Issue 220 | May 2023


In this issue:



  • 2023 Winners of Harvardwood Writers Competition & Most Staffable TV Writers
  • Seeking Homestay Hosts for Harvardwood Summer Internship Program (HSIP) Students
  • Harvardwood Summer Internship Program 2023
  • Featured Job: Assistant to Talent/Literary Manager (Anonymous Content) - CA


  • Alumni Profiles: Logan Steiner JD ‘09 (author)
  • Industry News 
  • New Members' Welcome
  • Exclusive Q&A with Anthony Chin-Quee AB '05 (author) 
  • Meet the Chapter Heads: Toronto 


  • Harvardwood Presents: Unlock Your Creative Career - the Key to Setting (and Getting) Goals That Stick
  • Harvardwood Presents: From Music to Medicine to Memoirs and More!

Become a Harvardwood member as we further engage in socially active programming, discourse, and action to help change the entertainment industry.

Want to submit your success(es) to Harvardwood HIGHLIGHTS? Do so by posting here

This month at Harvardwood, the Harvardwood Summer Internship Program applications remain open on a rolling basis, in addition to another humble, pleading, beseeching request for Homestay Hosts for the students who are participating in internships.

In addition, we'll offer an exciting workshop about how to Unlock Your Creative Career, a relevant subject for most readers of this sentence. We additionally have an event with Anthony Chin-Quee AB '05 in which he will tell us about how we, too, can make our parents proud with a triple musical, medicinal, and authorial career.

As always, we want to hear from you, our members -- if you have an idea for an event or programming, please tell us about it here. If you have an announcement about your work or someone else's, please share it here (members) and it will appear in our Weekly and/or next HIGHLIGHTS issue.

Please consider donating to Harvardwood
. Your donations are tax deductible!

Best wishes,

Grace Shi
Operations and Communications Associate
[email protected]

Special note: You may have seen a mailing from us this morning today that was originally sent on April 3rd. This was re-sent to you by mistake, so apologies! If any of the events booked exciting to you, but have already passed, remember that full members are able to access recordings of our events in our Video Vault.

2023 Winners of Harvardwood Writers Competition & Most Staffable TV Writers

Deadline announcement

Harvardwood has announced its latest set of Writers Competition winners, also naming its Most Staffable TV Writer for 2023.

The official arts, media, and entertainment alumni organization for Harvard University, Harvardwood looks to spotlight talented up-and-coming writers from diverse backgrounds and to connect them with mentors, as well as producers, agencies, and management companies.

Writer-producers participating in this year’s program as mentors include Neal Baer (ERDesignated Survivor), Emily Halpern (80 for BradyBooksmart), and Jeff Schaffer (Dave, Curb Your Enthusiasm).

The winners of Harvardwood’s competition were chosen via a blind judging process. In addition to one-on-one mentorship, each will receive a cash prize.

In recent years, participants in the Harvardwood Writers Program and Competition have seen success with pilot sales to ABC, the CW, Disney+, Jim Henson Company, Netflix, Showtime, Sony, Syfy, and TV Land, in addition to blind script deals at ABC Studios and Warner Bros. Harvardwood writers have been staffed on over two dozen shows, and recent shows include: Almost Paradise (WGN), American Dad (Fox), Animaniacs (Hulu), Awkwafina is Nora from Queens (Comedy Central), Billions (Showtime), Bridgerton (Netflix), DC's Legends of Tomorrow (CW), Emergence (ABC), Family Guy (FOX), Fear the Walking Dead (AMC), The Flash (CW), Future Man (Hulu), The Goldbergs (ABC), Gotham (Fox), Grey's Anatomy (ABC), The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu), Homeland (Showtime), How To Get Away With Murder (ABC), In The Dark (CW), Jane the Virgin (CW), Manhunt: Deadly Games (CBS), Manifest (Netflix), Marvel’s Runaways (Hulu), Power (Starz), Queen Sugar (OWN),The Resident (FOX), Shadowhunters (Freeform), Stargirl (CW), The Simpsons (Fox), Tab Time (YouTube), and The Society (Netflix). Among our feature film writers, successes include writing for: Circle of Confusion, Electric Entertainment, Lionsgate, Marvel Films, and Netflix.

Participants have secured representation at 3 Arts, Apostle, Benderspink, Brant Rose Agency, Brillstein Entertainment Partners, CAA, Circle of Confusion, Echo Lake, Gersh, ICM, Madhouse Entertainment, Management 360, Mosaic, Original Artists, UTA, WME, and others.

Here is the list of the winners of the 2023 Harvardwood Writers Competition.

