Past Events

May 2016


Between the Chapters: Writing and Acting with JANE THE VIRGIN

   Date: May 25, 2016

At this special event, JANE THE VIRGIN creator and showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman shares insight into the process of designing that ride for the past two seasons. She’ll be joined by members of her incredible cast, who’ll give the actor’s perspective on bringing the characters and dialogue to life.

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Master Class with Courtney A. Kemp

   Date: May 17, 2016

After an exceptional career as a writer and producer on THE GOOD WIFE, ELI STONE, JUSTICE and THE BERNIE MAC SHOW, Courtney A. Kemp made her spectacular debut as a creator and showrunner with the Starz Original Series POWER. The hit show, which is the most highly watched original series for the cable network, follows the complex double life led by James “Ghost” St. Patrick (played by Omari Hardwick) amid the gritty and glamorous streets of New York City.

With POWER’s third season premiering this summer, Kemp talks to us about the journey and process behind creating and running her TV show as well as the lessons learned as she approaches the show’s upcoming season. Kemp will also shed light on transitioning from writing half hour to writing hour.


Entertainment Law for Creatives

   Date: May 10, 2016

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. On this evening, attorney Luke Lieberman will 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.

With experience as both a creator and a lawyer, Luke provides a unique perspective on the industry, providing invaluable information for established and up and coming filmmakers alike.

Apr 2016

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WGFestival 2016: THE CRAFT

   Date: Apr 16, 2016

On Saturday April 16th, we’ll gather for an all-day event at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills.

WGFestival: THE CRAFT will have panels on the changing landscape of distribution, new media, and crafting the script of today and tomorrow. Today even more opportunities abound across many different platforms. Creators, showrunners, and Executives will open the magic box and discuss all the possibilities.


WGFestival 2016: ALL ACCESS

   Date: Apr 16, 2016

The Writers Guild Foundation in Partnership with the Academy Education and Nicholl Fellowships Programs presents WGFestival 2016!

Have you been to our craft day symposiums? Like any Hollywood sequel, they just keep getting bigger and faster and furious-er.

On Saturday, March 19 and Saturday, April 16, we’ll gather the industry’s best and brightest writers, producers, executives and insiders for two all-day events at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills.

And for the first time with the ALL ACCESS PASS, we will pass your first 10 pages of your screenplay or television script on to some people we know – click the link to find out how.


Write-a-Thon 3

   Date: Apr 9, 2016

It’s our third Write-A-Thon of the year! Like any third installment in a series, you can expect all the familiar favorites (the pizza, the snacks, the raffle prizes) plus some new faces.

At our last Write-A-Thon, we had the pleasure of welcoming Heather Washington from the Universal Pictures Emerging Writers Fellowship. This time, we’re excited to have Eva Gross, the Final Draft Big Break Contest Director, who’ll share some insight and answer all your questions about entering the contest.

And of course, we’ll have our incredible Library staff on hand, plus our catalog of scripts, to help you polish that draft or finish that final scene.

Space is limited, so reserve your spot ASAP!

Our Write-A-Thons are brought to you by our wonderful sponsors:



Mar 2016


The World Builder: Frank Spotnitz on Creating Complex TV Series

   Date: Mar 24, 2016

In this special event, Frank Spotnitz shares his experiences writing across genres and platforms as well as delving into the intricate process of world-building.

Spotnitz is no stranger to building and exploring new and old worlds. He wrote, executive produced and developed Amazon’s most viewed series, THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, about what would have happened if the Allied Powers lost World War II and the U.S. along with much of the world is controlled by Imperial Japan and Nazi German. Spotnitz then takes us back to the Italian Renaissance with MEDICI: MASTERS OF FLORENCE, an upcoming eight-part drama series starring Richard Madden and Dustin Hoffman that chronicles the rise of the Medici family.

He’ll be interviewed by friend of the Foundation, Neil Landau, who has interviewed Spotnitz for his brand new book, TV Outside the Box: Trailblazing in the Digital Television Revolution, which will be available to purchase at the event.

PLUS we’ll also have an EXCLUSIVE Green Room Experience beginning at 6:30pm, where you can meet and hang out with Frank before the event. You will also get a reserved front row seat at the event. These tickets are limited.

