We are pleased to share our list of Winning Writers to Watch in 2022. Each screenwriter was recommended by our team of script readers from leading representation companies for their strong writing skills.
These dedicated writers proved to have enormous talent for their craft. We are excited to introduce these next generation of artists to the industry and look forward to seeing all their great work produced on the big screen soon.
Haley Dercher is an award-winning screenwriter with a Master of Arts from New York University in visual and cultural studies. She is the head writer for the podcast Scandal Us. She specializes in feature length films and half-hour television dramedies. Dercher describes her personality as a mix of affable neurosis and perverse humor. She injects fresh, modern subject matter with warmth and wit, crafting sharp, relatable, and memorable characters. Dercher was the TV Pilots winner of the 2021 “Broaden Your Horizon” Screenplay Competition for the comedy script, The Ties that Bind, about an OBGYN who decides to explore BDSM. Her scripts have also received top recognition from Script Summit, Filmmatic, Page Turner Awards and CWA Imagination’s Creative World Awards. Her first short film, Good Girl, which is based on The Ties That Bind, is currently in post-production. Dercher is based in New York City and a member of WGA East.
Bruce Dundore is a screenwriter, author and an advertising creative director. He has several feature scripts and a pilot/show bible in option and circulating on the boulevards. He is a multiple finalist and winner in all the important contests and a Writer's Bootcamp alumnus and contributor. Dundore is the Gold winner of the Houston International Sports Film Festival Screenplay Championship for his sports script, Blue Ball, a "Romeo and Juliet" tale about two street gangs competing in a game of baseball and breaking Sunday Blue laws in the early part of the 20th century. He is currently working on a mother-in-law psychological horror script, Mamacita.
Johnny Gilligan is an Irish born Silicon Valley coder turned TV dirty cop turned sci-fi screenwriter. He took up acting 10 years ago. In that time, he has studied in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco where he enjoyed numerous successes on stage and on screen. Gilligan was the features winner of the 2021 Dumbo Film Festival Screenwriting Competition for the sci-fi script, Revelations, about a disgraced mathematician and a mysterious deep space event. His scripts also received top recognition from Los Angeles International Screenplay Awards, Table Read My Screenplay, Creative Screenwriting Unique Voices Screenplay Competition and Filmmatic.
John Helms is a screenwriter in Novato, California. His passion for story stems from growing up in Eagle Rock and spending all day with friends watching the triple feature at the Eagle Theater. His writing stye is character focused, showing how thoughts drive emotions and in turn drive actions. Helms was the Theme winner of the 2021 Dallas Screenplay Awards for his animated feature script, A No Fly Zone, about a hippo who must learn to fly in order to rescue a gosling from a rat’s villainous plan. His script also received top recognition from StoryPros and ScreenCraft.
Harry Hunsicker is a creative writing teacher, the author of eight crime thrillers and creator of numerous short stories. As the winner of the 2021 “Script to Screen” competition, his crime comedy, (S)hit Squad, will be produced by Torfoot Films, Event Horizon Films and IdeaMan Studios with legal partners, Litwin Law Group, PLLC, and The Law Office of LaToya L. Blakely.
K. Jennifer Ilagan
K. Jennifer llagan tells stories for a living in New York when she's not eating ice cream or rappelling off a mountain somewhere more exotic. She describes herself as being the kind of goofball that grows on people. Like a gremlin, she recommends you not water her after 10 at night. She's also a Senior Producer at Discovery ID with over 15 years in film and programmatic television. Ilagan was the features winner of the 2021 “Broaden Your Horizon” Screenplay Competition for her horror script, BFF’s Never Die, about a ballsy cheerleader who tries to solve her own murder. Her screenplay also received top recognition by StoryPros International Screenplay Contest, ISA's Horror and Thriller Genre Busting Screenplay Competition, New York City International Screenplay Awards, FilmQuest, Big Apple Film Festival, Barnstorm Fest's Short list and over 60 other renowned festivals and competitions.
Ryan M. Moore
Ryan M. Moore is a writer, producer, director in Los Angeles. His film, Emmageddon, was the Best Sci-Fi Feature at the Toronto Independent Film Festival and winner for the Best Ensemble Cast at the FirstGlance Film Fest Hollywood. Moore was also the shorts winner of the 2021 Dumbo Film Festival Screenwriting Competition for the sci-fi script, The Forest Fenced Becomes Backyards.
Dave Paterson is an Australian writer and director, known for Butcherbird (2014) and Boné (2015). With a focus on dark dramas, he is repped for Australian work by RGM. Paterson was the Concept winner of the 2021 Dallas Screenplay Awards for his feature script, The Blind Sea, a drama about a mother who seeks out a now partially blind but brilliant investigator to find her missing daughter. His script was also the Grand Prize Winner of the Shore Scripts 2020 Feature Contest.
Bernhard Pucher is a writer, director and producer, known for Ravers (2018), Black Sand: A Sandman Story (2017) and Siege on Liperti Street (2020). According to Pucher, his storytelling abilities started when he first convinced his parents that a pack of cigarettes belonged to a made-up girlfriend. From then on, he made a living from telling stories, directing commercials and making movies. Pucher was the Page Turner winner of the 2021 Dallas Screenplay Awards for his feature script, Homestead, a thriller about a family of ranchers who face off with border agents regarding the cause of a massacre. His scripts also received top recognition from Los Angeles International Screenplay Awards, ScreenCraft, SF Indie Film Fest and The Academy Nicholl Fellowship.
Edith Rodriguez is a writer-director who grew up between the sunny beaches of Puerto Rico and cold winters of Wisconsin. After a successful career in corporate content development, she began writing and directing to pursue her passion of narrative storytelling. Her films include Ashes, Pride, and Las Cruces. Rodriguez was the Characterization winner of the 2021 Dallas Screenplay Awards for her feature script, South Side Girls, a drama a troubled lives of two teenagers in a Puerto Rican neighborhood. Her scripts were also recognized by Austin Film Festival, ScreenCraft, PAGE, BlueCat, ISA and Stage 32. She is is repped by the The Mission Entertainment.
Jon Savage is a screenwriter, teacher and visual artist from Brooklyn. Savage was the Dialogue winner of the 2021 Dallas Screenplay Awards for his feature script, Rat’s Tale, a whimsical and wordplay-filled comedy about a lonely teenager in love with the girl who loves his teacher. His scripts have also received recognition from Los Angeles International Screenplay Awards, ScreenCraft and ISA’s Genre Screenplay Competition.
Kirsty Budding is an emerging British-Australian writer-producer who writes comedy for stage and screen. She studied at the Australian National University (BA, MSt), the Australian Film, Television & Radio School (Industry Cert. Script Assessment), and the University of California, Los Angeles (Professional Program in Producing). Her awards for playwriting include the ACT Writing & Publishing Award for Fiction for Paper Cuts (2018) and the Short+Sweet Best Script award for Brexit (2016). Budding was the shorts winner of the 2021 “Broaden Your Horizon” Screenplay Competition for the dark comedy script, Happy Ending Retirement Home. Her scripts also received top recognition from Hollywood Just4Shorts, Sherman Oaks Film Festival, Pittsburgh Shorts and London International Screenwriting Competition. Budding is now working on a comedy TV series about amateur theatre and a romantic comedy feature set in the UK and Australia.