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Meet Our 2023 Moonshot Pilot Accelerator Fellows: Zuri Rice

In this Q&A, 2023 Pilot Accelerator fellow Zuri Rice talks about how her life inspires her scripts and the importance of a succinct pitch.

2023 Moonshot Pilot Accelerator fellow Zuri Rice

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

Zuri Rice was one of the fellows in our 2023 Moonshot Pilot Accelerator (formerly WWFC’s Pilot Accelerator).

Below, learn more about Zuri and her career. To hear more about what Zuri learned from the Moonshot Pilot Accelerator, register for our virtual event, What It’s Like to Pitch to the Biggest Companies in Television.

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

I have worked in media for many years but the birth of my son really started me on my screenwriting journey.

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

My husband and I go to a very rural part of northern Maine each year. It’s a three-hour drive from Portland and a world away. It’s also one of the few places in the country that still fits the technical definition of a frontier. Rusted double wides and rundown barns sit beside seasonal estates. Every local has a summer job, an extra job, and some work they do on the side. And although I am Black and have lived in pretty divers-ish places most of my life, the town is 99.8% White. I wanted to write a story of two desperate mothers from very different worlds who come together in this very unique setting.

What's something you learned from the accelerator workshops?

I learned that each pitch is a fresh chance to share your work with the world. Despite any nerves, you should embrace it as such.

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

I had pitched before the program but not to so many companies in a short amount of time. Doing the program really showed me the importance of tightening and clarifying the information I was sharing so the world was in depth but succinct.

How has your career progressed since the accelerator ended?

I had some great generals and ongoing conversations coming out of the program last year. I also met some amazing producers and executives.

What would you say to a writer who's thinking of applying to the Moonshot Pilot Accelerator?

This is an amazing program and you should definitely apply.

What are you working on next?

I am polishing a new feature and pilot that my manager and I are taking out to producers this spring. I also have a couple new projects percolating which I'm excited about! 


Zuri Rice is an episodic and features writer obsessed with British cop dramas and Real Housewife feuds. NY born and southern raised, she pens twisty crime dramas about scrappy, dangerous women. Her television writing has earned her places in IFT’s Creative Corridor Program and The Writer’s Lab. She's repped by Bellevue.

Want to hear from a panel of our 2023 Moonshot Pilot Accelerator fellows as we discuss writing, pitching, and more? Register for our March 13, 2024, virtual event, What It’s Like to Pitch to the Biggest Companies in Television.


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