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WIF | The Black List Episodic Lab

Developing the projects and skills of promising non-professional television and film writers through workshops and master classes.

Achieving equal cultural representation within our media narratives requires a representative number of skilled storytellers. The Episodic Lab, held in partnership with key collaborator and industry benchmarker The Black List, is designed to equip new television writers with knowledge to build and sustain their careers. This program provides participants with support in craft, professional development, and networking toward advancing their livelihoods.

The Episodic Lab selects six to eight TV writers and runs for four weeks, with sessions including script development, pitching, a mock writers’ room, and roundtables with established writers and industry executives. Additionally, throughout the year, participants attend events and screenings that further expose them to the realities of life as professional screenwriters.

Episodic Lab advisors and master class teachers have included writers from series including “Ted Lasso,” “Rick and Morty,” “The Walking Dead,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Girls5Eva,” “Fargo,” “The Leftovers,” “Parenthood,” and many more.

For questions, please contact the WIF Programs Team at programs@wif.org.

The Episodic Lab is generously supported by the Golden Globe Foundation and ShivHans Pictures.

Program Details

WIF | THE BLACK LIST EPISODIC LAB

Achieving equal cultural representation within our media narratives requires a representative number of skilled storytellers. The Episodic Lab, held in partnership with key collaborator and industry benchmarker The Black List, is designed to equip new television writers with knowledge to build and sustain their careers. This program provides participants with support in craft, professional development, and networking toward advancing their livelihoods.

 

The Episodic Lab selects six to eight TV writers and runs for four weeks, with sessions including script development, pitching, a mock writers’ room, and roundtables with established writers and industry executives. Additionally, throughout the year, participants attend events and screenings that further expose them to the realities of life as professional screenwriters.

 

Episodic Lab advisors and master class teachers have included writers from series including “Ted Lasso,” “Rick and Morty,” “The Walking Dead,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Girls5Eva,” “Fargo,” “The Leftovers,” “Parenthood,” and many more. 

 

Click HERE for program details and to apply

Developing the projects and skills of promising non-professional television writers through workshops and master classes.

Writer Fellows


2023 Episodic Lab

2023 Episodic Semifinalists

2023 Feature Semifinalists

2022 Feature Residency

2022 Feature Semifinalists

Bev Chukwu

NATION ONE

Bev Chukwu

NATION ONE

Logline: A collegiate swimmer with multiple sclerosis undergoes an experimental procedure to achieve her Olympic aspirations and becomes entangled with a mysterious utopian Black society that has conspiratorial ties to her father’s checkered past.

 

Bio:Beverly “Bev” Chukwu is a Nigerian American writer, filmmaker, and script consultant. She is a former screenwriting fellow from the James A. Michener Center for Writers. As a producer, her short films have screened at Women in Horror Film Festival, Cine Las Americas, and AGLIFF. Her screenplay, PRINCE OF LAVENDALE STREET, was the feature winner in the 2021 BlueCat Screenplay Competition, and her video essay “Sometimes Black” is now used as educational material at the University of Texas at Austin. Mental health advocacy for people of the Black diaspora is at the forefront of her work.

Deanna Esposito

DISSENT

Deanna Esposito

DISSENT

Logline: Toronto’s top legal aid lawyer by day and sex worker by night seeks to revolutionize the justice system for sexual assault victims. This proves nearly impossible when she comes up against her estranged mother, who defends accused rapists for a living.

 

Bio:Deanna Esposito received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto, with a double major in Psychology and Criminology. During undergrad, she worked as a Courtroom Reporter at Toronto’s largest criminal courthouse. There, she discovered her love of storytelling and pivoted away from law school to obtain her MFA in Screenwriting at AFI (Class of ’22). Post-grad Deanna entered the industry as a Writer’s PA for Peacock’s upcoming series APPLES NEVER FALL. Deanna is passionate about telling stories that subvert the male gaze, and her favorite stories to write are the ones she wished she had growing up.

Eudie Pak

MEET THE PARKS

Eudie Pak

MEET THE PARKS

Logline: Meet the Parks is a dark-humored drama about three troubled Korean-American adoptees from the South who make a game out of murdering their adoptive family members and enemies who abused them during childhood. But can the adoptees carry out their mission without destroying each other first?

