HBO has selected eight writers for its 2019 HBOAccess Writing Fellowship, an eight-month program that offers master classes and mentorship with a creative executive as writers develop a pilot script for the premium network.
The program, done in conjunction with the WGA, begins with a week-long intensive workshop covering story structure, character development, genre writing, getting an agent and other topics before fellows turn to their pilots. Previous participants have gone on to work on HBO series including The Deuce, The Nevers and the upcoming Lovecraft Country.
“Selecting our fellows is always an exciting time for us,” Kelly Edwards, HBO’s SVP Talent Development, said in a release Thursday announcing this year’s class, selected from more than 3,000 submissions in the program’s third year. “This process introduces us to so many incredibly talented, emerging writers. We know they all have bright futures ahead of them.”
The HBOAccess writing program runs every other year, alternating with HBO’s Directing Fellowship. The next writer application window opens in February 2021.
Here’s the list of this year’s writing fellows, per HBO:
The winner of the 2019 Turner/ABFF Writing Contest for his drama script LYZ, Darnell Brown began his storytelling career publishing a book of thought-provoking, socially-conscious poetry. Darnell is a native son of Chester, Pennsylvania, and a graduate of The University of the Arts who writes both comedy and drama as well as directs.
Writer/Director Melody Cooper is winner of the 2018 Grand Jury Prize for Best Screenplay at the Urbanworld Film Festival with her thriller NORTHERN CROSS. A Sci-Fi and Horror writer, she is the recipient of fellowships from AMC Networks Shudder Labs, NY Stage & Film, and the Writer’s Lab, and won the Tangerine Entertainment Fellowship at Stowe Story Labs. Her supernatural feature script THE SOUND OF DARKNESS was a 2018 Athena List Finalist. Her short documentary, DETAINED, was Winner of 2018 IndieFest Award of Recognition.
Danielle is a graduate of the John Wells Division of Writing for Screen & Television MFA program at USC where she was a Grillo-Marxuach Family Fellow and participant in the inaugural Development Master class with Brian Grazer. She’s a 2019 Universal Writers Program Finalist, a 2018 Fox Writers Lab Finalist, a 2018 Austin Film Festival Second Rounder, and has made the 2018 Young & Hungry List and Hit List. Danielle has worked as a Writers’ PA on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and a Writers’ Trainee on Apple drama series, Swagger.
An actor, writer, and director, Elaine’s produced works include winning the Grand Prize and Audience Vote of the NewFilmmakers LA On Location Project, an Honorable Mention at the NBCUniversal/YOMYOMF Interpretations contest, and having two films accepted to Academy qualifying festivals. She is currently writing and starring in the digital series DOXXED which recently screened at the Women in Comedy Festival and Dances with Films.
Lucy Luna is a Mexican writer and director living in Los Angeles. While Lucy’s short film, We’re All Here, is finding success in the festival circuit with garnering six awards to date, Lucy continues to develop feature and television projects, focusing primarily on the horror, thriller, and drama genres. She’s currently penning a script for Mexican producer Gerardo Gática.
Eddie is a Cuban-American writer, actor, and Emmy-winning producer from Miami, Florida. An alumnus of The Second City in Chicago, Eddie’s credits include the 2016 CBS Diversity Showcase, the 2017 NBC Late Night Writers Workshop and the 2018 NBC Spotlight Showcase. He has produced content for Broadway Video’s Más Mejor and curates Heraldo Presenta, a monthly all-Latinx variety show. His recent short film, Dreamer, was an Imagen Award finalist and named one of Vulture’s Best Comedy Videos of 2018.
Jessica D. Shields is a multidisciplinary writer and filmmaker originally from Atlanta. She is the recipient of the 2019 HUMANITAS Prize College Drama Fellowship. Jessica was a Film Independent Project Involve Screenwriting Fellow (2018) during which time she penned the short film Wednesday, currently a finalist for the HBO Shorts Competition at ABFF 2019. She holds an MFA in Screenwriting & Directing from Columbia University and is an alumna of Vanderbilt University.
A native of Toronto, Canada, Ivan Tsang is an MFA Graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in Screen and TV Writing. Ivan has written for Wong Fu Productions, KevJumba, Jubilee Media, Jeremy Lin, ISA TV. His work has had over 100 million views. He is also the proud owner of a Pug named Russell.
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