FEATURE Category Winners (tied for first place):

EMERY & ELLSWORTH MAKE A PICTURE by Madi Stine (adventure)

Logline: In 1911, when brothers Emery and Ellsworth Kolb take a motion picture camera down 1,200 miles of unrelenting river to make the world's first outdoor adventure film, they are met with more adventure than they bargained for, realizing the biggest obstacles lie not in the wilderness, but in each other.

Madi Stine is an award-winning writer/director based in Los Angeles. She’s interested in stories about dreamers who see the magic in the everyday. A graduate of Harvard (BA, English and Visual & Environmental Studies) and Columbia (MFA, Screenwriting/Directing), Madi's short films have screened internationally, her writing has placed in various competitions, and she's been a participant of the CineStory Feature Retreat and Cine Qua Non's Script Revision Lab.

SHORT TIME by Anthony Zonfrelli (drama)

Logline: A washed-up, dropout wrestling referee in his 30s goes back to finish high school and win a state championship like his late father, hoping to seize the moment he ran from fifteen years ago...albeit this time as an "adult." 

Anthony felt he was destined for greatness after winning the Massachusetts Baby America Pageant as a toddler. After decades of wrestling, he’s now older (and uglier). He loves to reach people with his writing, specializing in scripts rich in heart and exemplifying his charismatic, smart, and darkly weird sense of humor. Anthony is both a Harvard alum and, to his parents' chagrin, a comedian, having performed in hundreds of standup and improv shows across the world. He grew up on a cranberry bog, leaving him only with his imagination. And cranberries.



FUCKBOI by Warner James Wood (one-hour drama)

Logline: A limited series set between the Hollywood Hills and Skid Row, FUCKBOI tells the story of three unlikely heroes from totally different walks of life who must band together to triumph over one man’s deadly abuse of power and take down the unjust systems that enabled him. Inspired by true events.

Warner James Wood was raised in the Appalachian Mountains before receiving his undergraduate degree in Human Evolutionary Biology from Harvard University. After, he took an MFA in Poetry from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program, worked on Wall Street as a structured derivatives trader, and finally moved to Los Angeles to complete a graduate screenwriting fellowship through the American Film Institute as a Geffen Fellow. Currently, he works for his mentor, Mark Fish (SCANDAL), developing Blake Crouch’s New York Times bestseller, RECURSION, for Shondaland & Netflix. 


Warner James Wood (FUCKBOI

Warner James Wood was awarded the additional honor of "Most Staffable Writer" because his outstanding TV pilot was incubated in the Harvardwood Writers Program.


Seeking Homestay Hosts for Harvardwood Summer Internship Program (HSIP) Students

Every year, our Harvardwood Summer Internship Program (HSIP) offers a few dozen Harvard College students the opportunity to pursue summer internships in the arts, media, and entertainment sectors. HSIP facilitates career-related activities throughout the summer for participating students and companies both virtually and in-person in Los Angeles and other cities with multiple students. 

We are currently looking for homestay hosts for part or all of Summer 2023 in LA, NYC, and other large cities to help defray the cost of living for students, many of whom could otherwise not afford to participate in low-paying arts/entertainment internships. If you’re able to provide a spare room/couch/air mattress to host a college student (or three!), we’d be eternally grateful.

Please contact Programs Manager Laura Yumi Snell at [email protected] with your nameaddress/neighborhood, and the number of students and dates you’re able to host. Thank you!

Harvardwood Summer Internship Program 2023

We are pleased to offer the Harvardwood Summer Internship Program (HSIP) for 2023! Now in its 20th year, HSIP provides a list of summer internship opportunities in the arts, media, and entertainment to interested Harvard students. In addition, HSIP facilitates career-related activities throughout the summer for participating students and companies virtually and/or in-person in Los Angeles and other cities with multiple students. Past program events have included film screenings, industry panels, and speaker events.

Internship opportunities are released and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Positions may also be filled on a rolling basis, so we encourage students and companies to submit their materials as early as possible. 

The priority submission date for students has passed, but many positions are still open and accepting applicants.

Over 100 companies have participated in HSIP since its inception, including ABC, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, CAA, Digital Domain, Disney, Dreamworks, HBO Films, Lionsgate, Mirabai Films, Miramax, National Geographic Films, Red Wagon Productions, Skybound Entertainment, Untitled Entertainment, Valhalla Motion Pictures and many others!

Click here if you are a student seeking summer internships!

Click here if you have a company offering summer internships!

Featured Job: Assistant to Talent/Literary Manager (Anonymous Content) - CA

Job Description: 

We are looking for an experienced Assistant to a Manager handling both Talent and Literary clients who has a genuine passion for being a part of our mission. This position will be located in our Culver City office and may be asked to be in the office on a hybrid schedule (days in-office to be determined). This can be subject to change to the then-current Company policy.

