Prominent fortune cookie writer retiring due to writer’s block

Not a Wonton Food Inc fortune cookie, just a sort of clever facsimile

by TVWriter™ Press Service

Word has it that the United States’ pre-eminent fortune cookie writer has retired, and it’s all because of a case of writer’s block.

According to Channel 25, the ABC network affiliate in Waco, TX:

Donald Lau has worked at Wonton Food Inc. for 30 years as both a fortune writer and chief financial officer.  But he’s retiring from at least one of his roles after a linguistic dry spell.

“I have writer’s block. I used to write 100 a year, but I’ve only written two or three a month over the past year,” Lau told Time.

But hungry diners across the country need words of affirmation, life-guiding wisdom and the occasional lotto number sequence.

So, Lau wrote himself out of the job by training a replacement. James Wong, 43, is now chief fortune writer for the company.

“I passed the pen to him,” he said. “It’s his responsibility now.”

The Channel 25 article goes on to let us know that the good news for Lau and his family is that the blocked writer is holding onto his CFO gig and will continue overseeing the production of a staggering – to us anyway because what do we know? – 4 and a half million fortune cookies a day.

That’s it, kids. Let this be a lesson in The Vulnerability of Writers – All Writers.

God, we hope this story is true!

Learn more at KXXV

Kate G: ClexaCon March 3rd – 5th 2017

by Kathryn Graham

ClexaCon! A convention focused solely on queer women in the media. It aims to celebrate and elevate women on and behind the screen.

Born of the desire to see more and better representation for LGBTQ women, ClexaCon connects filmmakers, actors, visionaries, and the fans. Actresses like Zoie Palmer and Katherine Bell, among many others who play bisexual or lesbian characters on television, will be present.

Writer Emily Andras from Lost Girl & Wynonna Earp – which both feature queer female characters – will be holding a writing workshop.

There are tons of panels, films, and art. Even though the specific focus is on LGBTQ women, you don’t have to ‘be to belong’, as they say. As far as I understand it, all who are genuinely interested are welcome.

I’m gonna be there. I’ll be writing about it afterwards, but I’d rather see you there too. You can buy tickets here: Clexacon Tickets.

Note: ClexaCon is not affiliated with It just seems like a damn good time for this lesbian writer, who would like to share that damn good time with you. If you do end up going, toss me an e-mail. We’ll have drinks, be unsure of whether we should hug or shake hands, and/or stare at each other awkwardly.

Kathryn Graham is a TVWriter™ Contributing Writer. Learn more about Kate HERE

Writers Guild of America West February 2017 Calendar

Clickable version is HERE

Nickelodeon Writing Program Open for Submissions

by TVWriter™ Press Service

Yeppers, kids, this is the official logo. Doesn’t it make ya feel deadly?

Nick’s global Writing Program is one of the best in the biz, if they do say so themselves.

Alumni have gone on to create their own Nickelodeon shows and write for an assortment of TV series and films.

While in the Program, writers meet Nickelodeon’s series creators, work in writers’ rooms, and receive hands-on experience writing spec scripts and pitching story ideas in both live action and animated television, all while being provided a salary.

Submissions for consideration for the 2017-18 Writing Program are now open. They must be submitted online between January 2nd and midnight February 28, 2017. Semi-Finalists will be notified “by the end of July,” finalists “by the end of August,” and the final choice of writer participants will be notified “by mid-September.”

TVWriter™ definitely thinks this is worth going for. The entire process is online. You can find all the details HERE

The WGA Preps for the Next big Negotiation

What will it be? Peaceful negotiation or war? What will our champions at the Writers Guild of America (both West and East versions) be negotiating – or battling – for?

Find out where things stand via this open letter from the EGA:

January 20, 2017

Dear Fellow Writers,

On May 1st the current Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA) covering most WGA writing expires. The Negotiating Committee has set goals for our upcoming bargaining sessions with the AMPTP.  Now we need to make sure the membership understands and agrees with our agenda and approach.

Let’s lay out the context. The 49 billion dollar annual operating profit accumulated by the six major media companies with whom we will be negotiating is double what their profit numbers were only a decade ago.