Doors open at 7pm. Event starts at 7:30pm.


WGFestival 2016: THE BUSINESS

   Date: Mar 19, 2016

On Saturday March 19th, we’ll gather for an all-day event at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills.

WGFestival: THE BUSINESS will be focused on your career in the screenwriting trade. Panelists will help you fashion your concept into something they want to read, help you turn that script into a film, and guide you through what it takes to sustain yourself in the film business.


Write-A-Thon 2

   Date: Mar 5, 2016

This event is sold out and the wait list is full.

Our first Write-A-Thon of the year was a sold-out hit, so we’re naturally following it up with a sequel (Sorry, Ice Cube and Kevin Hart aren’t starring in this one).

We will, however, have some cool things to add, such as special guest, Heather Morris Washington, Program Manager of the Universal Pictures Emerging Writers Fellowship, who will give info and answer questions about the fellowship’s fourth year.

As always, there will be pizza, soda, snacks, raffle prizes, our fabulous Library staff, and most importantly, uninterrupted writing time for you to finish that script.

Feb 2016



   Date: Feb 23, 2016

Evan Daugherty, screenwriter of SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN, DIVERGENT, KILLING SEASON, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, and the upcoming 2017 reboot of TOMB RAIDER, shares his journey from NYU film student and living in his parent’s basement to moving to LA and becoming the writer of big-budget, high-profile movies. Trust us, he will inspire you!

In this Master Class, he’ll also give insight into his process for adapting classic stories for a modern audience and what it’s like to take on the screenplay of a famous film franchise.

Writer Meg LeFauve is photographed on October 2, 2015 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)


   Date: Feb 18, 2016

On this special night, Meg LeFauve (INSIDE OUT, THE GOOD DINOSAUR) shares her process to bringing characters to life, her experiences writing animated features, and her approach to writing live action features like the upcoming CAPTAIN MARVEL.

PLUS we’ll also have an EXCLUSIVE Green Room Experience beginning at 6:30pm, where you can meet and hang out with Meg before the event. You will also get a reserved front row seat at the event. These tickets are limited.

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   Date: Feb 4, 2016

Award season is coming…

Each year at BEYOND WORDS, we partner with the Writers Guild of America, West to assemble a panel filled with award-nominated screenwriters who chat about their lives in the trade and their nominated work.

This event is presented by the Writers Guild of America, West, Variety, and the Writers Guild Foundation.

Jan 2016



   Date: Jan 26, 2016

We have just added Chris Brancato and Diane Frolov & Andrew Schneider to the panel!

Chris was an Executive Producer on the Golden Globe nominated NARCOS. He has written for HANNIBAL, LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT, and LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT. Diane & Andrew have written for CHICAGO MED, BOSCH, BOARDWALK EMPIRE, and THE SOPRANOS.

If you made it to last year’s sold out Life of Crime event, then you learned the secrets to writing a great procedural. This time around, we are opening the suitcase and giving out ALL THE SECRETS to writing serial crime dramas.

Join Laurence Andries (THE PACIFIC, SIX FEET UNDER) as he chats with a “Murderer’s Row” of crime drama writers and creators about writing serial dramas, serials vs. procedurals, and a whole lot more!

Laurence will be joined by Shawn Ryan (THE SHIELD, TERRIERS) and more. Keep checking back for additional panelists.

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New Years' Resolution Write-A-Thon

   Date: Jan 16, 2016

It’s a new year! That means new resolutions to start (or finish) that feature/pilot/spec/novel/short story. Plus, those Sundance Episodic Story Lab and Nickelodeon Writing Program deadlines are right around the corner!

Let us help you kick start those resolutions with our first Write-A-Thon of the year on Saturday, January 16!

We’ll have pizza, soda, and our awesome Library staff on hand, not to mention some cool prizes to raffle off.

Space is limited, so get your tickets early!



   Date: Jan 12, 2016

We can pretty much bet money that there isn’t an Adam McKay project that hasn’t produced that side-splitting, tears-inducing, food-spitting kind of laughter. The writer, director and producer, frequently with comedy partner Will Ferrell, is responsible for the hilarious ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY, TALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY, STEP BROTHERS, THE OTHER GUYS, ANCHORMAN 2 as well as the screenplay for ANT-MAN.

