BTFC Rising Writers Lab

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”14024″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][kleo_gap][vc_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row padding_top=”15″][vc_column][vc_column_text font_size=”26″]



[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”14021″ img_size=”800×720″ alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text font_size=”18″ line_height=”36″]This month, the Black TV & Film Collective (BTFC) selected six writers to usher through the daunting process of preparing for and applying to the industry’s most competitive and prestigious writing fellowships including the WB Writers’ Workshop, Disney/ABC Writing Program and CBS Writing Fellowship, to name a few. Writers will be aided in development of their original concept scripts, sharpening spec scripts, and polishing the important personal and professional statements. These writers will also have the opportunity to network with industry experts, who will share information on how to make their applications stand out.

It is widely known that these competitive fellowships are a springboard into the industry. Applying can feel like a shot in the dark and can be a very isolating experience. This lab is here to change that,said Huriyyah Muhammad, Executive Director of The Black TV & Film Collective.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text font_size=”18″ line_height=”36″]

This year’s program participants include:

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text font_size=”18″ line_height=”36″ vertical_separator=”yes”]Lauren Vernea:

Lauren is a writer, actor, singer, and producer. Her work as a TV/Film producer and researcher includes “Explained” (Vox/Netflix), “The Year” (ABC News), and the hip-hop docu-series “The Field” (Mass Appeal/Starz). As a writer, her work consists of her upcoming bible-study comedy Connect Group. She created the #TheResistance, an “In Living Color” style sketch comedy show that fights the power in the age of Trump. #TheResistance currently has a monthly residency at the People’s Improv Theater in NYC. She is a proud Chicago native and graduate of the MS in Leadership for Creative Enterprises program at Northwestern University.

Letitia Guillory:

Letitia is a writer/performance artist/producer/theatre director. Her work has been presented at PS 122, Dixon Place, Lincoln Center, Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference, and BRIC Media Arts among others. Her writing credits include theatre: The Further Adventures of Gussie Mae in America, MAE and THE (beginning of the End), Free at Last, CrawfishTales, RED,8:42;and screenplays:Baby Love, Hound Dog,Grace,The Last Time and Lights Out.Letitia is a member of NYWIFT, BTFC, Harlem Writers Workshop and Dramatists Guild. She is a proud alum of the University of Texas (BFA, Drama) and New York University (MA, Performance Studies). 

Laura Fielder:

Laura is a writer/director who initially created stories for her three daughters, given the dearth of quality stories for young Black girls. Her debut film Milan’s First Day (2015), was based on her youngest daughter’s school experience. After discovering the soul scorching and brain melting stories of Japanese anime and manga, Laura moved away from “parental respectability politics” in her storytelling. Thus began her journey deep into her shadow mind where she sculpts stories about human foibles and failings.   Presently, Laura is in post-production for The Company You Keep, a psychological thriller short she wrote and directed.

Latasha Mercer:

Latasha (or JustLatasha on the internet) has developed multiple platforms since 2010. She is a Personality, Video Producer & Screenwriter. This includes conducting celebrity interviews, 2 Seasons of an awarded Amazon Prime series, and starring in a weekly digital show. She is a cum laude grad from The College of New Rochelle, with a degree in Communication Arts. Her latest venture is AURORE TV: the streaming platform for Black indie FILM.

April Guscott:

April Guscott is a TV/screenwriter whose work spotlights young QWOC as they try to navigate the exhaustive trials of adulting as millennials. She holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and is a member of the professional associations including NYWIFT and the BTFC. April is a native New Yorker hailing from the Caribbean immigrant rich Brooklyn neighborhood of East Flatbush, and is currently working on a high concept whodunnit pilot loosely inspired by her online dating adventures. 

Alysia Powell:

Alysia is a writer, director and actor whose career spans over 20 years in film, TV, and stage with recent credits including guest starring roles on Bull, Billions, Random Acts of Flyness, Pose, and recurring roles on Mysteries of Laura and Orange Is The New Black. She is currently pursuing her talents behind the camera, as a writer and director of the digital series For EBC, St. James Pl and as a co-director/actress for the TV pilot, Boys and Girls. She is also refining her one-woman show, Different Shades of Love, which was recently featured in the Emerging Artist Festival.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text font_size=”18″]It was tough selecting the six participants for our inaugural Rising Writers Lab. It’s an intensive preparatory and we wish the best of success to our participants: Lauren Vernea, April Guscott, Latasha MercerLetitia Guillory, Laura Fielder and Alysia Joy Powell!

