Past Winners

If any industry professionals would like to learn more about these writers or these scripts, please contact Tim Schildberger at tim@write-la.com.

 

The 2021 Write LA Grand Prize Winner

Mads Gauger & Christan Leonard – That Woman | Comedy Pilot

10 years after an affair with a married politician upended her life, Zoe Bauer decides to reclaim her narrative the only way she knows how - by running against him for Congress.

The 2021 Write LA Finalists

Michi Broman – Recovering | Pilot

When a devoted fly fisher living on the Yellowstone River is saddled with his six- year-old granddaughter, he risks his highly deliberate routine – and his sobriety – for a second chance at fatherhood.

Brandon Morganstein – Crutch | Comedy Pilot

When his go-to prostitute is murdered by a serial killer, a disabled veteran with delusions of grandeur ropes another escort and her bodyguard into helping him find the murderer – so long as he pays by the hour.

Joel David Santner – Tunnel Rat | Feature

A guilt-ridden physicist resurrects the hometown he destroyed decades ago inside a massive Time Sphere, giving himself just 27 hours to save his wife and son from nuclear catastrophe.

Steve Trebilcock – The Mirage of Normal | Feature

When an earthquake strands a socially-awkward teen with his best friend, a rebellious biker chick, and a troop of cub scouts, he must use his obsessive knowledge of Merit Badges to help them outrun a forest fire -- and a pissed off bear.

The 2021 Write LA Semifinalists

Sarah Casey – Buoy | Comedy Pilot

Maggie, recently fired and broke, resigns to live in her unexpectedly inherited yacht in a marina filled with a crew of wild seniors. 

Gabriel Cruz – The White Lobster | Drama Feature

In a small fishing village on the Caribbean Coast, a poor child diver believes his goodness has been rewarded with a magical powder that makes wishes come true – until he finds out that the powder is called “cocaine,” and that the way to get its reward is by selling it.

Joel Dahl – Confluence | TV Drama Pilot

In the aftermath of a nuclear war, two outdoor adventurists in love try to journey back to each other across thousands of miles. They must contend with the threats of the wilderness that prevails after the end of civilization, particularly the threat from the handful of other surviving humans.

Ari Frenkel – Wally's Last Day | Comedy Feature

Wally has decided that it’s his last day in town and his friends aren’t happy about it. When they join him on a final day of tasks, the world dramatically pulls Wally to stay and to go, although in the end, the decision may no longer be his to make.

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Avery Girion – Damsel | Comedy Pilot

When a true crime loving, life hating 20 something woman gets kidnapped into the drug ring of her dreams... she decides she might actually be down to be a part of it. 

Erin Leafe – Scoundrel | Drama Pilot

In 1831, four aristocrats have been shunned by society, so they seek revenge by opening the greatest gaming hall London has ever known. But what happens when their desire for revenge is replaced by a stronger desire- love? 

Alex May – Private Di | Comedy Pilot

After getting scammed out of $20,000, a newly retired school principal takes matters into her own hands to find the criminals responsible and stumbles upon a second career as a private investigator.

Adam Pasen and Sammy Horowitz – Musket and the Rat | Drama Feature

After her little brother is thrown in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, a young biracial woman must go on a violent mission across modern-day Chicago to raise the bail money before tragedy strikes.

Joel David Santner – The Coffin Club | Drama Feature

Overcome with grief after the death of his beloved wife, Herman J. Willow, a gruff Vietnam veteran, makes plans to join her by constructing his own coffin. When his nosy neighbor and the town's liberal-leaning pastor start building theirs in solidarity, Herman inadvertently creates a group of coffin-making misfits in their small Indiana town. 

Alex Williams – Starring Kip Donovan | Feature

Hollywood Summer 1963. A studio known for its low budget horror and science fiction movies takes a shot at the big time when they get the opportunity to make a musical set in a small town with a teen idol pop star.

