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  • Writer's pictureMakena Metz

Wrapping Up 2023

Hi everyone! I'm looking back on this year and wanted to share some of my accomplishments as 2023 has been life changing in many ways. So, here's my 2023 "wrapped"! 


Last summer, I graduated from grad school at Chapman University, and finished with my MFA in Creative Writing and MA in English while winning the James. L Doti Outstanding Graduate Student Award! It was such an amazing experience to be awarded the highest honor of the entire school and give a speech at graduation.


Coming out of Chapman, I'm so happy to say that this is the year I've written, and published, my most work ever! In 2023 I had 10 poems published (I am very proud of the work in Strange Horizons, and The Literary Hatchet) 1 short story (For Page & Screen, reprinted with Havik), & 1 short screenplay (Clockhouse). 


I started the year off by getting nominated by Chapman to attend the Long Beach Festival of Authors, and was then selected for the AWP Writer to Agent Program. I'm happy to say the book that I submitted pages of is now done! I'm now editing my YA fantasy "Hospice for Gods," and getting ready to query it to literary agents.  


I also wrote music - I collaborated with writers on two songs, Race Against Time and Let's See What You Got, which premiered on Disney Channel's Emmy winning show Hamster & Gretel! In addition, I co-wrote two songs for the Society of Composer and Lyricist collaborations, had a concert reading of my musical Food for Thought, and launched a campaign to fund a cast album for my holiday musical Home for the Holidays! Additionally, I've been participating in the inaugural cohort of the MTV/Paramount First Time Composers Program! It's been an amazing experience so far and I'm hoping to get sync placement on some of their properties. 


As a playwright, I participated in the 1448 Hollywood "World's Quickest Theatre Festival" and had a play chosen as a semi-finalist in the Morgan-Wixson New Works Festival. I was selected for a Masterclass Fellowship with The Braid Theatre Company and our show "Force of Habit" will premiere this February! I also made the final round of the Dramatists Guild National Fellowship Program for Musical Theatre Writers and am currently waiting with baited breath to see if I get in (fingers crossed!).


As a screenwriter, my half-hour pilot The Age of Dragons placed in Quarterfinals in the Filmmatic Scifi-Fantasy Awards. I also participated in the RespectAbility Entertainment Lab as a TV Writer, which was six amazing weeks of networking, mentorship, and writing. 


What a whirlwind of a year! In other news, I adopted my 9-month puppy Winnie, have been planning my wedding, and moved back to Los Angeles. It's been a challenging year with many ups and downs, but I am happy and healthy, and so looking forward to this next year. 


Upcoming in 2024... 


I am so excited to announce that I've been offered a spot at the Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriting Intensive! I'll be going to Snow Pond, a very cool fellowship retreat in Maine, with a bunch of musical theatre writers to write, learn, and pretend I'm in the movie "Theatre Camp" (which was one of my favorites this year). This will be right after my collaborator and I have a concert reading of our new musical Chronic! Stay tuned for the date in May. 


I'm also having poetry published with The Bitchin' Kitsch, Wordgathering, The Windward Review, and Hellmouth, and two short stories are being published with The MockingOwl Roost.


But really, the biggest milestone for 2024 is that I'm getting married - and I can't wait for Michael and I to tie the knot on February 17th! It also happens to be three days after our pup's first birthday (she's a Valentine's baby)!


Well, if you made it this far down, thanks so much for reading. This year has been hard, but I'm looking forward to finding work as a writers assistant and songwriter in the spring.


Happy holidays and cheers to 2024!


Best,

Makena

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