2016 Television Writers

  • Dayo Adesokan


    Dayo Adesokan was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and spent most of his childhood watching satellite re-runs of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. In 1997, his family won the visa lottery at next to nothing odds and moved to Chicago, Illinois where he spent his adolescence listening to Eddie Murphy albums. After completing degrees in Business and Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, he started working in finance and was covertly listening to comedy albums to get through the day. After realizing he could contribute to his childhood passion, he moved to New York to pursue stand-up and comedy writing full-time. Shortly thereafter, he was named a finalist in the Austin Film Festival for his 30 Rock spec script. The following year, he was accepted into the CBS Writers Mentoring Program and moved to Los Angeles on ten days' notice. After completing the program, he worked as a personal assistant to writer/director/producer Salim Akil and on-set Script Coordinator for BET's Being Mary Jane. Most recently, Dayo was writing, directing, and producing a sketch comedy podcast titled PC on the Radio.

  • Amanda Idoko


    Amanda Idoko was raised by a "superhero single mother" in the Bronx, New York. Growing up as one of seven, Amanda had to develop her own distinct voice to be heard through the inevitable chaos that came with a crowded house and she was known as the theatre geek in her family. Despite her love for the arts, Amanda was always expected to be a doctor, so when she was accepted to Cornell University she started as a Pre-Med Biology major. However, after two years of pushing through the sciences, Amanda changed her major from Biology to Theatre Arts and began pursuing her childhood dream of telling stories. Since graduating, Amanda has written and produced several plays and shorts, as well as a comedic web series titled Escaping Single, which is about one woman's epic journey to ditch her single lady status. Her specs - Parks & Rec, New Girl, The Mindy Project - and her pilot Third Shift, an ensemble comedy about a group of NYC artists working the graveyard shift at a corporate law firm, have all placed in the annual Austin Film Festival. Prior to joining the Disney|ABC Writing Program, Amanda was the writers' P.A. on the Fox series Bones.

  • Andrew Mathieson


    Andrew Mathieson was born in Fairfax County, Virginia to an economist and an educator. Being in close proximity to the nation’s capital, Andrew's childhood was shaped by D.C. area politics and a close-knit group of friends who were the children of US military soldiers, government employees and foreign nationals. After graduating from Haverford College with a B.A. in English, he worked for The American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO and an immigration law firm before finding his true calling in television. He has since worked on such programs as Best Week Ever, The Simpsons' 20th Anniversary Special, Weather: Caught on Camera, and Doomsday Preppers. In his free time he's illustrated two Chinese books and written a novel about teenagers with superpowers.

  • Ron McCants


    Ron McCants was raised in Springfield, Missouri, in a large family with nine siblings. Ron was drawn to the power of the written word in high school after writing a counter-hegemonic oratorical essay in response to his father’s legal prosecution over a class-action lawsuit. Since then, Ron frequently writes gritty original dramas that explore the human condition at the junction of crime and family and focusing on serving lesser-heard and still striving voices like his father’s. Ron’s experience in financial planning, information management and biotechnological engineering often informs his creative work. He has a B.A. in Engineering Sciences from Dartmouth College and an M.F.A. in Playwriting from UCSD. As a multiple award-winning playwright, Ron has had his work produced in Los Angeles, New York and London and is a recipient of the Fred Rogers Memorial Scholarship in which he had two children’s television pilots produced.

  • Miguel Ian Raya


    Growing up, Miguel Ian Raya collected his thoughts and ideas in several notebooks hoping to be a writer but chose to follow the “safe route” majoring in economics at Pomona College and getting a Juris Doctorate at USC. To follow his calling, Miguel started as an assistant at the William Morris Agency in the Talent Department and later went to work for Academy and Emmy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer. Wanting to be a storyteller full-time, Miguel took another step on his journey enrolling in graduate school at Columbia University. He received an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing and earned scholarships from the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts and a Richard Rodgers Scholarship while writing a musical adaptation of E.L. Koningsburg's From The Mixed Up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. After graduate school, he interned for Academy Award-winning writer/director Michel Gondry following him back to Los Angeles while working as his apprentice on The Green Hornet starring Seth Rogen. Miguel later landed the position of Showrunner’s Assistant to Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz on ABC’s Once Upon A Time. Most recently he was promoted to Writers' Assistant on the Kitsis/Horowitz Freeform pilot Dead of Summer.

  • Janine Salinas Schoenberg


    Growing up between Lima, Peru and Walnut Creek, CA, Janine often felt like a fish out of water and found herself relating to such characters on television shows such as Punky Brewster and The Facts of Life. After winning an essay contest in grade school, Janine knew she was destined to become a writer. While attending UC Santa Cruz, she began writing plays and teaching creative writing and theatre in juvenile halls and women's prisons. She then went on to work as an advocate for victims of domestic violence in California's Central Valley and founded a support group for teenage mothers. She has a M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from USC, was a Quarterfinalist for the Academy Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting, and was awarded a fellowship from the MacDowell Colony, the oldest artists’ colony in the United States. Since then, she has been an active playwright in the L.A. theatre community as well as continuing to work as a writer/director. Janine has been a Project Involve Fellow through Film Independent, and a participant in the AFI Directing Workshop for Women where she won the 2014 Nancy Malone Award in Directing, for her short film, Jenny & Lalo about star-crossed lovers that belong to rival gangs in East L.A. She also had the privilege of participating in the 2014 Sundance Institute Screenwriters Intensive and the 2015 National Hispanic Media Coalition Television Writers Program.

  • Christina Walker


    Christina Walker was born on a Naval base in Japan and raised in the military town of Virginia Beach, VA where her film projectionist father introduced her to the wonders of cinema. She earned her first bachelor’s degree from Henderson State University, where she majored in Mass Media and minored in Writing. From there she worked in television news production for each of the major affiliates in several states across the country. Yearning to return to her true passion, writing, she studied Film with a concentration in Screenwriting and earned a second bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago. Her final class, a television immersion semester in L.A., planted the seed for a switch from features to television. After working for several different studios in post production she became a 2014 Finalist for the Disney|ABC Writing Program. She continued to build on this success by working in television post production on The Killing, Stitchers and the pilot Guilt and as the writers' assistant on Powers. Prior to joining the 2016 Disney/ABC Writing Program, Christina was the writers' production assistant on NCIS: Los Angeles where she received guidance and direction from the writers as well as series Creator/Executive Producer Shane Brennan.

  • Jeffery Wang


    Jeffery Wang was born and raised in Monterey County, California where an early exposure to classic movies (thanks to his father) and the chance to watch The X-Files on its premiere night in 1993, cemented Jeff's lifelong passion for storytelling. He knew he wanted to work in TV and film someday but without any contacts in the entertainment industry he heeded his parents' advice to study something practical. After graduating from UC Davis with mechanical and aeronautical engineering degrees he moved to Los Angeles to design HVAC systems for hospitals. He continued to write during this time and after two years and at the urging of his now wife, he took the leap and quit his engineering job to be a P.A. in reality television. He eventually worked his way to the writers’ office of the FX series Justified, where he ran the show’s social media account and expanded his storytelling skills by serving as a Writers' Assistant in the series' final season. Most recently, Jeff wrote and directed the short film Lifeline, about a dying fortune teller who meets an immortal on a fateful night. The film has screened in over 40 film festivals across the U.S. and has taken home several awards including best short film and best actress awards for its lead, Kathleen Gati (General Hospital,Fear The Walking Dead).