top of page

Top 10 Emerging Screenwriters to Watch in 2024

A new year is upon us, and what better way to celebrate the writing world than to highlight emerging screenwriters breaking onto the scene? While countless names could make it onto this list, here are ten names (plus a special mention) to be aware of, all of which have been named by the International Screenwriters Association as part of their Top 25 Screenwriters to Watch in 2024.

Birgit Syran Myaard's adaptation of Ellida, based on her translation of Henrik Ibsen's The Lady from the Sea, has earned numerous nominations and awards at film festivals. The film is now available on Vudu and is captivating audiences with its rich storytelling.

Myaard's talent extends beyond adaptation; she also received Movieguide's prestigious $10,000 Kairos Prize for her faith-based script “HAND OF A WOMAN”, now titled “A WOMAN'S HAND”. Currently, she is immersed in writing “GENTLEMEN OF THE GRIDIRON”, a biopic centered on Walter Camp, widely hailed as the "Father of American Football" for his groundbreaking innovations. Camp's contributions transformed rugby into a uniquely American sport watched by approximately 160 million viewers worldwide on Super Bowl Sunday.

Thanks to connections facilitated by the ISA, Adam Karlson recently inked a shopping agreement with CS Productions and has now found representation with Gravity Squared Entertainment.

With the support of the Development Team, his screenplay "CHOKE" has undergone significant enhancements, evolving into a more compelling and dynamic narrative. This experience has refined Adam's writing abilities and equipped him with valuable skills to apply to his upcoming ventures.

Zoë Hodge, an acclaimed writer and director, hails from the vibrant Boogie-Down Bronx. Her creative endeavors often delve into themes of longing and profound isolation stemming from the suppression of one's natural desires.

Drawing inspiration from her upbringing immersed in "EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS" and Jane Austen adaptations, Zoë's storytelling ventures extend from reimagining trauma into romantic comedies or dramas to revitalizing and reinterpreting literary masterpieces. Zoë employs dance and surrealistic techniques in her filmmaking pursuits to amplify and capture emotional moments, striving to give shape to ineffable sensations.

Kathryn Orwig is a prolific writer in the action-adventure genre. She is driven by exploring the lengths people will go to for their loved ones. Her narratives draw directly from her upbringing in a small Northern Michigan town, marked by financial struggles and extraordinary experiences, from surviving state-of-emergency snowstorms to encountering roaming buffalo near her school playground.

Originally a book enthusiast, Kathryn's writing journey began with novels, poems, and short stories. She co-founded the multi-author anthology "BRING YOUR WORDS: A WRITERS' COMMUNITY ANTHOLOGY", published by Fifth Avenue Press.

Her screenplays have garnered recognition in competitions, including the Next 100 Scripts Nicholls, Page Awards, and Roadmap Diversity Initiative. She contributed 20 animation scripts to a startup media company and was a final-round judge at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth in 2019.

Andrea Berting is a seasoned live theatre professional. She has spent most of her career behind the scenes, particularly in wardrobe departments. The unprecedented circumstances of a global pandemic shuttering theaters worldwide prompted her to embark on her first screenplay journey.

Once she started, there was no turning back. Her dramedy feature, "BREAST IN SHOW", emerged triumphantly, clinching the Best Original Comedy Feature title at the 2022 Richmond International Film Festival. This success also earned her recognition as an ISA Fast Track Fellow.

Miguel Angel Caballero stands as a celebrated Queer Mexican-American/Chicano writer, director, and producer. He earned his bachelor's from UCLA's School of Theater, Film & Television.

His latest short film, "THE BALLAD OF TITA AND THE MACHINES", premiered at the prestigious Tribeca Festival in 2023. Before this success, his short film "ACUITZERAMO" debuted at the Morelia International Film Festival, accumulating a staggering 20 international awards, including the esteemed 'Best LGBTQ Short' accolade at the American Pavilion during the Cannes Film Festival.

Brian Schwab is a decorated writer, boasting wins across various screenplay contests and film festivals spanning comedy, thriller, and horror genres. His accolades include being named 'Runner-Up' at Slamdance and landing in the 'Top 3' scripts reviewed by Shore Scripts. Notably, Brian achieved his first spec sale, "PURGATORY", marking a significant milestone in his career.

This accomplishment led to his signing with Zero Gravity Management and his inclusion in the ISA's esteemed 'Development Slate,' solidifying his position as one of their 'Top 25 Screenwriters to Watch in 2024.' Brian is collaborating with Zero Gravity's creative team to nurture a slate of projects while advancing his other original works towards packaging.

Seth Michael Donsky, a screenwriter based in Los Angeles, has earned recognition as one of the International Screenwriters Association's (ISA) top 25 screenwriters to watch in 2024. He has secured placements on the ISA's prestigious development slate and participated in their 2023 Diversity Initiative.

Donsky's work has graced screens at renowned festivals worldwide, including Berlin, London, and Seattle, attesting to his talent and versatility.

Todd Foley specializes in crafting cathartic thrillers that captivate audiences and leave a lasting impact long after the final credits. Presently, he boasts two feature screenplays under option, one co-written with his partner Dan Healey.

Additionally, a third screenplay has garnered attention, with a producer attached and garnering interest from several actors. Foley is a part of the esteemed ISA Development Slate and feels privileged to be recognized as one of the ISA's Top 25 Screenwriters To Watch in 2024.

Thuc Nguyen's impact in Hollywood is notable, highlighted by her association with the Bitch Pack, a collective recognized in various media outlets, including The Huffington Post, Salon, Forbes, Indiewire, and The Hollywood Reporter. Her contributions also extend to prestigious events such as the Sundance Film Festival 2021.

In addition to her Hollywood involvement, Nguyen played a crucial role in producing the Rory Kennedy Academy Award-nominated documentary "LAST DAYS IN VIETNAM", serving as a translator. She has received accolades for her screenwriting, with her historical drama screenplay exploring Lucy Parsons and Albert Parsons & The Haymarket Affair ranking first in IndieWire's "NOT ALL STORIES ARE ABOUT STRAIGHT WHITE MEN." Another notable project of hers, focusing on Vietnamese-American women in New Orleans, garnered attention, advancing to the second round of Sundance Film Institute Labs.

Special Mention: Cathriona Slammon

Before we conclude, it's essential to give a special mention to another remarkable screenwriter whose talent and contributions to the craft deserve recognition. Cathriona Slammon, our 2023 BEST FEATURE winner, has demonstrated exceptional storytelling creativity, earning many accolades within the industry for her unproduced screenplays.

Originating from the picturesque landscapes of the West of Ireland, Cathriona Slammon shines as a celebrated writer/director, adorned with a collection of accolades. Her artistic vision plunges into the intricacies of familial dynamics, the depths of emotions, buried memories, and childhood tribulations. Cathriona's storytelling palette frequently swirls with elements of psychological drama, horror, and surrealism, weaving narratives that ensnare the imagination. Particularly noteworthy is her debut feature screenplay, "WHAT LITTLE GIRLS ARE MADE OF", which garnered acclaim by winning our competition and many others, including Raindance Film Festival.


bottom of page