Native American TV writers lab calling for script submissions

A cause dear to TVWriter™’s collective heart:

logo-outlinedby LA Skins Fest

The LA Skins Fest, a Native American film festival, in partnership with NBCUniversal, CBS Entertainment Diversity and HBO announced today they are accepting applications for the inaugural the NATIVE AMERICAN TV WRITERS LAB.

“CBS Entertainment Diversity is proud to continue our long partnership with the LA Skins Fest. The NATIVE AMERICAN TV WRITERS LAB will provide another point of entry for emerging writers that we look forward to getting to know,” said Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i, CBS, EVP Diversity, Inclusion & Communications.

The NATIVE AMERICAN TV WRITERS LAB is an intensive TV writing workshop that prepares Native Americans for writing careers at major television networks. This lab is designed to address the lack of Native American writers in primetime network TV.

The NATIVE AMERICAN TV WRITERS LAB was created in accordance with the LA Skins Fest’s mission to improve media portrayals of Native Americans and to increase the number of Native Americans employed in all facets of the media industry.

“NBCUniversal is pleased to partner with the LA Skins Fest, offering a valuable pipeline for Native American actors, writers and directors. We are dedicated to fostering diverse storytelling and are proud to support the NATIVE AMERICAN TV WRITERS LAB,” Craig Robinson, Executive Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer, NBCUniversal.

Read it all at Native Times

2016 Disney/ABC Writing Program Participants Chosen

Disney helps noobsby Team TVWriter™ Press Service

The Disney/ABC Television Group in association with the WGA West have chosen eight 2012 participants for its annual writing program.

The participants on the comedy side are directors’ assistant Dayo Adesokan (Lagos, Nigeria), writers’ assistant Amanda Idoko (Bronx, NY) and reality segment producer Andrew Mathieson (Burke, VA).

Drama writers are financial consultant Ron McCants (Springfield, MO), USC Law School graduate and showrunners’ assistant Miguel Ian Raya (Los Angeles), playwright and Occidental College Adjunct Professor Janine Salinas Schoenberg (Lima, Peru and Walnut Creek, CA), writers’ production assistant Christina Walker (Virginia Beach, VA) and engineer and writers’ assistant Jeffery Wang (Monterey, CA)

The writing program has helped launch the careers of several TV scribes including George Mastras (Breaking Bad), Veena Sud (The Killing) and Maria Jacquemetton (Mad Men).

Learn more about the program HERE

Writers Guild of Great Britain Honors Russell T. Davies

Russell-T-Daviesby Team TVWriter™ Press Service

…As well it should, and not only because of his work bringing DOCTOR WHO back to our screens. Mr. Davies is one of TVWriter™’s major heroes. We stand in awe of his amazing career.

Here’s the story, direct from the WGGB:

Acclaimed writer and producer Russell T Davies was presented the coveted Outstanding Contribution to Writing Award at the annual Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Awards at RIBA, in London, on 18 January 2016.

The award was presented by Paul Abbott – celebrated writer and creator of numerous TV hits such as Shameless and State of Play – to Davies in honour of his illustrious body of work for TV, including critical and popular successes such as the seminal Queer as Folk, the hugely successful revival of Doctor Who, and recent innovative drama trilogy, Cucumber, Banana and Tofu. Davies and Abbott are both members of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB).

Of his win Davies said: “For me, this is the greatest of honours, coming from fellow writers, and I’m enormously grateful to the Writers’ Guild – for this, and for the work it does for writers everywhere.”

And here’s the full list of winners:

Writers’ Guild Awards 2016 winners (and nominees)

Outstanding Contribution to Writing
Russell T Davies

Best Radio Comedy
Winner: Deborah Frances-White Rolls The Dice by Deborah Frances-White
Shortlisted: Ed Reardon’s Week by Andrew Nickolds and Christopher Douglas, Boswell’s Lives by
Jon Canter

Best Radio Drama
Winner: Quill by Tony Jones
Shortlisted: Fragments by Laura Lomas, Orpheus & Eurydice by Linda Marshall Griffiths

Best Long Running TV Series
Winner: River City, Series 13, Episode 8 by Louise Ironside
Shortlisted: Holby City, Series 17, Episode 50 “At First I was Afraid” by Julia Gilbert, Emmerdale, Episode 7188/89 by Maxine Alderton

