The 2014 Young & Hungry List: Entry Points – A Look at How the Writers Got Here


The 2014 Young & Hungry List came out yesterday, 100  and teams who are on the verge of breaking out. We’ve already examined the breakdowns of both the writers and their representation, as well as looked back at some of the success stories of years past. Now, we want to take a look at how this year’s got started.

As we mentioned in our breakdown, this year’s honorees had some incredibly diverse entry points into the industry. The 2014 list has journalists, playwrights, game designers, actors, and scientists — in addition to a number of who took a more traditional path into the business.

Take, for instance, . Though she has a degree in screenwriting, Aveyard’s first break in was on the printed page; she sold her YA novel The Red Queen to HarperTeen, and is currently at work on the sequel. Her film success followed, when she sold her spec Eternal to Sony. , on the other hand, writes , like Sex with Strangers, which debuted at Chicago’s Steppenwolf theater. In a time when authors like Gillian Flynn are taking to the screen (both for the adaptation of her novel Gone Girl and for David Fincher’s upcoming series Utopia) and like Suzanne Collins are publishing bestselling YA series, it’s good to see that today’s young aren’t limiting their work to a single medium.

A number of this year’s honorees started out in front of the camera. made the rounds of the Australian soap operas, before he leveraged a guest arc on Home & Away into a more permanent position in the ’ room. Now he’s setting up specs with Andrew Panay Productions and Night and Day Pictures. One of this year’s was even a Daytime Emmy nominee; got the nod for his work on Santa Barbara. With the likes of Emma Thompson and Matt Damon and Ben Affleck moving back and forth from to acting, it’s not hard to see why these Y&H would want to get in on the action.

Others come from fields that aren’t even related to film and television. was a world champion equestrian vaulter. Now, she’s for El Rey’s spy series Matador (which contrary to the title has nothing to do with bull fights — or with equestrian vaulting, for that matter), and co- a feature script for Mel Gibson’s Icon Productions. and , meanwhile, started out in the sciences. Civil engineering (Friedhof) and planetary science (Pathare) don’t seem like obvious jumping off points for a career in film and television, but they’ve both made it work; Friedhof set up his script Stat with Smart Entertainment and is prepping a sci-fi pilot, while Pathare has been making a splash in competitions like the Launch Pad Pilots Competition, the Austin   Festival, and Harvardwood.

The lesson from this year’s list seems to be that there’s no one way to become  a screenwriter. There are as many ways into the business as there are aspiring , and the key — as this year’s honorees can surely tell you — is to keep , keep looking, and stay hungry.


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