Writers from Battlestar Galactica, Leverage, Warehouse 13, Outlander Created the Scripts for DisCon III’s Opening/Closing and Hugo Awards Ceremonies

A talented and imaginative team of writers have created the script for the Opening/Closing and Hugo Awards Ceremonies at DisCon III, the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) in Washington, DC., December 15-19, 2021.

The writers’ room is led by head writer Marque Franklin-Williams and joined by Jason Marcus, Holly Moyer, Danielle Nicki, Ian Maddox, and Tilly and Susan Bridges.

Writers’ rooms are used in Hollywood to create scripts for shows. They work by creating a space for a variety of voices and allowing each writer to play to their strengths, guided by a head writer with a clear vision. This year, the writers’ room will work on all three ceremonies, creating an overall arc and consistent voice for the convention. 

“I am giddy about having a writers’ room work on the Hugo ceremony, especially one that’s packed with so much talent. These are all working professional writers who are also fans,” said Mary Robinette Kowal, DisCon III Chair. “The script they have created will take us on a wonderful journey that lifts up fandom and the work that we celebrate at Worldcon.” 

“I grew up immersed in fantasy and science fiction novels. To contribute to a celebration of genre fiction, like the stories which inspired me to write in the first place, is an incredible way to close the circle,” said Marque Franklin-Williams. “To do it with this talented writers’ room and DisCon III’s amazing team is an honor.”

Marque is a television and film writer currently based in Los Angeles who has worked across a wide spectrum of material.  He was most recently staffed on the Starz show Outlander and Leverage: Redemption for IMDb TV, among others.  In addition to other accolades, Marque was awarded the Sloan Screenwriting Grant for his historical screenplay, Recognizing Morgan

“I’m a real fan, and it’s an absolute honor to be writing the Hugos with such a talented team,” said Jason Marcus.

Jason Marcus is a writer and comedian from Boston whose writing blends realistic characters with absurdist premises to explore the uniquely human experience in ways that are universally relatable. Among his accolades, Jason is a fellow of the Native American Showrunner Program and an NBC Late Night Writers Workshop alum. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife, their twin toddlers, and a pug named Macho Man. 

“I’m delighted that Mary Robinette Kowal and her cat invited me to join this insightful team. It’s a treat to spend time with such excellent humans (and cats, chihuahuas, etc.) sharing our love of the genre and its fantastic fans,” said Moyer. 

Playing the singing rooster in her fifth-grade school Robin Hood play ultimately led Holly Moyer (she/her) into the fandom, a doctorate in late medieval and early modern English literature, and a television drama writing career. She specializes in fantasy, science fiction, and historic stories about diverse characters struggling to do the right thing against great odds.

“I am beyond excited to get the opportunity to write for the Hugo ceremony! Writers are my favorite people, and I am thrilled to be able to participate in celebrating them in this way,” said Danielle Nicki.

Danielle Nicki is a television and feature writer who enjoys creating stories centered around women of color with interesting and diverse life experiences not often seen on screen. And recently, Danielle was named one of the International Screenwriters Association’s Top 25 Writers to Watch in 2021.

Ian D. Maddox is known for his work on Warehouse 13 (2009), Battlestar Galactica (2004) and Warehouse 13: Grand Designs (2012). He has worked as a script coordinator and freelance writer for shows all across the sci-fi spectrum — most recently, Lovecraft Country.

“Marque Franklin-Williams had a great vision for the ceremonies right from the start, and as fans of all things sci-fi, we’re honored that we were invited to contribute,” said Tilly Bridges.

“While in the writers’ room, we really enjoyed the in-depth discussions about fandom, inclusivity, and Mary Robinette’s amazing cat,” added Susan Bridges.

Tilly & Susan Bridges are a married trans woman/cis woman team who writes fun, hope-fueled sci-fi, with blue sky imagination and a sprinkle of comedy. They’ve been making award-winning scripted podcasts since 2004 via their production company Pendant Productions, winning multiple Parsec Awards and Audio Verse Awards for excellence in speculative fiction podcasting. They also write comics and for the Star Trek Adventures roleplaying game.

The Opening/Closing and Hugo Awards Ceremonies at DisCon III, the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), will be available online.

DisCon III is the third World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) held in Washington DC, USA. Worldcon is the annual gathering of science fiction and fantasy fans, writers, artists, musicians, and other creators from across the globe. DisCon III will be held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC, on December 15-19, 2021.

