Past Events

Feb 2016

Awards Letterhead 2013.indd


   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

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   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!

May 2015


Inside the Writers' Room with MAD MEN

   Date: May 28, 2015

Matthew Weiner will be joined on stage by Janet Leahy, Semi Chellas, Erin Levy, Tom Smuts, Lisa Albert, Robert Towne, Jonathan Igla, Carly Wray, Bob Levinson, and Josh Weltman to discuss how they crafted some of television’s most influential characters, what a typical day in the writers’ room was like, and how they produced such an iconic American period drama.

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The Third WGF Late-Night Library Write-a-Thon

   Date: May 16, 2015

This event is sold out.

Apr 2015

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GENRE SMASH! with comedy writer extraordinaire MIKE SCULLY

   Date: Apr 21, 2015

Mike Scully has written for some of the greatest comedies of the past 20 years: PARKS AND RECREATION. THE SIMPSONS. EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND. Seriously, check out his IMDB page. Join Mike and WGF communications director Kevin Ott at the world-famous Nerdmelt Showroom as they discuss what it takes to write a good comedy, how it feels to have worked on so many truly iconic shows, and where the midpoint is between Homer Simpson and Ron Swanson.


Staff Writer to Showrunner 2015

   Date: Apr 18, 2015

On April 18th, we’ll gather for our annual television craft symposium at the Writers Guild Theater with a collection of time-tested dramatists, gut-busting comics, innovative creators, and insightful Executives. From network to Netflix, we’ll talk about crafting stories, pilots, and specs that will get you into the writers’ room and will help you on your journey to showrunner. Featuring writers and creators of BLACK-ISH, EMPIRE, DAREDEVIL, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, BEING MARY JANE, THE COMEDIANS, HANNIBAL and more!

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Hedgebrook Presents: Engaging The Feminine Heroic

   Date: Apr 12, 2015

Experience a unique one-day creative workshop led by Dara Marks and Deb Norton. Enjoy a day filled with lively conversation and writing workshop time, culminating in a wine and cheese reception. Write, learn, share stories and leave freshly inspired. This event is organized and presented by the Hedgebrook Foundation.


The second WGF Late-night Library Write-a-thon

   Date: Apr 11, 2015

This event is sold out.

Mar 2015


First Draft to Feature 2015

   Date: Mar 28, 2015


Evan Daugherty, Leslie Dixon, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Terry Rossio, and more will join us on March 28th!

For 2015’s spring craft symposium, the Writers Guild Foundation joins forces with the Austin Film Festival for the second year in a row to help you get through that first rewrite or finish that final polished draft. Get your screenplay ready to submit to a competition, an agent, a manager, or a producer with a full day of panels discussing how to take apart that first draft and turn it into something special.

Tickets are still only 65 bucks – the lowest price for a day long event like this.


GENRE SMASH! with PITCH PERFECT writer Kay Cannon

   Date: Mar 17, 2015

Join us as we chat with Kay Cannon, writer of PITCH PERFECT and its impending sequel, as well as 30 ROCK and NEW GIRL. If we try really hard, we might be able to get her to sing.

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The WGF Late-night Script-tastic Pizza-riffic Library Write-a-thon

   Date: Mar 7, 2015

This event is sold out.

Feb 2015

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GENRE SMASH! with the BOJACK HORSEMAN masterminds

   Date: Feb 17, 2015

Join us as we interview BOJACK HORSEMAN creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg and lead designer Lisa Hanawalt, and chat about building a show that’s almost designed to be binge-watched.

Awards Letterhead 2013.indd

Beyond Words 2015

   Date: Feb 5, 2015

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

This year’s panelists include: Dan Gilroy (NIGHTCRAWLER), James Gunn and Nicole Perlman (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY), Jason Hall (AMERICAN SNIPER), Brian Knappenberger (THE INTERNET’S OWN BOY: THE STORY OF AARON SWARTZ), Richard Linklater (BOYHOOD), and Graham Moore (THE IMITATION GAME).