 

Bio: Eudie Pak was born and raised in an immigrant working-class family from the Bible Belt — and has the grit and love of grits to prove it. Her childhood was surrounded by doomsday religion and too many trips to Disney World, which has naturally inspired her to write about the macabre and taboo in highly imaginative ways, with an extra side helping of irreverence. Her projects have gone on to level at screenwriting competitions such as Final Draft Big Break, Screencraft, and WeScreenplay Diverse Voices. In 2022 she became a Circle of Confusion Writers Discovery Fellow and is currently repped by Circle of Confusion.

Thea Rodgers

THE BOOK OF BO

Thea Rodgers

THE BOOK OF BO

Logline: When a young medieval nun discovers a fundamental flaw in the Church’s logic, she sets out to rewrite the laws of what it means to be A Good Person-and sets off a revolution within the walls of her convent even as the Inquisition threatens its doors.

 

Bio: Thea Rodgers is a Latine actor and writer who attended Emerson for a BS in neither. After starting her entertainment career at an award-winning trailer house and moonlighting as a producer’s assistant, Thea made the transition to the creative side, working in theaters around Los Angeles and Mexico and placing in script competitions such as Acclaim, the Page Awards, and the A-List. Most recently, she published a web novel with Tapas Media, was thrilled to write for the fourth season of the Emmy-winning interactive scripted show Artificial: Factions on Twitch, and was selected for the 2023 Mentorship Matters Writers Initiative. In her spare time you can find her talking about space at the Griffith Observatory.

Katherine Ruppe

LIFTOFF

Katherine Ruppe

LIFTOFF

Logline: LIFTOFF intercuts the propulsive true story of America’s first female astronauts – six intrepid pioneers who blast through the chauvinistic brotherhood of spaceflight in 1978 – with the heartrending tale of the Challenger disaster, which claims the life of one of our first women and spurs Sally Ride to investigate, uncovering NASA secrets even as she keeps her own.

 

Bio: Katherine grew up rodeo racing and exploring the wilds in Michigan’s rugged Upper Peninsula. A love of imagery inspired her early work in the International Cinematographers Guild, learning to convey story visually while advancing to camera operator on films and TV. Now Katherine writes about daring underdogs who go after the impossible, whether it’s rocketing to space or seeking justice. She’s developed an original crime drama with WBTV and her thriller feature TRUE NORTH is set to be produced by Resonate Entertainment. She’s a Humanitas New Voices Winner, Film Independent Episodic Lab Fellow, Fox Writers Incubator Finalist, and Sloan Foundation Grant Winner with LIFTOFF.

Helen Sun & Laura Malatos

CLOSING COSTS

Helen Sun & Laura Malatos

CLOSING COSTS

Logline: An inexperienced real estate agent strikes big with the opportunity to sell a mansion in a bizarre Bavarian-style town, only to discover that it’s a stigmatized property where a gruesome murder took place.

 

Bio: Laura Malatos & Helen Sun are a writing-filmmaking duo with an appetite for overly ambitious characters and darkly comedic worlds. Despite being born 5,000 miles apart (in Seattle and literal Moscow, Russia), they came together at USC and have been ride-or-die roommates ever since. Alongside writing, they collaborate on social media ads, music videos, and narrative films – jobs that have brought them unhinged experiences, from transforming their apartment into an underground bunker to staging medieval fights in the California mountains. They are excited to keep exploring heightened worlds in their work and bring complex queer and female-driven narratives to the screen whilst having a laugh.

Lorin Williams

THE ANCESTORS

Lorin Williams

THE ANCESTORS

Logline: When a pragmatic FBI agent starts seeing her deceased relatives clear as day, she must figure out if this is a supernatural gift or a curse of her deteriorating mind, without losing footing in a very public and grisly case.

 

Bio: Lorin Williams is a television writer and producer living in the Los Angeles area. After graduating from film school, she moved to Los Angeles where she produced unscripted television for several years and joined the Producers Guild of America where she currently serves on the national board. In 2020, Lorin pivoted to scripted television and started working as a script coordinator on Transformers: Earthspark for Nickelodeon where she wrote her first episode of television for the series. Currently, Lorin is a freelance writer on the second season of the Rugrats reboot.

Noura Alavi

REPROCESSING

Noura Alavi

REPROCESSING

Logline:
In a world where only 1% of marriages are allowed to end in divorce, a couple begins a year-long process of house-arrest and drug-induced therapy that forces them to relive painful memories of abuse, manipulation, and loss to “save” their marriage.

Adriana Alexandrova

F1RST

Adriana Alexandrova

F1RST

Logline:
Best friends Mads and Charlie have dreamed of becoming F1 drivers since racing together in go-karts- but can their friendship survive the politics, patriarchy, and deep pockets that are just as much a tradition as the danger and speed in Formula One?

