BUZZ: May 2016 

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.  

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

Co-creator of Broadway and international hit, Jekyll & Hyde, The Musical and writer of over 90 animated teleplays, Steve Cuden will speak and sign books this spring at Writers Store, Burbank, on Saturday, May, 21, 2016, 3‑5 p.m. Cuden shares wisdom and masterful tips in his just published BEATING HOLLYWOOD: Tips for Creating Unforgettable Screenplays, 40 Classic Movies Analyzed. An intended triple entendre, Cuden encourages his readers to “beat” the odds in Hollywood to achieve success; Hollywood is the “beating” heart of movies around the globe; and Cuden breaks down stories of 40 beloved, classic Hollywood movies into narrative “beats”. Cuden’s Beating Hollywood is a sequel to his popular Beating Broadway: How to Create Musicals that Get Standing Ovations (2013). Beating Hollywood is available at Amazon, and Samuel French Bookshops.

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.

Children’s story Kufa Kupona: Give It Your All, written by Emmy-winning Robert Illes, was published earlier this year by The Ishmael Tree, NYC, available on Amazon.

Devra Māza's feature story "The Kings of Comeback: Five Lessons for Success From the World Series" has been published on The Huffington Post's Sports page. The article, which showcases exhilarating comebacks in each of the five World Series games, shines a spotlight on the unique qualities of character, exemplified by heroics of individual players, that made victory possible. Take an in-depth look at how each star athlete overcame daunting setbacks to rise to the championship occasion with a winning mindset made up of resilience, consistency, faith, perseverance, and execution. These strategies for success can be applied to any endeavor, whatever your aspirations. For more on Devra and her articles, follow her on Twitter @DevraMaza and visit

Ken Pisani will be signing his debut novel AMP’D on May 11, 7 p.m. at Book Soup (8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood). In the tradition of Jonathan Tropper's This is Where I Leave You and Matthew Quick’s Silver Linings Playbook, AMP’D features the darkly comic trials of a man forced to return to his boyhood home after his arm is amputated, where he tries to make the world around him disappear in a haze of Vicodin and medical marijuana while his reptilian brain falls in love with a voice on the radio. “Complete with painfully wry observations and delightfully caustic wit, this novel is a gritty exploration of what it's like to feel incomplete in the world. All five fingers up for this bitterly satisfying tale.” ~Kirkus Reviews (starred)

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.

Alan Swyer's comic novel The Beard has been published by Harvard Square Editions. Set in the world of a Santa Monica-based internet giant, it tells the story of interns vying for a life of glory and riches.


Diversity Attribute Directory
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.