Alumna Jessica Shields '18 Wins HBOAccess Writing Fellowship

BY Zoe Contros Kearl, June 18, 2019

Alumna Jessica Shields ‘18 has been announced as a recipient of a 2019 HBOAccess Writing Fellowship.


The HBOAccess Writing Fellowship provides mentorship for up to 8 diverse, emerging storytellers. Following a one-week intensive of master classes, participants are immersed in 8 months of mentoring by HBO creative executives, as each participant develops a script suitable for HBO or Cinemax. Over 3,000 applications were submitted. 


Headshot of Jessica Shields


“Selecting our fellows is always an exciting time for us,” says Kelly Edwards, SVP of Talent Development, HBO. “This process introduces us to so many incredibly talented, emerging writers. We know they all have bright futures ahead of them.”


Jessica D. Shields is an Atlanta native, Los Angeles-based multidisciplinary writer and filmmaker. She is a 2019 HBOAccess Writing Fellow, the recipient of the 2019 HUMANITAS Prize Drama Fellowship and a mentee in the 2019 Women in Film Mentor Program. She is a Film Independent Project Involve Screenwriting Fellow alumna and participated in the Moving Picture Institute Pilot Workshop (2018). Her pilot Rue Pigalle was a finalist for both the Nantucket Film Festival Showtime Tony Cox Screenwriting Competition and IFP No Borders (2017), and she was recently awarded the Humanitas Prize's Carol Mendelsohn College Drama Fellowship for it. Shields was previously nominated for the Humanitas Comedy Fellowship in 2016 and is an Alfred P. Sloan Treatment winner. Her work has advanced in competitions and development labs including the Sundance Episodic and Screenwriting Labs, the Sundance Sloan Commissioning Grant, the Austin Film Festival, the Tribeca Sloan Filmmaker Fund, the Women in Film/The Black List and MACRO/The Black List Episodic Labs, among others. Shields received her MFA in Film: Screenwriting and Directing from Columbia University and is an alumna of Vanderbilt University.