CBS Writers Mentoring Program Announces Class Of 2019-2020

October 24, 2019

Minoti Vaishnav with other members of 2019-2020 CBS Mentoring Program class
Minoti Vaishnav, Mike Diaz, Chandra Thomas, Lydia Teffera, Gia Gordon, Gabriel Ho / CBS


Story reposted from deadline.com [10.23.2019] • written by Greg Evans

CBS announced the names of six writers selected to participate in its 2019-2020 Writers Mentoring Program. Since its inception in 2004, the program has served to provide mentorships, access and opportunity for writers.

This year’s writers are Mike Diaz, Gia Gordon, Gabriel Ho, Lydia Teffera, Chandra Thomas and Minoti Vaishnav (alumna, CTVA Screenwriting option). Read more about them below.

The eight-month mentoring program pairs writers with a CBS executive mentor who helps them develop a new piece of material. Following the mentorship period, the writers participate in a 16-week workshop designed to teach them everything about the television business, as well as provide them access to agents, managers, executives, showrunners and producers.

“Our initiative focuses on professional growth that we believe lay the foundation for sustainable success in a very competitive marketplace,” said Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i, Executive Vice President, Entertainment Diversity, Inclusion and Communications, CBS Entertainment. “All of the participants from last year are now staffed on shows, including Hawaii Five-0, NCIS: New Orleans, Seal Team, Nancy Drew and Broke, all at the Network or Studio.

“Now in its 17th year, the exposure, access and opportunity this program gives our writers is key in creating game-changers in our industry. Many of our alumni have gone on to become executive producers on various television shows.”

This year’s participants, listed below, were selected from a pool of over 1,500 applicants. (see entire story for complete listing)

Minoti Vaishnav, Drama Writer
Born in Mumbai, India, Minoti Vaishnav moved to Los Angeles on her own as a teenager to pursue her dream of becoming a popstar, and released three albums and a viral music video. After dropping her mic to focus on film and television, Vaishnav worked several production jobs while serving as president of the Alliance for Women in Media SoCal, a non-profit that works to advance the impact of women in media. Now she works as an unscripted TV producer, helping develop content for NatGeo, History Channel and Netflix among other networks. Currently, she is completing a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Oxford.