BUZZ: September 2015  

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.

The new musical Who's Your Baghdaddy or How I started the Iraq War (music and book by Marshall Pailet and A.D. Penned) based on J.T. Allen’s screenplay "Curveball" will open on Saturday, 9/26, at the Temple Theatre, 339 West 47th Street, NYC, 10036, and run through November.

April Dammann's new book, Corita Kent. Art and Soul. The Biography. has been selling well through her publisher, Angel City Press, and at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, in conjunction with a major Corita Kent exhibition. Here is the first-ever biography of the Hollywood nun (Sister Corita) who gained a reputation in the 1960s as an artist, educator and activist.

Walter Davis invites all WGAW members to Santa Barbara for monthly “First Fridays” networking lunches. Email Walter directly to check whether a gathering is scheduled in the upcoming month, time, location (usually Wine Bistro in Montecito), and to be added to the email reminder list.

Stanley Dyrector’s non-fiction book of blacklisted screenwriters with a foreword by Ed Asner called Shedding Light on the Hollywood Blacklist: Conversations with Participants is available on all electronic platforms as well as in soft cover at his publisher BearManor Media and Amazon.

Syrie James’s page-turning novel Nocturne, named Best of the Year by Suspense Magazine and Bookbub, is now available for $2.99 on Kindle and other e-book platforms, as an audio book, and in trade paperback. On a stormy Colorado night on a lonely mountain road, Nicole Whitcomb is saved from death by a fascinating, mysterious stranger with whom she's snowbound for days. Library Journal called Nocturne "Lyrical, lush, and intensely romantic," and The Romance Reviews gave it 5 stars, declaring, "Ms. James has given us an incredibly sexy story set in the beauty of an unspoiled frozen tundra." Learn more about Syrie and all her books at

Jan Kimbrough is one of twelve writers selected from a field of 3500 submissions for the Meryl Streep-funded inaugural writing lab for women screenwriters over forty. The lab is being held under the auspices of NYWIFT - New York Women in Film and Television.

Five-time Emmy Award-winning Rob Kutner (CONAN, Daily Show) has debuted his sci-fi comedy comic book series SHRINKAGE at online-comics-reader Farrago Comics. Tiny aliens have taken over the U.S. President's brain. So brilliant, dysfunctional neuroscientist Lana Percy and crusty Cold War 3-1/2 star General Storage McCrain are shrunk down and injected up the Most Powerful Nose In The Free World to fight them. As written up in Tech Times and CNET, SHRINKAGE is the first original series from Farrago, available for free download to your device at

Josefina Lopez opens her updated play Real Women Have Curves at the Pasadena Playhouse, Sept. 8-Oct. 4. Set in a tiny sewing factory in East Los Angeles, five full-figured women race to meet an impossible deadline to keep the small business alive. This award-winning comedy was the basis for the 2002 film of the same name starring America Ferrera and has been updated for the Playhouse’s 2015 production. Real Women Have Curves celebrates real bodies, life in southern California, and the incredible bond when women work together. WGAW members have access to discount code (login required) to be posted mid-August in Special Offers.

Devra Maza's feature story "Becoming Fearless: A Conversation With A Girl Undone Author Catherine Linka" has been published by the Huffington Post's Books page. The interview with Linka includes insights into her popular debut YA novel, "A Girl Called Fearless" and its sequel. The article examines how the timely plot in the dystopian spec fiction series taps into global current events where women's rights and girls access to education are increasingly under attack. Linka also shares tips on her writing process, from conception to publication. Another of Devra's Huffington Post articles, "Art of Resistance: Charlie Hebdo's Antonio Fischetti and Judea Pearl on the War on Journalists" written for the World Post page, is now also being featured by The Daniel Pearl Foundation. The story contains interviews with Fischetti, a survivor of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, and Pearl, father of the slain Wall Street Journal reporter, upon the presentation of The Los Angeles Press Club's Daniel Pearl Award to Charlie Hebdo. For more on Devra and her other articles, follow her on Twitter @DevraMaza and visit

David Misch presents his seminar "Understanding Comedy: The Rules" – what comedy is and how it works – at Story Expo in Los Angeles on Saturday, September 12. More info at

Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio are hosting a new film festival celebrating screenwriters called The Greatest Movies Ever Written. Taking place September 25-26 in Agoura Hills, the inaugural festival features conversations with Lowell Ganz presenting Parenthood (Fri. 9/25, click on gray “6:00 [p.m.]” screening start time to get to ticketing page), Paul and Daurio presenting Despicable Me (Sat. 9/26, 11 a.m.), Brent Maddock & S.S. Wilson presenting Tremors (Sat. 9/26, 2 p.m.), and Caroline Thompson presenting Edward Scissorhands (Sat. 9/26, 6 p.m.). For a VIP pass admitting entrance to all four screenings, visit here and click on gray “6:00” to get to order your tickets. Enjoy!

Ken Pisani is executive producer and co-writer of the documentary Unexpected Justice (co-writer/director Greg Jacobs) chronicling a 1969 corruption scandal that rocked the Illinois judiciary, and launched a little-known Chicago lawyer named John Paul Stevens on the path to the U.S. Supreme Court. Based on the book Illinois Justice by Kenneth A. Manaster, the film debuts Friday, Sept. 18, 7:30 pm on WTTW in Chicago before rolling out to nationwide PBS affiliates.

Former WGAW Board member Michael Russnow's short film Speedwriting, which he wrote, directed and in which he also co-starred is an official selection of the Orlando Film Festival (October 21-25). He also recently received a Laurel of Honorable Mention at the SaMo Indie Festival, with a short clip to be shown at the event in Santa Monica, held October 2-4, 2015. The film was previously a selection at the Temecula Independent Film Festival and WMM Fest during Hollywood Fringe, both in June.

Mark Saha published his cutting horse yarn Lady Joe on CreateSpace in August. It tells the story of two best friends since high school, the girl they both dated and one married, and a champion cutting horse gone missing. Available on Amazon here.

In the spirit of fostering creativity, building friendships, and maybe lowering BP by venting industry frustrations, Fred Shafferman invites all writers to join a weekly indoor full-court WGA basketball game. Wednesdays 6-8 p.m. in Hollywood and Sundays 9:30 a.m. in North Hollywood. Email Fred for details.


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.

WGF: Share Your Expertise with the Community!
The Writers Guild Foundation offers volunteer opportunities throughout the year for all WGAW members who want to connect with the writing community, particularly with youth and military veterans who aspire to tell their stories. Opportunities range from one-time guest lectures to longer term mentorships--we work with members' levels of time commitment and availability. For more information, visit or call the Foundation at (323) 782-4692.