Kelly Edwards has experience in television on every side of the table. The industry veteran has worked as a writer and producer, she’s worked as a development executive, as an advocate and as a leader of diversity and inclusion efforts for HBO.
That background gives her unusual perspective on the business. She’s taken many of the lessons learned in the trenches and put it down in a primer designed to help aspiring writers navigate the business side of television, as Edwards explains on the latest episode of Variety podcast “Strictly Business.”
“The Executive Chair: A Writers Guide to TV Series Development” is a breezy guide to the things they don’t teach you in film school. Like what to do when you meet an executive that you’ve just pitched in the wild, before you’ve heard back on that pitch.
Edwards talks about how the process of writing the book helped her gain insight into a changing business. “We have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable,” she says.
In her executive posts, Edwards said she often felt like the person who was in charge of “validating people’s
dreams” to work as a creative in television.
“I’ve seen so many people with so much talent out there,” Edwards said. “There are people out there that just need a shot and I thought if I can give them a little bit more of an edge, they should take it.”
“The Executive Chair,” published this month by Michael Wiese Productions, was a labor of love for Edwards that she worked on even while juggling productions and her own development work. If there’s one message she wants readers to take from the book, it’s this: Go for it. There’s never been a better time to take a shot.
“The door is open,” Edwards said. “I cannot stand the fact for so long that this industry has had gatekeepers that kept people out.”