LOS ANGELES – As part of its ongoing efforts to promote diversity and foster inclusiveness in the entertainment industry, the Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) has announced its 2017 TV Writer Access Project honorees: eleven diverse writers whose work has been 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 spotlighted industry-wide via the Guild, as well as participate in a series of WGAW-hosted workshops designed to equip them for successful television writing careers.
2017 TV WAP Drama Honorees
Adrian A. Cruz – Irwindale
Rachel Feldman – Kinks
Sharon Hoffman – The Doubling
Peter Hume – Righteous Texas
Donald Joh – Mulberry
Tonya Kong – Skin Deep
Zak Shaikh – Runaways
Mollie St. John & Ben St. John – City of Children
2017 TV WAP Comedy Honorees
Hilary Weisman Graham – After Birth
Eddie Quintana – City #2
For more information about this year’s TV WAP honorees, and to access their work, click here.
The honorees – nine in Drama, two in Comedy – include four minority writers, four women writers, and two LGBT writers.
For TV WAP consideration, qualified WGAW members in five industry-underrepresented categories – minority writers, writers with disabilities, women writers, LGBT writers, and older writers (55 and up) – were eligible to 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 television writing experience.
The project, created in 2009 and administered by the WGAW’s Diversity Department, is designed to identify and recognize outstanding diverse writing talent and provide access to their work to entertainment industry decision-makers, including showrunners, producers, network and studio executives, agents, and managers.
“Now in its eighth year, the Guild’s TV Writer Access Project continues to identify and create opportunities for writers from varied backgrounds and experiences and make their work accessible to an increasingly global industry,” said WGAW Director of Diversity Tery Lopez. “The program is a direct response to promote inclusiveness in storytelling and to offer a unique pool of talent to industry influencers and decision makers.”
“The TV Writers Access Project helps mid-level writers sharpen their skills in preparation for staffing season,” said the Guild’s Diversity Advisory Group Co-Chair and WGAW Board of Directors member Glen Mazzara (Damien, The Walking Dead, The Shield). “After their writing is judged outstanding by top showrunners, honorees are invited to attend a series of seminars in which they are mentored by their peers. The TV WAP not only identifies talented writers, it gives them the tools they need to become invaluable to any writing staff.”
This year’s TV WAP received 143 submissions from Guild members: 41 minority, three disability, 51 women, 13 LGBT, and 35 55-and-older writers.
The program enlisted 70 first-round judges (42 drama / 28 comedy), and 25 second-round judges (18 drama / seven comedy), including WGAW members / writers Andre and Maria Jacquemetton (Mad Men) and Sarah Watson (Pure Genius, Parenthood).
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.