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

Wednesday September 14, 2022

Writers Guild of America, East Announces Second WGAE Showrunner Academy

NEW YORK, NY (September 14, 2022) – The Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) is pleased to announce the second 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 – from both coasts – on a wide-variety of pertinent topics that are critical to succeeding in the role of a showrunner. . 

The co-emcees of the 2022 Academy are two experienced showrunners, Diana Son (GENIUS: ARETHA, DIRTY JOHN, AMERICAN CRIME, LAW & ORDER,, BLUE BLOODS, 13 REASONS WHY) and Frank Pugliese (HOUSE OF CARDS, BORGIA, COPPER, HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET).

In a statement, Son said, “Being a showrunner is so much more than being the creative voice of the show. It’s also managing a multi-million dollar endeavor with over 100 employees. We’re bringing in accomplished and experienced showrunners who’re willing to share the breadth of their experience — the good, bad and the ugly — so new showrunners can have a head start on figuring out what kind of showrunner they’re going to be.”

This year’s class includes Nick Bernardone, Ashley Nicole Black, Elaine Del Valle, Anna Drezen, Mike Drucker, Brian Egeston, Trey Ellis, Halley Feiffer, Matt Fennell, Zayre Ferrer, James Flanagan, Kate Fodor, Graham Gordy, Sheri Holman, Branden Jacob-Jenkins, CA Johnson, Nick Jones. Wes Jones, Gwendolyn Parker, Jacqui Rivera, Celine Robinson, Madhuri Shekar, Jen Silverman, Brian Tucker, Siobhan Vivian, Donal Ward, Colleen Werthmann, Matthew Whitaker, Dave White, Tracey Scott Wilson, and Keisha Zollar.

42% of the participants are BIPOC, 55% are over the age of forty, 15 identify as women, 15 identify as male, and one person identifies as non-binary.

The 2022 Academy is scheduled to feature panels and workshops such as “Things to Know Before Running Your First Series” with Meredith Scardino, Laura Eason, Adam Wiesen & Patrick Coker; “Hiring Writers” with Erica Saleh, Michelle King, RJ Fried, Derek Simonds; “The Executive and Showrunner Relationship” with Alissa Bachner (Tomorrow Studio), Kira Innes (Bad Robot), Carina Sposato (Plan B), Odetta Watkins (Amazon Studios), and moderator Kelly Edwards (Writer and Producer, Formerly HBO’s SVP of Talent Development); “Crisis and Risk Management for Showrunners” with Glen Mazzara; “Managing a Comedy Writers Room” with Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, Matt Williams; “Managing a Drama Writers Room” with Beau Willimon, Jonathan Tropper; “Managing New Rooms (Zoom, Hybrid, Bicoastal, Mini, and More)” with Soo Hugh, Daniel Goldfarb and Antonio Campos; “Budgeting & Creativity” with John Wells; “Greening Your Production” with Earth Angels; “The Showrunner and 1st AD Relationship and On Set Safety” with Kayse Goodell; and more to be announced.

The program will conclude in mid-November.

The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing writers in film, television, broadcast and streaming news, podcasts, and online 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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