Hello! My name is Annie Calhoun and I am a passionate writer and innovative educator residing in Los Angeles, California. I received my BS in English/Theatre Education for grades 6-12 at Taylor University, and then my MFA in Acting from DePaul University's Theatre School in Chicago (my hometown). I still act and perform improv at iO West (I completed iO, UCB and Second City's training programs where I performed regularly), and am currently using my theatre training to create characters with depth, humor, and vulnerability who come to life on the page. I was a member of Chicago Dramatists in Chicago and am an ongoing learner at UCLA's Writing Extension Program. You can follow me @anniewritergirl on twitter and I am repped by The Rights Factory: http://therightsfactory.com/authors/annie-calhoun/
WRITING FOR TV:
P.S. UNLOVEABLES (Hour TV Drama Pilot based on the disparity between schools in LA)
CHICAGO SKYWAY ( Half Hour TV Comedy Pilot about the women who run the skyway tollbooths in Chicago)
WRITING FOR MIDDLE GRADE:
CJ AND PUG (just finished, see bottom of page!)
GRACIE AND THE A's (in progress...graphic novel about a girl who survived Hurricane Katrina)
WRITING FOR STAGE:
A FRIDAY HABIT (AdlerImprov Studio, LA)
HALSTED STREET VALETS (A.C.T. Play finalist)
COUCH DATES; AN AMISH PLAY (DePaul Reading Spring Series)
IN THE BEGINNING (Red Orchid debut)
CARNIVAL Libretto (ChiArts Dance Co.)
AGES WITH 8 (Red Orchid short play series)
OREGON TRAIL THE MUSICAL (iO Chicago)
NUN MEMOIRS (Chautauqua Theatre Co. Caberet)
DULA (Chicago Dramatists Reading)
EDUCATOR: In Chicago I was part of the adjunct faculty at DePaul University teaching theatre. I also had the privilege to teach acting and coach the improv team on the founding faculty of the first ever public arts high school in Chicago 2009-2012, ChiArts (http://www.chiarts.org/). I then moved to California to help found KIPP Scholar Academy, a public charter middle school meeting the needs of underserved youth in South LA (http://www.kippla.org/scholar/). I am the current reading intervention specialist and theatre director here and won a 10,000 classroom innovation grant last year. I also teach voice and speech at The Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (http://www.lachsa.net/).
NEW NOVEL, "CJ AND PUG"
I have been teaching in inner city neighborhoods like CJ and Pug’s since receiving my MFA six years ago from DePaul University in Chicago, and I am thrilled to have created and finished a novel that has come out of these experiences. CJ AND PUG is complete with at 54,000 words.
What I've noticed as a teacher, is a lack of middle grade fiction that mirrors the daily lives and faces of my students. There are sensationalized stories about urban areas, but a deficit in humorous realistic adventures that occur within the funny and touching moments of daily growing up. CJ AND PUG fills this void. This book is for my kids. I am a member of SCBWI and often speak at the Los Angeles chapter meetings on the integration of new Common Core educational standards into writing for youth.