2021-22 WGAE COUNCIL
Michael Winship is a Writers Guild East council member and its immediate past president. He is the Schumann Senior Writing Fellow at the progressive news website Common Dreams, where he writes and edits political analysis and commentary, and a veteran television writer and producer who has created programming for America’s major PBS stations, CBS, the Discovery and Learning Channels, A&E, Turner Broadcasting, the Disney Channel, Lifetime, Sesame Workshop (formerly the Children’s Television Workshop) and National Geographic, among others. In 2008, he joined his longtime friend and colleague Bill Moyers at Bill Moyers Journal on PBS and their writing collaboration has been close ever since. They share an Emmy and three Writers Guild Awards for writing excellence. Winship’s television work also has been honored by the Christopher, Western Heritage, Genesis and CableACE Awards.
Lisa Takeuchi Cullen
Lisa Takeuchi Cullen is a TV writer currently in an overall deal with Universal Studios. A graduate of the WGAW Showrunner Training Program, Lisa was a consulting producer on “Law & Order: SVU” and has developed dramas for Netflix, ABC, NBC, CBS, A&E and Warner Bros. Lisa works to represent marginalized writers by co-chairing the Committee for Inclusion and Equity, starting up the Salon system of affinity groups, and co-founding Pathways to the WGA for diverse Pre-WGA writers. She started and runs Diverse Writers of the East, databases of underrepresented WGAE and Pre-WGA writers. For her service to the Guild, she was awarded the 2020 Richard B. Jablow Award. Previously she worked as a staff writer and foreign correspondent for TIME magazine and published two books.
Christopher Kyle is a screenwriter whose credits include Serena, Alexander, K-19:The Widowmaker, and The Weight of Water. He previously served on Council from 2014-2020 and is a member of the WGAE-WGAW Screen Credits Review Committee. For the past 13 years he has been deeply involved with the Writers Guild Initiative, the charitable foundation of the WGAE, working as a mentor in writing workshops with disabled veterans, caregivers, COVID nurses, and others whose voices need to be heard. A longtime member of the WGI board, he now serves as its treasurer. In addition to his work in film, he is also an award-winning playwright whose plays have premiered at Playwrights Horizons, Broken Watch Theatre Company, Charlotte Rep, and many other theatres.
Monica Lee Bellais
Monica Lee Bellais is a screenwriter/producer who bridges policymakers and filmmakers. She worked for James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment, Jeffrey Katzenberg at DreamWorks, Warner Bros. Records, Discovery Channel, Smithsonian Networks, PBS, and TeleProductions International. She is a talented crisis management communicator. Monica has substantial production experience in Canada, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Monaco, Pakistan, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates. The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention partnered with her to create “Recommendations for Depicting Suicide” in media. As a former Board Member, she now serves on the Advisory Committee for Women in Film & Video in Washington, D.C. Monica holds a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications. Her memberships include BAFTA, PGA, National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, SAG-AFTRA, The National Press Club, and the WGAE.
Sara David is a writer and editor at VICE where her work appears in print, web, TV, streaming, social platforms, and more. She’s an organizer of the WGAE Industry-Wide Organizing Committee, a member of the VICE Union Bargaining and Labor-Management Committees, and a 2015 Lambda Literary Nonfiction Fellow. She wrote her thesis at Brown University on community organizing frameworks of feminists of color and lives in Queens with her cat. You can follow her on Twitter at @SaraQDavid.
Kaitlin Fontana is an Emmy-nominated TV and film writer, director, and producer, and a National Magazine award-winning essayist. In a not-so-distant past life, she was a music journalist. She’s the current host of the WGAE’s craft and process podcast, OnWriting. Most recently, Kaitlin was a Field Producer on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. Her feature film script, GIRLFRIEND ON MARS, is in consideration for the 2020 Sundance Feature Lab. She is a 2018 NYTVF Development Deal recipient (“Peace,” Audible) as well as a finalist in the 2018 HBOAccess Directing Fellowship. Her directorial debut, Franchesca, was an official 2018 Sundance Film Festival selection. Kaitlin is a 2018 WriteHer List Honoree, an inaugural 2017 WGA/Made in New York Writers Room Fellow, 2017 Showtime Tony Cox Award winner, and 2017 Bitch List Honoree, all for her pilot Casey Can’t, which is currently in development. Kaitlin lives in Brooklyn, NY. She was born in Fernie, British Columbia, Canada, a distinction she shares with Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson.