Click here for more info!


Alumni Profile: Logan Steiner JD ‘09 (author)

by Laura Frustaci

Logan Steiner JD ‘09 is a lawyer by day and a writer by baby bedtime. Her writing explores motherhood and the creative life—two things she once thought could never happily coexist. Logan also writes a Substack newsletter called The Motherhood Question. After graduating from Pomona College and Harvard Law School, Logan clerked for three federal judges, spent six years in Big Law, and served for three years as an Assistant United States Attorney. She now specializes in brief writing at a boutique law firm. Logan lives in Denver with her husband, daughter, and the cranky old man of the house, a Russian Blue cat named Taggart. Her debut novel After Anne will be published by William Morrow on May 30th

Logan Steiner JD ‘09
always knew that she wanted to write. But her journey to becoming a published author wasn’t as direct as some might expect. After getting her undergrad degree in English at Pomona College, Logan attended Harvard Law School. Currently, Logan is a litigator who specializes in brief writing at a boutique law firm. So, where did she get the inspiration (and the time) to write After Anne: A Novel of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Life?

“I wanted to write from a really young age,” Logan explains, “and I love Anne of Green Gables; it was one of the most influential books I read when I was young. The series is near and dear to my heart.” Logan recalls, “I got really good advice from trusted professors...I was debating the English PhD route, and they said that’s a very narrow and very long path, so if there’s something else you’re interested in, try that first. Law was interesting to me, so I went to law school with the aim of writing but not putting pressure on my creative dreams to support me.” Logan feels that this distinction was very beneficial to her creative process. 

From a young age, Logan’s artist mother instilled in her the idea of not relying on art to make a living. Logan’s mom taught her to have something steady to pay the bills. For Logan, this was law. “I continue to appreciate the flexibility of a law career,” Logan begins. “Fast forward several years after graduating from law school, I had clerked for judges and worked at a Big Law firm. I was getting good experience and had great opportunities, but I had lost focus on my creative dreams.” Then, unexpectedly, Logan experienced a tragic family event that she said served as her wakeup call: the death of her younger brother. “Losing my younger brother unexpectedly was such a shock to my system and to my family,” Logan explains. “It woke me up to the fact that life is finite, and I didn’t want to put off doing the thing I had always wanted to do for any longer. I took a six month unpaid leave of absence from my law firm and started researching and writing After Anne.” 

Logan was set on her genre of choice before she even began brainstorming. “I knew I wanted to write historical fiction about the life of a creative person. I’ve always been interested in the story within the story—the story of the person who wrote the books that I love,” Logan says. “I went on a hunt for writers whose work had stuck with me over the years, and Anne of Green Gables was such an early influence for me… I read about Lucy Maud Montgomery’s life and had this immediate response of wanting to tell her story.”


Lucy Maud Montgomery (who went by Maud), the prolific and talented author of Anne of Green Gables and over 20 other novels, as well as 530 short stories and 500 poems, compelled Logan. “She had an incredible life documented in public journals, and in a wonderful biography written of her, but there was a lot of mystery. Her granddaughter revealed that she committed suicide in 2008, generations after the fact. The fact that Maud committed suicide but wrote such life-affirming characters opened up so many questions for me.” So, Logan got to work exploring these questions. It was a long journey of research and writing. Logan went back to her law job full time and continued writing on the side. Once she had a completed draft, it was another long and winding path to finding an agent and a publisher. “That took time and resilience in the face of rejection,” Logan smiles. “Learning about Maud’s own resilience was helpful to keep myself going.” 

One major challenge of writing historical fiction is drawing the line between sensationalizing and reporting. Logan’s process was to first scour historical research and scholarly literature written about Maud, including the biography Lucy Maud Montgomery: The Gift of Wings by Mary Henley Rubio. “One of my goals was to be a complement to, and not compete with, the biographical account, while getting to the emotional realities and undercurrents,” Logan notes. “ A couple of early readers wanted the book to be more sensationalized. I wasn’t willing to do that. I was committed to keeping it authentic. Maud was a complex woman, so it took a lot of drafts to get things right.” 

However, there were several places where the historical record leaves gaps, and where Logan was excited to extrapolate on Maud’s story. “She left a note beside her bed when she died that read like a suicide note, but it  had the page number ‘176’ at the bottom that looked just like the page numbers in Maud’s journal notes,” Logan explains.  “The first 175 pages—which were likely journal notes from the last three years of Maud’s life—have never been found. There are many different things that could have happened to those 175 pages, but I wrote about the one I think is most likely based on what I’ve come to know of Maud: that she burned those pages so there wouldn’t be a detailed record of her last few, painful years.  Maud was fascinated with fire from a young age, and she was committed to editing and curating [her] story. She edited her own journals for eventual publication and had bonfires burning papers at the end of her life. So I imagined my best guess of what happened to those 175 pages into the novel.” Examples like these demonstrate the balance Logan struck between her own creative voice and Maud’s recorded reality.

