7:30am PT by Bryn Elise Sandberg
CBS Announces Writers for 2017-18 Mentoring Program
CBS on Tuesday announced the eight writers selected to participate in its 2017-2018 Writers Mentoring Program. The CBS Entertainment Diversity and Inclusion initiative, now in its 14th year, provides mentorships, access and opportunity for writers.
This year’s participants, selected from a pool of 1,300 applicants, are: Ashley Charbonnet, Jovan Robinson, Naomi Iwamoto, Munis Rashid, April Shih, Krystal Banzon, Shuo Zhang and Gil Hizon.
The eight-month program pairs writers with an executive mentor who then helps them develop a new piece of material. Following the mentorship period, the writers participate in a 16-week workshop designed to teach them everything about the television business as well as provide them access to agents, managers, executives, showrunners and producers.
“The access and opportunities that writers receive in this program are instrumental in creating game changers in this industry," said Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i, executive vp entertainment diversity, inclusion and communications at CBS Entertainment. "In its 14th year, we now have alumnae running shows and coming to us to help staff up their rooms. This program strives to lay the foundation for writers to not only staff, but also develop their professional skills that prepare them to one day run their own show.”
The Writers Mentoring Program has helped launch the careers of 62 writers, including Sabrina Almeida (SEAL Team), Morgan Faust (Legends of Tomorrow), Michael Gemballa (S.W.A.T.), Howard Jordan Jr. (Superior Donuts), Hannah Park (Bull), Paula Sabbaga (Dynasty), Josh Troke (Code Black), Julie Wong (Grey’s Anatomy), Greta Heinemann (NCIS: New Orleans), Bo Yeon Kim and Erika Lippoldt (Star Trek: Discovery), Damir and Dario Konjicija (Young Sheldon), Gina Lucita Monreal (NCIS) and Aaron Rahsaan Thomas (S.W.A.T.).
Below is more information about each of the selected writers: