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Fellowship Prep: How to Land a Spot in a Writing Program

  • The Writers Guild Foundation Library 7000 West 3rd Street Los Angeles, CA 90048 (map)

Looking to submit to a writing program or fellowship this year? This three hour seminar will explore strategies on how to approach the application process, how to prepare yourself for the interview, and how to craft a successful personal pitch.

Panelists include:

  • Kim Collier – Alum of Disney/ABC Writing Program and Warner Bros. TV Writing Program

  • Mike Flynn – Alum of 2016 Sundance Episodic Story Lab

  • Sarah Jane “SJ” Inwards – 2017 Nicholl Fellow

  • Margaret Rose Lester – Alum of 2015 Universal Writing Fellowship

  • Benjamin-Shalom Rodriguez - Alum of Fox Writers Intensive, CBS Diversity Showcase, and National Hispanic Media Coalition TV Writers Program

  • Christina Walker – Alum of 2016 Disney/ABC Writing Program

All events advertised on our “Events” page are open to anyone who wants to buy a ticket – not just WGA members!

This event is now sold out. We will have a first come, first serve stand-by line at the event. The stand-by line does not guarantee entry into the event. We will only accept credit card transactions for any released seats.

Proceeds benefit the Foundation’s library, archive and other outreach programs.

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About the Panelists


Chicago native Kim L. Collier earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Marketing with a minor in Creative Writing from Iowa State University; then hightailed it to Los Angeles where she hit the ground running. She was accepted into the prestigious Guy Hank Screenwriting Program (comedy division) sponsored by Bill Cosby. That same year, Ms. Collier won the Organization of Black Screenwriting Award for her comedy spec.

Ms. Collier was one of only nine writers (out of over 8000 applicants) in the highly competitive ABC/Disney Writing Fellowship to earn a berth in this venerable program. She was then accepted into the equally esteemed Warner Bros. Comedy Writing Program. Shortly after that she won a staff writer job on the CW series Girlfriends, in which she completed one season.

As a finalist in the Cyclone Screenwriting Contest, Ms. Collier optioned her first screenplay titled, Seize the Day. She successfully adapted the best-selling novel Friends and Lovers by Eric Jerome Dickey for the stage in a Jercaryous Johnson Production starring Leon (from The Heartbeat), Miguel Nunez (from Juwana Man) and Monica Calhoun (from The Best Man).

Ms. Collier co-wrote the film Female Trouble with Gary Hardwick (writer/director of The Brothers and Deliver Us from Eva), which is currently being pitched to several production companies.  

Raised in College Park, GA, Mike Flynn received his bachelor’s degree in Film, TV & New Media Production from San Diego State University. He is an alum of the Sundance Institute’s Episodic Story Lab where he developed his pilot Tales Below Dixie. Throughout his career, he’s written and produced episodes for Life On Mars, Detroit 1-8-7 and Greenleaf. He also wrote on Showtime’s The Chi and is currently on season 4 of Queen Sugar


SJ Inwards is a screenwriter based in Los Angeles, CA, originally from Rochester, MN. In 2017, SJ won the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science's Nicholl Fellowship with her screenplay Jellyfish Summer. Jellyfish Summer subsequently went on to make the 2017 Black List and Hit List. In 2018, SJ Inwards was hired by Spielberg's Amblin Partners to adapt the sci-fi short story Carecrow into a feature film. She was also selected by The Black List and ambassador Maggie Gyllenhaal for Autograph Collection Hotel's Screenwriters in Residence Program. 

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A Toronto native, Margaret Rose Lester holds a B. Sc. in Speech from Northwestern University.  Selected for the 2014 inaugural class of Universal Pictures’ Emerging Writers Fellowship, she wrote a romantic thriller, Maximal Crazy, for the studio. 

Her first novel The Cocktail Hours was shortlisted in the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel of the Year Award (young adult category), and she was a finalist for the Sundance Episodic Story Lab. As a former journalist, Lester is inspired by the headlines, grabbing ideas anywhere from politics to pop culture. Her writing credits include Manifest (NBC), Reverie (NBC) and Snowfall (FX).


Benjamin-Shalom Rodriguez (aka, “Ben”) is a gay Mexican-Israeli-American…Jewish filmmaker and comedian. (He feels guilty all the time.) Humble brags: He’s the creator of several digital series - the just released Stoned Breakups, Strictly Vers, MARIconBEN, which he co-starred in with his 94-year-old abuelita, and Pushy Riot; he’s been selected for the prestigious Fox Writers Intensive, CBS Diversity Showcase (as a writer), NHMC TV Writers Program, and Film Independent’s Project Involve; he’s had shorts and webisodes screened across the country, including fests like the Oscar-Qualifying Rhode Island Int’l FF and HollyShorts FF, and has directed and co-starred in two sold out sketch shows at Comedy Central Stage. He graduated from USC’s School of Dramatic Arts and studies improv and sketch at Groundlings.

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Born on a Naval base in Japan and raised in the military town of Virginia Beach, Christina Walker always knew her life would take her to incredible places. After living abroad for three years in Naples, Italy, she returned seeing the world through a different set of eyes. She earned her first bachelor’s degree from Henderson State University, where she majored in Mass Media and minored in Writing. From there she worked in television news production for each of the major affiliates in several states across the U.S.. Yearning to return to her true passion, writing, she studied Film with a concentration in Screenwriting and earned a second bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago. Her final class, a television immersion semester in L.A., planted the seed for a switch from features to television.

After working for several different studios in post production she became a 2014 Finalist for the Disney/ABC Writing Program. She continued to build on this success by working in post production on The Killing, Stitchers and the pilot Guilt and as the writers’ assistant on Powers. Prior to joining the 2016 Disney/ABC Writing Program, Christina was the writers’ production assistant on NCIS: Los Angeles where she received guidance and direction from the writers as well as series Creator/Executive Producer Shane Brennan.

While in the Disney/ABC Program Christina was staffed on the Shondaland show Still Star-Crossed, which gave her the unique opportunity of writing in NYC for the show, and traveling to Spain to cross-board/produce two episodes of the series. Since the program Christina was staffed on CBS’s Salvation, and recently wrapped on Netflix’s upcoming series October Faction.

Earlier Event: February 7
Beyond Words 2019