 

The 2020 Write LA Grand Prize Winner

Nathan Dame – Fräulein Schreiber’s Mixtape | comedy pilot

A spirited young musician chases her dream of becoming a rock star, but she struggles to be taken seriously by the beatnik-hipster boys who rule the music scene in 1820s Vienna.

The 2020 Write LA Finalists

Johnny Gilligan – Savant | sci-fi pilot

When a troubled sketch artist with synesthesia begins seeing events from the past as holographic images, he teams up with a rough-and-ready private eye to crack unsolved cases — but an infamous physicist with similar powers has bigger plans for him.

Jackie Hedeman & Molly Olguin – Without Apology | drama feature

In 1944 England, a 16-year-old orphan just beginning to discover her true self is cast out of her best friend’s home, ending up in the employ of an aging aristocrat who infamously had an affair with Oscar Wilde.

Justin Olson – Ephemeral | sci-fi pilot

A guilt-ridden physicist resurrects the hometown he destroyed decades ago inside a massive Time Sphere, giving himself just 27 hours to save his wife and son from nuclear catastrophe.

Matthew White – Tension | thriller feature

Stranded at the top of a 2,000-foot TV tower when a cable snaps, a by-the-book trainee must get herself and her injured instructor to safety before the whole tower comes down.

The 2020 Write LA Semifinalists

Carmela Corbett – The Stand-In | comedy pilot

A British actress and accidental murderer gets blackmailed into the role of a lifetime as the First Lady’s body double at the White House.

Rhonda Deskins – Ellie’s Tale | horror feature

Inspired by true events, a free Black woman in antebellum New Orleans must summon all her strength when the city’s most infamous slave owner traps her in a house of horrors.

James Foye – Revolutionary Spy | historical feature

Based on a true story from the Revolutionary War, a heroic slave agrees to act as Lafayette’s spy behind British enemy lines.

Steve Garvin – Hunter Killer | drama pilot

Assigned to a new unit following D-Day, a war-weary captain must pinpoint which of his new soldiers is a ruthless serial killer — before the killer comes after him.

Clark Kosene – Holy Land | comedy pilot

At the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem — one of the holiest sites in Christianity — an Ethiopian Orthodox monk tries to get the various faith leaders who share the building to agree on much-needed renovations, but no one has agreed on anything in about 800 years.

Gabriela Ortega – Accidental Feminist | comedy pilot

Rejected from her dream job at a news magazine for not having enough “edge,” a model-minority rule follower takes a gig at a radical feminist magazine and quickly learns that rule-breaking is easier said than done.

Deborah Riley – A Couple of Months | drama feature

A young couple struggles to accept the death of their toddler to leukemia — and the unplanned conception of a new baby.

Tom Savage – Moving the Goalposts | sports feature

A team of semi-pro English footballers head to the smallest island nation in the world to help launch a national team, but things become more complicated when they learn that the island’s best player is imprisoned in an offshore immigration detention center.

Andrew Stussie – Jump | action comedy feature

In the near future, a wise-cracking cop with a reckless streak must teleport across the globe when someone he wronged kidnaps his wife.

Michael Webber – Organics | comedy pilot

Stuck on survivor hunting duty in the American Southwest, two dysfunctional robots stumble upon a group of humans who are way cooler than their overlords led them to believe, so they decide to switch sides.

 

The 2019 Write LA Grand Prize Winners

 

Nick Alverson  –  CHICAGO PIZZA | half hour pilot

After a beloved co-worker dies in the line of duty, a hot-shot pizza delivery crew faced with the biggest order of their lives must get in their gas-guzzling clunkers, fire up the pizza oven after-burners, and prove that the most important ingredient in a pizza… is teamwork.

 

Paula Dixon  –  THE TRUE STORY OF THE SS REX | half hour pilot

In 1938, a self-made millionaire and his gutsy right-hand woman team up to run a gambling ship off the coast of Los Angeles.

 

Clint Williams  –  FREEDOM FORT  | feature, historical action/adventure

Two runaway slaves escape to a fort abandoned by the British and start leading daring raids in search of one man’s wife, but their hope for a new beginning shatters when US troops attack. Based on true events.  