Another challenge Logan found in writing a novel was stopping her own harsh self-editing. “Drilled into me from school and my legal career is a very loud internal editor,” Logan laughs, “so getting words on the page was the biggest challenge for me sometimes, just writing without editing.” This connects to Logan’s advice for any aspiring future author: keep going. “Really remind yourself why you’re doing it,” Logan states. “Which ultimately, for me, wasn’t about getting published or about other people’s opinions, but about my own experience of writing. There was so much depth to Maud’s story that added to my experience of living my own life—that was a big part of the ‘why’ for me.” Also, be intentional with selecting your agent. “So much of this is luck and happenstance, but who your agent is matters a lot. I saw my agent speak at a conference, and I really connected with her. My connection with her has been one of the most rewarding parts of my author journey. So, being thoughtful about the agent and looking for an agent who understands your work and is a good long term career fit is really important, even if it takes more time to get there.” Logan concludes. 

Although Anne of Green Gables is a book from over a century ago, it endures as a timeless classic and is reimagined and reinvigorated by Logan’s contribution to Lucy Maud Montgomery’s canon. “Anne’s endurance has been about her unfiltered, exuberant spirit: people read about her and remember they have that same freedom,” Logan offers. “Anne’s early dreams were about going beyond what was expected of her as a young girl in a rural town. Reading about her inspires people to break free.” In After Anne, Logan reminds us that the story of a character’s creator can be as interesting and inspiring as the character she creates. 


Dayna_Wilkinson_headshot.jpgLaura Frustaci ('21) is an NYC-based actor and writer. She recently completed a yearlong Harvard Postgraduate Traveling fellowship in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she wrote her first full-length play. While at Harvard, Laura studied English and performed with the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the HRDC, On Thin Ice, and the American Repertory Theater.

Industry News 

Marty Bowen (AB ‘91) and Wyck Godfrey’s Temple Hill Entertainment is producing He’ll Come Knocking, a film about an ex-con who gets a  job in a revitalized factory town and discovers that his family’s idyllic suburban dream requires a terrible sacrifice.

Steve Zahn (ART ‘90) stars in the new film Gringa, a dramatic comedy that centers around a girl who decides to go after her estranged father. 

New NBC Series The Irrational starring The Flash alumnus Jesse L. Martin and produced by Mark Goffman (MPP ‘94) has started filming in Vancouver.

Former DreamWorks exec Mark Sourian (AB ‘95) has been appointed as President of Production for the Angel Studios Original The Chosen, with plans to build out an entertainment “universe” from the hit faith-based series.

Graeme Wood (AB ‘01)’s Absolute Power was a finalist in Profile Writing for the 2023 National Magazine Awards for her cover story on Saudi Arabia, which included the first interview Mohammed bin Salman had given to the non-Saudi press in more than two years.

Maestra Music, an Obie award-winning nonprofit designed to uplift female and nonbinary musicians in the musical theatre industry, held its third annual concert event, Amplify 2023, March 27, which featured a performance from inaugural Harvardwood Artist Launch Fellow Julia Riew (AB ’22)!

Screen Gems has acquired The Rule of Three, an upcoming horror novel by Sam Ripley, a pseudonym for a well-established author. Temple Hill’s Marty Bowen (AB ‘91) and Wyck Godfrey will produce the film.

Robert De Niro is attached to star in a Billy Ray-penned crime drama series, Bobby Meritorious, that is in the works at Paramount+. The series comes from Eric Newman, Noah Oppenheim (AB ‘00) and Michael S. Schmidt.

Paddington’s back: the threequel Paddington In Peru will begin filming in July. David Heyman (AB ‘83) produces!

The world premiere of FX’s Justified: City Primeval, executive produced by Michael Dinner (AB ‘78), is among the events scheduled for Opening Night of Season 12 of the ATX TV Festival, which runs June 1-4 in Austin.

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis (The Rep) is closing out their 2022-2023 Mainstage season with the highly anticipated classic mystery, Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express, with actress Ellen Harvey (AB ‘89) as Helen Hubbard.

Woody Harrelson and Justin Theroux star in the upcoming HBO limited series White House Plumbers. Emmy-winning Veep creators David Mandel (AB ‘92), Alex Gregory, and Peter Huyck are behind the series.

