HOYT HILSMAN is an award-winning writer, educator and critic, and most recently a candidate for Congress. (hoythilsman.com) He has written screenplays for a number of studios and television networks, including Disney, Sony, New Line, ABC, NBC and CBS, and his stage plays and musicals have been produced in theaters around the country and abroad, and have won numerous awards. His television script, Foggy Bottom, based on his childhood in Washington, was honored at the 2005 Slamdance Festival. Mr. Hilsman is a former television and theater critic for Daily Variety and now is a regular columnist for The Huffington Post. (www.huffingtonpost.com/hoyt-hilsman) He has written, produced and directed several independent films, television series and internet productions.
Mr. Hilsman has also been an active participant in the national political scene and a candidate for Congress in California. Mr. Hilsman grew up in Washington, DC, where his father was an Assistant Secretary of State and advisor to JFK. He has been active in politics ever since, and has worked with various national figures, including President Bill Clinton. He has been an advisor to several Congressional campaigns, was a delegate to the 2004 Democratic National Convention and later ran for the Congressional seat held by Republican David Dreier, Chairman of the House Rules Committee. He is a director at the Hope Street Group, a national, non-partisan policy organization of business professionals devoted to Opportunity Economics, and is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy.
As a journalist, Mr. Hilsman has written hundreds of articles and op-eds for national newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun, Los Angeles Magazine, Variety, Hemispheres and The National Law Journal. He has also written a number of books on media and politics, including The New Electronic Media. He is a recipient of the Apex Award for Excellence in Journalism and his currently a regular columnist/blogger for the Huffington Post. He recently completed a novel, 19 Angels, a political thriller set in the Middle East.
He has taught screenwriting and playwriting at the UCLA Writer’s Program and is the founder of the Pasadena Writers Workshop. His students have written and directed television shows from Everybody Loves Raymond and The O.C. to Law and Order and Dexter, feature films like Twilight and Step Up, as well as having their novels published and their plays produced. He is also a past President of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, a judge of the PEN West Literary Awards and served on the Curriculum Guidance Committee of the UCLA Writer’s Program.
He has also been a consultant to a variety of corporations, non-profits and governmental organizations, including Vulcan Ventures, Idealab!, The Kennedy Space Center, The National Museum of Patriotism, The Inventors Hall of Fame, Unocal, Mead Data Central, International Data Corporation, Harcourt Brace Publishers, Nomura Securities and other media and entertainment companies. He recently organized a series of “Intentional Conversations” for business, civic and arts leaders throughout Southern California. Trained as a lawyer, Mr. Hilsman also served as an executive at the Screen Actors Guild in New York.
Mr. Hilsman is active as a community volunteer. He has taught creative writing to students in the public schools in East Los Angeles through a volunteer program at PEN West. He has been a volunteer at Union Station (a homeless shelter in Pasadena), and been active in the Writers Guild and other community organizations. He is a graduate of Columbia College and Columbia Law School. Mr. Hilsman is married to the painter Nancy Kay Turner, who teaches at Loyola High School in Los Angeles. They have one child and live in Pasadena.