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PR: Nickelodeon Names Participants of 13th Annual Writing Program

Burbank, Calif. – Dec. 10, 2012 – Nickelodeon has named four new participants for its 13th annual Writing Program, it was announced today by Karen Kirkland, Executive Director, Nickelodeon Writing Program.  Aminta Goyel, who holds an MFA in Production from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, Travis Braun, a  former USA Today  sports writer, and writing team Tiffany Lo and Ethel Lung, who have been writing together for the past 5 years, will join the 2012-2013 Nickelodeon Writing Program that offers hands-on writing experience on current live-action and animated series.  Additionally, Sasha Stroman, a fellow from the 2011-2012 cycle, was recently placed on staff of Nickelodeon’s new animated series Sanjay & Craig.
“We’re incredibly excited to welcome the next generation of aspiring writers to Nickelodeon,” said Kirkland. “This unique program gives Aminta, Travis, Tiffany and Ethel an incredible chance to develop a skill set that will prepare them for top writing opportunities in television, and we’re proud to showcase this impressive roster of emerging talent.” 
Nickelodeon’s Writing Program offers aspiring television writers, with diverse backgrounds and experiences, the opportunity to hone their skills while writing for our live action and animated shows.  Participants will have hands-on interaction with executives writing spec scripts and pitching story ideas.  The Program, developed to broaden Nickelodeon’s outreach efforts, provides a salaried position for up to one year.
The 2012-2013 Nickelodeon writers:
AMINTA GOYEL:  Aminta was born and spent most of her formative years in Mumbai, India.  As a teenager she developed an incurable crush on Hawkeye from M*A*S*H* and found herself writing short stories and dreaming up ways she could get Alan Alda’s attention.  Aminta earned an MFA in Production from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and during her time there, she directed a number of shorts and wrote a sitcom pilot.  One of her past jobs has included making videos for a teen-centric non-profit, for which she wrote a number of commercial spots that have aired on networks like VH1, Fox and MTV and have featured talent such as Nick Cannon, Victoria Justice, Demi Lovato and others.  BTW – ask her about S*** Apathetic Girls Say – it’s gotten over 80,000 web views!
TRAVIS BRAUN:  Travis grew up on a 100-acre ranch in Texas, where his family built racecars instead of raising cattle.  Realizing he had no interest in driving racecars, at the age of nine, Travis wrote a novel, which earned him the award for “best book ever written” from his Grandma Peggy.  Travis graduated Summa cum Laude with a BA in Journalism from Franklin College.  After college, Travis found himself on the sports desk of USA Today, where he earned 30 byline articles (two on the cover of the sports section!)  As much as he loved his bylines, he had always been easily distracted by television and it wasn’t until he met a television writer at a broadcast news seminar that he realized you could actually earn a living writing for television.
TIFFANY LO & ETHEL LUNG:  Tiffany was born and raised in Houston, TX and despite her parents’ wish of Tiffany becoming a doctor or an electrical engineer, she took her love of funny to LA, where she attended USC and pursued a career in acting.  She would tell her mom and dad it was “just for fun”, but after years of waiting tables, assistant gigs and dog walking, she realized she wanted to create stories and characters inspired by the ridiculousness of her life and those in it, none of whom were doctors or engineers.  Acting led her to writing (and to Ethel) and she has never looked back.
As a child, there was one rule Ethel would always break…staying up past her bedtime and sneaking behind the living room couch to watchThree’s Company.  Her secret goal (in her 8-year old mind) was to create characters as awesome as Jack, Janet & Chrissie…  Ethel went off to Texas Tech University and eventually began work in Dallas 
as a buyer for Neiman Marcus.  She had an impressive collection of suits, a promising retirement fund and massive happy hour bills, but she was not happy. 
Her childhood dream was speaking to her, so she decided to pursue the one thing that has always been there, her love of writing.
Ethel and Tiffany have been writing together for the past five years. 
The Nickelodeon Writing Program was established in 2000 and receives well over 1,400 applications each year.  The four new writers join an alumni group of 36 who have gone on to freelance and staff positions at various networks, including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Disney, Kids’ WB!, ABC, FOX, PBS, Cartoon Network and the CW.  For more information go to www.nickwriting.com.
Alumni of the program include:
Radha Blank (’00-’01): Little BillThe Backyardigans
Courtney Lilly (’00-’01): Invader Zim, Arrested Development, Everybody Hates Chris, My Boys, The Cleveland Show, Guys with Kids
Sameer Asad (’05-’06): Mind of Mencia, Aliens in America, Modern Family, Outsourced, The Goodwin Games
May Chan (’05-’06): Ni Hao Kai-lanAvatar: The Last Airbender, Phineas and Ferb, Hank, Bucket & Skinner’s Epic Adventures
Ron Holsey (’05-’06): Ned’s Declassified, Just Jordan, Martha Speaks, Curious George, Brave, Johnny Test, Big Time Rush
Jessica Gao (’06-’07)BarnyardThe Mighty B!, Kung Fu Panda, Fish Hooks, Big Time Rush, Robot Chicken
Kerri Grant (’07-’08): The Backyardigans, The Fresh Beat Band, Doc McStuffins
Itai Grunfeld (’07-’08): Fanboy and Chum Chum, Kickin’ It
Ed Valentine (’07-’08): Ni Hao, Kai-lan, The Fairly OddParents, Sesame Street, Doc McStuffins
Ivory Floyd (’08-’09): The Penguins of Madagascar
Jonathan Butler (’09-’10): Fanboy and Chum Chum
Gabriel Garza (’09-’10): The Penguins of Madagascar, Monsters vs. Aliens
Kevin Arrieta (’10-’11): The Fairly OddParents, Wilfred
Sasha Stroman (’11-’12): Sanjay & Craig
Nickelodeon, now in its 33rd year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 17 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B).
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Last pup of a dying planet, a young German Shepherd is rocketed to Earth, where he is bombarded by cosmic gamma rays emitted by a radioactive spider. Crash-landing in the forgotten land of Hubba Hubba, he is discovered by the Who-You-Callin'-Ancient One and his lovely wife Pookie. Instilled with their traditional American values, he spends his young adulthood roaming the globe, learning all the secrets of Comic-Fu. Donning battle armor fashioned from spilled chemicals splashed by lightning, he becomes the Sensational Shield of Sequential Art ACE THE BATHOUND! Look, it sounds a lot better than the truth. Born in Brooklyn, moved to Queens at 3 and then New Jersey at 10. Throughout high school, college, grad school, and gainful employment, two things have remained constant: 1) I am a colossal nerd, and 2) I have spent far too much time reading comics, and then reading and writing about them. Currently working as a financial programmer in New York City, while continuing to discover all the wonderful little surprises (and expenses) of owning your a home in the suburbs. Shares the above with a beautiful, wonderful, and incredibly understanding wife named Frances (who, thankfully, participates in most of my silly hobbies) and a large furry dog named Brownie (who, sadly, does not). Comics, toys, Apple Macintosh computers, video games, and eBay