The Guardian says that Renfield, produced by David Alpert (AB ‘97), “borrows from the best bits of Hollywood monster movies and features some truly resplendent gore.”

From Executive Producers Jada Pinkett Smith, Terence Carter (AB ’01) and Netflix comes Queen Cleopatra, part of the Documentary Series partnership which previously released African Queens: Njinga

Disney’s live-action Lilo & Stitch, produced by Dan Lin (MBA ‘99), has found its Nani, Lilo’s older sister and legal guardian, in Sydney Elizebeth Agudong and its David Kawena, Nani’s love interest, in newcomer Kahiau Machado.

Idina Menzel, Tom Morello (AB ‘86) and Babyface will be honored at Music Will’s (previously known as Little Kids Rock) annual benefit on May 2 at the Novo in Los Angeles. 

Profile Books has scooped the "deeply moving history" All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake by Harvard professor Tiya Miles (AB ‘92, RDI ‘22). The book will be published on July 13th.

The American Repertory Theater is developing inaugural Harvardwood Artist Launch Fellow Julia Riew (AB ’22)'s musical Dive!. An all-female, Asian-American creative team has collected to work on the project, including Stop Kiss playwright Diana Son and Tony Award-winning director Diane Paulus (AB ’88).

1497, the nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting South Asian filmmakers, has enlisted Mira Nair (AB ‘79), Geeta Malik (India Sweets and Spices) and Minhal Baig (Hala) as mentors for its third Features Lab.

The new film by Daniel Goldhaber (AB ‘13), edited by Daniel Garber (AB ‘13), How to Blow Up a Pipeline follows a group of young environmental activists as they plan to sabotage and explode an oil pipeline in Texas. Among the lavish praise the film has received, Deadline calls the film “riveting.”

Author J.K. Rowling, Neil Blair, and Ruth Kenley-Letts are exec producing the new Harry Potter TV series from MAX, with David Heyman (AB ‘83) currently in talks to do the same. Brontë Film and TV is producing with Warner Bros. Television.

Shari Frilot (AB ‘87, RDI ‘19) has been named the winner of the first annual Visionary Award, which honors an individual whose groundbreaking body of work has shaped the forms, the creators and the field of boundary-pushing interactive storytelling.

Kennedy Ryan’s bestselling novel Before I Let Go is in development at Peacock from UCP and Universal Television. Debra Martin Chase (JD ’81) is executive producing via her Martin Chase Productions.

The WhatsOnStage Award-winning Heathers the Musical, with book, music and lyrics by Kevin Murphy and Laurence O'Keefe (AB ‘91) will be streaming exclusively on Icon Film Channel from 1 May and will remain on the service for one month.

The North American tour of A Soldier's Play, with set design by Derek McLane (AB ‘80), will make its Los Angeles premiere at Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre May 23 through June 25, 2023.

New Members' Welcome

Harvardwood warmly welcomes all members who joined the organization last month:

  • Danielle Parsons
  • Camden Couch, College, NY
  • Kinnereth Din, College, BOS/Campus
  • Joey Knightbrook, GSAS, LA
  • Hugh Reynolds, HLS, BOS/Campus
  • William Bauman, College, NY
  • Rocket Claman, College, NY
  • Bill Rauch, College, NY
  • Naia Cucukov
  • Ilan Erez, Ext., BOS/Campus
  • Duncan Christy, College, NY
  • David Van Taylor, College, NY
  • Michael Hirschorn, College, NY
  • Scott Delman, GSBA, NY
  • Micah Johnson-Levy, College, NY
  • Tarek Abu-Suud, College, London
  • Peyton Dunham, College, NY
  • Joshua Lee, College, NY
  • Kieran Kelly, College, BOS/Campus
  • Nia Orakwue, Special Student (COL), BOS/Campus
  • Rhys Moon, College, LA
  • William Marsh, College, BOS/Campus

Exclusive Q&A with Anthony Chin-Quee AB '05 (author) 

Join us for a conversation with Anthony on May 18th here!

Anthony Chin-Quee AB '05 is a board certified Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose, and Throat surgeon) with degrees from Harvard University and Emory University School of Medicine. He has appeared at The Moth competitions, where he’s won their Story Slam, placed as a runner-up in the Detroit Grand Slam, and performed on the NYC Moth Mainstage. He was a medical consultant for ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and a member of the writing staff of FOX’s The Resident for two seasons, distilling complex medical and social issues into palatable and understandable mainstream storylines. His critically acclaimed memoir, I Can’t Save You—a candid account of the ways in which medical residency training shattered the mind of an empathetic, well-intentioned doctor, and the arduous task of piecing it back together again through painful and overdue self-discovery—was released by Riverhead Books on April 4th, 2023. He has published opinions in Forbes and been interviewed by NPR on the topic of systemic racism in medical education. Anthony currently resides in England with his wife and daughter.

