Women sitting at two dining tables

WIF | The Black List
Writing Labs

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 WIF Writing Labs, held in partnership with key collaborator and industry benchmarker The Black List, are designed to equip new television and screenwriters with knowledge to build and sustain their careers. These programs—an Episodic Lab and a Feature Residency—provide participants with support in craft, professional development, and networking toward advancing their livelihoods.

The Episodic Lab selects six to eight female 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. The yearlong Feature Residency consists of one-on-one mentoring with established screenwriters, peer workshopping sessions, and industry advice from decision makers and 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 “Watchmen,” “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Parenthood,” “Crazy Ex Girlfriend,” and “The Dark Tower.” Feature Residency mentors have included writers of such films as LONG SHOT, LEGALLY BLONDE, BRING IT ON, THE KITCHEN, and WADJDA.

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

The Writing Labs are generously supported by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and ShivHans Pictures.

Program Details

2022 Feature Residency

The Black List and WIF will invite six promising non-professional screenwriters who are of underrepresented genders (women, NB/GNC, and/or trans, and others) to participate in a one-year residency, kicking off with a long weekend intensive in the Los Angeles area on June 23–26, 2022. Over the kickoff weekend, writers participating in the Residency will workshop one feature screenplay through one-on-one sessions with screenwriting mentors and in peer workshops. Throughout the following 12 months, writers will be supported through additional events as well as arranged meetings with representation, production companies, and fellow writers to elevate their projects and career trajectories. Participants should expect these events to be held in person in Los Angeles. Writers will also be invited to exclusive Black List and WIF events through the end of June 2023.

2022 Episodic Lab

Changes are coming to the Episodic Lab! Please stay tuned for announcements anticipated in Fall 2022 regarding the opening of applications and more. Thank you for your patience.

Writing Fellows


Feature Residency

Episodic Lab

Feature Semifinalists

Episodic Semifinalists

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.

Lydia Caradine

"Polite Society"

Lydia Caradine

"Polite Society"

Logline:
An ambitious, wealthy young woman balances being young, gifted, and black at the dawn of the Harlem Renaissance with the unfortunate realities of racism, colorism, and gender inequality in the early twentieth century. Collette is going to roar, ’20s or no ’20s.

Bio:
Lydia Caradine is a writer and actress from Cleveland, OH. She has a background in development and was previously staffed in a comedy mini-room. She writes TV and features: dramedy, historical drama, comedy, and adult animation. Caradine has a B.S. in Mass Communications, is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., performed with Monkey Butler Improv, and studied at Stella Adler Academy of Acting and Theatre. Her obsession with corsets and alternate historical POVs inspired the creation of “Polite Society,” which placed in the 2021 ScreenCraft Pilot Competition. She’s repped by Sydney Blanke/Colleen Washington at Fourth Wall Management.

Christan Leonard & Mads Gauger

"That Woman"

Christan Leonard & Mads Gauger

"That Woman"

Logline:
Ten years after an affair with a married congressman ruined her life, Zoe Bauter decides to get back at him the only way she knows how, by running against him for office.

Bio:
Christan Leonard and Mads Gauger are bleeding-heart liberals and recovering stand up comedians from Seattle, WA. They met six years ago at a hate-free comedy show and started writing together four years later (which is about average for how long it takes to make friends in the PNW). Together they write socially relevant, queer-centered comedies inspired by their nonprofit backgrounds and northwest roots. They are the first writing team to take both first and second at Austin Film Festival Pitch Competition and are thrilled to be bringing their brand of screwball comedy to the Black List x WIF Episodic Lab.

Marisa Hardwicke

"Founders"

Marisa Hardwicke

"Founders"

Logline:
After a top VC firm announces they’ve set aside money to fully fund one lucky female-founded tech venture, two ex-Stanford roommates and former business partners find themselves once again at odds as they compete to get their projects fully funded.

