DEVELOPMENT

SLATE

Presenting Our Selection of 111 Emerging Writers

The ISA is proud to announce our current Development Slate. Writers are considered for the Slate by invitation only.

Valerie spent her first six years of life in Chicago, until her parents uprooted her to a small Oklahoma ranch without her permission. She eventually made her way to Los Angeles to work as a game designer and digital artist, where she made the terrifying realization that she wanted to be a screenwriter when she grew up. She has been writing ever since. She's a UCLA Diane Thomas Award Winner and Top Ten Finalist, 2018 Page Finalist and 2017 Page Semi-Finalist, two-time Nicholl Quarterfinalist, and Chesterfield Semi-Finalist. Her first produced film, the crime thriller “The Assassin's Code,” premiered to sold-out crowds at the 42nd Annual Cleveland International Film Festival in April 2018, with its theatrical/VOD release in May. She's currently writing a coming-of-age/coming-out story disguised as a...
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I am a former journalist excited to launch a screenwriting career. In 2015, I was blessed to be one of the ISA's first mentees in its "Fast Track" program. I have written seven screenplays and a short film that I also produced. Called "The True Story of Hammond VanOchre and His Amazing Flying Steampig," the film was completed in the spring of 2016. In 2017, the film won the winter quarter award for best sci-fi/fantasy at the Southern Shorts Film Festival in Georgia. In 2019, I earned my MFA in screenwriting from DePaul University.
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Writing elevated thrillers and stories of adventure and transformation, David Keith Miller's 17 produced screenplays include WRITTEN IN BLOOD with Peter Coyote, TIME LAPSE with Roy Scheider and THE GLASS CAGE with Eric Roberts. He presently has three scripts under option.His newest spec THE ASSASSIN'S DAUGHTER received "Recommend" coverage from Screenplayreaders.com.His comic thriller DOUBLE INDIANA won the Texas Film Institute screenplay competition quarterfinaled in the 2016-2017 Launch Pad and Fresh Voices competitions with a Spotlight Award nomination for Best Dialogue, and won him a mentorship with a-list scribe Andrew Baldwin. His historical drama THE BOOK OF REVENGE won Best in Genre in Table Read My Screenplay's 2015 L.A. competition, won Coverage, Ink's "Get Repped Now" 2015 competition, was a...
  A former ballerina, published fiction author and sometimes film instructor at the University of Notre Dame, Devi is a proud alumnus of AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women and invited participant to the 2017 inaugural AFI/Fox Studios Bridge program. Her screenplays have placed in such competitions as the Nicholl Fellowships, Slamdance and PAGE Awards, and her films have screened at over 500 festivals worldwide, garnering awards, distribution and critical acclaim. When she’s not writing and directing, she chases monkeys around the world with her anthropologist partner. She is also a co-founder/writer of Beyond the Bechdel, a newly launched feminist cinema blog.  
MARK ROBERTSON is an established and prolific writer on many UK TV series, including SHAUN THE SHEEP and CHOP-SOCKY CHOOKS (Aardman Animation); DENNIS AND GNASHER (BBC/Red Kite); and MY SPY FAMILY (Cartoon Network/Kindle). More recently, Mark branched out into writing screenplays, and was subsequently awarded a place on the UK’s Guiding Lights mentoring scheme. During the scheme he was mentored by Sir Kenneth Branagh on THE WOODCUTTER, a dark, fairytale-themed horror screenplay. The script has since been shortlisted in several screenwriting competitions and was awarded a runner-up place in the horror/thriller category of the Screenplay Festival Competition. Soon after, Mark secured a further place on the Edinburgh Film Festival’s Talent Lab training scheme, during which a superhero comedy pitch of his...
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JOE KISCH

Joe is an amateur screenwriter who has won awards for short screenplays and has placed highly for several of his feature films over the last six years. One feature script, Swimming Against the Currents, won second place in the Drama Genre (Category 1) of the Filmmakers International Screen Writing Competition in 2007. Other screenplays – like Barrio Chino, Devil’s Machine, and Emily made the semi-finals of the Blue Cat International Screenwriting Competition 2009, the quarter-finals of Story Pros Screenwriting Competition in 2010, semi-final status in the Story Pro International Screenwriting Competition 2009, semi-finalist in Blue Cat Screenwriting Competition in 2010, top 100 in the Emerging Screenwriters Awards, quarter-finalist in the Nicholls Awards 2010 (top 15%), and quarter-finals...

