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Hilary Van Hoose

RespectAbility Entertainment Professionals Lab, Summer 2021

Hilary Van Hoose headshot

Hilary Van Hoose

Hilary is a screenwriter and freelance journalist who grew up a multi-heritage PWD and homeschool kid with her nature-loving science nerd family in California and Hawaii. She wrapped her first writers’ room in 2022 for Nickelodeon’s YouTube/Paramount+ series Blue’s Clues & You: Nursery Rhymes, and later the same year she sold an episode outline for a kids animated series currently in development at TeamTO. Hilary is currently a Women in Animation mentee and a participant in Nicky Weinstock’s Craft Services screenwriting initiative. She has previously worked as a calculus tutor, college librarian, video editor, and comedy club production staffer.

As a screenwriter, Hilary is passionate about writing aspirational, female-led genre stories about underrepresented fish-out-of-water or outsider protagonists who discover their place in the world by making a difference in other people’s lives. A 2022 semifinalist in both the NBC Launch TV Writers Program and the Inevitable Foundation Screenwriters Program, she also won the 2021 Stage 32 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Screenwriting Contests, placed in such other notable competitions as Sundance Episodic Lab, Austin Film Festival, The Stunt List, and has scripts ranked on the Coverfly Red List.

Upon moving to Los Angeles to earn her M.F.A. in Film and Television Production from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, Hilary originally chose an emphasis in comedy television because USC was the first university in the nation to offer a program dedicated to training filmmakers in the art of comedy. She not only took on a position as a member of the USC Comedy student board but also earned approval for her graduate thesis to be comprised of two half-hour pilots produced for the school’s flagship television production class (as an editor for the first, and as a director for the next year’s pilot episode). As a comedy writer, she won the first ever Jack Oakie and Dale C. Olson “You Heard it Here First” Award for Excellence in Entertainment Communication in Honor of Victoria Oakie, but Hilary found her voice as a screenwriter when she began writing genre scripts with a bent towards lighthearted, emotionally wide-ranging tones and themes.

Although she trained to be a pastry chef as a teenager, she turned her creativity towards filmmaking in college and earned her B.A. in Film and Digital Media Production from UC Santa Cruz (go banana slugs!). Entering as a Regent’s Scholar, she won the film department’s Porter College fellowship for two consecutive quarters and gained certification in Leadership Training and Development from the UCSC Experiential Leadership Program. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude after completing the UCEAP French Language & Culture program in Paris, France.

Hilary’s goal is to be a showrunner and to occasionally write for feature films. Above all, she is excited to create characters and stories that touch readers and audiences deeply, and become an important part of their lives.

Learn More

After an extensive search and interview process, 30 individuals were invited to participate in RespectAbility’s Summer 2021 Lab for Entertainment Professionals. This 8-week, 24-session virtual summer Lab series for people interested in – and with experience in – development, production and post-production, including careers as writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, animators and other production roles, will take place June 22 – August 12, 2021. Participants include diverse people with physical, cognitive, sensory, mental health and other disabilities. This Lab is a recipient of The Roddenberry Foundation Impact Award. Learn more:

This program, which continues building the talent pipeline of young professionals with disabilities looking to work behind the scenes, is made possible with support by:

  • Platinum Sponsors: Murray/Reese Foundation, The Harnisch Foundation, Pop Culture Collaborative, Sony Pictures Entertainment and The Walt Disney Company
  • Gold Sponsors: A&E and Final Draft
  • Silver Sponsors: NBCUniversal and ViacomCBS

Meet the Author

Eric Ascher

Eric Ascher is the Communications Associate for RespectAbility. He is responsible for supporting RespectAbility’s Vice President, Communications in developing and implementing advocacy efforts and communications of various types. Ascher manages RespectAbility’s social media channels, website and emails; organizes and develops webinars; and supervises Communications Fellows.

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