HBO has announced eight writers to receive the 2019 HBOAccess Writing Fellowship, a program that lasts for 8 months and offers mentorship with executives at the cable network.
The HBOAccess writing program opens for applicants every other year. It alternates with HBO’s Directing Fellowship. The next writer application window opens in February 2021. This year’s HBOAccess Writing Fellowship recipients are:
Writer/Director Melody Cooper is winner of the 2018 Grand Jury Prize for Best Screenplay at the Urbanworld Film Festival with her thriller NORTHERN CROSS. Melody previously placed as a finalist in the ScreenCraft Horror and ScreenCraft Film Fund. Congrats, Melody! A Sci-Fi and Horror writer, she is also the recipient of fellowships from AMC Networks Shudder Labs, NY Stage & Film, and the Writer’s Lab, and won the Tangerine Entertainment Fellowship at Stowe Story Labs. Her supernatural feature script THE SOUND OF DARKNESS was a 2018 Athena List Finalist. Her short documentary, DETAINED, was Winner of 2018 IndieFest Award of Recognition.
Jessica D. Shields is a multidisciplinary writer and filmmaker originally from Atlanta. She is the recipient of the 2019 HUMANITAS Prize College Drama Fellowship. Jessica was placed as a semifinalist in the 2018 ScreenCraft Pilot Launch TV Script Competition, and she was a Film Independent Project Involve Screenwriting Fellow (2018) during which time she penned the short film Wednesday, currently a finalist for the HBO Shorts Competition at ABFF 2019. She holds an MFA in Screenwriting & Directing from Columbia University and is an alumna of Vanderbilt University.
A native of Toronto, Canada, Ivan Tsang is an MFA Graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in Screen and TV Writing. Ivan is a 2019 ScreenCraft Screenwriting Fellowship semifinalist, and a Launch Pad Feature Competition Top 50 finalist. Ivan has written for Wong Fu Productions, KevJumba, Jubilee Media, Jeremy Lin, ISA TV. His work has had over 100 million views. He is also the proud owner of a Pug named Russell.
Lucy Luna is a Mexican writer and director living in Los Angeles. Her screenplay has placed as a finalist in the 2019 PAGE International Screenwriting Awards Competition, and is a current semifinalist in the 2019 ScreenCraft Screenwriting Fellowship. While Lucy’s short film, We’re All Here, is finding success in the festival circuit with garnering six awards to date, Lucy continues to develop feature and television projects, focusing primarily on the horror, thriller, and drama genres. She’s currently penning a script for Mexican producer Gerardo Gática.
The winner of the 2019 Turner/ABFF Writing Contest for his drama script LYZ, Darnell Brown began his storytelling career publishing a book of thought-provoking, socially-conscious poetry. Darnell is a native son of Chester, Pennsylvania, and a graduate of The University of the Arts who writes both comedy and drama as well as directs.
Danielle is a graduate of the John Wells Division of Writing for Screen & Television MFA program at USC where she was a Grillo-Marxuach Family Fellow and participant in the inaugural Development Master class with Brian Grazer. She’s a 2019 Universal Writers Program Finalist, a 2018 Fox Writers Lab Finalist, a 2018 Austin Film Festival Second Rounder, and has made the 2018 Young & Hungry List and Hit List. Danielle has worked as a Writers’ PA on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and a Writers’ Trainee on Apple drama series, Swagger.
An actor, writer, and director, Elaine’s produced works include winning the Grand Prize and Audience Vote of the NewFilmmakers LA On Location Project, an Honorable Mention at the NBCUniversal/YOMYOMF Interpretations contest, and having two films accepted to Academy qualifying festivals. She is currently writing and starring in the digital series DOXXED which recently screened at the Women in Comedy Festival and Dances with Films.
Eddie is a Cuban-American writer, actor, and Emmy-winning producer from Miami, Florida. An alumnus of The Second City in Chicago, Eddie’s credits include the 2016 CBS Diversity Showcase, the 2017 NBC Late Night Writers Workshop and the 2018 NBC Spotlight Showcase. He has produced content for Broadway Video’s Más Mejor and curates Heraldo Presenta, a monthly all-Latinx variety show. His recent short film, Dreamer, was an Imagen Award finalist and named one of Vulture’s Best Comedy Videos of 2018.