nbc writers on the verge – cross program mixer 3/12/13

we had a mixer with writers from the various network writing programs, including cbs, wb, disney, the new fox program, and us from nbc wotv. there were maybe 40 writers plus the people who run the programs. it was really crowded, and a lot of fun.

here’s something you might not have known: many writers go through multiple programs. this is my second program, and i met others who went through 2, 3, and even 4 programs. people who are good enough to get into one often times get into another. but why would a writer do multiple programs? because getting into a writing program is no guarantee. it’s not like winning the lottery. obviously, the ideal situation is you get into a writing program, and then you get an agent and get staffed immediately after. that doesn’t always happen though. the programs are a chance to meet other writers, work on writing samples, and meet execs, but yeah, there are no guarantees of getting staffed.

even writers who get an agent and get staffed might find themselves without work a year or two later. several of the people who get into disney had already been staff writers at one point, and the new fox program seems to be entirely for writers who were already staffed. that’s how hard it is to break in and sustain a career.

all of us are to some degree in competition with each other, and with people from writing programs from previous years, and assistants and coordinators who are trying to get promoted, and with established writers who are now not working.

not to burst your bubble, but that should give you an idea of how far away you are from doing this. you have to be in it for the long haul. if you’re ok with that, keep writing. if that overwhelms you, stop now, get a stable job, go have a life.

hopefully i’ll get staffed this year, but just in case i don’t, i’ll be applying to abc, wb, and cbs. the parks and rec spec i wrote in nickelodeon got me into wotv. will the happy endings spec that i wrote in wotv get me into another program? will i 3peat?

  1. bryanmora513 left a comment on April 25, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    I wouldn’t be surprised if you pulled off a 3peat. You’ve clearly got a hold on what makes a good writer and have dozens of readers who keep up with your daily happenings.

    I do have a question: When you’re in a mixer like the cross program, what was the topic of conversation between you and the other writers? In such a crowded event, how would you typically approach another writer? Would a simple “Hi, what’s your name?” suffice, or was the fact that you’re all striving for the same goal a unifying feeling.

    • kiyong left a comment on April 25, 2013 at 1:25 pm

      talking to the other writers was super easy! what program are you in? what’s it like? comedy or drama writer? what was difficult was managing time between catching up with people i already knew vs trying to meet new people.

      • onceuponagaynerd left a comment on April 27, 2013 at 2:36 pm

        Sometimes when I want to join a conversation at these things I pretend like I’m laughing at a joke and then blend into the circle casually. It never works. As for the 3peat thing, I totally get it. I’m Canadian, I’ve just started out, and I’m doing something called the Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters program. It’s not even over yet and I’m already looking into different programs I can apply to. The US is so much better about these emerging writers initiatives! But the competition’s probably a lot more tough. So the fact that you CAN do a 3peat speaks volumes about your talent. 😀

  2. Dexter Alvaro left a comment on May 1, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Hope “3rd” times the charm. Good luck, Kiyong!

  3. dijorn left a comment on May 11, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Might as well do a Michael Jordan and hold up the three fingers! Best wishes for this year!

  4. jontattum left a comment on May 25, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Hey Kiyong. Thanks for writing, your blog is really helpful. I have a question for you: How do you obtain scripts for new shows? For example, I would like to get a script of About a Boy on NBC, but I don’t know how to do so. Would you happen to know? Thanks again.

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