Contrast that with the economic picture facing the members of our Guilds, whose average incomes in both features and series TV have actually decreased over that same decade.  You’ve told Guild leadership in meetings and surveys that new models of development, production, and distribution – while making the companies richer – have not worked to your individual or collective advantage.

And contrast the companies’ prosperity with the state of our Health Plan which, due to rapid inflation in health care costs nationwide, has run deficits for all but one of the past four years, forcing a dip into long-untouched reserves.  Getting our fair share will require resolve and solidarity and the willingness to fight if necessary.  But in a time of unprecedented profits for our industry, we believe it is our due.

Now we need to know where you stand.

You will soon receive an invitation to participate in one of a series of outreach meetings the WGAW and WGAE will convene over the next six weeks.  These are critical meetings as we prepare to negotiate with the companies.

We thank you for your support, and look forward to hearing from you over the coming weeks.

In Solidarity,
WGA Negotiating Committee

Chip Johannessen, Co-Chair
Chris Keyser, Co-Chair
Billy Ray, Co-Chair

Alfredo Barrios, Jr.
Andrea Berloff
Adam Brooks
Zoanne Clack
Marjorie David
Kate Erickson
Jonathan Fernandez
Travon Free
Howard Michael Gould
Susannah Grant
Erich Hoeber
Richard Keith
Warren Leight
Alison McDonald
Luvh Rakhe
Shawn Ryan
Stephen Schiff
David Shore
Meredith Stiehm
Patric M. Verrone
Eric Wallace
Beau Willimon
Nicole Yorkin

Howard A. Rodman, WGAW President, ex-officio
Michael Winship, WGAE President, ex-officio
David A. Goodman, WGAW Vice President, ex-officio
Jeremy Pikser, WGAE Vice President, ex-officio
Aaron Mendelsohn, WGAW Secretary-Treasurer, ex-officio
Bob Schneider, WGAE Secretary-Treasurer, ex-officio

ABC Midseason (2017) Series & Specials Premiere Schedule

by TVWriter™ Press Service

Who lovesya, baby?

8:00-9:00 p.m. “Grey’s Anatomy”
9:00-10:00 p.m. “Scandal” (Season Six Premiere)
10:00-11:00 p.m. “How to Get Away with Murder”

9:00-11:00 p.m. “When We Rise”

8:00-9:00 p.m. “Once Upon a Time”
9:00-11:00 p.m. “Time After Time” (Two-Hour Premiere)

10:00-11:00 p.m. “Designated Survivor”

10:00-11:00 p.m. “The Catch” (Season Two Premiere)

9:00-10:00 p.m. “Time After Time” (Time-Period Premiere)
10:00-11:00 p.m. “American Crime” (Season Three Premiere)

8:30-9:00 p.m. “Imaginary Mary” (Sneak Peek)

9:30-10:00 p.m. “Imaginary Mary” (Time-Period Premiere)

8:00-11:00 p.m. “Dirty Dancing”

TVWriter™ Online Workshopper Scores in Terror Film Festival!

by TVWriter™ Press Service

We got some good news last week and would like to pass it on. Dawn McElligott, an occasional contributor to TVWriter™ and frequent TVWriter™ Online Workshopper, has placed 2nd in the Feature Length Screenplay category in the 2016 Terror Film Festival.

Here’s what Dawn had to say about it:

“Movin’ On Up” Again!

I started with “Honorable Mention” at the 2010 Terror Film Festival for “The Fool of Muncaster”, then went up to 3rd Place for “Lady of the Lake” in 2014.

Now a revision of said screenplay has earned me 2nd Place in the Craft of Screenwriting for the 2016 running of the Terror Film Festival!

Both screenplays and revisions were workshopped in your class!  Thank you so much!

The Terror Film Festival is, in its own words, “a blood-chilling, alien-probing, online international film festival designed for filmmakers and screenwriters, that runs every October on the worldwide web.

According to the organizers, the fact that the Festival is online “removes the shackles of venue limitations …and increasing the potential for you to gain more fans.” Its Claw Awards screenwriting competition “is a great feather in the cap for any screenwriter.”

Congratulations, Dawn. And we thank you too, for keeping us in the loop! (Which reminds us – when are you going to write us another fine article?)

More about the TVWriter™ Online TV and Film Writing Workshop HERE

More about the Terror Film Festival HERE