FOX Entertainment has announced the names of the four Fellows for the 2022 FOX Writers Incubator (FWI), an immersive initiative designed to nurture diverse and creative voices, as well as provide training to four writers of all genres, including comedy, drama and animation. Selected from over 1300 outstanding submissions, HaJ, Allison Jackson, Michelle Lesley Johnson and Nicole Jones-Dion were named the 2022 FWI Fellows.
The FOX Writers Incubator initiative is a rigorous three-month workshop focused on honing writing skills, professional development and the exploration of the business of media and entertainment, while also providing its Fellows with one-on-one mentorship opportunities with FOX executives. Following successful completion of the FWI, FOX will have the opportunity to engage FWI Fellows to work across FOX Entertainment shows.
“The launch of the FOX Writers Incubator has led to a record number of submissions from aspiring writers with an incredible amount of talent,” said Michael Thorn, President, Entertainment, FOX Entertainment. “A heartfelt ‘thank you’ to everyone who submitted and we proudly congratulate HaJ, Allison Jackson, Michelle Lesley Johnson and Nicole Jones-Dion on their Fellowships. We’re confident their creative journeys and unique voices will further strengthen our pipeline of original storytellers.”
“As we continue to pursue our commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout Fox Corporation, the Fox Writers Incubator initiative is an incredible addition to those efforts. We congratulate the four writers who were named Fellows in this inaugural season, and we look forward to their contributions and to them joining the FOX family.”
The FOX Writers Incubator 2022 Fellows:
HaJ is an award-winning writer who is also a producer, director, performer, and the founder of TICKLES.TV, a multi-media production company with more than 40 original comedic sketch videos created and distributed to more than 20 million viewers since its founding. In 2016, she created the award-winning, one-woman stage show about people who code-switch, “Funnel Cake Flowers & The Urban Chameleons,” which debuted Off-Broadway and won the Best Writer award. MadameNoire named HaJ one of the Top 15 Tech & Branding Gurus for the interactive film “HERadventure,” which she produced and co-created with film and TV director (and mother) Ayoka Chenzira (“Trinkets,” “Dynasty,” “Queen Sugar,” “4400”). Currently, HaJ is an executive producer on THE YEAR BETWEEN by Alex Heller featuring Steve Buscemi that is currently in post-production. She is also serving as the dramaturge on the new Broadway show POTUS written by Selina Felinger directed by five-time Tony winner Susan Stroman (The Producers) starring Vanessa Williams, Julianne Hough, and Rachel Dratch. HaJ received her B.F.A. in acting from Carnegie Mellon University.
Allison Jackson is a Los Angeles based screenwriter who writes funny shows about Black women in not-so-funny situations. Originally from a town of three thousand in Ohio, Jackson developed her love for screenwriting while working in China, and learned Mandarin by watching Chinese period dramas. She then attended the American Film Institute, where she studied screenwriting and developed her voice for writing nerdy, funny, Black characters. She has worked as a Writers’ Assistant for Amazon and as a showrunner’s assistant on an HBO comedy show. Her comedy pilot, “Enough,” was selected for the second round of the Sundance Episodic Lab, and her feature, “Believe the Hype,” was selected for the second round of the Sundance Development Track.
Michelle Lesley Johnson
Michelle Lesley Johnson graduated with Distinction from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also holds an M.A. in education from the University of California at Berkeley. Her original pilot, "The Fifth Quarter," advanced to the second round of the 2020 Sundance Episodic Lab. On the strength of "The Fifth Quarter," along with another original pilot, "HipHop High," she was a 2021 Disney General Entertainment Content Writing Program Semi-finalist. Her writing credits include “Let’s Stay Together” (BET), “Meet The Browns” (TBS) and “House of Payne” (TBS). She currently works as a script coordinator, on shows including Season Four and Five of the Emmy-winning drama, “The Handmaid’s Tale," (MGM/Hulu) and Season One of "BMF" (Lionsgate/Starz).
A graduate of Duke University, Nicole Jones-Dion has written, directed and/or produced short form projects for the SyFy Channel, Lionsgate, Sony and more. Nicole was briefly in the Army before moving to Baton Rouge, where she helped develop one of the first interactive multimedia training programs for Swiss pharmaceutical giant Ciba-Geigy. She relocated to Los Angeles, where she worked in video games and e-commerce before switching to engineering software. She spent the bulk of her professional career with Dassault Systemes as a marketing manager for several of their brands, including the SolidWorks and COSMOS product lines, where she developed everything from customer case studies to instructional videos.
About FOX Entertainment
FOX Entertainment’s 30-year legacy of innovative, hit programming includes 9-1-1, 9-1-1: LONE STAR, THE MASKED SINGER, LEGO MASTERS, THE SIMPSONS, “Empire,” “24,” “The X-Files” and “American Idol.” Delivering high-quality scripted, non-scripted, animation, live content and major sports, FOX won the 2020-2021 broadcast season, marking the second consecutive season it ranked #1. In addition to its broadcast network, FOX Entertainment oversees the operations of FOX Alternative Entertainment, its in-house unscripted studio that produces THE MASKED SINGER, I CAN SEE YOUR VOICE and NAME THAT TUNE, among other series; the award-winning animation studio Bento Box Entertainment, which produces animated content for FOX, including the Emmy Award-winning hit BOB’S BURGERS and new series DUNCANVILLE, THE GREAT NORTH and HOUSEBROKEN, as well as programming for other broadcast, streaming and cable platforms; and Blockchain Creative Labs, a new business and creative unit formed in 2021 by FOX Entertainment and Bento Box, to build, launch, manage and sell Non-Fungible
Token (NFT) content and experiences, and fungible tokens, as well as digital goods and assets.
Entertainment also recently formed the production venture Studio Ramsay Global, in partnership with award-winning chef, restaurateur and presenter Gordon Ramsay, to develop, produce and distribute culinary and lifestyle programming for FOX, its fast-growing ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) service, Tubi and platforms worldwide. Tubi features more than 35,000 movies and television series, and news content that’s available in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Australia. FOX Entertainment recently acquired the entertainment platform TMZ and all its media properties, including its hit syndicated magazine programs, TMZ and TMZ LIVE, and its flagship digital platform, TMZ.com. Most recently, FOX Entertainment acquired MarVista Entertainment, a global leader in made-for-platform original content. Ranking among the world’s leading independent studios, MarVista will focus on developing and producing content for FOX’s digital platforms, including Tubi, as well as for third-party platforms worldwide.