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Home » Archives » September 2007 » "Free to the Chosen" Makes a Nice Rallying Cry
[Previous entry: "An Open Letter to the Media"] [Next entry: "Old and Grey's"]

09/13/2007: "Free to the Chosen" Makes a Nice Rallying Cry

Psst. Gather 'round. I have insider info for all of you, Gentle Readers. I've received a letter from Jack Gilbert, who is in charge of the reading of the submissions to the Warner Bros. Television Writers Workshop, and he has information about the changes to the program that go into effect this year.

He writes:

Even though the program has had a lot of success in the past (both of last year's writing Emmy winners - Greg Garcia and Terrence Winter were Workshop alums), the changing TV landscape called for a new chapter of the Workshop.

Now under the leadership of Chris Mack, they've combined the Drama and Comedy programs into one and scaled the class size back to ten. Chris also got rid of the $495 program fee (bravo!) and made it free to the chosen.

Now everyone (not just the sitcom folks) will come out with a completed new spec. The mix of the smaller class (something like 7 drama and 3 sitcom writers) is an experiment, but will not only allow for a better writers' room simulation, but will permit Chris and the other execs overseeing the program to concentrate on placing this select number of participants.

Ooh. Interesting. It sounds like the program has become more accessible monetarily, but more selective creatively. Obviously the smaller class size makes it a harder "get," but the resulting improvement in the amount of attention and likelihood of being placed on a staff makes it much more likely to actually launch your writing career. I think it's a positive change. You know you're good, right? You wouldn't be pursuing this if you didn't. Therefore, anything that rewards you for being good is exactly what you want.

I'm interested to learn that Jack is in charge of the reading of submissions. I'd love to hear his reaction to what he's seeing -- namely, what are the big mistakes that he's seeing over and over. I'm going to write back to Jack and ask, and I will report the results back to you, Gentle Readers. Due to the reduction in size, the target for this program has gotten smaller. The only response is to improve our aim.

Lunch: Miceli's restaurant near Universal. I had the 1/2 spaghetti, 1/2 ravioli. Nice meets lovely.


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