Fox Inclusion today announced that writer Keely MacDonald has been selected as this year’s Fox Writers Lab (FWL) Fellow. Chosen from the sixth annual group of FWL finalists, MacDonald has received a script development deal with Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX).
Launched in 2011, FWL (formerly known as the Fox Writers Intensive) is an initiative designed to nurture experienced writers who have diverse voices, backgrounds and life experiences, and create a strong pipeline of well-rounded talent for potential staffing on Fox television shows, films and other Fox Entertainment projects.
During this year’s program, FWL writers developed and wrote an original comedy or drama pilot script under the guidance of producer Sheila Hanahan-Taylor of Practical Pictures (“Final Destination”) and Kelly Kulchak (Head of Current Programming, Dreamworks Animation), culminating in a “Pitchfest” in which writers pitched their original ideas to network and studio executives. They also participated in guest speaker sessions with Fox studio and network development executives, showrunner/producer/writer Glen Mazzara (“Damien,” “The Walking Dead”), Imagine Television executive and producer Francie Calfo (EMPIRE), showrunners Joe Henderson and Ildy Modrovich (LUCIFER) and FWL alumni.
Born and raised in North Carolina, MacDonald graduated from Duke University in 2012, and had planned to enter either international law or politics. However, after taking a screenwriting course in her senior year, a newfound passion for the written word resulted in her changing career paths. In 2013, when FOX’s “Sleepy Hollow” began production on its first season, filming on location in North Carolina, MacDonald landed a job on the series as a research intern, then worked her way up the ladder and eventually wrote the Season Four episode, “Insatiable.”
In addition to MacDonald, the 2017 FWL class included Arielle Diaz, Brad Marques, Elizabeth Oyebode, Erick Castrillon and Esteban Arango, Jennifer Graham Imada, Lauren Tyler, Mellori Velasquez, Nicky Young, Pilar Valdés, Tania Lotia and Yasemin Yilmaz. Following their completion of FWL, they each are being promoted throughout the Fox creative community and submitted for potential staffing on current and future Fox entertainment productions. To date, four 2017 FWL writers and four FWL Alumni have been staffed on FOX dramas and comedies for the 2017-18 season, including THE GIFTED, THE RESIDENT, LA TO VEGAS, LUCIFER, THE LAST MAN ON EARTH, THE EXORCIST and NEW GIRL, as well as ABC's "Fresh Off The Boat."
“Fox is deeply committed to supporting the most talented emerging creatives working today,” said MyKhanh Shelton, Senior Vice President, Fox Inclusion. “Diversity is key to our success and this year’s pool reflects the core belief that the future success of Fox lies with nurturing these unique voices.”
“Fox Writers Lab has become an increasingly crucial component of our staffing process,” said Terence Carter, Executive Vice President, Drama Programming, Development and Event Series, FOX. “There are so many talented writers, with so many different points of view. Those diverse viewpoints help make our programming smarter, stronger and, ultimately, more reflective of FOX’s viewership.”
“FOX WRITERS INTENSIVE” FELLOW NAMED – Page 2
This year’s 12 FWL writers were selected from a pool of nominations submitted by showrunners, talent representation, and arts organizations across the country, including the National Association of Latino Independent Producers and the National Hispanic Media Coalition.
As part of this year’s program, the FWL finalists also mentored Los Angeles Unified School District elementary school students who participate in the Young Storytellers “Script to Stage,” a semester-long program in which students write their own original short scripts that are performed live by professional actors.
ABOUT FOX WRITERS LAB
The FWL seeks both to elevate the craft of participating writers and further establish deeper connections with a wide range of Fox staff writers, showrunners, filmmakers and creative executives across television (both on-air and multi-platform) and digital entertainment. The initiative offers trained writers a rigorous, three-month curriculum focused on developing original material, learning and honing writing skills for multiple mediums and exploring the business of media and entertainment.
Selected writers have the opportunity to receive detailed feedback and guidance on their scripts and engage in intimate guest speaker sessions with experienced writers, showrunners, executives and directors. Upon successful completion of the program, finalists receive priority staffing meetings for the established FWL Staff Writer position on Fox entertainment productions.
The Fox Inclusion department spearheads diversity initiatives for Fox employees and for emerging talent. Current programs including the Fox Writers Lab, Fox TV Directors Lab (formerly the Fox Global Directors Initiative) and the AFI Fox Filmmakers Lab, support the development of diverse talent along the pipeline. Fox Inclusion also collaborates with human resources and the business units on the development of comprehensive multi-year plans to recruit, retain and promote employees and executives in every area of our company.