Fox Entertainment has named HaJ, Allison Jackson, Michelle Lesley Johnson and Nicole Jones-Dion the Fellows for its 2022 Fox Writers Incubator initiative. The four writers were selected from over 1300 submissions.
The Fox Writers Incubator seeks to support diverse and creative voices and provide training the four writers across all genres ranging from comedy, drama and animation. Fox revealed the fellows on Thursday.
“The launch of the FOX Writers Incubator has led to a record number of submissions from aspiring writers with an incredible amount of talent,” said Michael Thorn, President, Entertainment, FOX Entertainment. “A heartfelt ‘thank you’ to everyone who submitted and we proudly congratulate HaJ, Allison Jackson, Michelle Lesley Johnson and Nicole Jones-Dion on their Fellowships. We’re confident their creative journeys and unique voices will further strengthen our pipeline of original storytellers.”
In the initiative, the Fellows will participate in a three-month workshop focused on honing writing skills, professional development and the exploration of the business of media and entertainment. The four selected Fellows will also receive one-on-one mentorship opportunities with Fox executives. Upon completion of the program, Fellows may have the opportunity to work across FOX Entertainment shows.
Continued Thorn: “As we continue to pursue our commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout Fox Corporation, the Fox Writers Incubator initiative is an incredible addition to those efforts. We congratulate the four writers who were named Fellows in this inaugural season, and we look forward to their contributions and to them joining the FOX family.”
Read more about the four FWI Fellows below:
HaJ is an award-winning writer who is also a producer, director, performer, and the founder of TICKLES.TV, a multi-media production company with more than 40 original comedic sketch videos created and distributed to more than 20 million viewers since its founding. In 2016, she created the award-winning, one-woman stage show about people who code-switch, “Funnel Cake Flowers & The Urban Chameleons,” which debuted Off-Broadway and won the Best Writer award. MadameNoire named HaJ one of the Top 15 Tech & Branding Gurus for the interactive film “HERadventure,” which she produced and co-created with film and TV director (and mother) Ayoka Chenzira (“Trinkets,” “Dynasty,” “Queen Sugar,” “4400”). Currently, HaJ is an executive producer on THE YEAR BETWEEN by Alex Heller featuring Steve Buscemi that is currently in post-production. She is also serving as the dramaturge on the new Broadway show POTUS written by Selina Felinger directed by five-time Tony winner Susan Stroman (The Producers) starring Vanessa Williams, Julianne Hough, and Rachel Dratch. HaJ received her B.F.A. in acting from Carnegie Mellon University.
Allison Jackson is a Los Angeles based screenwriter who writes funny shows about Black women in not-so-funny situations. Originally from a town of three thousand in Ohio, Jackson developed her love for screenwriting while working in China, and learned Mandarin by watching Chinese period dramas. She then attended the American Film Institute, where she studied screenwriting and developed her voice for writing nerdy, funny, Black characters. She has worked as a Writers’ Assistant for Amazon and as a showrunner’s assistant on an HBO comedy show. Her comedy pilot, “Enough,” was selected for the second round of the Sundance Episodic Lab, and her feature, “Believe the Hype,” was selected for the second round of the Sundance Development Track.
Michelle Lesley Johnson
Michelle Lesley Johnson graduated with Distinction from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also holds an M.A. in education from the University of California at Berkeley. Her original pilot, “The Fifth Quarter,” advanced to the second round of the 2020 Sundance Episodic Lab. On the strength of “The Fifth Quarter,” along with another original pilot, “HipHop High,” she was a 2021 Disney General Entertainment Content Writing Program Semi-finalist. Her writing credits include “Let’s Stay Together” (BET), “Meet The Browns” (TBS) and “House of Payne” (TBS). She currently works as a script coordinator, on shows including Season Four and Five of the Emmy-winning drama, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” (MGM/Hulu) and Season One of “BMF” (Lionsgate/Starz).
A graduate of Duke University, Nicole Jones-Dion has written, directed and/or produced short form projects for the SyFy Channel, Lionsgate, Sony and more. Nicole was briefly in the Army before moving to Baton Rouge, where she helped develop one of the first interactive multimedia training programs for Swiss pharmaceutical giant Ciba-Geigy. She relocated to Los Angeles, where she worked in video games and e-commerce before switching to engineering software. She spent the bulk of her professional career with Dassault Systemes as a marketing manager for several of their brands, including the SolidWorks and COSMOS product lines, where she developed everything from customer case studies to instructional videos.
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