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Fairy Tales Are For Real, Contests Count

Heather Dunoon (left) with Lena Dunham
Photo: Hailey O’Brien
F&V alum Heather Dunoon (BA '13) was named the 2013 Michael Collyer Fellow in Screenwriting, receiving recognition from the Writers Guild (East) and $10,000 for writing a feature film she pitched titled Remember Me.

As part of her award, Dunoon attended the WGAE Awards in New York City. "It all happened so fast. We found out she won on a Wednesday, two days later we had our reservations, a week later we were in New York... Heather was sparkling. It was like suddenly she's Cinderella," F&V faculty member Sue Mroz said.

In the Big Apple, Dunoon met favorite Lena Dunham, as well as Richard Kind and Louis C.K. “It was so amazing to be in a room with such inspiring people… Part of you wants to run up to your favorite writer and start gushing, ‘I love you!’ while the other part wants to make a good impression," she said. "The trick is to find that happy medium: be bold enough to approach people, but smart enough to know when they want you to go away.”

The fellowship includes a mentorship with renowned writer/actor Eric Bogosian who saw (and liked) her Moving Image Production II film Whiskey Dick on YouTube. “I remember people's reactions to me writing that specific short were rather mixed. Always know yourself; know what you’re capable of and don’t be afraid to really go there," Dunoon said.

Dunoon had a specific answer when asked to share the best advice for fellow screenwriters: “Enter contests. Don’t just say you’re going to, actually do it. No one is going to seek you out, you have to take every opportunity you can to get your work into the right hands.”

Currently living in Los Angeles, Dunoon is working on three features and a pilot, as well as a series bible for the pilot. She has a lot on her plate, but she still finds time to network, enter more festivals, and enjoy some fun in the sun with her foster dog.