The 2019 Write LA Finalists and Semifinalists

 

Carrie Anderson – ON WATER | feature, true drama – FINALIST

Robbed of her Olympic dream by cancer, a rowing champion meets an African American boy who wishes he could try the sport she loves and together they take on Philadelphia’s establishment to create a rowing club for inner-city kids. Based on a true story.

 

Sabrina Besla – ANGRY JUNE | hour pilot

June Stone has anger management problems – living life through her manic, psychotic, sinister id hasn’t helped. Her twisted view on reality becomes much worse when she inherits the family business: the biggest record label in America.

 

Pedro Bonano – WOLF MOTHER | feature, horror comedy – FINALIST

A pair of brothers working the same drug bust must protect the city and save their relationship when the drugs turn out to be a serum used to raise a powerful werewolf.

 

Joe Brukner – KHAN | hour pilot

In the wake of his shocking death, Genghis Khan’s illegitimate favorite daughter faces off against his heirs as they battle for control of his empire.

 

Sarah Casey – ARRANGEMENTS | hour pilot – FINALIST

A death-obsessed tomboy grows up above a small-town Kentucky funeral home run by a controlling widow and her recovering-alcoholic sister in law — who’s secretly in love with her. 

 

Michael Corleone – I SEE YOU | half hour pilot – FINALIST

After stumbling into an outgoing but completely invisible woman, an introverted college student reluctantly agrees to help her unravel the secrets behind her mysterious circumstances. 

 

Justin Moran – RUST | hour pilot – FINALIST

While scraping out a living in the asteroid belt, a crew of hard-luck miners happen upon an old shipwreck that catapults them into the path of bounty hunters, terrorists, and a massive mining conglomerate set on keeping old mistakes buried.

 

Matthew Neff – SIGHT SINGING | half hour pilot

Two clueless yet confident college A Capella singers navigate their way through auditions, rehearsals, kidnapping, manslaughter, and other everyday hijinks.

 

Craig Peters – THE MYTHICAL GOLDEN TROUT | feature, comedy

When a cash-strapped family camping in the Sierras discovers a huge nugget of gold, they’re forced to flee into the wilderness to evade the local police chief and his posse of clueless misfits who will stop at nothing to steal it from them.

 

Tom Santos – EXPATRIADOS | hour pilot

After the occupation and dissolution of the US, an American refugee living in Mexico investigates the disappearances of her fellow expatriados — all the while battling haunting memories of her journey to the border. 

 

Sai Saripella – BURGERS AND BIRYANI | half hour pilot

A liberal-minded couple elope to California and start their family, but years later, their home becomes the site of a cultural tug-of-war when the wife’s traditional Indian parents move in.

 

Delraj Takher – CONVERSATIONS WITH THE NIGHT DEMON | feature, mockumentary

A documentarian finds himself at the center of a deadly game of one-upmanship when his intended subject — the feared but dull Midwest Strangler — and a sophisticated new serial killer vie for his attention.

 

The 2018 Write LA Grand Prize Winners

 

Jonathan Dillon  –  Artificial  (feature)

An amnesia-ridden survivor of a pandemic virus wakes up in a high-tech house being nursed by a mysterious woman, but when her secrets begin to unravel, he must do everything he can to get out alive.

Jeff Patneaude  –  Rogues  (hour pilot)

In corrupt 19th century New York, a brilliant criminal’s quest for vengeance is thrown into chaos when he assists in a Pinkerton investigation, forcing him to choose a side of the law before his two worlds collide.

Jenna Wycoff  –  Vamp  (half-hour pilot)

Faced with a rare blood cancer, a recently widowed Latina mom doubles down on her parental devotion by making a soul-sucking underground arrangement to extend her life, despite some eternal consequences…  

The Write LA Finalists and Semifinalists

Nick Alverson  –  Strength  (half-hour pilot)

After reading a candy wrapper fortune, an ambitious civil engineer suddenly becomes physically stronger than her male co-workers and uses her newfound power to show her sexist boss why she belongs on the firm’s huge new project.

