NYU Student Receives WGI Screenwriting Fellowship Under David Henry Hwang

NYU Student Receives WGI Screenwriting  Fellowship Under David Henry HwangHennah Sekandary of New York University has been selected to receive the Writers Guild Initiative's (WGI) 2014 Michael Collyer Memorial Fellowship in Screenwriting. The fellowship, which is funded by the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation, is awarded to a student who plans to pursue a career in screenwriting upon completion of his/her undergraduate course of study. Sekandary will receive a $10,000 stipend to write an original screenplay, which she will do under the mentorship of David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly, Yellow Face, Possession). She will be presented with her fellowship at the 66th annual Writers Guild Awards on Saturday, February 1, 2014 in New York City at the Edison Ballroom.

Sekandary is a senior in the Department of Dramatic Writing, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. Her fellowship project, 48 Hour Fire, is about two people, a Korean deli-owner and a black teen, surviving against the backdrop of the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

"I've spent the last three years in the perfect environment to develop my craft and for that I thank NYU. For everything else I thank my family," said Fellowship recipient Hennah Sekandary.

Diana King, chairwoman and president of the King Family Foundation, said, "We are deeply gratified to have developed the Michael Collyer Fellowship in collaboration with the Writers Guild Initiative and are thankful for their excellent stewardship as we mark the 6th anniversary of this unique and valuable program. We are proud to support this program in memory of our former board member, Michael Collyer, a leading entertainment attorney and a champion of talented writers in all media. He would be thrilled to see the development support provided by this program reaching an ever-growing number of Collyer Fellows, and to see their screenplays drawing interest from wide segments of the motion picture industry."

Seven universities and colleges participated in this year's Collyer Fellowship nominating process. They are: Buffalo State College, Columbia College-Chicago, Georgia State University, University of Michigan, New York University, University of North Carolina, and University of Texas at Austin.

2014 marks the sixth year of the Collyer Fellowship. The first Collyer Fellowship was awarded in 2009 to Sara Van Acker of New York University, who completed her script under the mentorship of Marshall Brickman and was named a 2011 semi-finalist for the Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting. Marshall Brickman also mentored 2010 Collyer Fellowship recipient Antal Zambo of Wayne State University. Collyer Fellowship recipient James DiLapo (2011) of New York University, who was mentored by Richard LaGravenese, was named a 2012 winner of the Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting. Fellowship recipient Hailey O'Brien (2012) recently completed her script with her mentor Susanna Styron; Heather Dunoon, the 2013 recipient, continues to work on her script with her mentor Eric Bogosian.

The Charles & Lucille King Family Foundation was established in 1988 to support educational excellence and professional development in the film, television and related media fields, and has provided scholarships to hundreds of outstanding U.S. undergraduate students in these disciplines. For more information on the Michael Collyer Memorial Fellowship, contact WGI Director of Operations and Communications Jenna Jackson, 212-767-7843,

The Writers Guild Initiative, the new name of the Writers Guild of America, East Foundation, seeks to engage some of the nation's most prominent writers in working with people from all walks of life to perpetuate the art and craft of storytelling, through education and practical experience on local and national levels. The WGI seeks to identify the next generation of storytellers and to have an impact by giving them the skills to express who they are and how they experience their world. It also encourages WGAE members and staff to contribute their expertise to the Initiative's activities, thereby expanding the base and breadth of knowledge, as well as increasing the solidarity and power of the writing community in the larger world; and to work with other like-minded organizations in order to facilitate and expand the needs and goals of writers everywhere. For information about the Writers Guild Initiative's programs, go to

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