Eight writers have been chosen from a field of more than 2,000 candidates to participate in this year’s Walt Disney Studios/ABC Writers Fellowship Program, which provides access to employment opportunities for scribes from diverse backgrounds.
A total of 123 television and features writers have been employed in the industry after going through the program since its inception in 1990.
Writers Guild of America West president John Wells and Lloyd Braun, co-chairman of the ABC Entertainment Television Group, announced the names Thursday, a day after a reception for the new Fellows given by Disney/ABC.
The winners are…
The writers are Jonathan Dees, Ayanna Floyd, Gary Green, Heather Hach, Paul Makkos, Meghan McCarthy, Margaret Webb and Joan Weiss.
“The Writers Guild applauds Disney’s commitment of financial resources and creative expertise to the fellowship program, and encourages other studios to replicate this model,” Wells said.
Braun noted that Disney believes in “nurturing talent in all areas” and said the writers that have emerged from the program over the years “have exceeded our highest expectations.”
They include Malcolm Lee, a Fellow in 1992-93, who recently wrote and directed “The Best Man”; Tony Puryear (1990-91), a writer on “Eraser”; Reggie Blythewood (1990-91), “Get On the Bus”; Jacque Edmonds (1991-92), co-exec producer, “Moesha”; Sue Paige and Daniel Paige (1996-97), supervising producers, “Once and Again”; and Erica Montolfo (1997-98), writer, “Boy Meets World.”
Scripts for the program are read by representatives of the Television Fellowship Division, headed by Susan Leeper, veep of comedy series at ABC Entertainment, and the Theatrical Fellowship Division, headed by Casey Wolfe, creative affairs coordinator at Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group. Finalists are interviewed in person before the selection is made.