Nickelodeon Names Four to 2014 Writing Program

Nickelodeon has announced the four participants for its 15th annual writing program, including the first ever finalist from overseas.

Lauren Ciaravalli, Nora Sullivan, Alan J. Van Dyke and international participant Rob Frimston are the aspiring writers selected to get hands-on experience working on the cabler’s current live-action and animated series, writing spec scripts and pitching ideas to execs.

“We are extremely proud to have this new group of creatives join an esteemed league of great talent that our writing program has discovered and nurtured over the last 15 years,” said Russell Hicks, Nickelodeon’s prexy of content development and production. “It’s also gratifying to open up the program globally this year as we continue to expand our focus on finding the best new talent everywhere possible.”

NYU grad Ciaravalli’s debut short film “Tryouts” premiered at the 2013 Sarasota Film Festival; Sullivan recently completed her MFA in Writing for Screen & Television at USC; UNC School of the Arts alum Van Dyke wrote the indie thriller “In the Pines”; and Cambridge grad Frimston has taken two shows to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Established in 2000, the writing program receives over 1,400 applications each year. It’s one part of Nickelodeon’s outreach efforts to identify and nurture up-and-coming talent, and provides a salaried position for up to one year.

The modified international version of the program runs six months. Frimston will spend the first three months in London with Nick’s international production and development team, followed by six weeks in the Los Angeles writers’ room. He will then be paired with an animator for the remainder of the program back in London.

Among the program’s 44 previous participants are industry pros with freelance and staff positions at various nets including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Disney Channel, ABC, FOX and the CW.

Alumni Jonathan Butler and Gabriel Garza became writing partners after meeting in the program and created Nick’s live-action comedy series “Bella and the Bulldogs,” set to premiere in January.

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