Los Angeles – As part of the Writers Guild of America West’s continuing efforts to increase diversity and promote inclusiveness within the entertainment industry, the WGAW has announced its 2018 TV Writer Access Project honorees: nine 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.
2018 TV WAP Drama Honorees
- Sean Calder – Maria Full of Grace
- Juan Carlos Fernandez – Sunpatch Alley: P is for Pilot
- Rick Marin – The One-Percent Solution
- Hannah Park – Imposter Syndrome
- Kristen SaBerre – Code Noir
2018 TV WAP Comedy Honorees
- Marla DuMont – The Sex Offender Next Door
- Samuel Garza Bernstein – The Secret World of Danny Rizik
- Ryan Sandoval – The Stadium Usher
- Matt McConkey – Hey Girl
For more information about this year’s TV WAP honorees, and to access their work, click here.
The honorees will have their work spotlighted industry-wide via the Guild, as well as participate in a series of WGAW-hosted workshops in March designed to equip them with the skills sets and tools for successful television writing careers.
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+) – 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 Inclusion and Equity 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.
“The TV Writers Access project has evolved tremendously since its inception. In addition to showcasing exceptional mid-level writers – all of whom have been selected by top TV showrunners – the honorees are now offered an exclusive series of seminars designed to sharpen their skills and revitalize their careers. Each of these is taught by a panel of peers and exemplifies the Guild spirit of writers helping writers,” said writing partners Leo Chu & Eric Garcia (Supah Ninjas!), who help run the Guild’s annual TV WAP seminars, along with WGAW Board of Directors member Glen Mazzara (Damien, The Walking Dead).
The program has had a direct, positive impact on writers’ careers. TV WAP honoree Donald Joh (2017) said: “The TV Writers Access Project was exactly the boost I needed as a struggling mid-level writer whose career had stalled. It showed me how to think smarter about taking meetings, staffing and being on staff – and was how I found my current representation, which helped me to get staffed.”
This year’s TV WAP received 135 total submissions from Guild members: 45 women, 36 minority, 26 LGBT, 26 55+, and two disabled writers.
The program enlisted WGAW members to serve as 66 first-round judges (40 drama / 26 comedy), and 31 second-round judges (14 drama / 17 comedy).
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.