Past Events

May 2017

The Serialized Sitcom: Writing and Acting with The Good Place

   Date: May 25, 2017

Fresh off its debut season, the NBC comedy from Universal Television THE GOOD PLACE has deftly blended the characters and elements of a delightful network sitcom with the storytelling chutzpah of a mind-bending, metaphysical drama. We follow the adventures of Eleanor, a recently deceased woman who finds herself mistakenly assigned to a utopian afterlife called the Good Place, which is overseen by its wise architect Michael and inhabited by do-gooders. No spoiler alerts, but let’s just say the show ushered in a second season with a shocking finale rarely seen in sitcom-land.

On this special evening, we’re screening an episode from THE GOOD PLACE’s impressive first season followed by a conversation about the show’s clever writing and acting with creator and showrunner Michael Schur (PARKS AND RECREATION, BROOKLYN NINE-NINE) and the writers, as well as lead actors Ted Danson (CHEERS, FARGO), who plays Michael, and Kristen Bell (HOUSE OF LIES, VERONICA MARS), who plays Eleanor.

Inside the Writers Room with CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND

   Date: May 3, 2017

Having wrapped its second season, The CW musical comedy CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND continues to surprise and leave us in awe with its wickedly smart and highly entertaining writing.

On this special night, co-creator, executive producer and star Rachel Bloom and co-creator and executive producer Aline Brosh McKenna are joined by their writers room for a look inside their process for developing those hilarious musical skits and the show’s heartwarming yet flawed characters.

Apr 2017

Writing for a Digital Audience with the Writers of THE LATE LATE SHOW

   Date: Apr 26, 2017

With the enormous popularity of its “Carpool Karaoke” segments,THE LATE, LATE SHOW WITH JAMES CORDEN’s digital presence and strategy has become central to the CBS show’s success.

On this special evening, executive producers Ben Winston and Rob Crabbe are joined by their writers, Nate Fernald, Tim Siedell, Nedaa Sweiss, Matt Whitaker, John Kennedy, Louis Waymouth, Jared Logan, Ian Karmel, Dicky Eagan, and Lauren Greenberg, to discuss their approach to crafting a late-night talk show, how a digital audience impacts their writing, and the challenges and opportunities within the formats.

Entertainment Law for Creatives

   Date: Apr 12, 2017

As creatives, navigating the business side of the entertainment industry can be daunting, which is why brushing up on Entertainment Law 101 is always a great idea. Attorney Luke Lieberman is back to give a survey of intellectual property, personal/publicity rights, and relevant contract law–consider it an overview for writers, directors, actors, and producers on the how to protect their work, avoid common pitfalls in the industry and manage their representatives.

Mar 2017

WGFestival 2017: Sunday Afternoon Workshops

   Date: Mar 26, 2017

This page is for WGFestival PICKFORD and ALL ACCESS pass holders only.

WGFestival 2017: Sunday Morning Workshops

   Date: Mar 26, 2017

This page is available for WGFestival PICKFORD and ALL ACCESS pass holders only.

WGFestival 2017: Saturday Afternoon Workshops

   Date: Mar 25, 2017

This page is for WGFestival PICKFORD and ALL ACCESS pass holders only.

WGFestival 2017: INDIVIDUAL TICKETS

   Date: Mar 25, 2017

We’re selling individual tickets to select panels on the WGFestival 2017 schedule. If you want more access to the weekend’s panels and events, check out the available passes.  Individual tickets are available for the following panels: Friday, March 24 – WGAW Headquarters 7:30pm – 9pm: An Evening with MOONLIGHT writer and director Barry Jenkins (MOONLIGHT). Moderated by Laurence […]

WGFestival 2017: Saturday Morning Workshops

   Date: Mar 25, 2017

This is available to WGFestival PICKFORD and ALL ACCESS pass holders only.

WGFESTIVAL 2017 SCREENWRITING CONFERENCE

   Date: Mar 25, 2017

The Writers Guild Foundation
In Partnership with the Academy Education and Nicholl Fellowships Programs

Presents

WGFESTIVAL 2017
SCREENWRITING CONFERENCE

This year, we are taking over the Academy’s Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study for an entire weekend of panels, interactive workshops, and special events focused on the craft and business of writing for the screen.

As always, expect the best and brightest writers, producers, executives and insiders in the film and television industries. Stay tuned for the schedule and lineup.

