Writing for the Small Screen

Akela Cooper

Akela Cooper

Akela Cooper always dreamed of sharing her stories with the world. Now serving as executive story editor on an upcoming major network show, she is finally realizing her dream. Cooper developed her love for writing at an early age. Growing up on a farm, with not much entertainment, she took to reading and creating her own stories as a way to pass the time.

While Cooper was attending Truman, it became obvious to her that writing was her passion, and she graduated from the University in 2003 with a degree in creative writing.

“Writing was the only thing that I really enjoyed, so I wanted to pursue it as a career,” she said.

Cooper’s interest in a career in writing lead her to pursue a master’s degree in screen writing at the University of Southern California. At USC a program in television writing sparked her interest. Cooper was later accepted into the CBS Mentoring Program in which she was able to meet and learn from writers in the field. This led to her obtaining her first assistant job on the CBS show “Jericho.”

Cooper received her big break writing for NBC’s television drama “Grimm” after she impressed the producers of the show with her writing samples. She was immediately attracted to “Grimm” because of its dark themes and aspects of horror. During her time on the show she penned three episodes, including one of the most popular episodes of the series.

Currently Cooper resides in Los Angeles, and is the executive story editor for the upcoming CW network show “The 100.”  The show centers on a group of 100 young adults that are exiled to the nuclear decimated Earth by the last surviving humans to determine if the planet is habitable. “The 100” premieres mid-season of the 2013-14 season. While this new show takes most of her focus, she looks forward to hiatuses that allow her to work on her personal writing projects. She draws inspirations for her writings from reading as much as possible, observing the world around her and trying new experiences.

“You never know where you’ll get your ideas or what can inspire you to create something,” Cooper said. “But sitting in your home and doing nothing is not going to help you.”

While she enjoys working for these shows, Cooper looks forward to the possibility of having her own one day.

“The biggest goal is to eventually create and run my own show. That’s the dream,” she said.

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