Worldcon originally focused on and still has a strong emphasis on science fiction and fantasy literature but has grown to include genre television, movies, animation, games, and other popular media as well. It has truly become the world’s fair of science fiction and fantasy fandom. No other event brings together fans and creators, regardless of genre or medium, under one big tent with the intimacy of Worldcon.

DisCon III is sponsored by the Baltimore-Washington Area Worldcon Association, Inc. (BWAWA, Inc.), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Maryland.

First held in New York City in 1939, Worldcon moves around the globe, held in a different city and organized by a different volunteer organization each year. Previous DC-based Worldcons were DisCon I in 1963 and DisCon II in 1974.

For more information on DisCon III, Worldcon, and how to become a member of the 79th Worldcon, visit http://www.discon3.org.

[Based on a press release.]


“World Science Fiction Society,” “WSFS,” “World Science Fiction Convention,” “Worldcon,” “NASFiC,” “Hugo Award,” the Hugo Award Logo, and the distinctive design of the Hugo Award Trophy Rocket are service marks of the World Science Fiction Society, an unincorporated literary society.

15 thoughts on “Writers from Battlestar Galactica, Leverage, Warehouse 13, Outlander Created the Scripts for DisCon III’s Opening/Closing and Hugo Awards Ceremonies

  1. While there were certainly problems with last year’s virtual Hugo ceremony, I’m not sure hiring a group of writers who, at least from what is contained in their Discon III bios, appear to have never attended a Worldcon or Hugo Ceremony is the answer. I was looking forward to seeing and hearing what Sheree Renée Thomas and Malka Older would bring to the ceremony, but I would have preferred seeing and hearing their own take rather them having them follow the directions and reading words supplied by others. While I would hope that the hosts and presenters, if any, would have some input, Discon III’s statement announcing the writers’ room is silent on that issue.

  2. I have been hearing rumours about this for a while, but I’m glad the announcement is official now. And I’m sure that Sheree Renee Thomas and Malka Older will have input in the scripting.

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to what they come up with.

  3. I’m glad that a thread title that started “Writers from Battlestar Galactica, Leverage, Warehouse 13” ended so well (I just saw an excerpt at first and was worried).

  4. @JoelZakem: Having now produced two Retro Hugo ceremonies and two Hugo ceremonies, I can tell you that the hosts do not always choose to participate in writing the script, and that’s okay. Sometimes they want to have a lot of input in writing the script, and that’s also okay. The hosts always have the opportunity to review what was written and suggest changes.

    You’re getting remarkably close to the “but they aren’t real fans because they might not have ever been to a traditional fan run convention” gatekeeping, Joel. You don’t know these folks and don’t know their experience.

    Perhaps we could just say “cool, let’s see what they come up with” and not presume that the folks chosen don’t know what they’re doing? Wait and see how it goes before complaining.

  5. Joel Zakem, I’ll be happy if the Ceremony is reasonably long and produced in manner that is worthy of the Hugo community which last year’s was most decidedly not. And from what I’ve seen so far of Discon III committee, I expect that they will be.

  6. Professional writers are usually a good thing, but DisCon III is ill-served by that silly press release, filled with Hollywood-ese language and fake-sounding quotes. It seems to be more aimed at getting attention from the mainstream press than Worldcon members.

  7. Chris Rose: I like to get these press releases. And I will tell you, having received the criticism before that they are not phrased faanishly enough, that I tried the experiment of rewriting one by taking the info and jettisoning the quotes, trimming out a lot of the superlatives (as I already do with Marvel press releases), and homogenizing what’s left into nice, calm text — and I only proved to myself that the originals are a lot more interesting to read.

    There may be a suspicion about press releases generally that they are using some kind of trick to sell us something. In this case, I think the only “trick” is trying to prepare people to enjoy themselves at the Worldcon.

  8. Maybe everyone is just super excited and wanted to talk about how super excited they are.

    I’d have thought that if any group was primed to believe that writers could be super excited about being involved in the Hugos, it would be readers of File770.

    Enthusiasm shouldn’t be treated with automatic suspicion.

  9. Mike Glyer: That’s sort of my point. I found if confusing to read an objection to the press release being “more aimed at getting attention from the mainstream press than Worldcon members.”… as far as I can tell, that’s the point of a press release!

  10. A press release doesn’t need to persuade Worldcon members, because they will watch the Hugo ceremony no matter what – unless it is a 2020 style disaster, in which case they will walk away grumbling.

    The press release is aimed at the mainstream press and IMO any attention from the mainstream press is a good thing.

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