BUZZ: August 2014

The WGA does not endorse any particular method or approach to screenwriting. Classes listed below are not Guild-sponsored events. To see a list of all upcoming Guild-sponsored events, go to the GUILD CALENDAR.  

To list your member-related event or announcement on Buzz, contact the CALENDAR EDITOR.  

For a list of special opportunities for members, go to our SPECIAL OFFERS page.

Through their writing, Dustin Lance Black (J Edgar, Milk) and Craig Borten (Dallas Buyers Club) have shined a bright light on LBGT issues, all while managing not to make LBGT-specific films but Oscar-winning ones. This subtle finesse means their films carry profound messages to a broad, worldwide audience. “The Writer's Room with Reza Aslan” is excited to welcome two talented and lauded screenwriters to its monthly series (first Wednesdays) on Wednesday, September 3, 8 p.m. at DBA, West Hollywood. Tickets via DBAHollywood, coupon code: WGAMember.

Emmy-winning Wayne Brady stars in Pasadena Playhouse’s Kiss Me, Kate with Merle Dandridge, directed by Sheldon Epps. The beloved backstage musical includes many recognized Cole Porter songs: “So in Love,” “Another Op’nin’ Another Show,” “Too Darn Hot,” and “Brush Up Your Shakespeare.” This classic show celebrates Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew and the joys, madness and rewards of working in the theatre, both onstage and off. Show opens September 16 and runs through October 12. Purchase tickets online or call (626) 356-7529. WGAW members can login to Special Offers page to get Pasadena Playhouse discount code.

Horror screenwriters Diane Doniol-Valcroze and Arthur K. Flam have co-authored 41 Strange, a first-of-its-kind Kindle ebook anthology of short-short stories exclusively devoted to the strange and horrifying. The 41 tales were written “in the lonely hour of the wolf… in the pre-dawn darkness when you get those ‘waking nightmares.’” 41 Strange has been called “great entertainment” by, and should appeal to a general audience of film lovers and short story readers, as well as fans of science-fiction, horror and crime, and readers looking for a quick dose of strange stories for commuting, or just curling up for a chilling night read before bed. For more information: and Press Release

Stanley Dyrector's book Shedding Light on the Hollywood Blacklist: Conversations with Participants with a foreword by Ed Asner, is available online via Amazon, Nook, Apple iTunes, BearManor Media, and in hard copy at the following book stores: Skylight Books on Vermont, Chevalier's Books in Larchmont Village, Barnes and Noble at The Grove, Samuel French on Sunset Blvd. Additionally, Dyrector’s Hollywood true story articles, “Crazy Business of TV Writing” and “Taxi Rest” appeared in Fran Lewis's MJ Magazines (Vol. 1, Issue 3, March 2014) available from Smashwords and Amazon, with “Meeting Clint” and “Stan Regrets Jack Lemmon” anticipated to publish in upcoming summer 2014 issue. For more information:

Deirdre Hanssen invites all WGAW members to Santa Barbara for monthly “First Fridays” networking lunches. Email Deirdre directly to check whether a gathering is scheduled in the upcoming month, time, location (usually Stella Mare’s French Country Cuisine in Montecito), and to be added to the email reminder list.

Sharon D. Johnson (WGAW Committee of Black Writers Chair 1999-2003) teaches her 4-Sundays intensive "Depth of Character Screenwriting Course" on August 10, 17, 24, and 31 (12 p.m. to 4 p.m.) at Callie Rose Literary Arts Cafe in Inglewood. Johnson has written for network television series starring Sinbad, Dave Chappelle, and Sherman Hemsley. She holds a B.A. in the Program in the Arts--Writing from Barnard College, an M.A. in Media Studies from the New School, and a Ph.D. in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Class registration required via Eventbrite. WGA members receive 10% discount with code: DepthWGA.

Emmy-winner Peter Lefcourt’s new play, The Way You Look Tonight, a comedy with a heart of tarnished gold, continues its run at the Odyssey Theater through August 24. Entertaining, a tad outrageous, and politically incorrect (Asians, Hispanics, African-Americans, Gays, Jews, Methodists, Vegans, and the French will find ample opportunity to take umbrage). Adult situations, polysyllabic words, subtext, dancing, cross-dressing and a lot more… Don’t miss it! Directed by Terri Hanauer, with a cast of superbly talented actors. Tickets/Info: click here  

Arnold Rudnick (Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Star Trek: Voyager, The New Addams Family, and author of the middle-grade book ESPete: Sixth Grade Sense) is co-hosting "Would A Ghost Say That?", a seminar on the paranormal ESPecially for media professionals, with parapsychologist Loyd Auerbach, on Saturday, September 20, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Universal Hilton. By learning the fundamentals of ghosts, poltergeists, hauntings, extrasensory perception, near death and other universal experiences, based on real world reports and investigations, entertainment creators can increase the suspension of disbelief for their paranormal projects. Discount for WGA members (use promo code WGA). Register here.


WGF: Do You Have Children’s Books?
To schedule a delivery or drop-off of your children’s books, contact the Foundation at (323) 782-4692. The Writers Guild Foundation is looking for children’s books to distribute to needy parents and children in the Los Angeles area through organizations such as Sojourn Services for Battered Women & Children, The Children's Bureau of Southern California, Prototypes (Domestic Violence Shelter), and School On Wheels. Pick-ups may be possible for large donations. Visit for more information about Writers Guild Foundation programs.

Diversity Attribute Directory Now Functional!
It is now possible to search for a WGA member according to self-identified diversity attributes. The information is available through the WGAW website using this link: This online directory of writers from diverse backgrounds can be used as a resource for producers, executives, directors and other industry professionals. To be included, members must grant permission for publication of their diversity attributes. Sign in or create your MyWGAW Account via: Go to the "change attributes" link on the left side of your myWGAW homepage, and click Yes under each “OK to publish”. For technical support with your My WGAW Account, call (323) 782-4885, M-F, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.