Television writer, producer and showrunner Ben Cory Jones has announced the first 20 participants that will take part in his inaugural television pilot writing workshop, @BenTheWritersRoom.

The program is an “ intimate 4-month, virtual TV pilot writing workshop for underrepresented writers of color and LGBTQ+ storytellers.” Due to the “overwhelming response and the high-caliber of candidates,” there will be two cycles with 10 participants in each.

The workshop will enable “new writers to train and equip themselves with expertly crafted scripts that meet current industry standards and also serve as viable calling cards to forge their path as professional writers. Writers will learn how to clearly and articulately pitch a series concept, structure and write a pilot, give and receive notes in a virtual writers’ room setting and learn how to operate a “table read” from an established writer and showrunner in a small group setting. Additionally, writers will also gain insight into entertainment content development and production from concept to completion. Industry experts and TV Showrunners will join work sessions, engaging with writers to offer personal feedback that will evolve the writer’s craft.”

The participants are listed below:

Cycle 1:

■ Aderonke Adeola (Lagos, Nigeria) Cultural Drama

■ Daniel Alexis & James Barber (London, UK) Thriller , Drama 

■ Corey Boyd (Atlanta, GA) SciFi Drama 

■ Lutasha Bradley (Los Angeles, CA) Comedy 

■ James Brown III. (Los Angeles, CA) Dramedy 

■ Bobby Ray Cauley Jr. (Los Angeles, CA) Dramedy 

■ c. Craig Patterson (Los Angeles, CA) Historical Thriller 

■ Yusef Miller (Bronx, New York) Dramedy 

■ Bianca Rose (Los Angeles, CA) Dramedy 

■ DaShawn Usher (Atlanta, GA) Dramedy 


Cycle 2:

■ Kevin Benjamin (New York, NY) Comedy 

■ Shari Lynette Carpenter (Los Angeles, CA) Dramedy 

■ Corey Emanuel (Los Angeles, CA) Drama 

■ Anwar Jackson (Brooklyn, NY) Dramedy 

■ Yilong Liu (Brooklyn, NY) Dramedy 

■ Dr. Rachael Ross (New York, NY) Comedy 

■ Justin Ruff & Aunik Zaman (Los Angeles, CA) Drama 

■ Menu’Ette Silver (North Hollywood, CA) Dramedy 

■ Erica Sinclair (Sherman Oaks, CA) Drama 

■ Marketta P. Wilder (Los Angeles, CA) Dramedy 

“I’m extremely humbled by the overwhelming response to this program,” said Jones.“It really shows there’s a huge need and a space for a program like this in the industry. It is my hope that through this program, and initiatives like it, that we not only create a pipeline into the industry for more writers of color and LGBTQ+ storytellers, but also continue to foster community among writers and emerging talent. I personally interviewed 60 outstanding semi-finalist writers and I’m still blown away by everyone’s immense talent. I’m extremely enthusiastic about this workshop and launching it virtually with writers around the world is nothing short of amazing,”

Applicants can submit for the next cycle beginning Summer 2021 and can find application information and deadlines at


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Photo: Ben Cory Jones