Eleven female and minority writers have been named this year’s honorees of the WGA West’s TV Writer Access Program. Now in its eighth year, the goal of the program is to “promote diversity and foster inclusiveness in the entertainment industry.”
Honorees in the one-hour drama category are:
- Rachel Feldman – Kinks
- Adrian A. Cruz – Irwindale
- Sharon Hoffman – The Doubling
- Peter Hume – Righteous Texas
- Donald Joh – Mulberry
- Tonya Kong – Skin Deep
- Zak Shaikh – Runaways
- Mollie St. John & Ben St. John – City of Children
Honorees in the half-hour comedy category are:
- Hilary Weisman Graham – After Birth
- Eddie Quintana – City #2
Created in 2009 and administered by the guild’s diversity department, the program is designed to identify and recognize outstanding diverse writing talent and provide access to their work to entertainment industry decision-makers, including showrunners, producers, network and studio executives, agents, and managers. The honorees will also participate in a series of guild-hosted workshops and seminars in which they will be mentored by their peers.
This year’s TV contest – there’s also one for screenwriters – received 143 submissions from guild members: 51 women, 41 minorities, three with disabilities, 13 LGBT, and 35 writers 55 years old and older.
“The guild’s TV Writer Access Project continues to identify and create opportunities for writers from varied backgrounds and experiences and make their work accessible to an increasingly global industry,” said Tery Lopez, the guild’s director of diversity. “The program is a direct response to promote inclusiveness in storytelling and to offer a unique pool of talent to industry influencers and decision makers.”