Nickelodeon Writing & Artist Programs


Event Date: Saturday, January 18, 2014 || Speakers: Karen Kirkland, Amber Beard, Sasha Stroman and Evon Freeman || Check-in: 12:30 pm ||

This discussion will explore what it takes to submit to the Nickelodeon Writing Program. Learn the importance of writing and submitting the right spec and which show will best showcase your writing and your sense of humor. Additionally, we will discuss the interview process and how to properly prepare your writing portfolio, and what will be a good complement to your original spec.


 **The deadline has passed and REGISTRATION is now CLOSED for this event. Please view our calendar for upcoming events.


Additionally, there will be several past alumnae’s on hand to discuss the Nickelodeon’s Artist Program. The program offers aspiring artists, with diverse backgrounds experiences, the opportunity to hone their artistic skills while working on our 2D and CG animated television shows.

General Track participants will have hands-on interaction with established background designers, character designers and more, while Storyboard Track participants will receive hands-on experience working with lead storyboard artists.

The Program, developed to broaden Nickelodeon’s outreach efforts, provides a salaried position for up to six months. The next submission period runs from March 1 – April 1, 2014.

Application information and submission guidelines are available on our website at


karenkirklandphotoKAREN KIRKLAND, Executive Director of Nickelodeon’s Talent Outreach & Development, oversees both the Nickelodeon Writing & Artist Programs. Under Karen’s leadership, the Writing Program has become one of the most competitive and well-respected vehicles for emerging television writing talent. During her 9-years at Nick, Karen has helped to launch the careers of many successful creative visionaries onto such shows as Avatar: The Last Airbender, Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide, Just Jordan, Big Time Rush, The Mighty B!, The Fairly OddParents, The Backyardigans, Penguins of Madagascar, Fanboy & Chum Chum, Monsters vs. Aliens, Sanjay & Craig and The Haunted Hathaways.

Her daily responsibilities include the supervision of the writers and artists within each program, as well as managing the creative direction and coordination efforts between the Program and series’ productions, show creators and other network executives. In addition to representing the Writing and Artist Programs at film festivals across the country, Karen has extended the Programs outreach efforts to Puerto Rico, the UK and Europe.

Kirkland comes from an independent producing background with over 50 commercials and music videos to her credit. Not a complete stranger to Nick, she produced the T-Boz music video for Rugrats in Paris: The Movie (2000). She has been nominated for multiple MTV Music Video Awards, and won an NAACP Image Award for Video of the Year for her work on R. Kelly’s “I Wish”.

For the last 22 years, Karen has been involved in various areas of the film and television production industry acting as a freelance Producer at FM Rocks, RSA, BlackDog, DNA and Geneva Films. She was also the Producer of the Los Angeles Film Festival from 1995 to 2001, a preeminent cinematic event, showcasing the world’s best independent features.

Kirkland is a member of ATAS, ASIFA-Hollywood, Women in Animation, NALIP, and NAMIC. She has also been a judge for numerous award competitions including the BANFF World Media Festival and the UCLA Screenwriter’s Showcase.

cropped-amber_pp_1_v2AMBER BEARD is the Manager of the Nickelodeon Writing & Artist Programs and Awards Department. She manages the short-term and long-term needs of the highly successful Talent Development Programs. Amber’s efforts, such as seeking out new marketing outlets to boost visibility, spearheading recruitment and outreach opportunities for talent, and conducting Portfolio Reviews at various events, have helped fuel the success of both Programs. Amber also manages the over 500 submissions to various awards and festivals for Nickelodeon, the multi-Emmy award winning, number one entertainment brand for kids.

Amber began her career at Nickelodeon in 2007 as Assistant to Karen Kirkland, Executive Director of the Nickelodeon Writing & Artists Programs. Prior to Nickelodeon, Amber worked as a Clip Clearance Coordinator for the NAACP Image Awards and interned in the Commercial Department at the Dorothy Day Otis Talent Agency. Amber completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA (Go Bruins!) and attended Columbia University for graduate school. Truly bi-coastal, she loves thinking about travel, everything purple, and a good belly laugh.

Sasha StromanSASHA STROMAN, born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, grew up on a steady diet of rice, beans, and telenovelas, just like every other kid in the barrio. But when her formal education began at a local American school, the scene quickly changed. At school, every subject was taught in English and every student tuned in to American television, listened to pop music and watched Hollywood movies. Her school’s thorough Americanization left Sasha extremely curious to see how the other half lived, and she eventually left the island to study in New York, Paris, and Los Angeles. Believing that every experience fuels her writing, Sasha has worked in widely different industries. She mastered Zen and the art of T-shirt folding during an after-school stint at the Gap, she has interviewed Catherine Zeta-Jones about face cream, and she was given the keys to the mac-and-cheese kingdom by the Barefoot Contessa herself. These far-ranging opportunities have uniquely shaped both her point of view and her storytelling. Sasha holds a bachelor’s degree in history and cocktail party conversation from Columbia University in New York, and an MFA in screenwriting from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. She recently completed the Nickelodeon Writing Program and has written for Nickelodeon’s Sanjay and Craig, Disney’s I Didn’t Do It, and Hulu’s East Los High.


Evon FreemanEVON FREEMAN‘s first words, at least from what her parents tell her, were “junk food,” her favorite thing to do was not listening to instructions, and she was really good at taking things apart, and not being able to put them back together. Thankfully she at least learned to speak a few more words since then. She was brought up in a multiracial family, with a Taiwanese mom and Caucasian dad. They were raising her to be a scientist or doctor or one of those jobs that makes a lot of money and parents always want you to be. Unfortunately, it was soon clear that she had no desire to be a doctor and her abysmal math skills knocked out scientist. As a child her mom would often take her back to Taiwan with her, if you’ve never been, it’s really hot and humid there in the summer and no one wants to go outside. So to occupy her time she bought some how-to-draw books from the corner bookstore and started doodling. This was the beginning; and it was all thanks to boredom. So thank you boredom!In high school she took as many art classes that she could fit into her schedule: pottery, photography, art, and computer graphics. After landing a job at Electronic Arts for character design, she decided to go back to school so that she could continue her career in art and design. She then applied for the graduate program at the Academy of Art and got into the Visual Development program.

During the Artist Program she worked under Bryan Konietzko on Legend of Korra, where did designs, background painting and some concepts for the upcoming season. After the Program, she worked as a background designer on Monsters VS. Aliens for a year. She currently works on Disney’s Star and the Forces of Evil as a prop designer. In between working, she’s done freelance for various shows and development projects. She has also been taking storyboarding classes at the Concept Design Academy and hopes to move into storyboarding in the future.




Join us on the Third Saturday every month at:


CBS Studio Center
4024 Radford Avenue
Studio City, CA 91604

Free Parking — Enter the CBS lot at the main gate & inform security you are there for the Scriptwriters Network event.

You’ll be asked for your government issued photo ID, and then given directions to the meeting location. You may park in any available space on the lot (unless they direct you to a parking structure during special events).


As this is a professional event, we ask that you please arrive prior to the event start time.

Meeting Timeframe: 1:00 pm to approximately 3:00 pm


Please remember to bring a picture ID and your SWN Membership Card!

Any questions, email us at

Twitter Instagram Tumblr Pinterest Meetup Facebook Email