The former SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE head writer (who was known to make cameos as an audience member who heckles the hosts) recently co-wrote and directed THE BIG SHORT, a drama based on Michael Lewis’s novel on the 2008 global financial collapse and which stars Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling and Steve Carrell.

On this special night, McKay shares his experiences and insight into writing comedies as well as how the comedic process informs his dramatic projects. Come listen, learn and most definitely laugh.

During the discussion, Adam will be joined onstage by special guest Charles Randolph, who co-wrote THE BIG SHORT with him!!

They’ll be interviewed by friend of the Foundation and co-host of the Scriptnotes podcast, Craig Mazin. His credits include IDENTITY THIEF, THE HANGOVER PART II, THE HANGOVER PART III, and the upcoming THE HUNTSMAN WINTER’S WAR.



   Date: Jan 12, 2016

Get the WGF Golden Ticket: A season pass to nearly every Writers Guild Foundation event from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016.

Dec 2015

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   Date: Dec 9, 2015

Join us at the LA Film School theater, where our pals JOHN AUGUST and CRAIG MAZIN will host a special live taping of their weekly podcast SCRIPTNOTES.

John and Craig will be joined onstage by MALCOLM SPELLMAN, producer of Fox’s EMPIRE, and NATASHA LEGGERO and RIKI LINDHOME, creators and stars of Comedy Central’s ANOTHER PERIOD, along with additional special guests to be announced soon!

James Vanderbilt headshot


   Date: Dec 2, 2015

In his latest film TRUTH, a political drama starring Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford about the Killian documents controversy that led to the resignation of CBS anchor Dan Rather, screenwriter James Vanderbilt sits in the director’s chair for the first time.

On this insightful night, Vanderbilt shares his experiences and lessons learned while writing and directing a film as well as the impact his directorial debut has had on his writing.

Nov 2015

Duplass Bros Bio Shot 2


   Date: Nov 10, 2015

Along with being brothers, Jay & Mark Duplass are also writers, actors, producers, and directors who helped pioneer the mumblecore movement by writing and directing films such as BAGHEAD, CYRUS and JEFF, WHO LIVES AT HOME. They continued their trend of bleeding edge filmmaking by executive producing TANGERINE, a film that was shot entirely on three iPhone 5s smartphones.

Together, the talented Duplass brothers created the HBO comedy TOGETHERNESS, which stars Mark as one-half of a couple struggling with marital malaise, and executive produced the film MANSON FAMILY VACATION, which stars Jay. You can also currently turn on your TV/computer/tablet and find the brothers pretty much everywhere starring on shows such as Amazon Video’s TRANSPARENT (Jay), FX Network’s THE LEAGUE (Mark) and Hulu’s THE MINDY PROJECT (Jay and Mark).

On this special night, the multi-hyphenate duo shares the joys and challenges of balancing multiple roles, getting an independent film off the ground, and working together to make it all happen.



   Date: Nov 4, 2015

Veena Sud’s fascination with dark, edgy female characters led her to executive produce the hit CBS detective drama COLD CASE as well as develop the popular Danish series FORBRYDELSEN into THE KILLING for AMC and then Netflix.

In this intimate Master Class, Sud shares her experiences writing within the genre, developing an international series for American audiences, and navigating a series from traditional cable networks to new online platforms.

Oct 2015

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WRITERS ON WRITING with Drew Goddard

   Date: Oct 28, 2015

From populous cities ravaged by monsters and zombies to a mysterious island and now Mars, screenwriter Drew Goddard has masterfully woven compelling stories amid dark, volatile, enigmatic environments. This month, his adaptation of Andy Weir’s e-book THE MARTIAN hits the big screen starring Matt Damon. Goddard also was executive producer on Marvel’s DAREDEVIL series on Netflix.

In what’s sure to be an epically awesome conversation, Goddard will expand on his process for writing within modern genres as well as across traditional and new platforms.

Beau Willimon headshot - photo by Adam Amengual


   Date: Oct 22, 2015

Join us for an in-depth discussion with HOUSE OF CARDS showrunner and playwright Beau Willimon as he explores the art of writing stories about the harried halls of Washington D.C.

