Golden Globe winner Krista Vernoff, writer/executive producer for hit shows such as ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and Showtime’s Shameless, will be the Spring 2019 Semel Chair in Screenwriting.
Each semester, the College invites a working screenwriter to teach a master class for students in the low-residency MFA in Writing for Film and Television program. Vernoff will be at Emerson Los Angeles in January.
“We are thrilled to have Krista Vernoff as our January 2019 Semel Chair. She’s worked extensively as a writer, executive producer, and as a showrunner for network television and cable,” said Associate Professor Jean Stawarz, program director.
“She is a writer who understands both drama and comedy. Given that this semester our students are studying streaming/cable/television and their work will cross genres, Krista’s experience will be immeasurable.”
Vernoff was head writer/executive producer of Grey’s Anatomy for the first seven seasons, and returned for the 14th season. In between, she was a writer and executive producer on Shameless.
She has written for a wide variety of shows, including Law and Order (NBC), Charmed (CW), and Fox’s short-lived cult hit Wonderfalls.
In 2005, Vernoff, along with the Grey’s Anatomy writing staff, won a Writer’s Guild of America Award, as well as a Golden Globe for Best New Television series. She was nominated for a Dramatic Writing Emmy for her Gray’s Anatomy episode, “Into You Like a Train.” As executive producer, she has been twice nominated for a Best Dramatic Series Emmy for Grey’s Anatomy.
Before becoming a TV writer, Vernoff was a professional stage actor, and earned a BFA in Acting from Boston University’s College of Fine Arts.
Most of the two-year, low-residency screenwriting program is done online, but students spend one week in August on Emerson’s Boston campus, and one week in January at ELA, learning from industry insiders.
Previous Semel Chairs have included Alex Cox, writer of cult classics Repo Man and Sid and Nancy; TV writer Courtney Kemp (Power, The Good Wife); Graham Moore, Academy Award-winning writer of The Imitation Game; Transparent creator Jill Soloway; and Sideways writer Jim Taylor.