Gina Gionfriddo is a playwright and television writer. She has worked as a writer/producer for The Alienist on TNT, FBI: Most Wanted on CBS, as well as Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and Law & Order True Crime: Menendez on NBC. She has also written for House of Cards (Netflix), Borgia (Canal Plus), and Cold Case (CBS). As a playwright, she is a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for her plays, Becky Shaw, and Rapture, Blister, Burn. She received an Obie Award for her play, After Ashley, which enjoyed an Off-Broadway run starring Kieran Culkin and Anna Paquin. Her plays have been performed all over the United States and abroad in London, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, New Zealand, Sweden, The Netherlands, Korea, Israel, Malta, and Poland.
Josh Gondelman is a comedy writer and standup comedian who currently works as a writer/producer for Desus & Mero on Showtime. Previously, he spent five years at Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, first as a web producer and then as a staff writer, where he earned two Peabody awards, four Emmy awards, and three WGA awards. He’s also the author of the essay collection Nice Try: Stories of Best Intentions and Mixed Results.
Tian Jun Gu
Tian Jun Gu is a bi-coastal first-generation Chinese-American TV writer and producer. He is co-chair of the Asian American Salon, co-chair of the Thursday Salon, a member of the Inclusion and Equity Committee, a mentor in the WGAE Mentee program, and an alum of the East’s Showrunner Training Program. Tian Jun’s credits include MONARCH, Y: THE LAST MAN, HOUSE OF CARDS, and INTERROGATION.
A.M. Homes is currently serving her 2nd term on the WGAE Council. She is a television and feature writer, novelist, journalist and professor. Homes is the author of 12 books, including May We Be Forgiven, winner of the International Orange/ Women’s Prize and the best-selling memoir, The Mistress’s Daughter. She adapted her novel, Jack for Showtime and her story collection, The Safety of Objects was made into a feature film. Homes was Co-Executive Producer of Falling Water on USA and David E. Kelly’s/Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes. Previously she was a writer/producer of the television show, The L. Word and has written pilots for CBS, ABC and HBO. Currently, Homes is developing new series for both AMC and FX and is actively involved with the adaptation of her novels, This Book Will Save Your Life/SunnyMarch and Music For Torching/Julie Bowen. Homes often collaborates with artists in other forms; in 2019 she worked with Experiments in Opera and six composers to create a new opera, Chunky In Heat and is currently writing The Monument Project, an opera for The Kennedy Center’s 50th Anniversary. Her work has been translated into twenty-two languages and she writes frequently on the arts for publications such as Art Forum, Granta, McSweeney’s, The New Yorker and the New York Times. She is a Contributing Editor to Vanity Fair, Bomb and Blind Spot. Passionate about being involved in one’s community, supporting work across disciplines and bringing attention to underrecognized voices, Homes is active in the literary and TV/film community serving on the Boards of Yaddo, Poets and Writers, The Elizabeth Dance Foundation, The Writers Fund of PEN, the Advisory Council of The New York Foundation for the Arts and The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University.
Liz Hynes is a writer based in New York City. She currently writes for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and was previously the Writers’ Assistant at The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Kim Kelly is an independent journalist, author, and organizer based in Philadelphia. She is currently the labor columnist for Teen Vogue, and her work on labor, politics, and culture has appeared in a number of publications, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Republic, the Columbia Journalism Review, Esquire, and Rolling Stone. Kelly is also a freelance video journalist for the Real News Network, More Perfect Union, and Means TV. Previously, she was the heavy metal editor at Noisey, VICE’s music vertical, and served on the original Vice Union editorial organizing and bargaining committees as well as the organizing committee to unionize the company’s TV and production units. Her first book, ‘FIGHT LIKE HELL: The Untold History of American Labor,’ will be released by One Signal/Simon & Schuster on April 26, 2022. Follow her on Twitter: @grimkim
Gail Lee is writer/producer at CBS News who has been involved in Guild activities for many years. Her credits include 7 terms as WGAE Secretary/Treasurer as well as serving on the Finance, Awards, Real Estate and multiple WGA-CBS News Negotiating Committees. Gail was the recipient of the Richard B. Jablow Award for Devoted Service to the Guild. She has also won WGA, RTNDA and Peabody Awards for her work.
