My Interviews with 34 Nicholl Fellowship Screenwriting Winners

The Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition is the most important of all screenplay contests. Founded in 1986, it is administered by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and previous winners have included Allison Anders, Susannah Grant, Ehren Kruger, Michael A. Rich, and many others who have gone on to careers in the film and television business.

Since 2012, I have made it a point to seek out each year’s Nicholl winners for interviews. Why? Two reasons. First, to analyze their winning script and creative process to see what we, as writers, can learn from them. Second, to get a snapshot of writers at the front end of their professional careers. While I definitely enjoy interviewing established writers, there is something unique about catching a writer as they transition from aspiring to working writer.

Here are links to interviews I have conducted with 34 Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting winners including all of them from 2012–2018:


Destin Daniel Cretton


Nikole Beckwith
Sean Robert Daniels
James DiLapo
Allan Durand
Michael Werwie


Frank DeJohn & David Alton Hedges
Patty Jones
Alan Roth
Stephanie Shannon
Barbara Stepansky


Sam Baron
Alisha Brophy & Scott Miles
Melissa Iqbal
Sallie West


Elizabeth Chomko
Andrew Friedhof
Anthony Grieco
Sam Regnier
Amy Tofte


Michele Atkins
Spencer and Lloyd Harvey
Geeta Malik
Elizabeth Oyebode
Justin Piasecki


Jen Bailey and Max Lance
Vigil Chime
Kristen Gray-Rockmaker
Sarah Jane Inwards
Cesar Vitale


Allison and Nicholas Buckmelter
Joey Clarke, Jr.
Grace Sherman
Wenonah Wilms

If you are an aspiring screenwriter, there is a lot of wisdom in these interviews. Read them. Learn from them.

In the meantime…

Keep writing.




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