The WGA East and various New York City agencies have unveiled the 10 writers selected to take part in the second “Made in NY Writers Room” program designed to open doors to writers from backgrounds that are underrepresented in mainstream entertainment.
The program is a partnership of the guild and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and city’s Department of Small Business Services. The program offers a stipend of $10,800. The fellows will take part in numerous workshop and mentoring sessions with experienced WGA East members as they seek to produce at least two scripts.
The fellows were chosen from a pool of 325 applicants recommended by 26 organizations. All applicants received notes from experienced writers on their scripts and loglines. Another 50 semifinalists received additional notes as the group was winnowed to the final 10.
“We are very pleased to continue this important work with the City to empower underrepresented writers to build successful careers in television,” said Lowell Peterson, executive director of the WGA East. “The MINY Writers Room project offers the experience and commitment of WGAE members to talented New York writers and helps the City broaden and deepen the pool of storytellers ready and able to craft great shows here.”
MOME commissioner Anne del Castillo said the program is part of the city’s effort to promote diversity in hiring across all industries.
“With over 60 scripted television shows filming in New York City, we hope to see more diverse New Yorkers in writers rooms here to ensure the industry continues to put ever more nuanced and authentic stories on the screen,” del Castillo said.
The fellows are:
- Playwright Harron Atkins
- Showrunner’s assistant Yasmine Cadet
- Writers production assistant Joseph (Joey) Capuana,
- Writer and storyboard artist Michael Lee
- Writer Catherine Loerke
- Comedy promo writer Vincent (Vinny) Lopez
- Comedian Jordan Mendoza
- Playwright and librettist Jerome Parker
- Children’s TV writer Michael Rodriguez
- Entertainment journalist and WGA East member Pilot Viruet
Mentors lined up for the program this year are:
- Robert Carlock
- Melissa James Gibson
- Soo Hugh
- Tom Kelly
- Frank Pugliese
- Michael Rauch
- Tom Scharpling
- Brennan Shroff
- Matt Williams
- Stu Zicherman
(Pictured from top: Yasmine Cadet, Harron Atkins, Joseph (Joey) Capuana, Michael Lee, Pilot Viruet, Catherine Loerke, Jordan Mendoza, Jerome Parker, Michael Rodriguez and Vincent (Vinny) Lopez)