Our eighth annual Writers Lab launched in New York City with a breakfast sponsored by The Writers Guild of America, East. After two years of virtual work, we gathered in person with exuberance – and how gratifying! We spent four very full days bonding, sharing and challenging each other.
The group consisted of 12 writers present (and one virtual), alongside the TWL Team and 7 in-person mentors (another 13 virtual). We retreated from mundane distractions to Saugerties, NY, from November 8 to 11. Kaatsbaan Lodge provided serene accommodations and inspiring views of the Catskills, plentiful and delicious meals, and countless spots for our one on ones, panels, workshops, screenings, and informal meetings.
The hybrid intensive – with in-person and virtual elements – balanced workshops and discussion, along with individual script work and group sessions. We focused on building craft, community, and career skills with this cohort, which included feature and pilot writers who brought a diverse array of genres, profiles, creative voices and lived experiences. The on-site mentors—producers, writers, and directors—made for a rich community and generated plenty of unscripted interaction, as well as hours of deep craft and career exploration. Virtual discussions with additional speakers and guests further enriched the retreat.
The writers left with detailed plans for revisions and tools to advocate for themselves and their work. The cohort will continue to work together and support each other, with advocacy and guidance from The Writers Lab team, the mentors, and the alumnae community.
Maru Jane Skalski
Melissa James Gibson
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