Writing Workshop for those affected by Hurricane Sandy
Reported by The Ocean Star
September 27, 2013
By Kimberly Mollo
Photo credit: Sueanne Goss, Star News Group
POINT PLEASANT BEACH, NJ - While it is true the Jersey Shore was, by and large, open for business this summer, many homeowners are still picking up the pieces of their ravaged properties 11 months after Hurricane Sandy struck the area. The Writers Guild Initiative, a volunteer-run foundation that stems from the Writers Guild of America [East], hopes to bring some relief to those residents by hosting a writers workshop in Point Pleasant Beach in November.
Residents in Point Pleasant Beach, Point Pleasant Borough, Bay Head, Mantoloking and Lavallette, as well as their neighbors in Manasquan and Brielle, are invited to participate in the Writers Guild Initiative’s Hurricane Sandy Writing Workshop.
The workshop will be held on Saturday, Nov. 16, and Sunday, Nov. 17, in Point Pleasant Beach — specifically, in either G. Harold Antrim Elementary School or in Point Pleasant Beach High School, depending on the amount of space needed.
The workshop will be run by a team of professional writers, from novelists to screenwriters to television and Broadway wordsmiths. The goal of the two-day workshop is to provide a safe, pressure-free environment for people directly affected by Hurricane Sandy to explore writing as a creative outlet for their thoughts and feelings.
Participants must be local residents over the age of 18 who have an interest in exploring the craft of writing.
No prior experience is required, and the workshop is free of charge for all interested.
If you would like to donate towards the Sandy Writing Workshop, please donate online via the link below. You can also write a check made payable to the Writers Guild Initiative, 250 Hudson Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10013. Thank you!
NEW YORK - The Writers Guild Initiative, in partnership with the SAG Foundation, is excited to kick-off PencilPALS for 2013! We are currently involved in three schools across New York City, PS 255 - Barbara Reing School in Brooklyn, PS 111M - Adolph S. Ochs School in Manhattan, and PS 16Q - The Nancy DeBenedittis School in Queens. We're partnering with three classrooms and over 60 students to develop their reading and writing skills and sharpen their creativity. PALS will have, over the course of the school year, opportunities to write letters to each other, having a pen-pal relationship. Happy writing PALS!
WGAE SCREENPLAY READING SERIES
Featuring recent Collyer Fellow - Antal Zambo
July 16, 2013
NEW YORK, NY - The July 16 Screenplay Reading at Lincoln Center featured Gordon Rayfield's comedic script 99 FAKE STREET, which was selected from dozens of scripts submitted by WGAE members. The dramatic screenplay, WHEN THE SPARROWS COME HOME, is the work of Antal Zambo, the 2010 Collyer Fellow who worked under the mentorship of Marshall Brickman.
Both works were warmly received thanks to skillful casting by Caroline Sinclair and direction by Susane Lee. Participating actors included Anthrax bassist Frank Bello and Sopranos co-stars Oksana Lada and Will Janowitz.
WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA, EAST FOUNDATION
REBRANDS AND BECOMES WRITERS GUILD INITIATIVE
- Name Change Reflects New Vision and Mission To Develop Writers -
NEW YORK CITY - The Writers Guild of America, East Foundation has changed its name -- it is now called the Writers Guild Initiative (WGI). The name change is part of a rebranding that recognizes the organization's long time proactive and focused mission: "to perpetuate the art and craft of storytelling, either by professionals or amateurs, through education and practical experience, on local, national, and global levels." The Initiative's programs are designed to reach various populations and help them to find their unique voice as writers.
“To grade schoolers, high school and college students, to the military to caregivers of the wounded, and even to medical personnel who treat them, we have volunteered our skills. We share our enthusiasm and knowledge. We encourage. We support. As our new name proudly acknowledges, we take the initiative,” explains Michael Weller, president of the Writers Guild Initiative.
In addition to its rebranding, the Writers Guild Initiative also named Jenna Jackson as Director of Operations and Communications. Jenna will co-ordinate development, marketing, and oversight of the Initiative’s programs, and manage day-to-day operations of the Initiative. To read more, please click here.
Military Caregivers Share Their Stories from the Helen Deutsch Writing Workshops
January 2, 2013
NEW YORK CITY-- Since 2008, The Writers Guild of America, East Foundation has worked with hundreds of military veterans as part of our Helen Deutsch Writing Workshops. In 2011, the program focused its efforts on caregivers, who were equally affected by the wars but more often overlooked and very isolated. The first caregivers workshop was held in June 2011, where over two days, twenty of the country’s most celebrated novelists, playwrights, screenwriters and television writers served as mentors and gave space for exploration of storytelling in all its forms. The mentors gave guidance and support, and observed as the caregivers discussed their experiences, found their unique voice, and bonded together in mutual respect and support.
During the follow-up workshop in November 2011, the caregivers had the opportunity not only to write, to but to share their stories via conversation with documentary filmmaker and WGAE Foundation board member, Lulie Haddad. Click above to listen to their stories in their own words.
To read more about this workshop, please click here. For more information about the Helen Deutsch Writing Workshops, please click here.
HEATHER DUNOON OF COLUMBIA COLLEGE-CHICAGO
TO RECEIVE WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA, EAST FOUNDATION
MICHAEL COLLYER MEMORIAL FELLOWSHIP IN SCREENWRITING
- 5th Annual Fellowship To Be Presented WGA Awards in New York -
NEW YORK CITY – Heather Dunoon has been selected to receive the Writers Guild of America, East Foundation's (WGAE Foundation) Michael Collyer Memorial Fellowship in Screenwriting. The fellowship, now in its 5th year and funded by the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation, is awarded to a student who plans to pursue a career in screenwriting upon completion of his/her undergraduate course of study. The recipient receives a $10,000 stipend to write an original screenplay under the mentorship of a prominent screenwriter. Lowell Peterson, WGAE Executive Director, will present Dunoon with her fellowship at the 65th annual Writers Guild Awards on Sunday, February 17, 2013 in New York City at the B.B. King Blues Club.
Dunoon is a senior in Film Studies, School of Media Arts, Columbia College Chicago. Her fellowship project, Remember Me? is about an orphaned woman’s journey of self-discovery, through the first interactions with her birth mother, who has Alzheimer’s.
"It’s an amazing feeling to know that not only can you reach people with your passion, but also that there is a possibility to turn that passion into a career. I’m so thankful to have an opportunity to work with the WGAE Foundation and to be mentored through my first steps into the screenwriting industry. I never dreamt I would win this award; it’s such an honor," said Dunoon.
"We are thrilled to now be awarding our 5th Collyer Fellowship. The fellowship seeks to discover new voices and encourage those who are at the very beginning of their writing careers. We believe that Heather and all of our past fellows will be adding great stories to the writing landscape for years to come," said Michael Weller, WGAE Foundation President.
Writers Guild Initiative Returns to Landstuhl, Germany
November 19, 2012
Photo credit: David Tucker
NEW YORK CITY-- Since 2008, The Writers Guild of America, East Foundation has worked with hundreds of military veterans and military caregivers as part of our Helen Deutsch Writing Workshops. In November 2012, we had the opportunity to return to Landstuhl, Germany to do a follow-up workshop from our April 2012 visit, where we met with the medical staff of the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center who have suffered from extreme compassion fatigue. For this follow-up workshop, we were able to delve deeper into their stories and provide next steps for their writing projects.
Landstuhl, about 90 minutes outside of Frankfurt, is the largest military hospital outside the continental US and is the center where the worst of injuries from Iraq and Afghanistan are treated. These medical personnel are on the front lines, seeing the worst of the trauma and stabilizing patients until they are moved to a US hospital for long-term care. Not only that, but Landstuhl has become one of the busiest trauma centers in the world, serving between 20-30,000 patients a year from the battlefield, and the military and their dependents from all over Europe, Africa, and much of Asia.
In our continued partnership and grant from Wounded Warrior Project, the Foundation sent over 10 writers who mentored over 35 staff workers for the weekend. Writers were able to encourage the progress the participants had made since April, and give tools to continue the writing and editing process. A great time was had by all in learning about storytelling and finding their unique voice.
Mentors included: Emily Ackerman, David Tucker, KJ Sanchez, Christopher Kyle, Rick Dresser, Susan Kim, Craig "muMS" Grant, Michael Weller, Susanna Styron, Ryan Kelly.
For more information about our first visit to Landstuhl, please click here for an article written by Michael Winship. You can read here to learn more about the history of our Helen Deutsch Writing Workshops.
Writers Guild Initiative to create comedy award honoring Coleman Jacoby
October 17, 2012
Loria Parker, daughter of Coleman Jacoby, presenting Andrew Bergman with check for Coleman Jacoby comedy award at the WGAE offices.
NEW YORK CITY-- The Writers Guild Initiative, from a bequest of the Estate of Coleman Jacoby, will create an award in the writer's honor. Spearheaded by Andrew Bergman and Marshall Brickman, the award will focus on finding and encouraging talented non-established writers of comedy. Coleman Jacoby, multiple Emmy award winning writer for such stars as Bob Hope, Phil Silvers, and Dean Martin is probably most known for pairing Jackie Gleason with Art Carney. Jacoby, along with his writing partner Arnie Rosen, helped create some of Jackie Gleason's most celebrated and known characters including Reginald Van Gleason, Joe the Bartender, and Rudy the Repairman.
Jacoby's daughter, Loria Parker, star of "America's Funny Girl - Fanny Brice!" presented the check at the Foundation's board meeting in October. She discussed her father's career, his passion for writing, and how honored he would be to have this award to carry on his legacy.
For more information about Coleman Jacoby, please click here.
Interested in Volunteering with the Writers Guild of America, East Foundation? Please review our project section to see if you'd like to participate. Contact us at email@example.com to sign up and find out more.