sign up for news and updates  
about us projects events press resources contact donate

Military Caregivers Share Their Stories from the Helen Deutsch Writing Workshops
January 2, 2013

NEW YORK CITY-- Since 2008, The Writers Guild of America, East Foundation has worked with hundreds of military veterans as part of our Helen Deutsch Writing Workshops. In 2011, the program focused its efforts on caregivers, who were equally affected by the wars but more often overlooked and very isolated. The first caregivers workshop was held in June 2011, where over two days, twenty of the country’s most celebrated novelists, playwrights, screenwriters and television writers served as mentors and gave space for exploration of storytelling in all its forms. The mentors gave guidance and support, and observed as the caregivers discussed their experiences, found their unique voice, and bonded together in mutual respect and support.

During the follow-up workshop in November 2011, the caregivers had the opportunity not only to write, to but to share their stories via conversation with documentary filmmaker and WGAE Foundation board member, Lulie Haddad. Click above to listen to their stories in their own words.

To read more about this workshop, please click here. For more information about the Helen Deutsch Writing Workshops, please click here.

Military Caregiver Wins Writing Contest

Trista, a participant in our May 2014 Caregivers Writing Workshop, won a contest from Six Words Memoir. Six Words, from SMITH Magazine, gives people the opportunity to tell the story of their life, some part of it or all of it - in exactly six words.

Trista entered the competition for the top six words for Memorial Day - and won with her piece, "All gave some. I gave me."

She developed the piece during the workshop under the mentorship of Richard Dresser and Kate Erickson. For more information about Six Words and Trista's win, please go here. Congrats Trista!

The Writers Guild Initiative Board of Directors invites you to our inaugural benefit gala!

The Initiative engages 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. The evening will benefit WGI's programs that help people coping with unimaginable challenges tell their stories, including our important work with wounded veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and their caregivers. To read more and purchase tickets, please click here.

Writing Workshop for those affected by Hurricane Sandy
Reported by The Ocean Star
September 27, 2013
By Kimberly Mollo

Photo credit: Sueanne Goss, Star News Group

POINT PLEASANT BEACH, NJ - While it is true the Jersey Shore was, by and large, open for business this summer, many homeowners are still picking up the pieces of their ravaged properties 11 months after Hurricane Sandy struck the area. The Writers Guild Initiative, a volunteer-run foundation that stems from the Writers Guild of America [East], hopes to bring some relief to those residents by hosting a writers workshop in Point Pleasant Beach in November.

Residents in Point Pleasant Beach, Point Pleasant Borough, Bay Head, Mantoloking and Lavallette, as well as their neighbors in Manasquan and Brielle, are invited to participate in the Writers Guild Initiative’s Hurricane Sandy Writing Workshop.

The workshop will be held on Saturday, Nov. 16, and Sunday, Nov. 17, in Point Pleasant Beach — specifically, in either G. Harold Antrim Elementary School or in Point Pleasant Beach High School, depending on the amount of space needed.

The workshop will be run by a team of professional writers, from novelists to screenwriters to television and Broadway wordsmiths. The goal of the two-day workshop is to provide a safe, pressure-free environment for people directly affected by Hurricane Sandy to explore writing as a creative outlet for their thoughts and feelings.

Participants must be local residents over the age of 18 who have an interest in exploring the craft of writing.

No prior experience is required, and the workshop is free of charge for all interested.

Please read more here.

If you would like to donate towards the Sandy Writing Workshop, please donate online via the link below. You can also write a check made payable to the Writers Guild Initiative, 250 Hudson Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10013. Thank you!


PencilPALS going strong in three schools

October 10, 2013

NEW YORK - The Writers Guild Initiative, in partnership with the SAG Foundation, is excited to kick-off PencilPALS for 2013! We are currently involved in three schools across New York City, PS 255 - Barbara Reing School in Brooklyn, PS 111M - Adolph S. Ochs School in Manhattan, and PS 16Q - The Nancy DeBenedittis School in Queens. We're partnering with three classrooms and over 60 students to develop their reading and writing skills and sharpen their creativity. PALS will have, over the course of the school year, opportunities to write letters to each other, having a pen-pal relationship. Happy writing PALS!

Featuring recent Collyer Fellow - Antal Zambo
July 16, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - The July 16 Screenplay Reading at Lincoln Center featured Gordon Rayfield's comedic script 99 FAKE STREET, which was selected from dozens of scripts submitted by WGAE members. The dramatic screenplay, WHEN THE SPARROWS COME HOME, is the work of Antal Zambo, the 2010 Collyer Fellow who worked under the mentorship of Marshall Brickman.

Both works were warmly received thanks to skillful casting by Caroline Sinclair and direction by Susane Lee. Participating actors included Anthrax bassist Frank Bello and Sopranos co-stars Oksana Lada and Will Janowitz.

- Name Change Reflects New Vision and Mission To Develop Writers -

NEW YORK CITY - The Writers Guild of America, East Foundation has changed its name -- it is now called the Writers Guild Initiative (WGI). The name change is part of a rebranding that recognizes the organization's long time proactive and focused mission: "to perpetuate the art and craft of storytelling, either by professionals or amateurs, through education and practical experience, on local, national, and global levels." The Initiative's programs are designed to reach various populations and help them to find their unique voice as writers.

“To grade schoolers, high school and college students, to the military to caregivers of the wounded, and even to medical personnel who treat them, we have volunteered our skills. We share our enthusiasm and knowledge. We encourage. We support. As our new name proudly acknowledges, we take the initiative,” explains Michael Weller, president of the Writers Guild Initiative.

In addition to its rebranding, the Writers Guild Initiative also named Jenna Jackson as Director of Operations and Communications. Jenna will co-ordinate development, marketing, and oversight of the Initiative’s programs, and manage day-to-day operations of the Initiative. To read more, please click here.

Interested in Volunteering with the Writers Guild of America, East Foundation? Please review our project section to see if you'd like to participate. Contact us at to sign up and find out more.