Selene Alvarez

TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A.

Selene Alvarez

TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A.

Logline:
A first-generation Filipina American’s hopes of being a typical teenager evaporate when her father’s tragic death causes her to inherit a mythical power: she can drain life’s most precious resource – water – from anything or anyone.

Letícia Ayroza

AMAZÔNIA

Letícia Ayroza

AMAZÔNIA

Logline:
Obsessed with finding the mythical creature that kidnapped her little sister, a recklessly stubborn teenage girl adventures into a deadly realm of the Amazon, the magical heart and soul of the jungle.

Porcha Evans

BLACK ELEPHANT

Porcha Evans

BLACK ELEPHANT

Kalen Feeney

THE COMPANY

Kalen Feeney

THE COMPANY

Tamar Feinkind

THE M.S. SAINT LOUIS

Tamar Feinkind

THE M.S. SAINT LOUIS

Logline:
THE M.S. SAINT LOUIS tells the harrowing true story of the fateful 1939 ship carrying 937 Jewish refugees out of Germany only to be rejected by Cuba, the United States, and Canada, and the sacrifices one brave captain made in order to save them.

Lesley Fera

INCONCIEVABLE

Lesley Fera

INCONCIEVABLE

Logline:
After another soul-crushing miscarriage, a Midwest grade school teacher embraces motherhood in another, bloodier fashion and stumbles upon her true calling — saving children from the monsters who prey on them. Comps: FLEABAG, DEXTER.

Meredith Hackman

WATCH ME

Meredith Hackman

WATCH ME

Logline:
When a nerdy teen agrees to be the aid to her little sister with a neurological disability at a character-filled accessible summer camp, the two struggle to grow up without growing apart.

Christina Holmes

PINK

Christina Holmes

PINK

Logline:
The Girlboss CEO of Pink—a trend-perfect community coworking space for women—finds her empire threatened by a dissatisfied employee, and she’ll stop at nothing to take her down.

Ruth Jiang

AWAY AND BACK

Ruth Jiang

AWAY AND BACK

Logline:
Exiled into observing the long-dead home planet of his ancestors, an insomniac space ranger finds reprieve after stumbling upon the history of two boys who once lived on Earth with dreams of running away to space.

Alexandria Lane

ROE V. MAEVE

Alexandria Lane

ROE V. MAEVE

Logline:
Maeve, the medical director at one of the last abortion clinics in New Mexico, struggles to keep its doors open from political attacks while fighting personal battles with her evangelical rockstar family at home.

Monica Lucas

MEN WHO LOVE ME

Monica Lucas

MEN WHO LOVE ME

Logline:
Angeline’s conservative Salvadoran family is pressuring her to start a family, but after stumbling into a kink party, she’s got other ideas. Now, she’s trying to maintain her posture as a good Catholic housewife while secretly becoming a dominatrix.

Laura Malatos

CLOSING COSTS

Laura Malatos

CLOSING COSTS

Marisa Marquez

THIRST

Marisa Marquez

THIRST

Logline:
A first-generation Filipina American’s hopes of being a typical teenager evaporate when her father’s tragic death causes her to inherit a mythical power: she can drain life’s most precious resource – water – from anything or anyone.

Neaka Mohtashemi

ELEVATION

Neaka Mohtashemi

ELEVATION

Logline:
A young woman learns that she has one last chance to find her soulmate before her immortal self ceases to exist, but upon delving into a mysterious organization that promises to help she realizes that not all soulmates are created equal.

Taryn Procsal

TWEAK

Taryn Procsal

TWEAK

Logline:
When a young meth addict discovers she’s pregnant, she embarks on the uphill journey to recovery, but she’s painfully aware she might be using her pregnancy as a shortcut back to a world that has forgotten about her, or worse – doesn’t want her back.

Hillari Scarl

SIGN ME FRANKIE

Hillari Scarl

SIGN ME FRANKIE

Logline:
An outspoken, out of work daughter of Deaf parents is reluctantly thrown into the world of sign language interpreting where she tries to do right by her Deaf clients while dealing with her disastrous personal life.

Sarah Tadayon

THE SECOND SEX

Sarah Tadayon

THE SECOND SEX

Logline:
In Nazi Occupied Paris, LEYLA, an Iranian Jewish student, experiences a sexual awakening when she becomes SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR’s student. Set against the backdrop of war, this coming of age drama depicts the power play between famous intellectuals and their acolytes.

