Fox Announces 10 Finalists for Diverse Writers Program, Partners with Young Storytellers

Fox Announces 10 Finalists for Diverse Writers Program, Partners with Young Storytellers

tweet me:
Fox to mentor diverse film & TV writers through Fox Writers Intensive: @21CF_Impact @FoxAudience @youngstory
Friday, February 5, 2016 - 7:00am

CAMPAIGN: Diversity at 21st Century Fox

CONTENT: Article

On February 3, Fox announced the 10 screenwriters and writing teams selected for the fifth annual Fox Writers Intensive (FWI), a competitive fellowship at the Fox Studios Lot in Los Angeles designed to nurture experienced writers with diverse voices, backgrounds, and life experiences. The finalists were chosen from more than 500 nominations and submissions, the largest applicant pool in the program's history, and this year, they will team with the Young Storytellers to mentor elementary school students interested in writing. At the conclusion of the program, each of the finalists is considered for staffing on Fox television, feature film, and digital entertainment productions.

"The growth of the Fox Writers Intensive over the past four years was a distinct goal, but even more gratifying is how the Fox businesses and shows have recognized and engaged in FWI as the creative resource it was designed to be," said Nicole Bernard, Executive Vice President, Fox Audience Strategy, which oversees the program. "Our commitment to authentically engaging broader and diverse talent is stronger than ever."

The 2016 FWI writers/teams and their respective representatives are as follows:

  • Ahmadu Garba (Epicenter)
  • Peter Chen (independent)
  • Jamila Daniel (Circle of Confusion and Don Buchwald & Associates)
  • Julia Fontana (Circle of Confusion)
  • Leon Hendrix (independent)
  • Ann Kim (independent)
  • Jasmine Elist & Benjamin-Shalom Rodriguez (independent)
  • Jamie Rosengard (CAA & Management 360)
  • Ester Lou Weithers (independent)
  • Jake Zebede (independent)
  • Tricia Johnson (Kaplan-Stahler Agency)
  • Jorge Rivera (Independent)

Curated with Film Independent, a non-profit arts organization supporting artists who embody diversity, innovation, and uniqueness of vision, FWI offers trained writers a rigorous, four-month curriculum focused on developing original material, learning and honing writing skills for multiple mediums, and exploring the business of media and entertainment. The finalists will hone their craft and establish deeper connections with a wide range of Fox staff writers, showrunners, screenwriters, directors and creative executives.

Upon successful completion of the program, finalists will receive priority staffing meetings for the established FWI Staff Writer position on Fox entertainment productions. In addition, one FWI finalist will be named the 2016 FWI Fellow and will be awarded either a purchase and development deal on an original script or a first-look deal from FOX Broadcasting Company.

"Thanks to the Fox Writers Intensive, I was able to find a staff writer who came completely prepared on Day One to work in a writers' room," said Joe Henderson, executive producer and showrunner for FOX's LUCIFER. "It's a great program that I highly recommend writers apply for and showrunners draw talent from."

This year, FWI has also partners with Young Storytellers, a nonprofit founded by Glee co-creator Brad Falchuk, among others, that is dedicated to inspiring young people to discover the power of their own voices. As part of their FWI experience, the 2016 finalists will mentor elementary school students who are participating in the Young Storytellers "Script to Stage" program, a semester-long program in which students write their own original short script, then see it performed live by professional actors.

"Partnering with such a respected organization as Young Storytellers not only gives our finalists a deeper connection with the community, but also helps Fox build a future pipeline of dynamic storytellers," Bernard said.

FWI is an initiative of Fox Audience Strategy, a cross-divisional resource designed to identify programming and operational opportunities that reflect diverse perspectives across all of the company's entertainment platforms.

Keep reading at