Past Events

Feb 2017

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.

Sep 2016

Writers on Writing with Terence Winter

   Date: Sep 27, 2016

From his groundbreaking work on HBO as the creator of BOARDWALK EMPIRE and executive producer of THE SOPRANOS to his turns as screenwriter of films such as THE WOLF OF WALL STREET and 50 Cent biopic GET RICH OR DIE TRYIN’, Terence Winter is a writer and producer known for masterfully crafting stories centered around the world of criminals and cons. It’s quite the fascinating trajectory from his early work writing for 90s shows such as THE COSBY MYSTERIES, XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS and SISTER, SISTER.

On this special evening, Winter takes us through his evolution as a TV writer, shares his process for shaping complex characters, and his approach to building the worlds surrounding his shows.

The Raconteur: Writing Prose and Television with Jonathan Ames

   Date: Sep 20, 2016

As the creator and showrunner of the Starz Original Series BLUNT TALK (which premieres its second season on October 2) as well as the much-missed HBO series BORED TO DEATH, Jonathan Ames is known for his whimsical style of maneuvering flawed yet empathetic characters through their substance-filled misadventures and idiosyncratic lives. Ames is also known for cribbing elements of his real life adventures into both his television and literary work, which includes three novels (one of which was adapted into the film THE EXTRA MAN), the autobiographical graphic novel THE ALCOHOLIC, numerous collections of essays and memoirs, and monologues he’s staged himself or at The Moth.

On this special night, Ames shares his approach and process to writing his varied projects, how they inform one another, and how he developed his self-referential style.

Sublime Primetime 2016

   Date: Sep 15, 2016

Every year we team up with the Writers Guild of America, West and Variety to gather this year’s nominated writers for a lively conversation on the season’s most talked-about episodes.

Panelists:

SCOTT ALEXANDER & LARRY KARASZEWSKI
The People v. O.J. Simpson

JOEL FIELDS & JOE WEISBERG
The Americans

ALEX GREGORY & PETER HUYCK
Veep

MARTI NOXON & SARAH G. SHAPIRO
UnREAL

CAROLYN OMINE
The Simpsons

ALEX RUBENS
Key & Peele

Moderator: BOB ODENKIRK, Better Call Saul

Character Sketch: Uncovering Spies and Secret Agents with William Blake Herron

   Date: Sep 6, 2016

From James Bond and Jason Bourne to Sydney Bristow and Carrie Mathison, film and TV’s fascination with the covert lives of spies and secret agents has produced memorable characters and endlessly entertaining franchises.

On this evening, writer William Blake Herron (AGENT X, THE BOURNE IDENTITY) shares his unique insight (he studied Russian in college and is an avid martial artist) and process for writing characters embroiled in the world of espionage. Along with a look into how to shape characters within the genre, he’ll also give us the scoop on his experiences with studio assignments and lessons learned as a first-time showrunner.

Co-hosted by NYU Tisch in LA.

Aug 2016

From Views to VR: Careers in Digital Storytelling

   Date: Aug 16, 2016

This panel addresses the various paths to a career in storytelling within the digital space. From writing webisodes to VR simulations, our panelists share their experiences creating content for new and emerging mediums and what lessons they’ve learned in often unchartered territory.

Moderator:

Richie Solomon – video games BINGO Blitz, Zynga Elite Slots, Scratchers Casino, and The Godfather: Gangland.

Panelists:

Dean Orion – Executive Creative Director at Spaces Inc., a virtual and mixed reality company that conceives, designs and builds fully dimensional VR and MxR experiences. Formally a creative producer at Walt Disney Imagineering.

John Zuur Platten – Creative director at Niantic Labs, developer of Ingress and Pokémon GO, and a creative consultant on a reboot of his Fear Effect property. Written and designed over 60 projects for every major publisher and studio, including: Ghostbusters, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay.

Anne Toole – Anne is a writer for TV, games, web series, VR, comics, and short fiction. Credits include THE WITCHER and THE LIZZIE BENNET DIARIES, a web series that won an Emmy.

Evette Vargas – Award-winning writer, director, multiplatform & Virtual Reality creator. Work includes series for MTV, Bravo, DirectTV; branded entertainment for FAST & FURIOUS, LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy and Madonna. Wrote and directed her digital series DARK PROPHET.

Micah Wright – Wrote, storyboarded, directed, and composed songs for shows like The Angry Beavers, Hey Arnold!, and Constant Payne. Written and designed on over 50 video games including hit games in the Transformers, Ratchet & Clank, Destroy All Humans, and wrote the zombies mode for Call of Duty: Black Ops II. Hired in 2014 by Samsung to help guide the creation of the Virtual Reality experience TheBluVR.

