18 Black Girl Screenwriters You Need To Know
The Spotlight

18 Black Girl Screenwriters You Need To Know

In honor of Black History Month, we decided to give shoutouts to 18 screenwriters you need to know. To make it easiest on readers, each set of screenwriters will be broken down into categories based on what type of scripts they write the most. So please read about each of them, head to their websites if you’re interested in what they’re writing, and of course, share this with as many people as you can. A sincere thanks!

TV Writers

These writers have pilots polished and ready for you to view and they’re also searching for staffing opportunities.

Jasmine Ellis Cooper

Jasmine is a St. Louis-born, New York-based – filmmaker, screenwriter, and comic-invested in black people’s joy, purpose, and ability to reinvent themselves. An Upright Citizen’s Brigade Scholar, Actor’s Studio semi-finalist and Unlock Her Potential mentee, her stories are dreamed up at the intersection of humor, history, and heart. She is currently developing a series based in 1948 highlighting the absurd lives of Saint Louis’ black elite and shopping her proof-of-concept exploring how she and her best friend lived out of their car in Brooklyn.

Preferred Genre You Write: Historical Comedy

Recent Accomplishments: 

  • Ben the Writer’s Room – Semi-finalist
  • Unlock Her Potential – Mentee

Representation Status: Seeking Representation

For more information on Jasmine Ellis Cooper, visit Jasmine’s website.

Yolanda Lewis

Yolanda is an Atlanta-based screenwriter specializing in romance and family dramas. Shows such as This Is UsQueen Sugar, Greenleaf, and Cherish the Day are similar in tone to the types of scripts that Yolanda writes.

Preferred Genre You Write: Drama

Recent Accomplishments:

  • In contention for the Black Boy & Black Girl Writes Mentorship Initiative 2022
  • Finalist in the 1st Annual TSL Screenplay Competition
  • 2x Finalist for Content Creators Awards for pilots Dogwood City and Que.

Representation Status: Seeking Representation

For more information on Yolanda Lewis, visit Yoland’s website.

Gabrielle Nixon

Gabrielle is an autistic girl who loves to write soaps. She grew up watching various soap operas and wants them to make a comeback.

Preferred Genre You Love To Write: Drama/Soapy Dramas

Recent Accomplishments:

  • Wrote a pilot
  • Had the first table read for her pilot

Representation Status: Seeking Representation

For more information on Gabrielle Nixon, visit Gabrielle’s website.

Joretta Morris

Joretta is all about creating black girlhood in the teen and young adult sub-genres. She uses past experiences, current world commentary, and her vivid imagination to create stories that are pop culture relevant yet timeless enough to still be discussed amongst fans a decade later. Tonal comps for her writing voice include Pretty Little Liars, The Bold Type, Harlem, and Charmed to name a few.

Preferred Genre You Write: Drama/Dramedy

Recent Accomplishments:

  • Quarterfinalist in The Script Lab’s TSL Free Screenplay Contest – 2021
  • Quarterfinalist in Stage 32’s 2nd Annual Diversity Springboard Screenwriting Competition – 2021
  • 2nd Round of Consideration for the Black Boy Writes & Black Girl Writes Mentorship Initiative  – 2022

Representation Status: Seeking Representation

For more information on Joretta Morris, visit Joretta’s website.

Jacalyn Wetzel

Jacalyn is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has been writing for several years focusing on mental health and social justice. Jacalyn is an Iris Award-nominated writer and a contributing writer to several large outlets such as HuffPost, Upworthy, and Scary Mommy. Jacalyn also recently completed the UCLA Writing for Television Professional Program.

Preferred Genre You Write: Drama

Recent Accomplishments: 

  • Quarterfinalist in We Screenplay Diverse Voices
  • Iris Award nominee for Breakout of the Year

Representation Status: Seeking Representation

For more information on Jacalyn Wetzel, visit Jacalyn’s website.

Feature & Short Writers

These writers have features and/OR they have shorts. Both sets of writers have their work polished and ready for you to view. Who doesn’t love a good film script?

Jenevieve Jackson

If there’s a story, I’m going to write it! I am a high school teacher and after over a decade of listening to “See what had happened was…” I’ve got plenty of stories to tell. I am a screenwriter who has written one short film, one feature and I have the Bible for a series. I currently live in Orlando, Florida and I teach High School TV Production.
 
Preferred Genre You Write: Drama
 

Representation Status: Seeking Representation

For more information on Jenevieve Jackson, visit Jenevieve’s website.

Danielle Lyles

Born in St. Louis, Mo,  Danielle began writing as a way to escape from the crude boyish behaviors of her four brothers. At 19, she left home on a wing and a prayer as a Navy Spouse and Momma of 4 amazing kiddos. Recognizing a lack of African American representation in Faith-based and Military films, she revisited her love for writing and focused on screenwriting. After her trophy Husband retired from 20 years of Military service, Danielle made her way back home with her family and their new puppy, Cookie. Danielle spends her downtime perfecting her screenwriting skills and visiting the clearance sections at Target. 

