TV Writer Podcast 012 – TV & Feature Writer Karen Walton

Best known as the writer of the original cult horror film, Ginger Snaps, award-winning writer-producer Karen Walton has developed original and adapted film projects in almost every genre with top producers in Canada, the UK and the American studio system for almost twenty years.

The episode starts with… homework! For the first time, Gray assigns a book to read – The TV Writer’s Workbook, by Emmy-nominated writer Ellen Sandler – as he’ll be talking to Ellen on April 1st, and wants to solicit informed questions about her book.

Then on to the interview with Karen Walton…

After graduating from the Canadian Film Centre, Karen wrote a critically acclaimed independent horror film, Ginger Snaps, that has become a cult hit, and is listed by many critics on their all-time top 10 lists of high school horror films.

This film led to many years of assignment writing, and Karen shares the differences between writing an independent feature versus feature development in the studio system.

Karen has also written critically acclaimed TV movies, including the Gemini-winning The Many Trials of One Jane Doe, and she talks about the challenges of adapting true events, writing socially and morally conscious material, and writing a movie within the confines of the television format.

Karen has also been busy in series television, including freelance episodes of CBC’s Straight Up and CTV’s The Eleventh Hour, being a executive story editor on Showtime’s Queer as Folk, and just recently, she has started as a writer-supervising producer on season 4 of CTV’s Flashpoint, which airs on CBS in the US.

But wait, there’s more… Karen is the executive producer of the successful web series for tweens, Ruby Skye P.I.; has an original paranormal series currently optioned; is an active member of the Writer’s Guild of America – West, Canada, and Quebec’s SARTEC; and if that’s not enough… is the founder and current editor of the online writer’s community Ink Canada.

Follow Karen Walton on Twitter: @inkcanada

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! Look for it on Amazon – How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,000 TV writers. Find our previous episodes and other resources at or on Gray’s YouTube channel.

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13 thoughts on “TV Writer Podcast 012 – TV & Feature Writer Karen Walton

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    The idea behind this article is excellent, and for me the first item (“Create your own damn content!”) is the real gem here: most of the people spend their entire lives only consuming what is created by others, and creating nothing themselves–or never sharing what they create, which is better than not creating at all, though not the best they could do.

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    I hate the “you have to live in L.A.” argument. I hate it because it’s a harsh truth that I have no way of getting around. After 16 years, the most I’ve ever managed to get is two small screenplay options( with prod companies in L.A.). I’m at the point now where I write and rewrite and Polish a script to get it to the best it can be – do the query letter thing with little success – then take my polished script and write it as a novel. So far, I’m finding lit agents don’t seem to care where you live. I’m a mother of two who has trouble paying my bills. Visiting L.A.isn’t even possible right now. I don’t have to like it but I do accept it