Karen McClellan serving as showrunner in residence for the Pacific Screenwriting Program’s 2022 Scripted Series Lab

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Karen McClellan [Photo provided]

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Award-winning writer Karen McClellan will serve as showrunner in residence for the Pacific Screenwriting Program’s 2022 Scripted Series Lab.

Starting this month, McClellan is mentoring six up-and-coming British Columbia-based screenwriters as they develop her original series in the Pacific Screenwriting Program’s flagship training program.

Now in its fourth year, the Scripted Series Lab combines real-world story room experience, mentorship, workshops and information sessions to equip writers with the skills, experience and connections necessary to establish a sustainable career in the province’s dynamic screen-based industry.

The Pacific Screenwriting Program is a collaboration of Netflix, Canadian Media Producers Association, the Writer’s Guild of Canada and Creative BC, according to a news release. It was established in 2018 with the goal of building a vibrant screenwriter community in British Columbia. Based in Vancouver, the not-for-profit organization provides support and career-advancement opportunities to BC-based film and television writers at all levels, while generating a deep and sustainable pool of local talent for BC-based series and films.

“We are so very fortunate to have Karen McLellan as our mentor Showrunner this year,” said Pacific Screenwriting Program President Brian Hamilton in a statement. “Her deep experience as a writer and producer of numerous worldwide hits across varied genres gives her the ideal background for this role. Karen shares our passion for developing local new voices and has never forgotten what it’s like to be starting out on the road to building a screenwriting career.”

McLellan most recently served as executive producer and co-showrunner of “The Next Step,” a global hit series playing in more than 120 countries. During her tenure, the fictional tween dramedy garnered multiple BAFTA and Canadian Screen Award nominations.

“I am honoured to be this year’s showrunner for the Scripted Series Lab,” said McLellan in a statement. “Programs like this and the mentorship opportunity it provides is invaluable to an up-and-coming writer, so I’m really excited for the chance to work with the participants on the development of a new series.”

Prior to joining “The Next Step” in its fifth season, McLellan co-created and executive-produced the Victoria, BC-set mystery digital series “Spiral,” for which she won a 2018 Writers Guild of Canada award. Her other credits cover an array of one-hour and half-hour shows, including CBC’s international hit drama “Being Erica” and critically acclaimed “Cracked,” as well as CTV’s beloved comedy “Robson’s Arms.” A graduate of the Shaw Media Showrunner Training Program, McLellan has developed multiple projects for Canadian and American broadcasters and production companies.

The writers for the 2022 Scripted Series Lab are Shauna Johannesen, Alyssa Aussant, Tammy Tsang, Scott Button, Jackson Chow and Manny Mahal. They are being profiled at www.facebook.com/pacificscreenwritingprogram.

For more information on the Pacific Screenwriting Program, go to pacificscreenwriting.com.




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