Bio:
Marisa Hardwicke was born and raised in the heart of Silicon Valley, where she spent her after-school hours doodling on whiteboards at her parents’ startup and summers with her family in Mexico. Wrestling between the two cultures, Hardwicke expressed herself in writing, crafting realtionship-driven dramas and grounded science fiction. She attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she earned a BFA in Dramatic Writing. In 2019 her script ¿SEGURO? was a quarterfinalist for the Nicholl Fellowship. In 2020, Hardwicke was a finalist for Universal Studios’ Writing Program. She is repped by Greg Shephard and Nadya Panfilov at Writ Large.

Alex Rubin

"Lost Hope Hotel"

Alex Rubin

"Lost Hope Hotel"

Logline:
The most haunted hotel in the world is in Lost Hope, Pennsylvania, plagued with spirits since Crazy Lainey died there ten years ago. But the secret Katie, manager of the hotel and daughter of the legendary Lainey, has kept for a decade is… it’s all fake.

Bio:
Alex Rubin writes about broken families trying to put themselves back together. She was a resident of SPACE on Ryder Farm and the National Winter Playwrights Retreat, a Big Vision Empty Wallet Playwriting Fellow and Annenberg Fellow, and the winner of The Writers Digest Award in Playwriting. Her work has placed in the Austin Film Festival, Final Draft Big Break Competition, ScreenCraft Competition, and more. Rubin has written for iHeartRadio’s “Solve” and “The Jackie Cox Variety Show” on PEG. She holds an MFA from University of Southern California’s John Wells Division of Writing for Film and Television.

Nalini Sharma

"Rowdy"

Nalini Sharma

"Rowdy"

Logline:
A successful Indian American diplomat returns home to Atlanta only to discover her uber-dysfunctional family in ruins, forcing her to stay and fix their lives while possibly getting a life of her own…all before she has to freeze her eggs and shit.

Bio:
Nalini Sharma spent her childhood on naval bases in India, grew up in small towns across the U.S., and is currently in Los Angeles. She is a writer and performer across all mediums. She was selected for the legendary Steve Martin’s comedy writing Masterclass and as a performer for the CBS comedy showcase in 2018. She co-wrote “A Funny Thing Happened On Our Way To India,” a hit sketch show with sold-out runs at the Second City Theater. Her short film GARBAGE was an official selection at HBO’s Women in Comedy Festival 2019. Her dark comedy pilot, “Crooked,” was a semifinalist at the 2019 Screencraft Writing Fellowship Award.

Hannah Stoddard & Jenny Ulmer

"Dark Horse"

Hannah Stoddard & Jenny Ulmer

"Dark Horse"

Logline:
Life in the ’80s goes from glam to gore when a washed-up circus star accidentally kills the ringmaster. Packing up her family—and the corpse—she flees to her estranged mother’s lavish estate, only to discover that when it comes to disposing of bodies, mother knows best.

Bio:
Hannah Stoddard & Jenny Ulmer are an L.A.-based writing duo defined by their female-led dark comedies and unshakable love of Judy Greer. Stoddard hails from Las Vegas and possesses a knack for magical period pieces. Ulmer grew up in South Dakota and has a flair for the dark and twisted. Together, they form a unique partnership with an appetite for transgressive women, impassioned second winds, and reliably unpredictable plots. Their genre-blending scrips have become finalists at Austin Film Festival, the AFF Pitch Competition, and the Josephson Entertainment Fellowship. (Also, Judy, if you’re reading this, please call us.)

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

OVUM

Shunori Ramanathan

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.

Mithra Alavi

"Rules for Being a Mutt"

Mithra Alavi

"Rules for Being a Mutt"

Logline:
It’s 2002. When Iranian Muslim American, Batol, suffers bullying from her high school classmates during the holy month of Ramadan, she starts to wonder if she will ever fit in in her small Southern town.

Rae Binstock

"Bailey's"

Rae Binstock

"Bailey's"

Logline:
A retired female world champion and former child star reluctantly join forces to save their beloved boxing gym from closing, only to discover that their alliance has possibilities—and risks—beyond anything they expected.

Adi Blotman

"Looking Down"

Adi Blotman

"Looking Down"

Logline:
From beyond the grave, a well-meaning yet controlling mother tries to fix her broken family, which she now realizes she knew little about.