Making the Cut: How to Navigate the Screenplay Contest Circuit

   Date: Aug 9, 2016

Our panelists will share their experiences inside various contest and fellowship application processes, how to navigate through the gauntlet of steps, and how you can use networking opportunities at events (such as San Diego Comic-Con and this one) to get yourself and your work noticed throughout the process.

Panelists:

Brian Anthony – THE NIGHT SHIFT, ARMY WIVES, completed the 2012 NBC Writers On The Verge Program
Brandon Easton – MARVEL’S AGENT CARTER, 2014 nominee for an Eisner Comic Industry Award, completed the 2015 Disney-ABC Writing Program
Greta Heinemann – NCIS NEW ORLEANS, completed CBS Writers Mentoring Program, Humanitas New Voices Initiative
Andrew Lanham – THE GLASS CASTLE, 2010 Nicholl Fellowship winner, Winner of Drama and Latitude awards at Austin Film Festival
Shireen Razack – SHADOWHUNTERS, completed CBS Writers Mentoring Program
Michael Werwie – 2012 Nicholl Fellowship winner

Women Who Run the Room: A Conversation with Showrunners

   Date: Aug 6, 2016

On this special Saturday event, a panel of female showrunners discuss their experiences of running a room and the impact of increasing female voices in television.

Panelists:

Alexa Junge – GRACE AND FRANKIE, UNITED STATES OF TARA, FRIENDS
Laurie McCarthy – REIGN, GHOST WHISPERER
Lizzy Weiss – SWITCHED AT BIRTH, UNDRESSED

Check back for more panelist announcements.

Writers on Writing with Steven Knight

   Date: Aug 2, 2016

Screenwriter and director Steven Knight’s fascinating and highly enviable career spans genres and mediums. On the big screen, he’s penned the thrillers DIRTY PRETTY THINGS (which earned him an Academy Award nomination), and EASTERN PROMISES; dramas such as LOCKE (which he also directed) and PAWN SACRIFICE, and the upcoming THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB and ALLIED.

On the small screen, he’s the creator and showrunner of PEAKY BLINDERS and the upcoming BBC series TABOO starring Tom Hardy. Plus, Knight has also published novels, written plays and even co-created the game show WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE?

Jul 2016

In Conversation with Phyllis Nagy

   Date: Jul 26, 2016

In this special event in our IN CONVERSATION WITH series, Phyllis shares her experiences adapting novels for the screen (CAROL was adapted from a Patricia Highsmith novel) and for the stage (Phyllis wrote plays based on novels by Highsmith, Anton Chekhov and Nathaniel Hawthorne). She’ll also talk about the transition from writing for the stage to screen as well as how one medium can inform the other.

Escape from Development Hell: How to Get a Movie Made

   Date: Jul 18, 2016

For every Hollywood success story, there are 100 tales of trudging unsuccessfully through the trenches. Lessons are learned, contacts are made, and every so often, a deal is struck. Our panelists will share how you can maximize your opportunities and emerge from the trenches to get your film produced.

Jun 2016

Breaking In at Any Age

   Date: Jun 28, 2016

We’re thrilled to host a panel, in partnership with the Academy Education and Nicholl Fellowship Programs, on how to break into the industry as a writer at any age.

Writers on Writing with Marvel's Jessica Jones

   Date: Jun 21, 2016

At this special event, three writers and producers from MARVEL’S JESSICA JONES–Hilly Hicks, Jamie King, and Edward Ricourt –join us to talk more about the intricacies of building Jessica’s world and their own paths to building a career as a writer.

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

Master Class with Mike O'Malley

   Date: Jun 14, 2016

If Mike O’Malley looks familiar, it’s probably because he’s tugged at your heartstrings as Burt Hummel on GLEE or made you laugh as Jimmy Hughes in the CBS comedy YES, DEAR. He’s also guest starred on shows such as PARENTHOOD, MY NAME IS EARL, PARKS AND RECREATION and on films such as DEEP IMPACT, 28 DAYS and LEATHERHEADS.

Along with his list of acting credits, O’Malley is also the creator and showrunner of the Starz Original Series SURVIVOR’S REMORSE, a comedy about the lives of a pro-basketball player and his family after they move to Atlanta. He was also a writer and producer on the Showtime series SHAMELESS.

In this Master Class, O’Malley shares his process and experiences creating and running his show as well as how acting has informed his writing.