Special – Ink Drinks Toronto (HD)

In episode 012, writer-producer Karen Walton told us about the online group she founded, called “Ink Canada,” and their “Ink Drinks” events. This week, Gray had the opportunity to bring a video camera to Ink Drinks Toronto. It was a blast, and Gray has put together a special high definition mini-episode highlighting the event.

Follow Karen Walton on Twitter: @inkcanada

Make sure you also follow Gray on Twitter so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for several hundred TV writers. Find previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com.

Hosted by Gray Jones, the TV Writer Podcast is devoted to interviews with working TV writers. It is brought to you by Script magazine and Scriptmag.com, the leading source for scriptwriting information in print and on the web; and by Final Draft scriptwriting software, the entertainment industry standard for scriptwriting worldwide.

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012 – TV/Feature Writer Karen Walton

Best known as the writer of the original cult horror film, Ginger Snaps, award-winning writer-producer Karen Walton has developed original and adapted film projects in almost every genre with top producers in Canada, the UK and the American studio system for almost twenty years.


The episode starts with… homework! For the first time, Gray assigns a book to read – The TV Writer’s Workbook, by Emmy-nominated writer Ellen Sandler – as he’ll be talking to Ellen on April 1st, and wants to solicit informed questions about her book.

Then on to the interview with Karen Walton…

After graduating from the Canadian Film Centre, Karen wrote a critically acclaimed independent horror film, Ginger Snaps, that has become a cult hit, and is listed by many critics on their all-time top 10 lists of high school horror films.

This film led to many years of assignment writing, and Karen shares the differences between writing an independent feature versus feature development in the studio system.

Karen has also written critically acclaimed TV movies, including the Gemini-winning The Many Trials of One Jane Doe, and she talks about the challenges of adapting true events, writing socially and morally conscious material, and writing a movie within the confines of the television format.

Karen has also been busy in series television, including freelance episodes of CBC’s Straight Up and CTV’s The Eleventh Hour, being a executive story editor on Showtime’s Queer as Folk, and just recently, she has started as a writer-supervising producer on season 4 of CTV’s Flashpoint, which airs on CBS in the US.

But wait, there’s more… Karen is the executive producer of the successful web series for tweens, Ruby Skye P.I.; has an original paranormal series currently optioned; is an active member of the Writer’s Guild of America – West, Canada, and Quebec’s SARTEC; and if that’s not enough… is the founder and current editor of the online writer’s community Ink Canada.

Follow Karen Walton on Twitter: @inkcanada

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! Look for it on Amazon – How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,000 TV writers. Find our previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com or on Gray’s YouTube channel.

011 – TV/Feature Writer Daegan Fryklind

This episode serves as the end of our Women TV Writers series and the beginning of our Canadian TV Market series, which will run through the month of March.


Today we meet Daegan Fryklind: a well-established Canadian writer who lives in Vancouver, but often comes to Toronto for writing jobs. In addition to working on well-known series Being Erica, The Listener, and Cold Squad, she has won a Leo Award for Best Dramatic Series Screenwriting (JPod), has been nominated for a Canadian Screenwriter Award (Robson Arms), and co-wrote the animated feature Edison & Leo, which won “Best Animated Feature” at the Bangkok International Animation Film Festival.

In our longest interview yet, she touches on many aspects of the Canadian writing market, from why animated shows are an excellent way to develop dialogue writing skills, to how Canadian TV writing fellowships differ from US fellowships, to rewriting scripts to meet Canadian funding guidelines, to the changing landscape for writers in Vancouver vs Toronto.

Because the Canadian writing market is in many ways tougher than the US market, writers like Daegan can offer great tips to US writers who are trying to break in… plus, find out what part of the Canadian industry might actually entice US writers to move north!

Follow Daegan Fryklind on Twitter: @daeganf

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! Look for it on Amazon – How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,000 TV writers. Find our previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com or on Gray’s YouTube channel.

010 – Keto Shimizu (The Cape)

Next up in our Women TV Writers series, we meet Keto Shimizu, an alumnus of the NBC Writers on the Verge program, who landed a staff writing gig on NBC’s The Cape in her mid-twenties, just three years after arriving in L.A. Want to find out how?


Though young, Keto has a lot of very practical advice for getting started in the business. Find out how she used her connections from Boston’s Emerson College to land several jobs in L.A., including post-production assistant on the recent TRON: Legacy.

Then, learn all about the NBC Writers on the Verge program, and how continuing to network with its participants helped her to draft a new TV pilot that was instrumental in her securing representation.

Finally, find out about The Cape — how advice to “geek out” paid off in landing the gig as a full staff writer, and also a great behind the scenes look at the writers room and how the first season has gone from script to screen!

Make sure you watch The Cape on NBC, Mondays at 9/8c, just after Chuck!

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! Look for it on Amazon – How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,000 TV writers. Find our previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com or on Gray’s YouTube channel.

009 – Elisabeth R. Finch & Kate Barnow (No Ordinary Family)

As we continue our Women TV Writers series, we are excited to present our first writing team, Elisabeth R. Finch and Kate Barnow, who wrote for HBO’s True Blood, and now are staffed on ABC’s No Ordinary Family.


They had very different paths into the industry… Elisabeth was a playwright from Jersey and Kate a former history major writing an unproducible period piece. Which women’s career website connected them with True Blood? And how did their jobs as assistant and script coordinator equip them to write the True Blood comic book?

Find out how they managed to write three freelance True Blood scripts while still performing their other job duties, and then how they made the jump to full staff writers at No Ordinary Family. They also share many of the ways that the writing process varies between cable shows and network shows.

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! Look for it on Amazon – How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,000 TV writers. Find our previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com or on Gray’s YouTube channel.

008 – Ali Adler (Chuck, No Ordinary Family)

As we begin our Women TV Writers series, we are excited to have two interviews with Ali Adler, Co-Executive Producer and writer of ABC’s exciting new show, No Ordinary Family.


Gray kicks off the episode with a discussion on the current employment statistics for women and minorities in TV writing.

Then, we feature an interview Gray had with Ali in February 2009, when she talked about how she got started writing, her career path, her work with the Young Storytellers Foundation, and also much about the process of writing Chuck.

In Gray’s latest interview with Ali, they discuss her experiences on various staffs, her opinion on how to motivate women to break in, and much about her experiences on her new show, No Ordinary Family. She answers many fan questions, and teases about what’s to come in what she promises are some very strong upcoming episodes.

[ed. note: Ali Adler is now the show runner for Supergirl on CBS.]

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! Look for it on Amazon – How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,000 TV writers. Find our previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com or on Gray’s YouTube channel.