WGA West Sets 2022 TV Writers Access Project Honorees

The WGA West on Monday revealed the 13 honorees of its 2022 TV Writer Access Project, a program designed to increase diversity and promote inclusiveness within the entertainment industry. Created in 2009, the project recognizes outstanding and diverse writing talent from within the guild’s ranks and provides access to their work to showrunners, producers, network and studio executives, agents and managers.

“This program is what the guild does best: writers helping writers to take stock, reinvent themselves, then move on to the next stage of their career,” said Glen Mazzara, co-chair of the guild’s Inclusion and Equity Group. “That peer to peer mentorship is invaluable.”

This year’s honorees for drama are:

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• Erinne Dobson – The More Gone She’ll Be
• Skander Halim – Nathan X
• Anne-Marie Hess – Disturbed
• Allyssa Lee – Model Minority
• Kerri Brady Long – Blood Sport
• Laurie Parres – Life and Death and High School
• Barbara Soares – Username
• Tom Towler – Borderlands

The honorees for comedy are:

• Elysse Applebaum – Good Mom
• Christina de Leon – Open
• Jessie Gaskell – BumbleF*cked
• Lauriel Marger – Peaches
• Steve Westren – Before I Get Old

For consideration, qualified WGA West members in five underrepresented categories – BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) writers, writers with disabilities, women writers, LGBTQ+ writers, and older writers (55+) – were eligible to submit an unproduced half-hour or one-hour spec script. Entries were read and scored on a blind submission basis by a panel of judges comprised of guild members with extensive television writing experience.

As part of the program, the guild said, honorees will participate in a series of WGA West-hosted workshops in March “designed to equip them with the skills sets and tools for successful television writing careers.”

“Without question, the most influential experience of my career has been the TV Writers Access Project,” said 2015 honoree Karen Struck (The Good Doctor, For Life). “The program reshaped both how I thought of myself as a writer and how I presented myself. Even though I had been a staff writer previously, the program gave me a new perspective on the skills that are paramount to advancement: pitching, meetings, writers’ room effectiveness, and polishing my personal story.”

This year’s project received 236 submissions from guild members, including 86 women; 66 writers 55 years old and older; 40 BIPOC; 39 LGBTQ+; and five disabled writers.

The program enlisted guild members to serve as 136 first-round judges (74 drama/62 comedy) and 76 second-round judges (42 drama/34 comedy).

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