Hamilton Nolan is a journalist. He was a longtime writer for Gawker, Deadspin, Splinter, and elsewhere. He helped his coworkers unionize Gawker Media in 2015.
David Simon is a Baltimore-based journalist, author and television producer. A former crime reporter for the Baltimore Sun, he is the creator of the celebrated HBO series The Wire, which depicts the political and socioeconomic fissures in an American city. His other television credits include the NBC drama Homicide and HBO’s The Corner, Generation Kill, Treme and Show Me A Hero. His most recent project, The Deuce, follows the legalization and subsequent rise of the porn industry in New York from the early 1970s through the mid-1980s. The author of two books of narrative non-fiction, “Homicide” and “The Corner,” Simon is a 2010 MacArthur Fellow.
Lauren Ashley Smith
Lauren Ashley Smith is a comedy writer and producer who is currently in an overall deal with CBS Studios. Previously, she was the head writer and co-executive producer of the first two seasons of HBO’s “A Black Lady Sketch Show,” where she earned three Emmy nominations and a TCA Award. Prior to that, Lauren was the head writer of the critically acclaimed BET late night show, “The Rundown with Robin Thede” and a staff writer on VH1’s “Best Week Ever.” Alongside her sisters, Lauren co-hosts “Smith Sisters Live,” a weekly pop culture radio show on Sirius XM’s Radio Andy. She lives in Los Angeles with her wife, Brooke, and their two dogs.
Sasha Stewart is a writer, creator, and producer, most recently of the six-part Netflix historical docuseries, Amend: The Fight for America. As part of her work with the Guild, she is a member of the WGAE’s Committee for Inclusion & Equity, as well as the WGAE’s Scripted Audio Organizing Committee and Audio Alliance. Working across genres and mediums, she has written for Netflix, Comedy Central, Facebook Watch, iHeartRadio, and C-SPAN (Thank you, White House Correspondents’ Dinner). Alongside co-creator Keisha Zollar, she is a winner of the 2020 Yes, And… Laughter Lab for their comedic women’s health docuseries based on their shared experiences with the healthcare system. She also contributes to McSweeney’s and The New Yorker. She is currently in development on multiple scripted and unscripted projects, is in pre-production on another, and has she mentioned you look absolutely radiant today?
Tracey Scott Wilson
Tracey most recently wrote the teleplay for MGM’s upcoming film RESPECT based on the life of Aretha Franklin. On the TV side, she served as a Co-Executive Producer on FOSSE/VERDON at FX and Apple’s MORNING SHOW. Before that, she was a Co-Executive Producer on FX’s award-winning series THE AMERICANS, where she wrote for 4 seasons and received two WGAE awards, two Peabody awards and a Golden Globe. Tracey is also a renowned playwright, and her plays include BUZZER (Guthrie Theater, The Public Theater), THE GOOD NEGRO and THE STORY (both at The Public Theater and the Goodman Theater). Tracey is the winner of the 2001 Helen Merrill Emerging Playwright Award, the 2003 AT&T Onstage Award, the 2004 Whiting Award, the 2004 Kesserling Prize, the 2007 Weissberger Playwriting Award as well as the 2007 Time Warner Storytelling Fellowship. In 2009, she was the writer-in-residence at the O’Neil National Playwriting Conference. She has taught and guest lectured at several schools including, Brown University, Yale University, Rutgers University and NYU. She holds a Master’s degree in English Literature from Temple University.