AWG founder Mike Hayward was working at NBC in the early ‘90s. One day, an executive mentioned that the would-be writers at NBC who submitted samples to the development department could really use help structuring their scripts properly.
An avid writer with a few credits, Mike knew other aspiring writers at NBC and nearby Disney. Both companies were located on Alameda Avenue on Burbank, so the Alameda Writers Group was born. The AWG started meeting in 1992 at NBC. The network provided the meeting room, and Mike ran the meetings and recruited guest speakers—including Marc Cushman, who attended one of the first AWG meetings, and went on to be an habitual AWG president. The late Joe Doyle was another early member.
“Mike did a good-natured take on an AA meeting,” recalls Marc. “He would start by saying, ‘Hello, my name is Mike, and I'm… a... writer.’ Everyone would sing out, ‘Hello, Mike!’” Marc was asked to be a guest speaker but soon found himself leading a special interest group.
The buzz about the AWG grew, and the group jumped from 20 writers to 100-plus members in a matter of months. Eventually, the AWG opened its ranks to writers outside the NBC and Disney families, and had to find a new home.
In 1997 the group started meeting at Warner Brothers Ranch, moved two years later to a theater in North Hollywood, and then to its present home at the Glendale Central Library. Mike Hayward and Vic Cabrera, the AWG’s first and second presidents, were awarded the designation “Life Member.”
AWG Presidents (1992 - present)