Preferred Genre You Write: Drama

Representation Status: Seeking Representation

For more information on Danielle Lyles, visit Danielle’s website.

Christine Rifkin

Christine is an Orlando-based fiction writer and screenwriter. Christine has been writing all of her life and recently graduated with a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing. Christine has had fiction works featured in literary journals, but most of her published work can be found in the magazine Car Kulture Deluxe. Christine also writes short films.

Preferred Genre To Write: Horror/Thriller

Recent Accomplishments:

  • Quarterfinalist of the 2022 Screencraft Horror Screenplay Competition

Representation Status: Not looking for representation at this time.

For more information on Christine Rifkin, visit Christine’s website.

Features & TV Writers

This group is a hybrid of tv writers and feature writers who do both! To be here they have at least one feature and one pilot polished and ready for your eyes.

Nat Bushell

I am a passionate, talented, and driven writer with a diverse and creative voice. I have six years of experience in the film Industry. I have a strong command of the English language and the ability to write a compelling story. I write comedy, drama, features films, animation, web series, online children’s programs, and shorts. I’m organized, creative, and always coming up with fresh good ideas. I have always dreamt of becoming the next famous screenwriter. I have dedicated over 800 hours to screenwriting over the past seven years working and volunteering in organizations and ministries. I believe that I have mastered my craft in screenwriting.

Preferred Genre You Write: Drama, Comedy, and Animation.

Recent Accomplishments: 

  • Won a trophy and award for an animation feature that I wrote  called, “The Sound of deception”

Representation Status: Seeking Representation

For more information on Nat Bushell, visit Nat’s website.

 

Kendra Christel

Born and raised in Texas, Kendra considers herself a Southern-fried weirdo who loves to tell Southern tales just South of somebody’s God.  A Jill of all trades, she began dancing at 3 years old, singing at 7, writing at 8, and acting at 10.  She earned a B.A. in Journalism from Texas State University, as well as an M.F.A. in Screenwriting from the University of Georgia and has since continued to place in several major screenwriting competitions and fellowships. She is also the co-founder of Shades of Talent, a collective that brings theatre opportunities to people of color. When she’s not on stage or on the page, you can find her in drag as Saharra St.Riviera, helping to raise money and awareness as an LGBTQ+ ally. She currently resides in the Atlanta area.

Preferred Genre to Write: Drama and Supernatural

Recent Accomplishments: 

  • Final Draft Big Break Semi-Finalist 2020
  • Nicholl Semi-Finalist 2021
  • Austin Film Festival Second Rounder 2021
  • NBC Universal Writers Fellowship Second Rounder 2021
  • Black Boy/Girl Writes Fellowship Prospect 2022

Representation Status: Seeking Representation

For more information on Kendra Christel, visit Kendra’s website.

Kai Grayson

Kai Grayson is a Black, queer woman from Los Angeles who writes scripts that inspire and spark wonder in the minds of the newest generations. Growing up in a world run by Black women, Kai’s main characters often follow a diaspora like her own.  Every character is strong and independent and can take on any challenge thrown at them, all while making plenty of time for fun and shenanigans. That mix of strength and goofiness is a direct reflection of Kai’s personality that she hopes will give young Black kids the confidence to be their full bright, magnificent selves.

Preferred Genre You Write: Children’s TV for kids of all ages (Comedy)

Recent Accomplishments:

  • In the second year of the Black Girl Writes mentorship.
  • In the Next Wave: Diverse voices mentorship via Kidscreen.

Representation Status: Seeking Representation

For more information on Kai Grayson, visit Kai’s website.

Ashley McGlathery

I am a Screenwriter and Playwright, with a demonstrated history of working in writing and editing. I’m also skilled in Theater, Performing Arts, and Creative Writing and am passionate about collaboration and expansion outside of my world-view. I believe it is critical to gain a better understanding of the world around me and to do this with other artists is an incredible opportunity to connect, create, and use my words as a vehicle for understanding and change.

Preferred Genre You Like To Write: Drama, Romance

Recent Accomplishments:

  • BA in English-Creative Writing
  • Masters in Screenwriting from Bournemouth University

Representation Status: Seeking Representation

For more information on Ashley McGlathery, visit Ashley’s website.

Indie Filmmakers

The people under this category make their own work and have proof of concept(s) in the form of scripts and/or films, shorts, trailers, etc.

Rahru Arceneaux

Rahru R. Arceneaux is the Founder and Creative Director of Haute Choc’lat Multimedia Group, a public relations & film company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Rahru has been a publicist for over 15 yrs but in 2017 she wrote and produced her first short film ” RoadBlock. ” The rest is HERstory. Rahru is also the co-owner of Lollipop productions with her 16 yr old daughter Zuri. It is the first African American-owned mother/daughter production indie film company in the southeast. Lollipop produces family-based feature and shorts films along with educational public service announcements. Rahru is also the managing partner and principal producer at Eclips Studios, hybrid production, and integrated marketing firm.