Q: Your memoir I CAN’T SAVE YOU was released on April 4th, 2023. Can you explain where the idea for writing this memoir came from originally, and what pushed you to follow through with it?

I actually remember the exact moment that the idea came to me. I was in the middle of a devastating episode of major depression during medical training: I couldn’t work, funds were running low, and I was on the losing side of a daily argument with a voice in my head that kept telling me that speed limits were light suggestions and seatbelts were annoying and ineffective. So, to summarize: I was doing great.

Then one night in bed, the anti-depressants finally started to kick in, the fog in my mind burned off, and I realized I needed to find a reason to keep going. Not just to keep living, but to keep doing this work that seemed to be killing me every day. And suddenly I remembered: I was really good at telling stories. Since I was young, I’d always loved building them, and people always seemed to gravitate toward them. It was a skill and a love that I thought had been beaten out of me by my job, but it somehow managed to find me on a night when I’d run out of things to hold on to.

There was no lofty societal inspiration. Just the hope that through the promise of storytelling I’d survive. And the distant wish that someday someone might read it and feel a little less lonely.

As far as what pushed me to follow through? Well we’ve only recently gotten curious enough as a society to learn that ‘hero’ doctors have limits and breaking points–all it took was a worldwide pandemic, a doubling of their already insane work-hours, working under the constant threat of dying from an incurable disease, and skyrocketing suicide statistics. Super low bar for humanizing the medical profession, right? But we can’t let the moment vanish just because the stories are no longer in the news. Our stories of survival and sacrifice have always been this dire. And if we have any hope of changing the profession for the better, the time to strike is now.

Q: What lessons do you hope readers take away from your story? What did you really try to focus on communicating or highlighting for your audience as you were writing?

I’d like for readers to know that it’s okay if you’ve spent minutes of, years of, or your entire life feeling like something inside of you is broken or irredeemable. That feeling need not guide you, and it doesn’t have to last forever. The choice to love yourself, your entire self and all of the paths you’ve walked is one you can make any time. There’s no magic to it. It’s just a choice. And lots of affirmations. And a lifetime of work. But once you commit to that choice, there’s no love like it in the world. 

Q: This memoir addresses some deeply personal struggles and challenges you’ve faced in terms of racism, mental health, and being in the medical field. Were you at all nervous about sharing such personal material, and was there anything you felt you had to hold back?

My main challenge in writing this story wasn’t nerves or anxiety about sharing, but managing to share completely. I realized, as I made my way through my first draft, that many experiences and emotions that I thought I’d navigated completely still required much more work in therapy. Honesty came easy, but the act of gaining enough perspective and self-awareness to tell a story of growth, forgiveness and self-love took a lot of intentionally uncomfortable work.

Q: What was the process like for getting your memoir published? Did you have any challenges finding an agent or publisher? 

I knew absolutely nothing about the publishing world when this journey began. I didn’t have any connections or any personal fame or notoriety, so I was really at the mercy of what Google could teach me about “how to publish a book." All I knew was that I had to go on the hunt for a literary agent. So, I put together a snappy query letter (which I based on templates I found on the internet), and sent out cold emails to dozens of agents. And then I got the rejections. Dozens of them. It wasn’t until about eleven months had gone by, and I’d been rejected by about sixty agents, that one took an enthusiastic chance on me. And luckily, it was a match made in heaven. My agent, Jon Michael Darga, has become both a great friend and a fierce professional advocate. Once I signed with him, he worked tirelessly to get me set up at the right publishing house for my book.

Q: In writing this, did you find that any of your ideas or preconceptions shifted as you explored your past and history in the medical field as a Black man? Or did the feelings and thoughts that you’ve had all along sort of just crystalize more clearly?

When I began writing, I’d already gone through several phases in the evolution of my identity as a Black man—not only in medicine but in America and, really, in the world at large. The fun part was figuring out creative and poignant ways to articulate that journey. I had a feeling that there were many people out there who would relate to having a long and often uncomfortable journey through their understanding of their own racial identities, and I wanted to make sure I honored those experiences with as much clarity and empathy as I could manage.

Q: Ultimately, are you glad that you went into medicine? Is there anything about your career that you regret? And what have you done throughout your career that you’re most proud of? 

Even though, knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t do it again, I wouldn’t know all that I know now if I hadn’t gone through it. So, I don’t regret any part of my medical career. Plus, it was the experience that I gained in the journey through medicine that made my entry into my new career possible. I love utilizing all that I’ve learned about both life and medicine in a way that more closely aligns with the things I’m passionate about.

