Join us for an intimate conversation with acclaimed screenwriter and producer, Sylvia L. Jones, as she shares her journey from covering the world’s history as a journalist to writing for Showtime’s The CHI and Ava Duvernay’s Cherish the Day, which airs on OWNtv. Moderated by ABC7 Chicago anchor Hosea Sanders, we’ll learn more about Sylvia’s decision to switch careers, her greatest lessons learned along the way and advice for aspiring screenwriters.
We’ll focus largely on Sylvia’s experience developing and writing the recent biopic, The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel, which premiered on Lifetime on April 11, 2020. The film recounts the story of the highest-selling female Gospel group in history and their trailblazing mother, Mattie Moss Clark (played by Aunjanue Ellis). Lifetime’s most highly viewed program in four years, The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel defied TV-industry expectations when it garnered 2.7 million views in its premiere.
**We will stream this public virtual event on Facebook Live. Registered attendees will receive the live stream link prior to the event.
More on Sylvia L. Jones:
Sylvia L. Jones has been an eyewitness to history again and again. The former journalist spent more than 20 years chasing the news — reporting on monumental events including Nelson Mandela’s first visit to Chicago following his release from prison, the 9/11 terror attacks from ground zero and President Barack Obama’s historic elections.
Now, she has moved on to her next chapter. In the midst of traveling the nation to cover the 2016 presidential primary elections, Sylvia decided to turn in her press credentials and try her hand in Hollywood.
Never one to waste words or time, Sylvia hit the ground running. The Chicago native leveraged her comprehensive knowledge of the city’s politics and neighborhoods to help launch Showtime’s The CHI and USA’s Suits spinoff, Pearson. She also developed and wrote the biopic, The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel, executive produced by Queen Latifah, Missy Elliott and Mary J. Blige, which aired on Lifetime. Additionally, Sylvia has served as a writer on the CBS All Access thriller, Tell Me A Story and on Ava DuVernay’s romance anthology series, Cherish The Day on OWN.
Sylvia’s vast experience covering local and national news has set her in close proximity with a wide array of people and has offered her a deep well of prototypes from which to draw traits. As a result, she gives voice to characters who feel real and down-to-earth — even when their storylines are out of this world.
Sylvia earned her Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Communications at Stanford University and her Master of Science in Journalism at Northwestern University. She also earned certificates from the Professional Program in Writing for Television at UCLA and the Producers Guild of America’s Power of Diversity Master Workshop. Sylvia splits her time between Los Angeles and Chicago. She most enjoys sleeping, aisle seats and sweet potato pie.