NBCUniversal has announced this year’s list for the 2016-1027 Writer’s on the Verge program.  Writers on the Verge is a 12-week program for TV writers with diverse backgrounds focused on polishing writers to prepare them for a staff writer position on a television series  Chosen writers  are given the opportunity to interact with industry players ranging from network executives to show runners to agents and receive valuable feedback on their work and pitch style.  Winners also receive coaching and mentoring from industry pros during a 12-week intensive program with the ultimate goal of preparing them to be staff writers.  At the end, they will be considered for available writing assignments on NBC series.

Recent alumni are staffed on series including The Blacklist (executive story editors Brandon Margolis and Brandon Sonnier), Superstore, American Crime, Suits, Shades Of Blue (co-EP Rashad Raisani) and NBC midseason series The Redemption and Midnight, Texas.

This year over 2,000 writers applied for this prestigious program, and only 8 candidates were chosen.  Check out the below bios of this year’s winners

Mnelik Belilgne
The hip hop artist turned comedy writer has worked on The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Allegiance and The Michael J. Fox Show. As a musician, he released five albums and won rap battle competitions for BET, Redbull and Grindtime.

Melanie Boysaw
The Los Angeles native and University of California, Berkeley alumna is currently a writers’ coordinator at Conan, and also worked on the Conan O’Brien-produced series the Pete Holmes Show.

Jeremy Hsu
The Hawaii native got his start as a stand-up comedian performing at comedy clubs in New York. He then ventured into video editing working on reality shows and live events including the Super Bowl, before moving to Los Angeles to pursue writing.

Lorelei Ignas
Ignas is a produced off-off- Broadway director and playwright, and alumna of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Previously based in Brooklyn, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in Television and completed the UCLA Professional Program for Television Writing in 2013. Lorelei is repped by UTA and Rain Management Group.

Allyssa Lee
Southern California native Lee began her writing career as a journalist, reporting and editing for the likes of Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angeles Times and Women’s Health before turning her sights to television itself. She is currently a digital content producer and editor at FOXSports.com.

Rayna McClendon
McClendon got her start at the Creative Writing Program at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Currently, she is the showrunner’s assistant to Veena Sud on her upcoming Netflix drama, Seven Seconds. McClendon has written two freelance episodes for television: one for The Disney Channel’s new series Andi Mack from Terri Minksy, and her first for MTV’s family drama Finding Carter. Additionally, she co-wrote webisodes for MTV’s Awkward, and was a writers’ room assistant for Awkward and Finding Carter. McClendon is represented by Kaplan Stahler Agency and Good Fear Film + Management.

Mellori Velasquez
A law school graduate once on track to becoming an in-house attorney, Velasquez walked away from law to enroll in USC’s MFA Writing for Screen and Television Program. Her legal background has inspired her to write female-centric gritty crime dramas.

Jeane Wong
San Gabriel, Calif. native Wong left her initial dream of working in politics behind to pursue her passion for writing. She is developing her original pilot The Thin Line at Universal Cable Productions while she works as a script coordinator on The CW’s Arrow. She is also a published author and comic book writer. Her short story “Crystal Brook” was published in Empower: Fight Like a Girl, and she co-authored The Vampire Diaries digital comics for D.C. Comics. She is also part of the inaugural Women In Film Black List TV Lab.