Best Writing in a Video Game
Winner: Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture by Dan Pinchbeck
Shortlisted: Her Story by Sam Barlow, Sunless Sea by Alexis Kennedy, Richard Cobbett, Amal El-Mohtar, Chris Gardiner, Meg Jayanth and Emily Short

Best Children’s TV Episode
Winner: Eve, Final Episode “Control, Alter, Delete” by Emma Reeves
Shortlisted: The Dumping Ground, Series 3, Episode 10 “Dragon Slayer” by Julie Dixon, Katie Morag and the Worst Day Ever by Sergio Casci

Best Long Form TV Drama
Winner: Not Safe for Work by DC Moore
Shortlisted: Banished by Jimmy McGovern, Wolf Hall by Peter Straughan

Best First Screenplay
Winner: X + Y by James Graham
Shortlisted: ’71 by Gregory Burke, The Falling by Carol Morley

Best Play for Young Audiences
Winner: Three Wise Monkeys by Mike Kenny
Shortlisted: Bird by Laura Lomas, Muddy Choir by Jesse Briton

Best Play
Winner: Jefferson’s Garden by Timberlake Wertenbaker
Shortlisted: Liberian Girl by Diana Nneka Atuona, Temple by Steve Waters

Best Screenplay
Winner: Paddington by Paul King
Shortlisted: Wild by Nick Hornby, Ex Machina by Alex Garland

Best TV Situation Comedy
Winner: Veep Season Four by Simon Blackwell, Jon Brown, Kevin Cecil, Roger Drew, Peter Fellows, Neil Gibbons, Rob Gibbons, Sean Gray, Callie Hersheway, Armando Iannucci, Sean Love, Ian Martin, Georgia Pritchett, David Quantick, Andy Riley, Tony Roche, Will Smith
Shortlisted: Catastrophe by Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney, W1A by John Morton

Best Short Form TV Drama
Winner: Code of a Killer by Michael Crompton
Shortlisted: The Casual Vacancy by Sarah Phelps, The Gamechangers by James Wood

TVWriter™ congratulates one and all!

Writers Guild of America, West Honors John August


by Team TVWriter™ Press Service

Screenwriter John August (Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) has been named the recipient of the Writers Guild of America, West’s 2016 Valentine Davies Award in recognition of his humanitarian efforts and civic service, as well as his pivotal role in fostering a community of writers. August will be honored at the WGAW’s 2016 Writers Guild Awards West Coast ceremony on Saturday, February 13, at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles.

“John is the writer we’d all want to be: wildly intelligent, deeply practical, effortlessly inventive, and generous to a fault,” said WGAW President Howard A. Rodman. “Whether he’s creating apps, campaigning for marriage equality, mentoring younger writers, podcasting with Craig Mazin, sitting on our Negotiating Committee, or constructing a school in Malawi, John has made service to the larger community a part of his second nature. Protip: when you find yourself in difficult straits, ask yourself ‘What would John August do?’ The times you’ll regret are the times you fail to act accordingly.”

Motivated by a desire to share his wealth of experience and knowledge gained over the course of his screenwriting career, from Go to Frankenweenie, August first launched his own screenwriting blog,, in 2003, which over the last decade-plus has since grown into a vital, go-to resource on the craft and business of screenwriting for industry professionals and aspiring writers alike. In fact, the sheer volume of his widely read screenwriting-centric columns – over 1,500, all written by him – illustrates his influence and impact on both next-gen and seasoned writers around the globe. In addition, August maintains a complimentary website of interest to budding screenwriters,, providing clear, concise answers to a wide range of questions relating to the craft of screenwriting, from form to formatting.

Along with his friend and fellow WGAW member Craig Mazin, August co-hosts Scriptnotes, his highly rated weekly podcast which explores the art, craft, and business of screenwriting, offering practical info, indispensable knowledge, and lively banter to over 40,000 listeners each week, not only via digital platforms, but at frequent “live” Scriptnotes shows, which are routinely SRO.

Sensing an untapped market and increased user interest, August founded his own tech company, Quote-Unquote Apps, which creates an array of useful screenwriter-centric apps, including the screenwriting app Highland (for writing scripts in plain text using the Fountain screenplay syntax he co-created, which all major screenwriting apps now support) andWeekend Read, designed for reading scripts via iPhone. He also managed to find time to develop and create the Writer Emergency Pack, an educational tool which recently expanded to more than 2,000 classrooms this fall.

