As another session of the Writers Guild Foundation’s Veterans Writing Project approaches, I thought I’d highlight a previous attendee. Please let me introduce you to Layla Marie Hunter. Military veteran, and writer!
- Tell us about your military experience and how you see this helping you in Hollywood.
I served in the Navy and even though my service was cut short due to an injury it has instilled the utmost respect for ethics and ambitions.
- When you were transitioning out, did you have any idea you wanted to go creative? What were some early steps you took to make this transition?
I’ve always been an artistic person and have always wanted to get into that area but with living in Ohio, the idea of it seemed far fetched until, years later, I moved to Los Angeles. A fellow VFT member told be about the program and about 3 months after applying my life and my writing techniques were set on to a different course.
- I am a big fan of the Writers Guild Foundation’s Veterans Writing Project, and was happy to hear you were a participant. What was the application process like for you?
The application process was very easy. I just simply entered in my demographics, my service information, and what my writing goals were.
- What were some highlights from the program, and what sort of mentors were involved?
The highlights for me were 1st, engaging in an all women group. It helped me grow emotionally as a writer and learn a lot about myself. I also gained many friends, all in different stages of writing, and I got to meet and learn from people whom I have been a fan of since a very early age.
- Have you seen the program help you in any way since?
I now understand screenwriting and watching a movie is no longer just about watching it. I can critique and breakdown concepts that I completely understand now. I am now a published author and if it wasn’t for what I had learned in the workshop I would not have mastered my own writing skills.
- Do you have any advice for other veterans considering writing and/ or attending this program?
I would say go there with an open mind and allow yourself to be vulnerable to critique and new techniques. It is a wonderful journey but if you go there with an, ‘I already know this and that’, attitude then you will stifle your growth as a writer.
BIO: Writer, poet, and medical administrator born in Youngstown, Ohio, Layla Marie Hunter enlisted in the US Navy directly after high school and served active duty in Europe. The daughter and niece of musicians, Layla lived in Cleveland Ohio for 10 years before she moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue her life long dream to become a published novelist.
She has worked in film as a production assistant as well as a talent wrangler for television projects. She participates in the annual Oscar and Emmy awards gifting suite. She has also been showcased in an interview for the ‘Ladies of Fashion Project’ with Dulcenea Lingerie.
Layla is a member of the Legion Post 43 and a member of Veterans in Film and Television (a non-profit organization that helps military veterans network and grow in the entertainment industry). She can be seen in an upcoming PSA about female veterans and an upcoming feature film called “Get the Girl.” Her voice has also been used in the production of various short films such at Invoking.
Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015B6TCY2