Madam President: Remembering the Life and Legacy of Mary McCall, Jr.

   Date: Mar 16, 2017

To commemorate Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating Mary McCall, Jr., the first woman president of the Screen Writer’s Guild, one of the groups that formed the Writers Guild of America.

At this special event, we, in partnership with the University of Warwick and the WGAW’s Women Writers Committee, will screen McCall’s 1936 film CRAIG’S WIFE. Immediately following the screening, historian J.E. Smyth talks to McCall’s daughters, Sheila Benson and Mary-David Sheiner, about their mother’s life and legacy.

Refreshments will be served before the 7:30pm screening, and an exhibit curated by the WGF Archive of McCall’s work as a writer and Guild president will be on display.

This event is free with RSVP.

WGF's SCRABBLE TO SCREEN Tournament

   Date: Mar 10, 2017

Now that lolz, twerking and ixnay are official words…

It’s time to play SCRABBLE with the Writers Guild Foundation!

Join us and your fellow wordsmiths for a fun night of weird, wacky, writerly words at our first-ever SCRABBLE tournament. There will be food, drinks, and prizes for First, Second, Third, and Fourth Place as well as the Highest Word Score and Highest Score in an Individual Game.

Stay tuned for the tournament rules and details.

Feb 2017

Write-A-Thon: The M&Ms Strike Back

   Date: Feb 25, 2017

If you missed our first Write-A-Thon this year, here’s another chance for you to join us for an evening of writing, snacking, and networking with your fellow writers.

As always, there will be pizza and soda during the break, raffle prizes, and our super awesome Library staff will be on hand to procure scripts and answer any questions you may have.

Sorry, the Write-A-Thon is sold out!

BEYOND WORDS 2017

   Date: Feb 9, 2017

Awards season is right around the corner…

Every year, we partner with the Writers Guild of America, West to gather the year’s award-nominated screenwriters for a discussion on their memorable films and their lives in the trade in front of a sold out crowd at the Writers Guild Theater.

Panelists:

Damien Chazelle – LA LA LAND
Tom Ford – NOCTURNAL ANIMALS
Eric Heisserer – ARRIVAL
Barry Jenkens – MOONLIGHT
Kenneth Lonergan – MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
Jeff Nichols – LOVING
Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick – DEADPOOL
Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi – HIDDEN FIGURES
Taylor Sheridan – HELL OR HIGH WATER

Jan 2017

Write-A-Thon: A New Year's Hope

   Date: Jan 28, 2017

That’s right, we are welcoming 2017 with the first Write-A-Thon of the year! Expect to be surrounded by snacks, pizza, and your fellow writers. Plus, we’ll also have a raffle with cool prizes.

If you’ve never been to one of our Write-A-Thons, it’s an evening when we keep the Library open after-hours. Whether you’re a night owl, a member of a writing group that meets on evenings, or just feel motivated when surrounded by other writers, we welcome anyone who wants to come work and write.

We are also excited to welcome Jennifer Goyne Blake from the Sundance Institute’s Episodic Story Lab, which is accepting applications until February 1. Learn about the opportunities within the lab and how you can make your application the strongest.

The Write-A-Thon is sold out. But we do have a wait list!

Life of Crime 3: Murder She Wrote

   Date: Jan 24, 2017

Our annual exploration of serial crime dramas and crime procedurals continues with the most prolific and successful women writers in the genre.

WGF Vice President of Programming Laurence Andries and our panel of all-women writers and creators look at the genre from the female point of view.

Panelists:

Diane Frolov (CHICAGO MED, BOSCH, BOARDWALK EMPIRE)
Chris Levinson (LEGENDS, LAW & ORDER)
Judith McCreary (SECRETS & LIES, LAW & ORDER: SVU, CRIMINAL MINDS)

Stay tuned for more panelist announcements!

Writing Outside the Color Lines: Women Writers of Color on Storytelling and Perspective

   Date: Jan 13, 2017

TV writers are often expected to voice characters outside their cultural identity. This panel, in partnership with Stephens College MFA in Television and Screenwriting, will focus on the experiences of women writers of color in bringing authenticity to telling stories across all color lines.

