Mara Brock Akil’s Screenwriting Residency Announces Spring 2023 Cohorts (EXCLUSIVE)

The Spring 2023 cohorts of Mara Brock Akil’s Writer’s Colony have been announced. The list includes the names of several rising multihyphenates including Rhema Boston, Paris Crayton III, Latasha Mercer, and Tosin Morohunfola.

The three-month screenwriting residency takes place in West Adams, Los Angeles next door to Brock Akil’s story 27 productions company. During the residency, writers develop an original script that demonstrates their voice. Over the course of their residency, they workshop their scripts and have conversations with varied entertainment professionals of all levels to prepare them to launch into the industry.

“Writers are not cogs in the machine. Writers craft complex stories that not only entertain, but reflect the times and human experience. Writers are the architects and the needed first step in our collaborative art form in the TV/film industry. And now, more than ever writers need support. That is what we are nurturing at the Writers’ Colony,” said Brock Akil. “I’m proud of what we were doing prior to the strike and am convinced of its’ necessity even more now. The Writers’ Colony’s approach is process-driven and community based. It allows burgeoning writers the time and space to hone their unique voice. It’s my belief that what distinguishes one writer from another is their specific point of view. Understanding one’s voice leads to compelling and urgent storytelling, thus allowing our next generation of writers, storytellers and perhaps eventually showrunners to have the staying power that could shape the industry.”

Boston is graduate of The New York Film Academy with Summa Cum Laude honors and was a semifinalist in 2022’s Pilotpalooza, and has script-doctored plays, films, and television shows. “I write for the backroom dwellers—the people who’ve always shrunk themself into the small boxes others have made for them. Through my work, I aspire to give them a voice, encourage them to take control of their fate,” they said.

Crayton is an award-winning playwright, actor, and director. He was one of ArtsATL “30 under 30” and Atlanta Journal Constitution’s “Artist to watch.” Creative Loafing named him 2014’s “Best Local Playwright.” “I seek to find beauty in the trauma and forgiveness for the unforgivable. I tell stories of the LGBTQ+ experience throughout history and the struggles of acceptance from our world, church, family, and most importantly, ourselves,” he shared.

Mercer is a screenwriter who began by producing original digital content in 2010. Her writing has been top rated and awarded, as well as placed on Coverfly’s The Red List. She was the 2022 Roadmap Writer’s Diversity Recipient, 2022 OTV Writing Fellow, and is signed to Damn Write Originals. “My work dares viewers to look their wounds directly in the eye, and sort their way through the mess to discover their empowered self on the other side,” she wrote.

Morohunfola is an actor, writer, director, a Kansas-transplant and a son of Nigerian immigrants. Tosin is also a filmmaker whose festival-selected films include: “Endowed”, a parable about fatherhood, and “On Sight”, a social justice police thriller. His new feature thriller, “The Pulpit” is in development now. “I love to address Identity and duality and who we perceive ourselves to be,” he added.

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