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How To Get Paid as a Writer: Conversations with Writers and their Representation

Launch Pad and LA Skins Fest co-host a FREE Livestreaming panel on the business side of being a working writer.

On Wednesday, July 14th, three pairs of writers and their managers will discuss topics such as: finding the right representation, working with your representation, and case studies on being paid for your work, including WGA scale, “steps”,  timelines for being paid, and all of obstacles and opportunities that writers need to navigate to make a living in the entertainment industry.

This event is FREE. Sign up to get access below.
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JULY 14th @ 5:00pm PT / 8:00pm ET

Siena East (Choctaw) is a writer, comedian, and actress based in Los Angeles.  Her short film “Lycanphobic” was included in both the LA Skins Film Festival, where it was nominated in the Emerging Filmmaker category, and the NYU First Run Festival, where it won an award for Best Supporting Actress. In 2018, Siena was a part of the 3rd LA Skins Television Writers’ lab, and her original pilot “Mixed Up” was selected for a live reading at the LA Skins 12th Annual Film Festival. In 2019, she was in the first all Native improv show at UCB.  As a comedian, Siena was first featured in the Kibitz Room’s clean showcase, where she won the audience choice award “The Best of the Bunch”. Since then she has performed at the Comedy Union, The Ruby, and has regularly performed at ACME NoHo. Currently, Siena is working as a tv writer, and is managed by Thuan Dang at the Gotham Group.


Shelley Dennis (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma) has a wide-range of experiences that have helped her create multifaceted characters with unique points of view. Shelley was born into a family of Choctaw storytellers in small-town Oklahoma.  She was scouted by a modeling agency and flown to Milan, where she made a living being tall and hungry. Her runway days provided her with a plethora of questionable experiences, many of which inspire her projects. Shelley later toured alongside Wayne Brady, doing both standup and improv and in 2020 she was one of four selected for the Native American Showrunner program. She became a staff writer on SPIRIT RANGERS at Netflix, was in the 2021 Disney General Entertainment Writing Program, and is currently a staff writer on THE CONNERS at ABC.


Tom Hanada (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma) is a writer who specializes in thriller and horror… despite starting his career writing romcoms. Now, Tom finds himself being hired to bring empathy and relatability to the bloodiest of stories and most twisted of characters. In essence, Tom puts the “human” in “human cruelty.” In addition to film and TV, Tom is a prolific horror novelist. His 2019 novel, Intercepts, was named one of the “Best Horror Novels of All Time” by Cosmopolitan. Born and raised in Portland, OR, Tom graduated from Stanford University before moving to LA where he now lives with his high-school-sweetheart-turned-wife, Virginia, a professor at CSU Northridge.

Echo Lake Entertainment

Originally from a farm in rural upstate New York, Kegan studied film production at Full Sail University before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in entertainment. Kegan joined Echo Lake Entertainment in 2017 and swiftly rose through the ranks before being promoted to manager in the literary department. Kegan specializes in working with a broad and inclusive range of voices in the horror and comedy space.

Meridian Artists

Conrad Sun joined Meridian Artists in 2014 to head their Los Angeles Division. Conrad devotes his efforts toward building the Los Angeles roster, and supporting all of Meridian’s LA based clients for both staffing and development. Additionally Conrad works with the Toronto office to develop properties for the US market and prepare clients who plan to work in Los Angeles. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Alberta, Conrad started his entertainment career by founding a Calgary-based video production company in 2004. Soon he took his passion for film producing and entrepreneurship to Los Angeles where he attained his Master’s Degree from the Peter Stark Producing Program at the University of Southern California.

The Gotham Group

Thuan Dang is a literary manager at The Gotham Group representing writers and directors in feature film, live action television, and animation. Previously, he was a development executive for Mark Wahlberg’s nonscripted production company, Unrealistic Ideas, and before that worked at WME. Thuan initially got his start in the industry as a tour guide on the Warner Bros. Studio Lot and then transitioned into production, working on multi-cam sitcoms from MIKE AND
MOLLY, THE GREAT INDOORS, and THE JERROD CARMICHAEL SHOW. Before entering into the entertainment industry, Thuan was a janitor.



Natalia Temesgen is a playwright and TV writer based in Georgia. Her plays have been produced nationally and won multiple awards and accolades. Her TV drama pilot “Bea Rose,” based on one of her plays, was a 2019 Launch Pad Top 100 Finalist. Natalia was a Staff Writer on the fourth and final season of Netflix’s “Dear White People” and is currently a Story Editor on the upcoming HBOMax series “Julia,” about the beloved TV chef, Julia Child.

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About Launch Pad

The Launch Pad is a place dedicated to launching writing careers. Going well beyond what other screenwriting competitions offer, we have created a platform that has helped more than 300 writers launch their careers. Utilizing our three competitions – pilots, features and manuscripts – as well as our advanced coverage services, we provide a hub that reaches far beyond a simple prize with your name listed on a site. The Launch Pad is a community of writers, executives, agents, managers and producers working together with one focus in mind – THE WRITER.

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