Erik Adolphson

Erik Adolphson has been a thousand things. He has been a deck hand aboard a clipper ship, raced camels across the Sahara, summited mountain peaks, flown a Russian fighter jet, saved a life, lost and found love, been in a couple of fights and even won one, but all he ever really wanted to do was tell stories. A writer and film lover from a young age, Erik created an independent films studies course at his high school, a course still offered to students today. In college, he wrote and directed his first short film, the award winning Mourning Toast, which would be featured on the PBS program Independent Lens. After moving to Los Angeles, Erik found work in unscripted television as a Story Producer, his goal was still the same, find and tell a good story.  His work would lead...
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Rob Burke got his start in the world of make believe as a drama major at Colorado College. He then went on to law school and became a partner in a law firm where he specialized in defending clients in catastrophic loss cases. Recently, however, he left the legal world behind in order to pursue his true passion - creative writing. As both a playwright and screenwriter, he has created works that have been seen on stages and festivals in the U.S., UK, and Dubai.
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Maddy Curley is a writer, actress and producer, who has been in numerous films and television shows, including: Stick It with Jeff Bridges, CSI:NY, Party Down, The Office, Cold Case and Casual. She most recently co-wrote and co-produced the feature film Chalk It Up with her writing partner, Brooke Buffington. Chalk It Up became a financial success when Netflix licensed it for both domestic and international release. As writers, Maddy and Brooke have won, been finalists or semi-finalists in all of the major competitions: Nicholl, Script Pipeline, Scriptapalooza, Page Awards, Fresh Voices and the CWA Awards. They were selected to be 2017 ISA Fellows, and their 1-hour pilot Division One (D1) was featured by The Black List hosting site after receiving high ratings and reviews. This year they’ve met with a Senior...
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BIO   Anthony Smith is a musician, educator and author, who has performed throughout the U.S. and also in Europe, Asia and South America. Anthony has published two books; most recently "Masters of the VIbes," which features conversations with the world's greatest living jazz vibraphonists. Anthony also has released many recordings, and his double CD titled "Play It Forward" made it into Billboard's Top Twenty jazz albums.     Anthony has given lectures and conducted workshops on both coasts, and also in Germany and Italy. He currently serves on the music faculty at San Diego State University, where he teaches piano, jazz percussion and composition.    Anthony has written several complete feature screenplays, a musical, and a dramatic two-act play based on the life and music of...
Peter Jang was born in Columbus, OH where he earned 5 National Champion titles in Taekwondo. At 18, he attended the University of California, San Diego, earning a BA in Economics. After graduating, Peter was introduced to the film industry where he became an extra and stand-in, then a full-time actor and stuntman, and now an award winning screenwriter and director. He was named the 2017 Grand Prize Winner of the International Screenwriter's Association's Emerging Screenwriter's Screenplay Competition and one of their "Top 25 Writers To Look Out For In 2019". He now resides in Los Angeles, CA.
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Valerie Bischoff is a film director and writer whose humanistic stories about outsiders from the modern American West have garnered awards and recognition. Her short film “Derby Kings,” (2012) about Native American demolition derby drivers, won the prestigious 2011 Princess Grace Graduate Film Scholarship and premiered at the 2013 Palm Springs Short Film Festival. After after a successful festival run, “Derby Kings,” was acquired by the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian. Her short film “Veterans,” (2010) an unsentimental day in the life of a woman working as a career prostitute in a Nevada brothel, won the Adrienne Shelly Award for Best Female Director and screened internationally. Bischoff’s documentary credits include MTV’s “Rebel Music: Native...
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I graduated from the University of Nebraska in 2014 with a degree in Film and New Media. During my time in school, I earned the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences internship in the comedy writing department where I got to work in the writers' room of the Nickelodeon show "Instant Mom." After that, my short film, "Applesauce," won The Audience Choice Last Laugh award at Seattle's NFFTY Film Festival, the largest youth festival in the world. After graduation, I was an adjunct professor in the screenwriting department at the University and eventually made the move out to LA where I've been working on various television, sketch and short film scripts. In January I was selected to have a live table read at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival through the Table Read My Screenplay...
