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Disney & ABC Announce Participants for 2013 ANNUAL WRITING PROGRAM

Disney & ABC Announce Participants for 2013 ANNUAL WRITING PROGRAM

Disney/ABC Television Group, in association with the Writers Guild of America, West, has revealed the eight writers selected for its 2013 television writing program. More than 1,200 hopefuls participated in the diverse nationwide search to seek out the next wave of talent to be staffed in a Disney/ABC project. The writers are Ernie Bustamante (Mammoth, AZ), Kristopher Valentine (Moorpark, CA), Natasha Gray (Los Angeles, CA), Benjamin Jones (Memphis, TN), Kristine Huntley (Wilmette, IL), Phinneas Kiyomura (Long Beach, CA), Zoila Galeano (Los Angeles, CA) and Severiano Canales (Miami, FL). Started 23 years ago, the Disney/ABC Writing Program has evolved from a training program into one of the industry's premier television staffing opportunities.

"The writing class this season features immensely talented individuals whose passion for telling creative stories encompasses the diverse storytellers we set out to discover within our program year after year," said Tim McNeal, vice president of Talent Development and Diversity, Disney/ABC Television Group. "We are proud of the knowledgeable, gifted writers that have been selected and stood out during our highly competitive selection process, and look forward to advancing and assisting with their career development."

Frank Bennett Gonzalez, the director of the program, added: "We are extremely proud of all of the candidates selected to participate in our program this year. We strive through the program to provide the perfect staffing opportunity to launch their careers and assist in their growth as professionals in television."

"The writers that come through Disney/ABC Television Group's writing program each season consistently have the creative voices and ability to make comedic and dramatic storylines come to fruition with engaging content and ideas," said Kimberly Myers, director of Diversity, Writers Guild of America, West. "The WGA recognize the importance of our involvement in this program and are excited about the future successes that will no doubt be attributed to this outstanding group."

In 2012 writing participants were staffed on such series as ABC's "Nashville," "Malibu Country,""Private Practice," "Scandal," Disney Channel's "A.N.T. Farm," "Crash & Bernstein" and ABC Family's "Baby Daddy."

Since its inception in 1990, 261 writers have been selected for the writing program. Among its alumni are Jane Espenson, writer/co-executive producer, "Battlestar Galactica," "Once Upon a Time"; Veena Sud, writer/executive producer, "The Killing"; George Mastras, writer-producer, "Breaking Bad"; Samantha Humphrey, writer/producer, "Body of Proof"; Saladin Patterson, writer/co-executive producer, "Psych"; Maria Jacquemetton, writer/co-executive producer, "Mad Men"; Dailyn Rodriguez, writer/producer, "In Plain Sight"; and Peter Murrieta, writer/executive producer, "Level Up" and "Wizards of Waverly Place."

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