Following participation in the lab, these amazing writers will be armed with an original pilot, spec script, personal essays, polished resumes and letters of recommendations. All of which will be used to apply to upcoming writing fellowships like the Warner Brothers Writers Room![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row disable_element=”yes”][vc_column][vc_column_text font_size=”18″]Application Deadline: Jan 31st

The Black TV & Film Collective’s Rising Writers App Lab will select up to 5 writers per cycle to usher through the often daunting process of preparing for and applying to the industry’s most competitive and prestigious writing fellowships including the WB Writers’ Workshop, the Disney/ABC Writing Program and HBOACCESS, just to name a few. Applying for these programs can feel like a shot in the dark and can be a very isolating experience. The Rising Writer’s Application Lab is here to change that.

Following an intensive bi-weekly schedule, the lab will assist rising writers in tightening up their original concepts, sharpening their spec scripts, and polishing the important personal and professional statements. Along the way, we’ll hear from the Industry writers and the program directors themselves, as they offer tips and tricks on how to help your application stand out. As with everything we do, the aim of this lab is to aid our members in getting to the next level professionally.

It is widely known that these competitive fellowships are a springboard into the industry. We all know that going it alone is often more difficult than working in a community. With our Collective based organic approach we hope to see more and more of us in positions that matter in the television industry.

Days and Time:
Every second and fourth Wednesday of the month from February through May.

Black TV & Film Collective Office located at 30 John St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

– BTFC membership at the Advanced Membership support level
– A signed Rising Artist Release Form for each applicant (writing partners are permitted) ***
– An Original Pilot Script Draft *
– A Spec for a live-action cable, broadcast or streaming service (e.g., Netflix, Amazon, Hulu) series or a 2nd spec script draft
– Availability to commit for the mandatory bi-monthly meetings starting in February **
– Commitment to the completion of deadlines within the lab **

*Writing should tonally match the Network for which you are applying. For program consideration, we will read the primary writing sample in the application.
**As commitment is a vital component of success, repeatedly missing meetings / deadlines will result in being asked to leave the lab.

Lab objectives/goals:
– Two well written and professionally formatted scripts (original and/or specs)
– Workshop based review of creative materials
– Mandatory deadlines for other application materials
– Industry professional feedback and advice
– A well-written and tightly focused application packet

Lab requirements:
– All participants must be able to commit for the mandatory bi-monthly meetings starting in February.
– All participants must be able to meet specified deadlines for group and individual work.
– We will meet every other week starting the second week in February; however, there will also be work assigned during the off week.[/vc_column_text][kleo_button title=”APPLY NOW” href=”″ target=”_blank” position=”center” size=”xxl” icon=”star”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator][vc_column_text font_size=”22″]


[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][kleo_grid type=”4″ animation=”yes”][kleo_feature_item title=”PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT” icon=”streamline-school-graduation”]Join our community, get help and start learning new things through events, classes and workshops that both reinforce existing skills and develop new ones.[/kleo_feature_item][kleo_feature_item title=”EXCLUSIVE INVITATIONS” icon=”ticket”]Once you’re a member of the BTFC, take advantage of member only relationship building social engagements.[/kleo_feature_item][kleo_feature_item title=”PRODUCTION SUPPORT” icon=”superscript”]Support from the BTFC exponentially increases your chance for success.  From scheduling to budgeting to help crewing up. We’re here for you.[/kleo_feature_item][kleo_feature_item title=”IMDB CREDITS” icon=”youtube-play”]Opportunities to build a production resume by working on BTFC member projects and BTFC original productions.[/kleo_feature_item][/kleo_grid][vc_column_text]

There is power in numbers and together there is unlimited potential in what we can achieve. Become a member today.

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Member Benefits  


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writers table reads, pitch meetings and networking events


opportunity to review production questions and challenges with experienced producers


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use of BTFC tools and resources


advanced members pay no event fees



to help make and market your work


following initial feedback within

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get objective feedback before submission deadlines


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