Meemee Taylor

THE VESSEL

Meemee Taylor

THE VESSEL

Logline:
After her mother’s mysterious death, a pregnant Creole returns to Louisiana and must unravel her family’s secrets steeped in black magic to stop a local cult’s plot to awaken an evil entity – through her.

Jacqueline Wright

TEENAGE WASTELAND

Jacqueline Wright

TEENAGE WASTELAND

Logline:
When KELLY is sent to a remote boarding school affiliated with the infamous Synanon cult and stripped of her identity — cut off from the world, she struggles to find companionship and hope against the authoritarian rule and the gestalt therapy the students are subjected to. Based on true events.

Yoko Okumura

Beach Body

Yoko Okumura

Beach Body

Logline:
A first time mother struggles with her postpartum body and joins an online fitness community that she soon discovers is hiding many sinister secrets.

Hannah Marie Fasick

Built to Howl

Hannah Marie Fasick

Built to Howl

Logline:
A married couple retreat to a utopic underground condominium – only to discover the perils of the bunker rival those aboveground.

McKenzi Vanderberg

Din

McKenzi Vanderberg

Din

Logline:
A promising young violinist uses classical music to drown out her sound sensitivity, but the safety and security she finds in her craft hits a sour note when a childhood rival joins her orchestra, bringing disruption and instability in their wake.

Betty Bema

Ethereal

Betty Bema

Ethereal

Logline:
Ethereal is a sci-fi thriller about a wealthy heir with a perfect mapped out existence that discovers his privileged life is at the center of a more sinister reality, one that a struggling street criminal knows all too well.

Analisa Raya-Flores

Farewell Chica

Analisa Raya-Flores

Farewell Chica

Logline:
Two Chicana frenemies vying for the same High Sierra ranger job get stuck in the backcountry when a freak storm rolls in. Increasingly lost, increasingly wounded, and on each other’s last last last nerve, they have to learn how to live together…or die trying.

rela

Fertile

rela

Fertile

Logline:
Jaz, a young trans woman, always knew she wanted to be a mother. FERTILE is the love child of NANNY and TITANE.

Audrey Ellis Fox

NDA

Audrey Ellis Fox

NDA

Logline:
Through a maddening day of mediation for an office harassment claim she filed, the clock is ticking on Dana as she questions the price of her silence, sanity and the truth. With her career and reputation at stake, the moral conflicts rise in a psychological pressure cooker.

Mya Baker

Soul Doll

Mya Baker

Soul Doll

Logline:
An alienated teen discovers a mysterious book with directions to create a Soul Doll in her image which makes her popular at first but soon leads to terror.

Meg Campbell

Still Here

Meg Campbell

Still Here

Logline:
In a therapeutic support group with an inept counselor at the helm, a couple grieving the suicide of their teenage daughter, a young man grappling with bipolar disorder, and a young woman unsure of how to process the death of an abusive partner learn to heal one another.

Gulet Isse

Khutbah

Gulet Isse

Khutbah

Logline:
Abu is a first-generation Somali American caught between Muslim morality, his own budding queerness, and rock & roll. When he falls for a boy from the mosque, Abu must figure out whether appeasing his community is worth sacrificing his deepest desires.

Sabeen Amanat

BURN YOUR IDOLS

Sabeen Amanat

BURN YOUR IDOLS

Logline:
Qasim Malik, a semi-successful Muslim novelist, gets the opportunity to meet and interview his favorite author, Artie Van Doren, right as the news breaks that Artie has been implicated in a sexual assault scandal. The week Qasim spends with Artie is one filled with tension and intrigue as Qasim tries to delicately figure out the truth about who Artie really is.

Bio:
Sabeen Amanat is a Muslim American writer, a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and has been chosen as a finalist in several screenwriting competitions, including the Austin Film Festival, and was selected to attend one of ABC/Disney/MPAC’s writer’s workshops. She currently lives in Los Angeles and is writing a children’s book titled A Worried Flower.

Ana Brown

TRASH PANDAS

Ana Brown

TRASH PANDAS

Logline:
A bereaved musician sets off a wild chase when she kidnaps a baby seal.

Bio:
Ana Brown is a screenwriter and stage playwright with a former career in clinical social work.

Rebecca Christian

SANKOFA SELAH

Rebecca Christian

SANKOFA SELAH

Logline:
A neurotic grad student reluctantly takes her late father’s place on an all-Black travel group’s “ancestral journey” to Ghana, West Africa, hosted by a mysterious spiritualist that’s become her mother’s personal guru in the wake of her father’s death.

