 2012, a few months after discovering that TV writing is an actual career field, Lauren decided to move to Los Angeles to pursue this seemingly "too good to be true" craft. In 2017, she spent a year in Germany studying international television series formats. Lauren is a 2017 and 2018 Sundance Episodic Lab Finalist (top 30 out of 3,000+ applicants), a spot she earned by submitting her historical drama script Kingdom and southern gothic drama pilot The Dirty Spoon. Lauren is currently a writer’s assistant on a new animated Amazon series.|
|Jed Tamarkin||@jatamark||MY BENIGN MALIGNANCY |
When an aspiring artist inherits the patents for his father’s revolutionary cancer cure, he’s forced to navigate the cut-throat institutions of Big Pharma and the New York City Art World.
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|Drama||Sundance Development Track Finalist 2019||Jed has spent 15 years developing worldwide marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 companies as an art and creative director. His work for Levi's and Land Rover has been recognized by the One Show, the Webby's, Communication Arts, Apple and Google for creative excellence. Jed received a BFA from the School of Art & Design at Syracuse University. One of his earliest works was exhibited at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. He currently resides in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and two kids.|
|Lauren Ciaravalli||@Lcfilmtv||STATEN ITALY |
Vinny Fanelli is a supermarket fish man who mysteriously inherits a fortune and swears it isn't from the mob. When he blows the dough opening a restaurant, and forces his reluctant family to work there with him, Vinny's dream-come-true turns out to be more than the Fanelli's can handle.
|Comedy||Nickelodeon Writing Program - Fellow - 2014-15||Lauren Ciaravalli tells stories about unconventional heroines who know what they want, and find themselves on a comic path to get it. Most recently Lauren was nominated for a WGA AWARD for her work on the Hulu series, LOVE DAILY, which she also directed. She is currently developing a comedy pilot with actress Kira Kosarin (The Thundermans) attached to star. Born in Manhattan and raised in New Jersey by Brooklynite parents, Lauren inherited her dad’s love of Martin Scorsese pictures, which led her to study Film & Television at NYU’s TISCH SCHOOL OF THE ARTS. Lauren has a twin brother which has given her a special insight into the male brain and gender double standards, all of which she loves exploring in her work, usually to comedic effect. In addition to writing, Lauren is a prolific director whose works have played at Oscar-qualifying festivals around the country. Lauren brings her deep knowledge of filmmaking to her script-writing, crafting emotional, funny, cinematic (and shootable!) pages with a keen understanding of how each moment will soar on screen (in a budget and crew-friendly way!). Her work can be found at http://www.LaurenCiaravalli.com .|
|Elaine Loh||@thatelaineloh||SCHOOLING THE RICH |
Elite tutors in Los Angeles have unlimited access to the rich and famous - through their children.
|Drama||HBO Fellow 2019-2020||My Chinese dad was raised Buddhist. My Portuguese mom was raised Catholic. They met at Brandeis, a predominantly Jewish school, and had two bi-racial kids with no religion. We moved seven times before I was 12 years old. Sometimes I felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere - not Asian enough while in Asia, not white enough while in the US - but all the moving and shifting between social groups made me incredibly adaptable and able to see from perspectives that weren’t necessarily my own, thus starting my writer’s imagination. I am humbled to have been chosen for the HBO Writers Program Fellow and I am also currently a Sundance Episodic Lab semi-finalist. I am gratified to be named a Top 25 Screenwriter to Watch in 2019 by the International Screenwriters’ Association and to have had scripts place in the PAGE Awards, Austin Film Festival (3 times), and Final Draft Big Break (Top Ten). My produced works include winning the Grand Prize of the NewFilmmakers LA On Location Project ($60K), an Honorable Mention at the NBCUniversal/YOMYOMF Interpretations contest, and having two films accepted to Academy qualifying festivals.|
|Josh Estes||@jp_estes||LAUREL CANYON|
In the wake of President Lyndon B. Johnson announcing he won't seek reelection, a by-the-book FBI agent is sent undercover inside Los Angeles' bohemian Laurel Canyon to politicize its famous rock star inhabitants before November's presidential election.
|Drama||Humanitas New Voices||J.P. Estes is a drama writer with multiple seasons of TV production experience, most recently as a Coordinating Prod. on the Sue Heck Spinoff Pilot after years of cutting his teeth as a Showrunners’ Assistant on The Middle. A product of the suburban wasteland known as Phoenix, he used writing to escape the crushing realities of his own world after finding himself, mother, and two younger brothers homeless one month before his high school graduation. This initially lead him not to the small or big screen, but the newspaper. Years and bylines later, he changed course after an eye-opening week working at the Sundance Film Festival. Since earning his master’s in film studies from Arizona State University, J.P. has combined his experience as a journalist, producer and screenwriter to craft hyper-realistic stories that examine hard truths, turning a lens back on the harsh realities of his own life. His drama pilots have placed in screenwriting competitions from Humanitas’ New Voices to Script Pipeline to Final Draft’s Big Break. J.P. lives in Sherman Oaks, CA where he’s the sous-chef to his better half, Carrie, and hiking partner to their Chinese Shar Pei/Beagle mix, Opie.|