Phil Yuhas is an award-winning screenwriter and tireless supporter of animal welfare causes.  His short script, TRUE BLUE, a story about loyalty intended to promote shelter dog adoptions, won first place in contests sponsored by the Nashville, Vail and New York City Independent film festivals.  Phil’s writing credits include the short films CALOGERO’S DAY OFF and PRAYING ON THE RAIN.  Among his feature scripts, THE CROCKETTVILLE KID was a Nicholl semifinalist and Page Awards finalist, CHEATERS was a Nicholl quarterfinalist, and DAVY’S LOCKER won the Scriptwriters Network POP Award.  His short script GOLDDIGGER won first place in the Movie Script Contest.  Phil is near completion on his latest feature script, ROCKY ROAD, a coming-of-age drama that explores the...
Jason M. Vaughn’s science-fiction-drama screenplay (now titled THE GREEN SEA) was a grand-prize winner in the 2012 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition.  It is being developed with Matthew G. Zamias of Picturesque Films.  Jason’s psychological indie thriller, EXXIE, however, was most responsible for landing him on ISA’s Development Slate, after their Director of Community Outreach, Max Timm, in his generosity, took a chance on a writer he didn't even know and read the first draft.  Jason has since workshopped EXXIE with Gordy Hoffman (founder of the BlueCat Screenplay Competition).  In between working on several short scripts, and his other current feature projects (INTERLOPERS; PATSY; and SWAY), Jason is also writing short fiction and reworking his literary science-fiction...
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Rachel Liebling is an award-winning filmmaker specializing in music, arts, and biographic subjects. Her dramatic television series Transit of Venus was a featured project at Stowe Story Labs, and won a fellowship from ISA. Her music feature, High Lonesome - The Story of Bluegrass Music, lauded as "Enthralling" by The New York Times, was one of six films selected for Tribeca Films 2013 touring series: "American Music: From Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway," alongside Martin Scorsese's, Blues: Feel Like Going Home, and Ken Burns’,  Jazz: Swing, The Velocity of Celebration. Several of Liebling's screenplays have been developed for production, including Grievous Angel, a dramatic feature about country-rock legend Gram Parsons, and The Devil's Dream, a dramatic feature adapted from traditional American murder...
I'm an award-winning screenwriter. Sold 5 scripts. 5 published books. My book on how to write screenplays went to #1 on Amazon Kindle. You can learn more...    www.ScreenwriterDave.com
Ryan P. Shrime's screenplay, PLEASE DON'T DIE, ROGER BERMAN, just won 3rd place out of 2000 submissions in the Emerging Screenwriters Feature competition.Ryan has been acting, writing, and producing since he graduated from Harvard University with an honors degree in Economics. Having made numerous appearances in film and television, he is a graduate of the three-year Meisner training program at the William Esper Studio in New York, and has also studied at Berg Studios and the Lesly Kahn Studio in Los Angeles, the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre both in New York and Los Angeles, with the Michael Checkhov Acting Studio in New York, the American Repertory Theater in Boston and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. He co-wrote/created/executive produced the acclaimed web series, Bathroomies, produced The...
David Sullivan grew up homeschooled and intensely isolated in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. Knowing this hardly qualified him to write about the world, he decided to travel it first. He taught English in Hong Kong, worked as a deckhand in the Mediterannean, and generally followed in the idea of life etched on the page once upon a time by guys like Hemingway and Melville. He has been an ISA Stowe Story Labs Fellow and a Finalist for the Warner Bros. Television Writers' Workshop.
Ned wrote and directed his third feature film, THE AERIALIST in 2018, and is looking forward to it's release in the fall of 2019.   in 2019 Ned was named one of the ISA's Top 25 Writers to Watch.   Ned's teleplay TIN KICKERS won the ISA Fellowship in the Spring of 2018.   His horror screenplay HURRICANE PARTY was optioned by Alive Entertainment in 2019.   Ned’s screenplay COASTLINE finished in the top ten of Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope Screenwriting Contest 2014.      His second feature film A MARINE STORY, about the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell law, premiered in June 2010 and won 20 film festival awards. David Weigand of the San Francisco Chronicle writes: “This film...