LOS ANGELES– As part of its efforts to promote inclusiveness in the entertainment industry, the Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) today announced the 2016 TV Writer Access Project honorees – 17 diverse writers whose work was cited by a committee of high-level writers and showrunners in Comedy (half-hour) and Drama (one-hour) script categories. The honorees will have their work exposed widely and will participate in a series of workshops and programs designed to equip them for success.
2016 TV WAP Drama Honorees
- Ariella Blejer & Dawn Kamoche – A House Divided
- Lisa Boyd – The Warrior Brides
- Adrian Alejandro Cruz – Sync
- Donald Joh – The North
- Carmen Pilar Golden – Los Hombres Perdidos (The Lost Men)
- Denise Harkavy – Skelton Park
- John-Paul Nickel – Snoop
- Talicia Raggs – Side Effects
- Deirdre Shaw – Defiance
- Shukree Tilghman – Bob of New Jersey
- Ursula Wendel – Hemisphere
- Aiyana White – Reason of Insanity
- Richard Whitley – On the Line
- Jennifer Yale – Reason of Insanity
2016 TV WAP Comedy Honorees
- Earl Davis – Whiskey Falls
- Jeanne Leitenberg – Sober Sisters
For TV WAP consideration, qualified WGAW members in five underrepresented categories – minority writers, writers with disabilities, women writers, older writers (55 and up), and LGBT – could submit an unproduced half-hour or one-hour spec script. Entries were read and scored on a blind submission basis by a panel of judges comprised of Guild members with extensive TV writing experience, including writers as Elaine Ko (Modern Family), David Shore (House), Graham Yost (Justified), and Janine Sherman Barrois (Criminal Minds).
The honorees – 15 in Drama, two in Comedy – include eight minority writers, seven women writers, one disabled writer, and one older writer. The project, created in 2009, is designed to identify and recognize outstanding diverse writing talent and provide access to their work through wga.org to entertainment industry decision-makers, including showrunners, producers, network and studio executives, agents, and managers.
For more information about the honorees and to download their work, click here.
“The TV Writer Access Project is just one way the WGAW is addressing the need to include more writers from diverse backgrounds in writers rooms. Their talent and work speak for themselves. After a demanding selection process, rigorous workshops allow them to hone those skills they’ll need for varied and successful careers,” said TV WAP Advisory Committee member Glen Mazzara, WGAW Inclusion and Equity Advisory Group Co-Chair and Damien creator/showrunner.
“TV WAP is an important step in facilitating a link between historically underrepresented writers and industry decision makers. The goal of the program is to spotlight and create opportunities for these original voices and to showcase their talents to the industry at large,” said WGAW Directory of Inclusion and Equity Tery Lopez.
The Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) is a labor union representing writers of motion pictures, television, radio and Internet programming, including news and documentaries. Founded in 1933, the Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members. It is involved in a wide range of programs that advance the interests of writers, and is active in public policy and legislative matters on the local, national and international levels. For more information on the WGAW, please visit: www.wga.org.