Elizabeth Kaiden and Nitza Wilon, co-founders of New York Women in Film & Television and The Writers Lab, revealed the 12 screenwriters who will participate in The Writers Lab, which is celebrating its fifth year. The program also unveiled its list of mentors.
The Writers Lab was launched in 2015 and is the only lab in the world devoted exclusively to developing screenplays for women writers over 40. It creates a springboard to the next stage of production and pushes the boundaries of commercial narrative film today. Many past participants have had their scripts optioned and/or are actively working in writers’ rooms.
The program, which is presented in collaboration with the Writers Guild of America, East, is supported by Oscar-winning actresses and big little lies stars Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman.
“I’m so proud that The Writers Lab has flourished and grown over these five years, and has functioned as a springboard for so many up-and-coming talents,” Streep said. “As the supply catches up with demand from an audience previously overlooked in cinematic history, the prospects grow ever brighter – Brava Divas!”
Kidman adds, “Congratulations to this amazing group of up-and-coming talent and to The Writers Lab for continuing to create a space for women to work with each other and develop the stories they want to tell. As more and more the more stories by and about women spread, the more opportunities are created for women on both sides of the camera.
The Writers Lab has also launched a new podcast on the art and business of screenwriting. The first episode introduces Lisa Cortes, former producer of the Lab’s mentors (The Apollo, Double Play, Shadowboxer) and writer Amy Fox (Equity, the crooks).
The Lab is an intensive four-day screenplay development retreat for female screenwriters over 40. By meeting individually and in panels with exceptional female film professionals, as well as in peer groups and guided discussion sessions focused on craft and industry, talented writers examine and refine their work while creating a unique community and powerful.
This year’s mentors include:
- Susan Cartsonis: One of the best producers (What Women Want, Where’s the Heart, The Duff, Carrie Pilby)
- Shruti Ganguly: award-winning producer, screenwriter and director (The Color of Time, Initials SG)
- Lisa Jones: author and screenwriter (Disappearing records, marriage)
- Theresa Rebeck: playwright, screenwriter (Jessica Chastain’s next film 355, Disorder, Catwoman), television writer, novelist
- Mary Jane Skalski: producer (Hello, I have to go, the visitor, the station agent)
- Robin Swicord: Oscar-nominated screenwriter (The curious case of Benjamin Button) whose work includes Memoirs of a Geisha, Little Women and others
- Pat Verducci: Writer/Director (true crime), teacher, screenwriter, history consultant
Read all 12 participants from The Writers Lab 2019 below.
- Tara Orr Brenninkmeyer, The young
- Susan Brunig, The surveillance of ordinary things
- Tricia Cerrone, The skeleton watch
- Meg Waite Clayton, The last train to London
- Jiwon Lee, At sea
- Ann LeSchander, Pick up Porter Douglas
- Julie O’Hora, super close-up
- Alyson Richards, Retirement
- Miatta Ronca, blue world
- Kenyetta Raelyn, Limit
- CC Webster, Little Buffalo
- Elizabeth Ziemska, hunting relic