As a result, an increasingly vital and empowering social – and social media – hub has developed around August’s range of screenwriter-friendly resources and tools, creating a contemporary community of writers, both working professionals and novices alike, where he has emerged as a major, influential voice for an entire generation of new and established writers. In the film festival arena, he also frequently serves as an advisor and mentor at the Sundance Screenwriting Lab.

August’s community engagement extends beyond the entertainment industry: He continues to work with FOMO Malawi, a charity organization which cares for over 4,000 orphans in the country, providing food, clothing, and education to the children of Mulanje in the southern region of Malawi. Over the years, he has provided logistical support to the program, as well as aid in the construction of school buildings, among other civil projects to bolster the local African community.

Back at home, August has been strong vocal proponent for gay marriage equality in the U.S., personally involved in the nation’s recently successful effort to formally legalize gay marriage on the federal level.

Beginning with his acclaimed screenplay adaption for 2003’s Big Fish (Based on the Novel by Daniel Wallace), for which he received BAFTA and Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards (BFCA) nominations, August has maintained a long-term creative partnership with director Tim Burton, collaborating on a string of successful live-action and animated feature films, from 2005’s Corpse Bride (Screenplay by John August and Caroline Thompson and Pamela Pettler) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, their bold reimagining of Roald Dahl’s children’s classic, to 2012’s Frankenweenie (Screenplay by John August), for which he received an Annie Awards nomination (Writing in an Animated Feature Production) and Dark Shadows(Screenplay by Seth Graham-Smith, Story by John August and Seth Graham-Smith, Based on the Television Series Created by Dan Curtis).

August made his big-screen debut with the quirky rave dark comedy, Go (1999), which he also served as co-producer and second unit director, followed writing or co-writing both films in the Charlie’s Angels blockbuster action franchise, 2000’sCharlie’s Angels (Written by Ryan Rowe & Ed Solomon and John August, Based on the Television Series Created by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts) and its 2003 sequel, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (Screenplay by John August and Cormac Wibberley & Marianne Wibberley, Story by John August), as well as the futuristic animated film Titan A.E. (Screenplay by Ben Edlund and John August and Joss Whedon, Story by Hans Bauer and Randall McCormick).

In 2007, August made his feature film directorial debut with the indie drama The Nines, which he also wrote, premiering at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. He also served as executive producer on 2010’s big-budget action-adventure, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.

On the small screen, August co-created the TV drama series D.C. with Dick Wolf, which he co-executive produced. He has created series for The WB, Fox, and ABC.

On the theatrical stage, August adapted his own screenplay to pen the book for the 2013 Broadway musical production of Big Fish (with music and lyrics by Andre Lippa), chronicling the poignant relationship between a traveling salesman and his adult son and exploring what’s behind his father’s tall tales.

A WGAW member since 1995, August has served on the Guild’s Committee on Professional Status of Writers (Screen) since 2010, as well as the 2014 MBA Negotiating Committee and 2014 Board Nominating Committee.

Born in 1970 and raised in Boulder, CO, August earned a degree in journalism from Drake University and an MFA from USC School of Cinema-Television’s Peter Stark Program.

He lives in Los Angeles with his husband, Mike, and his 10-year-old daughter.

The WGAW’s Valentine Davies Award honors Guild members whose humanitarian efforts and service have brought dignity and honor to writers everywhere. Past Valentine Davies recipients include Phil Alden Robinson, Norman Lear, Neal Baer, Larry Gelbart, Tom Schulman, Carl Reiner, Susannah Grant, Phil Rosenthal, Sam Simon, and, most recently, Ben Affleck.

For press photo of 2016 Valentine Davies Award honoree John August, click here.

The Writers Guild Awards honor outstanding writing in film, television, new media, videogames, news, radio, promotional, and graphic animation categories. Competitive awards will be presented at both the Los Angeles ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza and the New York ceremony at the Edison Ballroom. The Los Angeles and New York ceremonies take place concurrently on February 13, 2016. For more information about the 2016 Writers Guild Awards, please visit or

Yo, Fellow TV Writers, Ever Think About Moving to Mumbai?