Moderated by Valerie C. Woods (SOUL FOOD, ANY DAY NOW, TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL), Adjunct Faculty, Stephens College MFA in Television and Screenwriting

Panelists:

Shernold Edwards (SLEEPY HOLLOW, HAVEN)
Dee Harris-Lawrence (STAR, SHOTS FIRED)
Dawn Kamoche (HAND OF GOD, SHARP OBJECTS)
Monica Macer (QUEEN SUGAR, NASHVILLE)

GOLDEN TICKET 2017

   Date: Jan 1, 2017

Get the WGF Golden Ticket: An individual season pass to nearly every Writers Guild Foundation event from January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017.

The Golden Ticket gets you access to every ticketed event and every ticketed VIP party and every ticketed meet-and-greet we hold between those dates.*

That means every interview. Every panel. Every INSIDE THE WRITERS ROOM. Every MASTER CLASS. Day-long craft symposiums and the WGFESTIVAL. Award nominee panels like SUBLIME PRIMETIME and BEYOND WORDS. It’s a magical pass that grants you access to everything you’d otherwise need to buy a ticket for.

We’ll include other surprises and perks as well. In the next few weeks, we’ll be making big announcements about events in 2017.

If you bought all these tickets individually, you could spend over $1500.

BUT ONE WGF GOLDEN TICKET IS ONLY $850.

Dec 2016

Pieces of Glass Book Signing and Q&A with John Sacret Young

   Date: Dec 8, 2016

The Writers Guild Foundation and Humanitas are thrilled to host a book signing followed by a Q&A with WGA Award-winning writer and author John Sacret Young.

The creator of CHINA BEACH and writer and producer of THE WEST WING will discuss PIECES OF GLASS, a memoir reflecting on his life and writing career through his love of art, with actor and CHINA BEACH star Robert Picardo.

Writers on Writing with Randall Wallace

   Date: Dec 6, 2016

Oscar nominated and WGA Award-winning screenwriter, director, New York Times bestselling novelist, and songwriter Randall Wallace knows a thing or two about sweeping epic dramas. He wrote the Academy Award-winning BRAVEHEART, PEARL HARBOR, WE WERE SOLDIERS as well as THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK and HEAVEN IS FOR REAL, which he also directed.

On this special evening, Wallace shares his experiences starting in the industry as a songwriter and TV writer, how he made the move into directing and novel writing, and how he approaches researching and writing big historical war dramas.

Nov 2016

Inside the Writers Room with INSECURE

   Date: Nov 30, 2016

On this special evening, Issa Rae, showrunner Prentice Penny and the writers room discuss their process of developing the show’s comedic voice, how they approach the direction of season one, and how they turn mundane life moments into hilarious and sharp commentary on race, gender and culture.

Panelists:

Issa Rae – Co-creator, star and Executive Producer
Prentice Penny – Writer and Executive Producer
Dayna Lynne North – Co-Executive Producer
Amy Aniobi – Staff Writer
Ben Dougan – Staff Writer

PLUS, we’ll have VIP Experience tickets available, which includes a VIP pre-reception in the WGF Library with refreshments, small bites and a meet-and-greet with the panelists at 6:30pm, plus reserved seating among the front rows at the event.

Women Write Now: Breaking Barriers in Film, TV and the Web

   Date: Nov 29, 2016

The Writers Guild Foundation and Stage 32 are partnering on this special event, which invites women writers to discuss their careers and their experiences working as a writer in the industry, from where they started and how they got their material noticed to what the future for women in media looks like and what inspires them to write every day.

Panelists:

Lauren Schuker Blum (ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK)
Jessica Mecklenburg (STRANGER THINGS, BEING MARY JANE)
Deborah Schoeneman (HAND OF GOD, GIRLS)
Kirsten Smith (10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU, LEGALLY BLONDE)
More panelists to be announced. Stay tuned!

A networking reception will follow directly after the panel from 9pm to 10pm.

USVAA Veterans Writing Workshop New Works Presentation

   Date: Nov 9, 2016

This is a private event for USVAA invitees.

Special Screening of LOVING

   Date: Nov 3, 2016

This is an invitation-only event.

Gamertainment: Gaming Goes Mainstream

   Date: Nov 1, 2016

Co-hosted by Cornell in Hollywood and Harvardwood, this panel welcomes entertainment executives for a discussion about the new paradigm that’s blurring the lines that once separated gaming from film and television.

