SCA Network Presents Write On: Journeys in TV Writing with USC Cinema Alumni

March 7, 2018, 6:30 P.M.

Writers Guild of America West, 7000 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90048

Presented by the USC SCA Network & the Writers Guild of America West

The USC SCA Network, in partnership with the WGA, presents an evening with USC 
Cinematic Arts Television alumni writers. The panelists, working in areas of 
network, cable, and streaming platforms, share their experiences in the 
entertainment industry as SCA Alumni. Learn about their career paths, and their 
opinions about the art of storytelling.

March 7, 2018
Reception and Network 6:30 p.m.
Panel and Program 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

This event is open and free of charge for current SCA Network members.
About the Guests
Michael Saltzman (Moderator) 
Michael Saltzman is a graduate of Chadwick School in Palos Verdes, Yale University, 
and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. His TV credits as a Writer 
and Producer include stints on ABC’s Anything But Love, NBC’s Wings and DAG, and CBS’ 
Murphy Brown, where he received an Emmy nomination, and, over the course of his four 
years on the show, worked his way to Executive Producer. Saltzman also served as 
Executive Producer on his revamped version of NBC’s The Naked Truth, and created and 
executive produced Baby Bob for CBS and Misconceptions for The WB.

Saltzman was the original writer on the Pink Panther movie starring Steve Martin, 
directed by Shawn Levy. He received a Co-Story credit on the film.  He also worked as a 
Consulting Producer on AMC’s Emmy-award winning Mad Men. Saltzman has most recently served
as Consulting Produer on AMC's Hell on Wheels and Co-Executive Producer on AMC's Halt and
Catch Fire.

Davah Avena '03 (Writer/Producer - Kevin (Probably) Saves the World) 

Davah Avena is the industry's first and only Can-exican (Canadian-Mexican) television 
writer/producer. Not only can she break story and write scripts, she can also tap her own
maple tree and make a killer margarita. After graduating from USC Film School and the
National Hispanic Television Writer's program, Davah got her first writing gig on Medium
for NBC. After she left Medium (the industry way of saying she was fired), she went on to 
sell pilot scripts for ABC Family and Nickelodeon. She also had a Blind Pilot Deal with Sony.
After several years of selling pilot scripts, she was staffed on East Los High for Hulu. Then
went on to write/produce of Devious Maids for Lifetime and Daytime Divas for VH1. Most recently
Davah wrote and produced on ABC's critically acclaimed dramedy Kevin (Probably) Saves the World.
Because Davah's work straddles drama and comedy, she thrives in the one-hour dramedy world.

Akela Cooper '06 (Writer/Producer - Marvel's Luke Cage) 

An alumni of both the CBS Writers Mentoring Program and the Warner Bros. Writers Workshop, 
Akela Cooper began her career in television as an assistant on the CBS cult hit Jericho, 
working her way up through the ranks on shows like V, Grimm, The 100, Witches of East End, 
American Horror Story: Roanoke and Marvel's Luke Cage. 

Josef Sawyer '14 (Story Editor - SEAL Team) 

Born in Liberia (West Africa), Josef's uncle was the president before dictator Charles 
Taylor kicked them out. His family fled to D.C., which exposed Josef to more crime, politics, 
family, and murder. After attending U.C. Berkeley, Josef took a job roaming the Bronx, 
producing crime stories for America's Most Wanted. His time in journalism and documentary film, 
has flavored his writing gritty and often rooted in non-fiction. Josef graduated in 2014 from 
USC with an MFA in Writing for TV. He has also taught Journalism and TV Writing at Cal State LA.

Lindsey Shockley '07 (Writer/Executive Producer - Black-ish)

Lindsey Shockley is a two-time Emmy nominated writer who began her TV writing career in 2009 on 
NBC's Perfect Couples. She went on to write for Fox's Ben and Kate, HBO's Hello Ladies, ABC's 
Trophy Wife, and USA's Benched. In 2014, Shockley inked her first overall deal with ABC Studios 
to develop new projects and serve as a writer/producer on Blackish.  She currently serves as a 
Co-Executive Producer on the show's fourth season. In 2017, ABC picked up and shot Shockley’s 
original pilot, Unit Zero, a one-hour action comedy, starring Toni Collette. Shockley penned the 
script as well as executive produced the pilot alongside Kenya Barris creator/EP, Blackish). She 
is the winner of three NAACP Image Awards, a Peabody Award, an AFI Award, and has been nominated 
twice for the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series for her work on Blackish. 

About the SCA Network
The SCA Network is a social organization open exclusively to alumni and students of the USC School 
of Cinematic Arts. Designed as a fun way to stay in touch and connect with fellow SCA Trojans, 
members have access to special preview screenings and events throughout the year. Funds raised 
through support of the SCA Network provide for current needs of the School including equipment, 
student support, and facilities.

Information on the SCA Network as well as a list of levels and benefits can be found online at 
cinema.usc.edu/Network.
Be sure to follow the SCA Network on social media:
Facebook.com/USCSCANETWORK
Twitter: @uscscanetwork
Instagram: @uscscanetwork

Parking
Complimentary validated parking may be available underneath the building (entrance on Blackburn 
Ave., one block south of Third St.)
Contact Information

Name: Sabrina Espinoza
Email: alumni@cinema.usc.edu