Winners of the Harvardwood Writers Competition & Most Staffable TV Writers

Harvardwood has announced its Writers Competition winners and Most Staffable TV Writers List. This year, every category is led by a writer from an under-represented group. Although the winners are chosen via a blind judging process, Harvardwood's writers programs and competition have always had a far more diverse population than any WGA statistics on TV writers’ rooms or feature projects.  “Harvardwood has strived to support new voices in the industry, and we are proud to see those efforts reflected in our competition winners,” says President Allison Kiessling.


The writers will be mentored by leading TV and film professionals, read by top producers, and considered for representation at established agencies and management companies.

The winners of the Harvardwood Writers Competition in each category are:

  • Features Winner: Daniel Rogers* - Stardust
    • Runner-Up: Joy Goodwin - Over It
    • Runner-Up: Samuel Johnson - Great Big Love
    • Runner-Up: Virginia Marcus - The Celebrity
      Runner-Up: Nandana Sen* - The Performer
  • TV Pilot Winner: Ryan Slattery-Martinez - Beyond the Call
    • Runner-Up: Nora Sagal and Henry Johnson - Scout’s Honor
  • Shorts Winner: Kimiko Matsuda-Lawrence* - Junior High

Additionally, writers of outstanding TV pilots incubated in the ongoing Harvardwood Writers Program are selected for the Most Staffable TV Writers list each year. The Most Staffable TV Writers are:

  • Melissa Johnson - Ojai Valley (One-Hour Drama)
  • Rupak Ginn* and Sami Khan* - Uprising (One-Hour Drama)

*Eligible for network diversity programs

Each of these talented writers was selected by a panel of industry professionals. Each writer will receive a one-on-one mentorship, and Competition winners will also receive a cash prize.

This year's mentors include:

*   Peter Blake - Writer & Producer (Gotham, Billions, Elementary, House)
*   Adam Fratto - VP of Scripted Programming, History / A+E Networks
*   Mynette Louie - Producer (Swallow, The Tale, Gemini, The Invitation)  
*   Jeff Schaffer - Writer, Producer, & Showrunner (The League, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld)
*   Nicky Weinstock - Partner, Red Hour Films
*   Sam Shaw - Writer, Producer, & Showrunner (Castle Rock, Manhattan, Masters of Sex)
*   Thania St. John - Writer & Executive Producer

In recent years, participants in the Harvardwood Writers Program and Competition have seen unprecedented success with pilot sales to ABC, the CW, Showtime, Sony, Spike, Syfy, and TV Land, in addition to blind script deals at ABC Studios and Warner Bros. Harvardwood writers have been staffed on over two dozen shows, and current shows include: American Dad (Fox), Billions (Showtime), The Brave (NBC), Family Guy (FOX), The Flash (CW), Future Man (Hulu), Girlfriends’ Guide (Bravo), Gotham (Fox), Great News (NBC), How To Get Away With Murder (ABC), Jane the Virgin (CW), Marvel’s Runaways (Hulu), and Power (Starz). Participants have also secured representation at Apostle, Benderspink, Brant Rose Agency, Brillstein Entertainment Partners, CAA, Circle of Confusion, Echo Lake, Gersh, ICM, Madhouse Entertainment, Management 360, Original Artists, UTA, WME, and others.

"Harvardwood thanks our outstanding mentors and panel of industry judges for their time and effort in helping develop new voices and diverse perspectives in film and television," says Harvardwood founder Mia Riverton. "We are thrilled by the high quality of work that continues to emerge from this program."

Note: These winners are from the most recently adjudicated Harvardwood Writers Competition. Winners of the 2019 Harvardwood Writers Competition (writers who submitted their scripts between June 1 - July 31, 2019) have not yet been announced.

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