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Sony, Amazon MGM And NBCUniversal Sign On To Boost Writers Guild Foundation’s Writers Access Support Staff Training Program

EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures Entertainment, Amazon MGM Studios and NBCUniversal have come aboard as sponsors of this year’s Writers’ Access Support Staff Training Program. The Writers Guild Foundation initiative aims to provide TV writers who are BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, writers with disabilities, and writers over the age of 50, with tools, education and opportunity to become writers’ assistant and script coordinators in the industry.

The deal means that along with financial support, the companies will be considering this year’s program graduates and alumni for available staffing slots on their series.

The program, originally launched in 2021 by writers and producers Tanya Saracho (Vida), Mike Royce (One Day at a Time) and Liz Hsiao Lan Alper (Day of the Dead), features a 12-week course taught by instructors and script coordinators Debbie Ezer (The Good Doctor) and Clay Lapari (Community). By the end, participants’ experience level is equivalent to working as a writers’ assistant or script coordinator on one season of TV.

The 2023 class wrapped its course in November and boasts 18 graduates ready to join staffs.

WASSTP alums have previously joined staffs on shows including A Black Lady Sketch Show, How I Met Your Father, Manifest, Agatha: Coven of Chaos, Outer Banks, The Sex Lives of College Girls, The L Word: Generation Q and City on Fire. To date, three have gone on to be promoted to staff writer positions.

“Graduates of the 2023 program represent a broad range of life experiences and identities that contribute to their unique voices in the writers’ room. They are united in their resourcefulness, adaptability and expertise,” says WGF Director of Community Programs Kira VandenBrande. “With the support of Sony, Amazon, and NBCU, graduates will take the first steps towards building a sustainable career in entertainment.”

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