Lauren Ciaravalli

"S.L.U.T."

Lauren Ciaravalli

"S.L.U.T."

Logline:
When Lia, a smart yet sheltered virgin, takes a stand after being slut-shamed, she finds herself the unlikely leader of fed-up popular girls, rebels, and outsiders alike.

Winter Coleman

"Maybe It's Me"

Winter Coleman

"Maybe It's Me"

Logline:
A quick-witted young film student living in New York City is torn between her studies and her personal life after discovering she’s being cheated on at her boyfriend’s surprise party.

Rachel Hoiles Farrell

"Okefenokee"

Rachel Hoiles Farrell

"Okefenokee"

Logline:
In this darkly funny drama set in the swamplands of Georgia, a pregnant park ranger teams up with her petty criminal brother to navigate the bizarre aftermath of her husband’s disappearance following his involvement in an environmental scandal.

Ari Friedman

"Camp Machane"

Ari Friedman

"Camp Machane"

Logline:
In 2002, a born and bred New York City tween is sent to Jewish sleepaway camp in California to get over her 9/11 trauma and learn how to be a kid again.

W.G. Holley

"The Fab"

W.G. Holley

"The Fab"

Logline:
Matt Peterson, an earnest tech engineer involved in a novel mind-altering program to combine man and machine at the chip fab where he works, realizes all is not what it seems and tries to escape to find out what happened to his life and those he left behind after he entered the program.

Meg Mateo Ilasco

"Tigers"

Meg Mateo Ilasco

"Tigers"

Logline:
Prop stylist Cat Chau seeks support from her best friends as she navigates a painful divorce from her newly-out husband Archie–unaware that her friends are wrestling with problems of their own.

Anastasia Illinger

"No Man's Land"

Anastasia Illinger

"No Man's Land"

Logline:
When five strangers on the run find themselves stuck in a small desert town, they must confront the wyrd and forgotten things of the American South West before the past catches up with them.

Lacey Jeka

"The Dead Girl"

Lacey Jeka

"The Dead Girl"

Logline:
Feeling under-appreciated by her friends, family, and boyfriend, a woman fakes her own death to teach them all a lesson—only to find them relieved she’s gone. Dead to the world, she plots to disguise and reintroduce herself as a new woman in town.

Alison Moore

"Show Code"

Alison Moore

"Show Code"

Logline:
A cynical ICU nurse has a morbid method of caring for her patients, but when she is forced to train the idealistic new girl, her dark secret is uncovered, threatening both of their futures.

Alexis Rooney Perkins

"The Mclean Ladies' Foundation for Modern Literary Appreciation"

Alexis Rooney Perkins

"The Mclean Ladies' Foundation for Modern Literary Appreciation"

Logline:
In 1955, a group of housewives in a conservative suburb of Washington D.C. accidentally acquire superpowers.

Jacquelyn Revere

"Alz Val"

Jacquelyn Revere

"Alz Val"

Logline:
Alz Val is a fictional gated community created to care for loved ones declining from Alzheimers. We follow the caregivers of this community as they tackle hilarious moments, grieve, make difficult decisions and lean on each other while this disease slowly takes their loved ones away.

Dana Rosendorff

"Trippin'"

Dana Rosendorff

"Trippin'"

Logline:
When a young schizophrenic con-woman in Las Vegas accidentally causes a near-fatal ambulance crash, she finds herself on the run from cops and family with only her brash hallucinated best friend by her side.

Bree-Shawna Watts

"Dupree"

Bree-Shawna Watts

"Dupree"

Logline:
1960; At an elite boarding school for African-American girls, four
rebellious teenagers team up with their mysterious new teacher and
an eccentric Radio DJ to stop the FBI from destroying Civil Rights
groups and leaders.

Nic Yulo

"Night Witches"

Nic Yulo

"Night Witches"

Logline:
When Germany betrays their Russian armistice and all men are fighting at the front, a group of teenage female fighter pilots must defend their home against invading Nazi forces.