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ASU alum scores big in World Series of Screenwriting

Allison Miller
November 01, 2013

An Arizona State University alumnus has been awarded top prize in the World Series of Screenwriting Competition.

Allison Miller’s “Nowhere” was selected as the World Series Champion, the contest’s most coveted prize. Miller graduated with a bachelor of arts in film and media studies in 2012.

“I'm extremely hopeful that this will open some new doors in pursuing my screenwriting career,” said Miller.

The World Series of Screenwriting, which celebrates talented new voices in screenwriting, officially announced its top-award winners on Oct. 28. "Nowhere" was awarded the best project from among all competition categories and all entries in the contest.

“Nowhere” is the story of a man, “Ryan,” who must spend his after-life at a boring desk job where he visits the final memories of dying people. Everything takes an unexpected turn when one woman continues to appear in every memory he enters.

“The idea came to me when a friend recounted a time when he watched policemen place a man's items on the curb, one-by-one, after he was killed in a motorcycle accident,” said Miller. “That image was so tactile and tangible. It presents a picture of how just basic possessions affect us. Ultimately, 'Ryan' is able to find that much of what he is seeing in these memories plays into his own life and the person he is. At the core though, this script is a love story.”

Miller also conceded, “I owe a lot to the film and media studies program for giving me the foundation to become this kind of writer.”

Department of English faculty with whom Miller worked as an undergraduate were quick to applaud her accomplishment.

“Allison has a sly, dark sense of humor and a unique voice,” said Christopher Bradley, a lecturer who teaches screenwriting in ASU’s film and media studies program. “Her success here is a cause for celebration, but certainly not a surprise to anyone who had her in class!”

ASU associate professor Kevin Sandler, who directs the internship program in film and media studies, helped Miller land a prestigious internship with Zucker Productions (“Fair Game,” “Friends with Benefits) during her undergraduate study at ASU.

“Being selected by Zucker for this highly competitive internship was a reflection of Allison’s hard work and her determination to make a mark in the industry,” he said. “Her achievement as World Series Champion proves that professional experience in a media environment during college provides students the practical know-how necessary for success after graduation.”

“We at Zucker Productions are incredibly happy and proud of Allison Miller's recent win at the World Series of Screenwriting,” said Sean Gesell, Zucker vice president. “As an intern for us, she showed a passion and drive for writing, always pushing herself to read more and learn more. Her attention to detail and quick wit made her a great contributor to our office, and we know one day she's going to be running her own writers’ room with the same dedication to her craft.”

A complete list of the 2013 winners and official finalists can be viewed on the contest’s website.

For more information about the Department of English’s program in film and media studies, please visit

The Department of English is an academic unit in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.