Ryan Braund  –  Screenplay.exe  (feature)

An obsessive programmer begins to question his reality and his sanity when the artificially super-intelligent computer he creates bristles against its isolation and does whatever it takes to gain its freedom.

Michi Broman  –  Palm Beach Arcade  (hour pilot)

When a tech executive inherits a hard-core porn store, worlds collide as she finds power and autonomy in adult entertainment while simultaneously being forced to work for the biggest misogynist in Silicon Valley. 

Michelle Davidson & Jeffrey Field  –  No Man’s Land  (feature – FINALIST)

In a future where males are rare and mature into lethal monsters, a spunky teenage rebel begins an ill-fated love affair with a fugitive boy on the brink of his transformation.

Natalie DeJohn & Chandra Wicke  –  Room For Rent  (half-hour pilot)

A sarcastic mommy blogger reluctantly confronts her insecurities about marriage and motherhood when financial troubles force her to rent her spare room to an old college frenemy.   

Jeffrey Field  –  Waiting Games  (feature)

A charismatic liar who spins elaborate yarns to strangers in hospital waiting rooms concocts a scheme to help a grieving mother deal with the disappearance of her twin daughters.

Chris Howlett  –  Last Clip  (feature)

A covert NSA operative working the Mexican border must overcome his growing aversion to the killing his profession requires in order to stop two hundred tons of uranium from hitting the black market. 

Francisco Infante  –  Safe Rides  (half-hour pilot – FINALIST)

In the era of Myspace and flip phones, a loner eager to leave high school behind is forced to volunteer for a designated driver program and — with a rag-tag group of outcasts — spend his weekends saving his reckless peers from a wide range of bad choices.

Meredith Levine & Andrew Stone  –  The Mentor  (feature – FINALIST)

When their publisher places them in direct competition, writer Henry James betrays his close friend and protege, Edith Wharton, by convincing a lothario journalist to seduce her, putting both their careers and their friendship in serious danger.

Jeff Patneaude  –  Point Roberts  (hour pilot)

Shortly after 9/11 in an isolated Northwest border town, an insecure Middle Eastern teenager must uncover the truth behind his father’s disappearance before it’s buried by the mysterious residents he once thought he knew.

Huey Pham  –  The Operator  (feature)

After years of trying to prove herself in the military, a strong-but-traumatized veteran of the Afghan War must help save the kidnapped officer who always blamed her for her brother’s death — her father.

Leah Pollack  –  Marked  (hour pilot)

In the wake of the Civil War, a paranormal scientist, a mysterious nomad, and a hardened federal marshal come together in the hunt for the Wolf of the West, a feared murderer believed to conjure black magic.

Roger Rosenberger  –  John Camino – Wartime Memories in a World of Peace  (feature)

In the not too distant future, a supersoldier’s guiding-chip malfunctions, forcing him to figure out who he was, define who he wants to be, and determine what the world will become. 

Joshua Singer  –  I Call Shotgun  (feature – FINALIST)

A 17-year-old mama’s boy who’s afraid of anything that might hinder his 6pm curfew gets kidnapped in an Uber by an infamous crook — a septuagenarian wild woman — and quickly goes from bumbling captive to confident armed accomplice.

Grace Stewart  –  The Bunkers  (half-hour pilot)

A headstrong teenager tries — and mostly fails — to fit in with her suburban high school peers while coming of age in a family of kooky survivalists who want nothing more than to live off the grid. 

Zachary Tomlinson  –  Desert 10  (hour pilot – FINALIST)

On an Iraqi Army base, three female soldiers — a wide-eyed rookie, a jaded nurse, and a hardened Ranger — must come together to take down a terrorist threat that goes all the way to the top of the military industrial machine.  

Lou Wollin  –  The Stand-Up  (half-hour pilot)

A ballsy comic goes in search of the mom she hasn’t seen for seven years in a last-ditch effort to keep her wealthy father from having her mom declared dead, clearing the way to marry a much-younger supermodel.