He will discuss his writing process for his Emmy-winning Netflix Original series, his approach to adapting his plays into film, as well as his techniques for dramatizing careers in science, politics, and beyond.


Writers Guild Foundation Benefit: A Reading of STERLING by Ken LaZebnik

   Date: Oct 18, 2015

Two years ago, Army Spc. Sterling Wyatt was killed by an IED in Afghanistan. When members of the Westboro Baptist Church showed up to picket the funeral, 5,000 people in his hometown of Columbia, Missouri formed a human shield between the family and the protestors. His mother, Sherry Wyatt, says: “Most people never get to meet their heroes. But I got to be his mother.” STERLING, a new screenplay by Ken LaZebnik, chronicles Sherry Wyatt’s journey as a Gold Star mother.

This reading, starring Annie Potts and directed by Mark Taylor, will benefit the Writers Guild Foundation’s Veteran Writing Workshop.


The Sound of Music with The Writers Guild Foundation

   Date: Oct 18, 2015

Please join The Writers Guild Foundation on Sunday, October 18 for one of our group outings to see the North American tour of THE SOUND OF MUSIC at the Ahmanson Theater.

Three-time Tony Award® winner Jack O’Brien directs a lavish new production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s most beloved musical. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the film version, which continues to be the most successful movie musical in history. The spirited, romantic, and beloved musical story of Maria and the von Trapp Family will once again thrill audiences with such songs as “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Edelweiss,” and “The Sound of Music.”

The performance begins at 1 p.m. Prior to the performance, we will gather as a group for a box lunch, ticket distribution, and introductions, OR you can skip lunch and just pick up your tickets.

Sep 2015

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   Date: Sep 17, 2015

It’s that time of year again. The Emmys are around the corner and we are teaming up with the Writers Guild of America, West and Variety to gather some of this year’s nominated writers for a fun and insightful conversation on this season’s celebrated shows.


Character Sketch: Glen Mazzara on Writing the Anti-Hero

   Date: Sep 9, 2015

Glen Mazzara (THE SHIELD, THE WALKING DEAD) will discuss the role of the Anti-Hero in television drama – the origin, development and anticipated demise of this seminal figure from American literature. He will also share hard-learned lessons, mistakes, and insights from his career as a television drama writer and as a showrunner.

Aug 2015


Master Class with Winnie Holzman and Jason Katims

   Date: Aug 26, 2015

In this Master Class, we get a glimpse into Winnie Holzman’s (MY SO-CALLED LIFE, ONCE AND AGAIN) process of writing such beloved stories and characters, who continue to captivate audiences and influence new productions on stage and screen.

The discussion will be moderated by writer, developer and producer Jason Katims (PARENTHOOD, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS). Jason and Winnie were colleagues on MY SO-CALLED LIFE, so you can bet that Winnie will have a few questions for Jason about his craft and career, too!

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Master Class with Meredith Stiehm and Pam Veasey

   Date: Aug 11, 2015

In this Master Class, moderator Pam Veasey (CSI: CYBER, CSI: NY, IN LIVING COLOR) is on hand to guide Meredith Stiehm through her impressive career as creator of THE BRIDGE and COLD CASE, executive producer of HOMELAND and writer on ER and NYPD BLUE.

video game panel

Words Into Pixels: Couches, Consoles and Creating Worlds

   Date: Aug 5, 2015

Narratives have begun to play a more critical role in the development of video games after the massive successes of story-driven series such as BIOSHOCK, PORTAL, THE LAST OF US and ASSASSIN’S CREED. Enter the video game script writer and the lucrative field of writing for the gaming industry.

Join Neil Druckmann (THE LAST OF US, UNCHARTED 4: A THIEF’S END), Tom Bissell (GEARS OF WAR: JUDGMENT, THE VANISHING OF ETHAN CARTER), TJ Fixman (RATCHET & CLANK series), and Marianne Krawczyk (GOD OF WAR series) as they discuss how to write video game scripts and how to break in.

Jun 2015


Matilda at the Ahmanson Theatre

   Date: Jun 4, 2015

Thanks to the Center Theatre Group, we have tickets to see Matilda The Musical!  Winner of 50 international awards, including four Tony Awards®, Matilda The Musical is the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny. Meet our group prior to the event at the Pinot Grill in front of the Ahmanson and make some new friends!