We know you’re scoffing, but, hey, opportunity is opportunity, right? Check it out:


ZEEL seeks ideas from writers, directors for TV and online projects
by Team TVWriter™ Press Service

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) has taken an unconventional route to hire creative talent for its TV channels. The entertainment major has invited ideas from budding writers and directors for its various projects across TV, online and video-on-demand (VoD) platforms.

The company is looking to hire fresher fiction and non-fiction directors to handle shows across genres for its various platforms. It has asked TV and film writers to share their ideas and concepts with the ZEEL team even if they have not written a serial or reality show.

The successful directors will be given the mandate to plan film and TV projects, schedule production, ideas and budget, supervise a team of associate directors, coordinate shoots, and direct and manage post-production. Script writing will be an added skill.

Ideal directors should possess excellent creative abilities, production sense, and aesthetic judgement. They should be storytellers at heart, team leaders and motivators for crew. They need to have excellent ability to rewrite scripts to suit the project, strong budget management skills, and the ability to come up with innovative methods.

Similarly, the budding writers should be talented and passionate, and have an eye for detail. They will aid in the process of planning, development, generation, and implementation of copy for all media. The company said that successful writers would get a highly collaborative environment, a diverse workload, an open forum for expression of ideas, and diverse opportunities to expand their writing and creative storytelling skills. I

nterested candidates can send in their ideas on or SMS IDEA to 57575. People from outside Mumbai are also welcome.

Read more at: |

Always Good to Know That Our Contributing Editors are Working

Speaking of Herbie J Pilato (see the post directly below) TVWriter™ is pleased to bring y’all the latest news about this Herbie J Pilato dude:



Televison, Ink., a pop-culture brand founded and owned by producer-author Herbie J Pilato (“Glamour, Gidgets and the Girl Next Door,” “Twitch Upon A Star,” “The Bionic Book”) has signed with Joel Eisenberg and Steve Hillard’s Mirkwood Partners (“The Chronicles of Ara” for Ovation TV) to produce a 30-minute talk fest devoted to classic television, titled “Herbie J Pilato’s Now & Then.”

Pilato, Founder of the 501 (c) 3 Classic TV Preservation Society, will host the proposed weekly, and interview a single pop-culture subject from the world of classic TV in each episode. The format will closely mirror Pilato’s successful weekly “Throwback Thursday” live events, an in-person interview program hosted at Burbank’s Barnes and Noble since early 2015.

Gilbert Adler (producer of features “Valkyrie” and “Superman Returns,” and television’s “Tales from the Crypt”) is an executive producer on the project, along with Lorie Girsh Eisenberg. “I know of no one in this industry more connected in, or passionate about, the world of classic television than Herbie J Pilato,” says Adler. “We want this program to become a historically important document in the world of both art and culture.”

Herbie’s most recent Throwback Thursday event was holiday-themed, and featured on-stage interviews with over 30 notables from classic television. Guests from this event, as well as past guests, have included Cindy Williams of “Laverne and Shirley,” Anson Williams of “Happy Days,” Ed Spielman (creator of “Kung Fu”), Dawn Wells (“Gilligan’s Island”), Ron Dante (“The Archies”), Gloria Loring (“Days of Our Lives”), writer Sam Bobrick (“Saved by the Bell,” “The Andy Griffith Show”), Lydia Cornell (“Too Close for Comfort”), Kathy Garver of “Family Affair” and more.

Says executive producer Joel Eisenberg: “Steve and I are thrilled to be in business with Herbie. The interests of Mirkwood Partners, as always, lie primarily with the artistic journey. While celebrating classic TV, we want to know what a television personality, who may no longer be working within a regular forum, does today as an artist. We want to understand the reality of the business, and we aim for this program to speak to everyone who aspires to make a living in the arts, as well as classic TV fans, everywhere.”

Adds Herbie: “Our team is comprised of amazing talents and visionaries. We all cherish the classic TV wheelhouse, and to partner on a project that will resonate with so many fans of classic TV…and beyond…is nothing less than an honor.”

“Herbie J Pilato’s Now & Then” will be pitched to specialized outlets in early 2016.

Herbie J Pilato and Television, Ink. is repped by Diane Nine of Nine Speakers. Executive Producers Joel Eisenberg and Steve Hillard, and Mirkwood Partners, is repped by CAA.