Medicine-wise, the thing I’m most proud of is the way in which I’ve tried to identify others who were struggling through the profession, and help them to find confidence, community, and the freedom to be themselves. The journey, for many of us, is relentlessly dehumanizing. We lose so much of ourselves along the way, and we’re conditioned by our job to believe that we are alone in these feelings. But we’re not. And we all deserve to know that. 

Q: There unfortunately still remains a stigma surrounding discussion of mental health, especially in communities of color. How does your memoir seek to address this challenge, and does any of your other work (as a TV writer) encompass that discussion? Have you seen any changes in this stigma with the pandemic and increased awareness/conversation surrounding mental health while everyone was in quarantine?

The stigma you mentioned is still very prominent, even with the increased spotlight mental health has received over the course of the pandemic. Unfortunately, the onus has remained on the individual to recognize when they need help themselves, as opposed to restructuring our systems and workplaces to be more hospitable and supportive of our collective mental health and wellness.

So, given the fact that much of society has decided that we are ‘on our own’, it was really important to me to depict my experience of depression honestly and completely. I focused on painting as clear a picture of how the world felt both inside and outside of my head as my brain slowly crumbled. I wanted to show as many sides of the illness as possible—from the catatonic depths to the hilarious highs to the alcohol drenched hazy moments in between—so that readers who suffer (and loved ones of those readers) could recognize just how many faces this deceptive disease can take on. If we can recognize more of our individual triggers and warning signs, we might stand a chance at taking control of our mental wellness before we get to that dangerous point of no return. 

You were a story editor for the hit medical TV drama THE RESIDENT. How do you take your experiences in the medical field and use them in your work as a writer on the show?

I love the medium of television, because it’s an opportunity to educate on a very large scale, especially when it comes to medical dramas. As we crafted each episode, we’d often begin with a theme we wanted to explore. And these themes were often tied into broader medical/healthcare issues that we knew to be important to large groups of people. Then we’d use our stories as opportunities to teach the audience about how to advocate for their own health without getting didactic and preachy. One of my favorite episodes to write was about obesity bias in medicine, and how healthcare providers can miss vital diagnoses when we are preoccupied with a patient’s weight. I think we were able to empower a lot of people with that story, as well as demand that we as providers address our blind spots of bias.

Q: What was the process like for sitting down to write a memoir versus writing for television? Any surprising differences or similarities in the mediums?

The processes are extremely different! Memoir writing was a largely solitary pursuit, demanding that I create deadlines in my head as motivation to keep plugging away. Writing for TV is a total group effort. You have a whole room full of smart, creative writers who are always ready to throw new ideas into the mix. Writer’s block isn’t really a thing when working in television, since much of the process is creation by committee. When I hit a wall with the memoir, the work just stopped indefinitely! No more words until I’d taken a break/eaten a snack/gone on vacation!

Q: In what ways did your time at Harvard influence the path you have taken since graduating?

One of the best things I learned while at Harvard was that I didn’t need to feel that my life path was limited by the paths that had already existed in the world around me. I’ve never been around a group of people (before or since college) who so freely believed that they could create the career, life and world that they wanted, even if it hadn’t existed before. It’s super cocky for sure, and can lead you to be somewhat reckless, but the sliver of that hubris that I managed to adopt freed me to leap from the well-trodden medical path into the unknown. And for that, I’m eternally grateful to the Harvard community.

Q: Finally, what do you like to do in your free time?

I love laughing and being silly with my wife and daughter! And when it comes to down time, I read lots of books (YA sci-fi/fantasy is my fave), play video games, and watch an enormous amount of TV (a bit of an occupational requirement).

Meet the Chapter Heads: Toronto

Harvardwood would like to honor our Toronto Chapter Head, Skye Regan ALB '18.

skye.jpgSkye R. Regan graduated from Harvard in May 2018, with Latin honors and a concentration in Psychology. Before leaving, Skye was also selected to give the Graduate Address at the Commencement Banquet held at Annenberg Hall. At Harvard, she was very involved in the arts scene. She wrote, directed, and performed in the award winning film The Shadows, which earned “Best Writing," “Best Use of Prop” and “Second Place Overall” in the Harvard Undergraduate Film Association’s 48-Hour Film Festival. She also attended some writer’s room Wintersession workshops with Harvard alum Robert Carlock AB ‘95 (30 Rock, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) & Maria Arena Bell (Young & the Restless), organized by the OFA.

