Writer workshop part of new effort to attract auds
Telemundo has launched its second writers’ workshop series, with a class of 23 students drawn from around the U.S. and internationally.“Taller Telemundo: Escritores” (Telemundo Workshop: Writers) is offered in partnership with Miami-Dade College as part of the Spanish-language net’s efforts to develop original content for U.S. Hispanic auds. The intensive six-month program focuses on fiction writing for TV (with an emphasis on telenovelas) and writing for digital media. “The first class and this class — they are our audience,” said Telemundo prexy Don Browne. “The payback is much bigger than what we invested.” In the first workshop, 14 students from an original pool of 33 completed last December what was then a 10-month course. Of those, eight have been hired full time by Telemundo and another three are contributing on a freelance basis. The breakout star of the first class is Erick Hernandez Mora, who has penned several episodes of the inspired-by-real-life series “Decisiones,” a 10 p.m. weeknight strip. Hernandez came to Miami from Cuba on a raft more than a decade ago; in addition to his work at Telemundo, he has a book contract with Simon & Schuster. Telemundo covers tuition and other school-related costs for the workshop; students are responsible for their own transportation and living expenses, including housing. The new crop includes a graduate of Gotham’s School of Visual Arts from New Jersey, a Texas newspaper editor, a Colombian journalist, TV producers from Mexico and Argentina, a Brazilian playwright-theater director and a Russian who lived for many years in Cuba and worked in children’s radio. Telemundo has another pool of 20 students for a planned course in Los Angeles, which it hopes to get off the ground before the end of the year. A workshop with that regional bent will bring “another perspective,” he said. “We need more West Coast perspective.”
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