Oct 2016

An Afternoon with Ava DuVernay and the Cast of Queen Sugar

   Date: Oct 22, 2016

EVENT UPDATE: Due to unforeseen circumstances, the event has been rescheduled for Saturday, October 22 at 2pm. Please check back for new venue location information. We apologize for the inconvenience. Thank you for your patience.

Since her breakthrough film SELMA showcased her keen eye for storytelling, writer, director and producer Ava DuVernay has broken barriers and spearheaded conversations about diversity in the film industry (plus founded ARRAY, a distribution collective for filmmakers of color and women) while also continuing to develop compelling independent and big budget projects.

This fall, she branches out to television with QUEEN SUGAR, a new drama based on the novel by Natalie Baszile that premieres on OWN on September 6. The series follows the Bordelon siblings as they return to Louisiana after inheriting their father’s sugarcane farm.

On this special event, DuVernay discusses her journey from breaking into the film industry as a writer and director to developing QUEEN SUGAR (alongside Oprah Winfrey, no less). She’ll be joined by the show’s cast members to share the process of bringing the characters to life.

Texas Hold 'Em Poker Tournament

   Date: Oct 21, 2016

GO ALL IN FOR VETS!

Join the Writers Guild Foundation, Scott Alexander, Michael Brandt, Glenn Gordon Caron, Semi Chellas, Carlton Cuse, Ben Edlund, Stephen Falk, David Fury, Derek Haas, Alexa Junge, Simon Kinberg, Jay Kogen, Craig Mazin, Jeff Nathanson, Dan Petrie, Jr., Steven Rogers, David Shore, and Matthew Weiner for a…

TEXAS HOLD ‘EM POKER TOURNAMENT

6pm – Registration and Poker Lessons

7pm – Tournament Begins

All proceeds benefit the Veterans Writing Project

Notes on Craft: Dialogue

   Date: Oct 18, 2016

We’ve gathered some masters of dialogue for a panel to offer their tricks of the trade. They will cover how to use dialogue to reveal character, hide exposition, create a believable world, and much, much more.
PLUS, during the audience Q&A, attendees have the option of sharing a favorite (brief) scene of dialogue for the panelists to dissect live.
Join moderator Jane Espenson (ONCE UPON A TIME, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER) and panelists Doris Egan (REIGN, HOUSE), Bob Harris (CSI, BONES), Kelly Lefever (HARD ROCK MEDICAL, HOME AND AWAY), Bradley Thompson (THE STRAIN, FALLING SKIES, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA), and David Weddle (THE STRAIN, FALLING SKIES, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA).

Countering Stereotypes: Muslims, Muslim-Americans and the Modern Middle East on TV

   Date: Oct 13, 2016

MOST, a non-profit resource offering entertainment writers and producers expert advice and contemporary storylines on all things related to Muslims, and the Writers Guild Foundation invite you to join us in a discussion about the entertainment industry’s unique capacity to perpetuate and/or broaden existing views of Muslims, Muslim Americans and the Middle East, and how storytelling can promote greater understanding, while delivering first-rate film and series TV comedy and drama.

Panelists:

Khaled Abol Naga – Actor, Tyrant, Vikings
Emily V. Gordon – Writer, The Carmichael Show, The Big Sick
Chris Keyser – Executive Producer, Tyrant, past President of the Writers Guild of America, West
Bassem Youssef – Known as the “Jon Stewart of Egypt,” satirist and host of Fusion’s Democracy Playbook

Moderated by: Ambassador Cynthia Schneider, Co-Director MOST, Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy, Georgetown University

Writers on Writing with Carlton Cuse

   Date: Oct 11, 2016

Since getting his start in TV writing for the Michael Mann series CRIME STORY, Carlton Cuse has gone on to create and run a gamut of shows spanning various genres. Like action adventure? You can thank him for THE ADVENTURES OF BRISCO COUNTY, JR., MARTIAL LAW and NASH BRIDGES. Then Cuse joined Damon Lindelof to run the writers room of a show called LOST, which turned the concept of mind-bending TV on its head. Currently, Cuse remains as busy as ever as executive producer of FX’s THE STRAIN, creator of COLONY on USA Network, series developer of BATES MOTEL on A&E, and creator of the upcoming Amazon series JACK RYAN.

On this special evening, Cuse shares insight into his writing process, his approach to creating his own shows, and his experiences as a seasoned showrunner.