Skye is also a photographer and her work was featured in ARTS FIRST festival in a solo photography exhibition (later extended into Commencement 2018) at Memorial Hall entitled: Look Again: Interactions with Biodiversity & Structure. Her work was also included in the Harvard Student Arts Show at the gallery in the Ed Portal in Alston organized by the OFA with a mini collection titled: Above/Below. You can see more of her work here.

In terms of performance, Skye performed an original multimedia piece titled: Sight Unseen: Synergies in Music & Film, as part of the ARTS FIRST festival. Skye also performed as a Soprano for the Harvard Summer Chorus’ performance of Mozart’s Requiem. The performance – which was also a world-premiere of German composer, Michael Ostrzyga’s new completion of the work – was originally performed in Tercentenary Theatre in Harvard Yard, and later at the Monadnock Music Festival in New Hampshire. As a musician, Skye has performed across several genres and in many venues, most notably at Toronto’s Koerner Hall.

Since graduating, she has gone on to launch Roaming Writers. In addition, Skye currently serves as the Vice President of the Harvard Club of Toronto, and as the Canadian Co-Chair of Harvard Women in Defense, Diplomacy and Development. She is currently developing three television series, a screenplay and is adapting her senior thesis into a manuscript.

In her spare time, Skye also enjoys volunteering with animals, tinkering with UX design, sorting out puzzles and riddles, jumping out of planes, and most notably dancing like an absolute fool to nineties music!

Email the Toronto chapter to get involved with Harvardwood Toronto!

Harvardwood Presents: Unlock Your Creative Career - the Key to Setting (and Getting) Goals That Stick

Tuesday, May 9th 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET (virtual)

This workshop is an introduction to our unique approach to goal setting and time management for creatives. Participants will learn the three traps that keep creatives from achieving their goals and how to avoid them, and get tools for setting powerful goals and taking strategic steps toward creating the career they desire. Participants will walk away with a solid action plan for their new goal, and the focus they need to move forward with their goal in a proactive, manageable way.

Betsy Capes (CPCC)
 is the founder and president of Capes Coaching, NYC’s most reputable entertainment industry career coaching team. Since the company's inception in 2004, Betsy and her team have helped over 3,500 artists and creative professionals cultivate and sustain fulfilling careers in the entertainment industry. Betsy received her coaching certification through the Coaching Training Institute, has a BFA from the University of Illinois, and has done postgraduate work in Drama Therapy at NYU. She is a member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and has spearheaded the creation of a variety of career-focused services for artists, namely the acclaimed Creative Path Course curriculum, as well as the Artist Entrepreneurship Program at The New School for Drama. She has trained multiple coaches and instructors, and continues to personally teach and coach artists of all mediums.

More info HERE

Harvardwood Presents: From Music to Medicine to Memoirs and More!

Thursday, May 18th 1 pm PT / 4 pm ET (virtual)

Join us for a conversation with Anthony Chin-Quee (AB '05) 
about his musical roots, transition to medicine (and writing on medical TV shows), and the success of his new memoir.


Anthony Chin-Quee is a board certified Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose, and Throat surgeon) with degrees from Harvard University and Emory University School of Medicine. He has appeared at The Moth competitions, where he’s won their Story Slam, placed as a runner-up in the Detroit Grand Slam, and performed on the NYC Moth Mainstage. He was a medical consultant for ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” and a member of the writing staff of FOX’s “The Resident” for two seasons, distilling complex medical and social issues into palatable and understandable mainstream storylines. His critically acclaimed memoir, “I Can’t Save You”— a candid account of the ways in which medical residency training shattered the mind of an empathetic, well-intentioned doctor, and the arduous task of piecing it back together again through painful and overdue self-discovery—was released by Riverhead Books on April 4th, 2023. He has published opinions in Forbes and been interviewed by NPR on the topic of systemic racism in medical education.

Anthony currently resides in England with his wife and daughter.

More info HERE!


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Become a Harvardwood member as we further engage in socially active programming, discourse, and action to help change the entertainment industry!

In these unprecedented times, we are doubling down on providing impactful programming that not only helps our membership build and further entertainment careers, but create socially active habits and spheres of influence and knowledge. The entertainment industry is changing before our eyes, and our recent programming is just the tip of the iceberg. We'd love your help in furthering this mission. In various capacities, we work hard to create programming that you, the membership, would like to be engaged with. Please consider joining Harvardwood and becoming an active member of our arts, media, and entertainment community



Harvardwood does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any of the information, content or advertisements (collectively "Materials") contained on, distributed through, or linked, downloaded or accessed from any of the services contained in this e-mail. You hereby acknowledge that any reliance upon any Materials shall be at your sole risk. The materials are provided by Harvardwood on an "AS IS" basis, and Harvardwood expressly disclaims any and all warranties, express or implied.

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