nbc writers on the verge – i’m in!


at the end of my in person interview, karen told me she and julie ann would make calls on friday (today) to let people know whether they got in or not. instead, i got a call yesterday at 3pm. karen and julie ann congratulated me and told me i was accepted into the program! i’m THRILLED! i’m so grateful for this opportunity, and i look forward to learning as much as i can.

i already have some homework. i have to write a bio, and come up with loglines for the spec i’ll be writing. here are the shows i’m considering, in the order that i like them:

  1. new girl
  2. happy endings
  3. raising hope
  4. archer
  5. b in apt 23

i have to make sure i’m caught up on these shows, so i’ll be watching a lot of tv in the coming week.


i want to thank karen kirkland and everyone at the nickelodeon writing fellowship. if i didn’t go through that program, i don’t know if i would have gotten into nbc. the parks and rec script that i submitted was a spec that i wrote during the fellowship, and karen’s notes were super helpful as always.

also, going through the interview process two years for the nick fellowship helped a lot, and i wasn’t nervous at all during my nbc interviews. i had a general idea of what to expect with the phone interview and the in person interview.

during the nick fellowship, i got used to pitching loglines, writing outlines, and writing scripts in 6 weeks. after taking all the meetings with the various people in the studio, i got very comfortable pitching myself. my experience at nickelodeon made me a much stronger writer, and i know it will help me make the most of my opportunity at NBC.

as much as i would have loved to have gotten staffed on a show after the nick fellowship, what i truly wanted, my ultimate goal, was always to work on a network primetime show. the possibility that that could even happen as a result of this NBC program makes me giddy beyond belief! i’m not usually one of those people who thinks everything happens for a reason, but who knows, maybe this was how things were supposed to play out for me.

so here we go again. first nickelodeon, now NBC. i’m looking forward to my new adventure!

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  1. Congrats, you must be thrilled. I don’t mean to be rude but is it possible for you to upload some samples of your work? Not like an entire script but maybe just a few pages. I’m just curious about your actual specs.

    1. i plan on uploading the first script i wrote, brobot. it was a short film script that came in 4th place in the slamdance screenwriting competition. i’ll probably post it in the coming week.

  2. Congratulations! I’ve been a lurker on your blog for a couple of years (found you while googling writing contests). It’s been really inspiring to see how your persistence is paying off, and illuminating to read the details of the peaks and valleys of the process! Thank you so much for generously sharing your experiences, and I hope you’ll have the time and inclination to do so “inside the gates,” so to speak!

  3. Congratulations on your acceptance to Writers on the Verge! Since you have applied to these programs for a few years, I was hoping you could answer one quick question. Do you know if most of the programs only consider applicants currently living in Los Angeles? Would they consider an applicant living in another city who intends to relocate for the program?

    1. i don’t think any of the programs care if you live out of state, or even out of the country as long as you have the proper work permit. kevin was one the fellows with me in nick, and he was from queens, ny. for the in person interview, they did a skype interview instead. he flew out for the speed interviews, and then once he was accepted, he moved out here. i think nick paid for his hotel for the first month.

  4. Another lurker here. First off, big congrats, Kiyong. Your work ethic and tenacity will take you a long way. With that said, after reading many of your posts that gave us a behind-the-scenes look into these programs, I can’t help but feel some resentment toward the way it all works. To be blunt, they seem like “American Idol”-type contests for writers. There’s the long grueling selection process, being primed by studio personnel, shaped into what their idea of TV writer is, and by the end of it, having no guarantee of even being on a staff. I know it must be exciting to be in that 1%, but how many TV writers made it without any of these programs? Perhaps I’m being too cynical, and I don’t mean to belittle your achievement, you’re certainly getting farther than most. It’s great to take advantage of these opportunities, but it makes me realize that these programs are not for everyone. It’s somewhat comforting and freeing.

    1. hey will. the selection process is pretty rough, but that’s because there are so many people who apply, and they’re trying to find the candidates that have the best chance of succeeding within the program. besides being a good writer, you have to be able to present yourself well to executives and showrunners, and be good in the room, and part of the interview process is to make sure you can hold your own in those situations. there is definitely no guarantee with any of these programs, but i don’t think there’s any guarantee in any part of the business. dan harmon got fired from his own show! besides these programs, the only other way i know of to break in is to be a writers room assistant (or some other kind of assistant), but those jobs are also extremely competitive and have no guarantees. most working tv writers did not break in through a fellowship program. i think many people’s stories goes something like this – they had some sort of lower level assistant level job while they wrote and honed their skills, then through networking, they met someone who read and liked their work and gave them a shot. frank gonzalez who runs the abc/disney program tells people they most likely won’t get into disney, that the odds are too small, so he tells them to find another way in. however it happens, i think you have to be ready and make sure your writing is at a high level when that opportunity comes.

      1. Yeah, everything you said is on point, there’s definitely no guarantee of anything. In my case, I thought TV writing could be a good way to get into feature writing, but I soon realized I don’t have the passion or desire to write anything that isn’t completely my own, nor working within the system (pitches, outlines, meeting after meeting, etc). I know that just makes it a thousand times harder for me, but it feels right. I think of my spec writing as being more akin to writing a novel now — there’s no job that will lead to it, I just have to sit down and write the script. I definitely admire the versatility of TV writers though, and their ability to work within the system. Anyway, just sharing my thoughts/perspective on screenwriting. Good luck!

          1. I haven’t read it but I’d like to check it out, I’ll see about picking up a copy. Thanks for the recommendation 🙂

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