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Breaking news, press releases and statements from the Writers Guild of America, East

Thursday October 7, 2021

The WGAE Showrunner Academy announces Inaugural Line-up and Participants

NEW YORK, NY (October 7, 2021) – The Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) is pleased to announce the inaugural WGAE Showrunner Academy, a training program designed to support television writer-producers, upper-level writers, and new show creators in honing the skills necessary to become successful showrunners and leaders in today’s television industry. 

Specific to the unique landscape and needs of the East Coast, the WGAE Showrunner Academy provides invaluable instruction from current showrunners and other industry professionals on such topics as hiring; understanding the MBA; prioritizing equity and inclusion; fostering a functional workplace culture; budgets; managing relationships with writers, executives, and actors; and more. 

The co-emcees of the 2021 Academy are two experienced showrunners, Diana Son (AMERICAN CRIME, LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT, SOUTHLAND, BLUE BLOODS, and 13 REASONS WHY) and Frank Pugliese (HOUSE OF CARDS, THE ANGEL OF DARKNESS).

Participants include Nathan Alexander, Kristen Bartlett, Nikole Beckwith, Daniel Beaty, Hilary Bettis, Hallie Cantor, Jamie Chan, Patrick Coker, Sinead Daly, Laura Eason, A.M. Homes, Tamara Jenkins, Hansol Jung, Jason Kim, Laura Marks, Mozhan Marno, Hiram Martinez, Abby McEnany, Scott McClure Brown, Lauren Minnerath, Arthur Phillips, Franchesca Ramsey, Lara Shapiro, Gabriel Sherman, Aurin Squire, George Strayton, Jamund Washington, Adam Wiesen, Lauren Yee, and Ziwe

Forty-three percent of the participants are BIPOC, 60% are women, 23% identify as LGBTQ+, and 13% are over the age of fifty. Four participants have a “created by” credit.

The 2021 Academy has so far featured panels and workshops such as “Things to Know Before Running Your First Series” with Meredith Scardino, RJ Fried and Sarah Treem; “Crisis and Risk Management for Showrunners” with Glen Mazzara; “Managing Multiple Series in Development” with Tina Fey and Robert Carlock; “Hiring Writers” with Michelle King and Elizabeth Kruger; “Managing a Comedy Writers Room and Managing a Drama Writers Room” with Carly Mensch, Liz Flahive and David Simon; and “Managing New Rooms (Zoom, Hybrid, Bicoastal, Mini, and More)” with Soo Hugh, JT Rogers and Sharr White, “The Realities of Your Role on Set vs. In the Writers Room” with Jesse Armstrong; “What Happens When Your Show is a Success” with Liz Meriwether; among other programs.

“The WGAE Showrunner Academy is expertly programmed to assist high-level writer-producers develop the skills necessary to excel as showrunners,” said Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East. “There is a wealth of talent participating in this year’s Academy – people who bring diverse backgrounds and viewpoints, and who deepen the capacity for professional storytelling and production in the East.” 

The inaugural program will conclude in early November.

The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing nearly 7,000 writers in film, television, news and new media. The Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members; conducts programs, seminars and events on issues of interest to writers; and presents writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit


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