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Meet Our 2021 Moonshot Pilot Accelerator Fellows: Danielle Nicki

Read this Q&A to learn how Pilot Accelerator fellow Danielle Nicki got more confident with pitching, then hear from her live on our April 7 virtual panel!

2021 Moonshot Pilot Accelerator fellow Danielle Nicki

Applications for our 2024 Moonshot Pilot Accelerator are currently open, so we are taking this opportunity to shine a spotlight on our past fellows!

Danielle Nicki was one of the fellows in our 2021 Moonshot Pilot Accelerator (formerly WWFC’s Pilot Accelerator), so she was part of the inaugural year of the program.

Below, learn more about Danielle and her career. To hear more about how Danielle got her first and second staffing gigs and her tips for succeeding in the writers’ room, register for our virtual event, Working in the Writers’ Room 101.

What drew you to TV writing, and how did you get started?

When I first started writing, there weren't many classes or programs that focused on TV — everything was catered towards features. And, while I love movies, I was excited by the idea of writing TV shows like Breaking Bad and True Detective. So I taught myself how to do it by studying produced screenplays and analyzing episodes. Then I started writing ... and I wrote A LOT of really bad pilots! And eventually they got less bad.

What inspired you to write the pilot script that was selected for the Moonshot Pilot Accelerator?

My pilot, “Welcome to Nirvana,” came out of a desire to create a different type of zombie show because, at the time, TV was extremely saturated. I'm fascinated by the idea of “the undead” and I love horror so I wanted to find a way to make my own lane. 

What was your experience with pitching before the Moonshot Pilot Accelerator, and what did you learn from pitching to so many companies?

I'm not ashamed to admit that I was terrified of pitching before the accelerator! Of all of the aspects of being a writer, pitching felt the most gatekept. Now I feel confident that I know how to pitch a good story. It might not be chosen, but I know I did a good job and I owe that to what I learned during the program.

How has your career progressed since the accelerator ended?

Soon after the accelerator ended, I got my first staffing gig at “Leverage: Redemption” and now I'm on “Chicago Fire.”

Danielle’s pitching tips


Danielle Nicki is a professional writer in television, film, scripted audio, and literary. She became a member of the Writers Guild of America after joining season 2 of “Leverage: Redemption” and she currently writes for season 12 of NBC's “Chicago Fire.”

Danielle's first book, “The Stories of She: A Collection of Short Stories Featuring Strong Female Leads,” was published in 2020 and she's currently writing a novel based on one of her original screenplays, “Welcome to Nirvana.” In scripted audio, Danielle wrote all 8 episodes of “Invisible Eagles: Bessie Coleman,” about the legendary first Black American pilot's life and accomplishments. And she was part of the team who won a coveted Gold Signal Award for writing the middle grade podcast, “Who, When, Wow! Mystery Edition.”

Danielle is married and together they share 3 children who provide her with endless amounts of material.

Want to hear more about how Danielle got staffed and her tips for succeeding in the writers’ room? Register for our April 7, 2024, virtual event, Working in the Writers’ Room 101.

Do you want to pitch your TV pilot to major companies and have your script read by industry members? Submit to our Moonshot Pilot Accelerator by April 14, 2024, for a chance to be one of our 2024 fellows!


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