Ten new screenwriters have graduated from the 2020 Series Scriptwriters Program created by the National Hispanic Media Coalition.
One of these writers is Solange Morales, a first-generation Peruvian-Chinese-American, born and raised in Miami Beach, Florida. Morales graduated with honors from Columbia University’s MFA film program.
During the scriptwriting lab, Morales was mentored as she worked on a new script for a TV pilot called Queen of the Misfits. The series is about a popular 14-year-old girl who begrudgingly moves with her parents to a small town where there is a lot less diversity than she’s accustomed to. The story, Morales says, is autobiographical.
“The program helped me connect with my own personal experiences and to find a story in my life to develop,” Morales told Remezcla during an interview. “You dig in deep and get to this place where you really get into the depths of who you are as a person. You end up writing this new piece that you never could have imagined.”
As a Peruvian-Chinese-American, Morales says her mixed-ethnic culture has helped her be more empathetic and to discover the interesting facets of other people’s lives.
“I always knew I was different because I was such a hybrid culturally,” Morales said. “When I was younger, I didn’t feel like I belonged. That helped me understand what others were going through, so I could understand myself better.”
Along with Morales, the other graduates of the program are Yasmine Campbell, Carmen Corral, Keenana Duke, Meredith Garcia-Painter, Henry Alexander Kelly, Luis Ramón Quintero, Jorge Rivera, Paola Tapia-Limon and Jorge Thomson. In the past, graduates of the NHMC script writers’ program have gone on to write for several TV series, including The Flash, Umbrella Academy, Riverdale and One Day at a Time.
Now with a TV pilot completed, Morales looks forward to her future in the TV industry. She hopes that includes telling more Latinx stories. She says she “wants to bring them to the masses.”
“The need and the demand are here,” she said. “I want to be a part of this next generation of storytellers. I want to tell these stories to this underrepresented audience who is craving them.”