Bio:
Rebecca Christian is an emerging writer-director and San Diego native dedicated to female-focused and openly Black storytelling. Christian’s scripted projects have advanced in the Sundance Development Track and the Austin Film Festival, and she is an alumna of artist development programs such as the MPI Short Film Lab and the #Startwith8Hollywood program. When she’s not writing, Christian works as a doula and certified lactation educator and counselor supporting birthing families in Southern California.

Christina YR Lim

GYOPO

Christina YR Lim

GYOPO

Logline:
When a precocious 11-year-old aspiring violinist immigrates from Seoul to the states with her newly single mother and her troubled teenage brother, each member simultaneously pursues their version of the American dream. But when it begins to tear them apart, they must find a way to navigate through the new world and salvage their family.

Bio:
Lim is a Korean-American writer and director who explores Asian diaspora through the immigrant and first generation lens. She earned her MFA in screenwriting and directing from USC, and is an alumna of the directing fellowship at Yale School of Drama. She garnered a development deal with Kyra Sedgwick’s production company after winning seriesFest’s Women’s Writing Competition, and she is currently in post-production for her first feature film as an auteur.

Audrey Rosenberg

WILD ANIMALS

Audrey Rosenberg

WILD ANIMALS

Logline:
When a mysterious wild animal attacks a young child in an insular and devout 19th Century farming community, Frances upends her family and life in an increasingly obsessive search for what she believes to be a mythic beast.

Bio:
Audrey Rosenberg is an award-winning writer and director and USC graduate whose work has been featured at OutFest, Frameline, and NewFest, among others. She writes unconventional, genre-bending stories that explore the intersections of class and gender through a queer lens.

Zoey Towner

GREAT AMERICAN HIGHWAY

Zoey Towner

GREAT AMERICAN HIGHWAY

Logline:
After a séance proves to have deadly consequences, a teenage girl and her best friends investigate a series of local murders dating back 30 years that all took lace near a San Francisco road. In the process, they uncover the dangerous truth about a local urban legend.

Bio:
Zoey James Towner is a Los Angeles-based writer-director originally from San Diego, California. As a queer trans woman, Towner is fascinated by genre films featuring characters with deep secrets struggling to be themselves.

Kenya Collins

FIRST BLOODED

Kenya Collins

FIRST BLOODED

Logline:
After the savage killing of the woman he loves, an enslaved man must become a monster to avenge her death and save his people.

Bri Gables

PINK PALACE

Bri Gables

PINK PALACE

Logline:
When a priceless necklace vanishes at the Beverly Hills Hotel, a by-the-book recovery agent becomes entangled with sordid upper class affairs, and a powerful tech magnate who must heal a past she’d give anything to forget.

DD Mosley

WELCOME TO HOLLAND

DD Mosley

WELCOME TO HOLLAND

Bishon Prushankin

NO FURY

Bishon Prushankin

NO FURY

Logline:
Teenage activist Zoe teams up with head cheerleader Erica to embark on a quest for justice after one of them is sexually assaulted by the richest boy in town.

Eris Qian

PULLING SEEDLINGS

Eris Qian

PULLING SEEDLINGS

Logline:
In the near future, Chinese-American mother Ning is faced with the pressure of raising a perfect child. When an algorithm convinces her that her daughter will never live up to her expectations, she must decide between conceiving a new baby through genetic engineering, or accepting her daughter as who she is.

Shunori Ramanathan & Cidney Hue

OVUM

Shunori Ramanathan & Cidney Hue

OVUM

Logline:
In a not-so-distant America, a woman is forced to watch her unborn child grow up over and over again before she can get a life saving abortion.

Kristin Slaney

AGORA BOREALIS

Kristin Slaney

AGORA BOREALIS

Logline:
After a 13-year-old girl who finds a suicide note in a bottle realizes that the person who wrote the note is still alive, she goes on a mission to convince the person that life is worth living (without letting him know she’s found his note).

Carmen Elly Wilkerson

THE GOWN MEN

Carmen Elly Wilkerson

THE GOWN MEN

Logline:
Murder, voodoo, and race are just some of the intriguing components to this haunting thriller set in New Orleans, 1947 as headless bodies turn up in the city’s squalid canals. Two estranged brothers; a sleuthing police clerk, and a black doctor passing for white, must join forces to unveil the unspeakable truth behind “The Gown Man” murders.