Writers Craft Virtual Panel Series

Welcome! This page contains digital panels of guild members talking about their crafts within the animation industry. 

This Fireside Chat series started through the 839 Writers Craft Committee, so the first few focus on writing for preschool and action animation. We’ll be updating the site with new information about upcoming panels in the months ahead. 

Finances for Animation Writers

A candid conversation about financial topics frequently encountered by animation writers, including Minimums, Weekly Rates, Negotiating, Invoicing, Foreign Levies, 401k, Pensions, and Loan Outs. Hosts: Colleen McAllister and Colleen Evanson. Guests: Benjamin Siemon, Jacob Moffat, and Dani Michaeli.

Showrunning in Animation

So… you made it through development and are now a showrunner on your first animated series. What happens next? How will you find and manage your creative team? What sort of conversations will you have with your pre-production, production, and post crews? How will you balance your show responsibilities and still have a life? Geoffrey Thorne (Avengers Assemble), A.C. Bradley (3Below: Tales of Arcadia), Niki Lopez (Santiago of the Seas), and Rick Suvalle (Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go!) discuss what they learned on the job and how to avoid problems along the way.

Development: A Three Point Perspective!

Hear from Daniela Gonzalez, manager at Circle of Confusion, Eliza Hart, Development Executive at Nickelodeon, and Colleen McAllister, writer and former film and TV executive as each gives insight into their role navigating that tricky part of the process we all call “development”. We share what writers can do to make the process easier on themselves, how to ask for help when you need it, and provide insight into the part of the process you rarely hear about: what challenges and obstacles executives and managers must navigate on their end when shepherding projects into production. This panel’s aim is to give writers knowledge and insight into the whole development process so they can feel confident navigating it. Let’s turn Development Hell into Development Heaven!


The Action & Adventure Fireside Chat!

We explore writing for action & adventure (sometimes called action comedy) animated series. It’ll be a Giant-Sized edition featuring producers, story editors, and writers of this particular craft. Moderated by Kaita Mpambara (Writer – Ultimate Spider-Man) and Ian Rickett (Writer – Wizards). Panelists include Marly Halpern-Graser (Co-Executive Producer – Aquaman: King of Atlantis), Laura Sreebny (Staff Writer – She-Ra and the Princesses of Power), Len Uhley (Writer – Cannon Busters, Ben 10), Josie Campbell (Story Editor – Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous), Denise Downer (Assoc. Story Editor – Puppy Dog Pals, Writer – Avengers Assemble) , and Kendall Haney (Staff Writer – The Rocketeer)

The Comedy Writers Roundtable

A virtual deep dive into all things comedy, featuring a panel of high-level writers, creators, and story editors! Moderated by Julia Prescott (The Simpsons, Archibald’s Next Big Thing) and featuring guest panelists Jenny Jaffe (Big Hero Six, Rugrats reboot, tons of stuff in development!), Kara Lee Burke (Costume Quest, Littlest Pet Shop, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, Mr. Peabody and Sherman), Haley Mancini (Powerpuff Girls, The Last Kids on Earth, upcoming Harriet the Spy animated series), and Taneka Stotts (Steven Universe, Pony Life, Craig of the Creek).

The Storyboard Artists and Writers Discussion Panel

A virtual discussion featuring a panel of accomplished storyboard artists, directors, and writers on the stages of work that go into bringing words on a page to life, as well as discussing common communication issues faced in the workplace. Guest Moderators include Jake Hollander (Duncanville, Disenchantment), Sydney Sharp (Twelve Forever, Tig N Seek) and Dani Michaeli (SpongeBob Squarepants, Little Big Awesome). Panelists include Erica “Jonesy” Jones (Storyboard Director at DreamWorks TV), Ashley Long ( Supervising Director and a Consulting Producer on Paradise PD), Monica Davila (Storyboard Director at Atomic Cartoons), Kristal Babich (Story Artist on Maya and the Three), Angela Zhang (Storyboard Artist at Netflix Animation), and Maha Tabikh (Storyboard Artist at Nickelodeon).

The Action Panel

A roundtable discussion with head writers and producers on the craft of writing for action animation. Also fun and informative… but definitely NOT G-rated. Panelists include Matt Wayne (Head Writer, Cannon Busters), Daniel Dominguez (Head Writer/Co-Executive Producer, Seis Manos), Mairghread Scott (Writer/Producer, Wonder Woman: Bloodlines), Ernie Altbacker (Writer/Producer, Batman: Hush), May Chan (Writer/Producer, Avatar: The Last Airbender), Tim Hedrick (Executive Producer, Fast & Furious Spy Racers), and Eugene Son (Head Writer, Avengers Assemble).

The Preschool Panel

A roundtable discussion with head writers and producers on the craft of writing for preschool animation from the inception of an idea to story breaks and scripting. Fun, informative, and mostly G-rated. Panelists included Marty Isenberg (Head Writer, Octonauts), Jack Thomas (Executive Producer, Dragons: Rescue Riders), Robyn Brown (Head Writer, Muppet Babies), Brian Hohlfeld (Executive Producer, Transformers: Rescue Bots), Nicole Dubuc (Executive Producer, The Rocketeer) and Chuck Tately (Story Editor, Curious George).