Today is the memorial service for Gee Nicholl, the wonderful woman who endowed the Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting.
The writers who have benefited from her benevolence include some dear friends, and also include some amazing writers–two groups that are not mutually exclusive.
Jeffrey Eugenides was named a Fellow in its inaugural year. I hope you’ll forgive me for that bit of name-dropping, but it’s as close as I’ll ever get to a Pulitzer Prize.
Other notable Fellows are listed here.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Every year, thousands of screenwriters plan their lives around the Nicholl deadline. Thousands of writers are fueled by Nicholl dreams. Thousands of writers create new worlds, new universes, and many go onto success without ever achieving that goal of becoming a Nicholl Fellow, yet achieve goals that surpass it.
Mrs. Nicholl was an amazing woman. She wanted to carry on her husband’s dream by nurturing writers. Despite his successes as creator/producer of some of the most loved television series in the US and UK, Don Nicholl always considered himself a writer first, and when he left this world, she decided to honour him by creating these fellowships.
I like to think that they’re together again, and that he is very, very pleased.
May light eternal shine upon them.