Inaugural Native American Writers Seminar – Recap

Inaugural Native American Writers Seminar – Recap

The Native American Media Alliance selected seven fellows for the Inaugural Native American Writers Seminar, presented by the Cherokee Nation Film Office.

     The Inaugural Native American Writers Seminar is a multi-day workshop that focused on the development of an existing script and provided preparation for submission to writing fellowships. The workshop offered new tools for Native American writers to better compete as a creative and prepared them for professional opportunities. Instructors, speakers, and mentors in the workshop offered insight into creative development, personal branding and discussed the writing landscape from their experienced perspective.

     Guest speakers and mentors were recruited from the industry’s most well-known brands. Mentors included creative executives from Bad Robot, Skydance, Powderkeg and showrunners from current series on CBS and ABC. Speakers from writing development programs and contests included the Nicholls Fellowship, the Big Break Competition and the Sesame Street Writers Room initiative.

    The purpose of the seminar is to further empower Native Americans to develop their writing craft and provide insight into the film and television industry. This seminar also helped participants prepare a developed writing sample that bolstered their fellowship opportunities.

The 2021 Native American Writer Seminar fellows:

Sienna Camille (Navajo)

Camaray Davalos (Payómkawichum/Xicana)

Neyom Friday (Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma)

Julia Morgan Leatham (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma)

Lewayne “Buddy” McQueen (Ely Shosone Tribe)

Kat Smith (Eagle Clan of the Tsimshian Tribe)

Meilani Wenska (Hawaiian)

     The Native American Writers Seminar was created to develop emerging writers and expand the number of Native Americans writing for film and television. Native Americans continue to maintain the lowest representation of writers on current television series.