Preferred Genre You Write: Family, Drama, Suspense, Comedy

Recent Accomplishments:

  • Lollipop’s, latest project  “Snatched” won the TPN Screenwriting Contest. The movie can be streamed on ONTV Network. 
  • Won a Founders First grant for single mom entrepreneurs
  • Short film C.U.T.Z (Drama) was a Finalist in the Black Film Festival Atlanta in May 2021. It now streams on Atlanta Television (ATV) on ROKU and the short “Less Talk” (Romance) placed 3rd at ScreeningRoom ATL Film Challenge February 2021

Representation Status: Seeking Representation

For more information on Rahru Arceneaux, visit Rahru’s website.

Kenya Hendricks

I love everything about writing and creating. I have always been an avid movie/television watcher; so I know the things that entertain me and what things I would like to see more of. I gravitate towards stories that draw feelings and emotions. I want my audience to relate to situations and sometimes see sides they would have never thought about or solutions they never considered. Writing is therapeutic and powerful. Having the opportunity to not only write the story but bring it to life on camera is the best part of who I am. Behind the pen and the camera is my happy place. I can write in all genres but I love Rom Coms and Drama the most.

Preferred Genre You Write: Drama, Romantic Comedies

Recent Accomplishments:

  • Reel Recovery festival finalist 2019 for “FOR US”
  • PVIFF selection 2021 “PLUS ONE”
  • TPN Awards Best Screenplay 2016 “Passion and Pain”

Representation Status: Seeking Representation.

For more information on Kenya Hendricks, follow Kenya’s website.

 

Allie Morgan

Allie is a Black lesbian filmmaker currently living in Los Angeles, California. She studied entertainment business at Los Angeles Film School and screenwriting at New York Film Academy and has recently begun to dig her heels into directing. Last summer she wrote and directed her first short film “Sisters.” Allie is an indie filmmaker who enjoys making shorts, but she’s also a TV writer who hopes to write multiple series.

Preferred Genre To Write: Drama, specifically LGBTQ+ and coming of age stories for Black girls and women of color.

Recent Accomplishments: 

  • My first short film “Sisters” was nominated for best short film at NYC Web Fest and First Time Filmmaker Sessions
  • Two of my scripts “Hard To Forget” and “Cupid’s Chokehold” were nominated for the best unproduced script at Toronto Indie Shorts and Santa Barbara International Screenplay Awards.

Representation Status: Seeking Representation

For more information on Allie Morgan, visit Allie’s website.

Felicia Rivers

My name is Felicia Rivers and I am an independent filmmaker based out of Charleston, S.C. I am a 2006 Claflin University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. As of 3 1/2 years ago I started doing films. Last year a few of my Films received distribution deals with Maverick Entertainment which is the #1 film distribution company for black cinema in the world. My first film under them is a collection called TRAP FLIX PARTY which is on Tubi, Amazon PRIME, Fandango, Vudu, Hoopla, and other platforms right now.

Preferred Genre To Write: Horror, Thriller

Recent Accomplishments:

  • My first full length will be released in the fall by Maverick Entertainment called “Treasure Box”.
  • Most POPULAR drama category for “Treasure Box” on Tubi
  • Most POPULAR horror category for “Treasure Box” on Tubi

Representation Status: Seeking Representation

For more information on Felicia Rivers, visit Felicia’s website.

 

Jasmine Rivers

I’m a mother of 2. I’ve been a blogger and short fiction writer for the past 20 years but recently fell in love with screenwriting. I’ve worked as a Production Assistant for some of Detroit’s greats, and am excited about the future of my screenwriting label and film career.

Preferred Genre To Write: Drama, Comedy

Recent Accomplishments:

  • In August 2021, I founded Detroit MI’s first Indie Screenwriting Label, Hidden Treasure Films.
  • We filmed our 3rd short production on 2.10.22. 

Representation Status: Seeking Representation.

For more information on Jasmine Rivers, visit Jasmine’s website.

Valerie Robinson

Valerie (Val) is a photographer and filmmaker based in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. She specializes in customized personal branding, generational, and commercial portraiture, as well as documentary and short-filmmaking.

Preferred Genre You Write: Drama, Romantic Comedy

Recent Accomplishments: 

  • Won Sony Alpha Female+ Video Contest for “I’m A Ballerina.”

Representation Status: Seeking Representation

For more information on Valerie Robinson, visit Valerie’s website.

You've Reached The End Of The List!

Thank you for reading about these amazing screenwriters. At Black Girl Screenwriters, we believe in taking a deeper look and finding those screenwriters you haven’t yet come across. They’re not new, you just haven’t discovered them and we think it’s time you did.

Last week, the Los Angeles Times released information on a “new study that reveals that white women have benefited from pushes for increased diversity in Hollywood, women of color have not.” As a Black woman in this industry, I can tell you that not one of us was surprised by that information so a question I’ll close this out with is, now that you know, what are you going to do about it?

Don’t forget to tell a friend!

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