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Bryce Berkowitz

Writer. Professor.


Bryce Berkowitz is a poet, fiction writer, screenwriter, and cattle dog owner. 


He is the recipient of the Austin Film Festival's AMC TV Pilot Award (2021), selected from 15k entries. His TV pilot Meaderville has ranked in the Top 20 in multiple categories on Coverfly's Red List, placing it in the top 1% of 110k total screenwriting entries, including Top 20 Dramas of the Year. The following year, his pilot River Rats was named in the Top 30 Dramas for the AMC TV Pilot Award at the Austin Film Festival (2022), placing it in the top 1% of 110K total screenwriting entries on Coverfly. Most recently, he was a finalist for the NBC TV Writers' Program (2022) with two pilots: Meaderville and The Minor Gods of West Virginia; and he was a finalist for the Big Apple (NYC) Film Festival (2023) with his animation pilot Imaginary Friends.

His first collection of poems, Bermuda Ferris Wheel, won the 42 Miles Press | Indiana University Poetry Award (2022). His poems have been selected for national anthologies, including twice for Best New Poets (2017, 2021) and once for New Poetry from the Midwest (2019). Berkowitz is a recipient of the Illinois Emerging Writers | Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award (2017) and the winner of the Big Muddy| Southeastern Missouri State U. Short Story Contest (2020). He was a finalist for The Script Lab TV Pilot Competition (2022), and a semi-finalist for the Austin Film Festival Warner Bros. TV Pilot Award, Austin Film Festival One-Hour Drama Award, Big Apple Film Festival, and the ScreenCraft TV Fellowship (2021, 2022, 2023). He was a finalist for The Missouri Review's Miller Audio Prize for a music-poem project (2021), which is available to stream/play to your right. His writing has appeared in The Sewanee Review, The Missouri Review, Chicago Sun Times, Southern Indiana Review, Ninth Letter, Cimarron Review, Passages North, Nashville Review, the minnesota review, The Southampton Review, and other publications.

Berkowitz is at work on a dark-comedy crime novel, several TV pilots, a feature animation script, and a second poetry collection. He is a professor at Butler University. Prior to academia, he worked as a literary department assistant at Agency for the Performing Arts in Los Angeles. Prior to the agency, he waited tables, bartended, and booked touring hip hop acts for five years. For a large part of his youth, he painted graffiti, produced hip hop music, booked touring hip hop acts in the Midwest, and skateboarded. He's a sucker for subcultures, working-class stories, and old movies. He has lived in Illinois, California, West Virginia, Montana, and Indiana. Berkowitz has a BA in Creative Writing (with a book-to-film adaptation concentration) from Columbia College Chicago and an MFA in Creative Writing from West Virginia University.



Listen to me read a poem to music below:

Hepburn_Manor_Los_Angeles_by_Bryce_BerkoBryce Berkowitz
00:00 / 02:29


Select Publications


  • "Boulder, Colorado, 1989." Sierra Nevada Review

  • "This is West Virginia, Not Los Angeles, and All of a Sudden I Feel Old." Sierra Nevada Review

  • “It Always Does.” Salt Hill *Pushcart Prize Nomination

  • “Feeling Out of Place at Home.” Chicago Quarterly Review 

  • “What Remains.” Bayou Magazine 

  • “I’d Rather Not Say.” Sugar House Review 

  • “Summertime Chi.” Appalachian Heritage 

  •  “After You Almost Divorced Your Husband.” Permafrost 

  • “Just Once.” Ninth Letter

  • “Concessions.” Third Coast 

  • "How Long Has It Been?" The Meadow *Pushcart Prize Nomination

  • "Illustrating Emily." Hawai'i Pacific Review

  • “Whoever You Love I Hate & Whoever You Hate I Love.” The Fourth River 

  • “My Mother is Texting Me About God, Again.” Barrow Street 

  •  “Dirty Dancing Saves The World.” The Laurel Review

  •  “Stay Off My Plate.” The Southampton Review 

  • “We Have Problems.” Hobart 

  • “Waking Up.” Hobart 

  • “The Birthday Gift.” Hobart 

  • “Skylark.” Permafrost

  • “Soul Searching In a Peach Orchard.” Hawai’i Pacific Review 

  • “Boys Will B-Boy.” Passages North 

  • “Walk Among Men on State and Chicago.” Tampa Review

  • “What Does My America Look Like?” Permafrost

  • “Three Girls in a Drive-by Shooting.” The Pinch 

  • “California: The New American Dust Bowl.” The Pinch


  • "Imaginary Friends," Coverfly, The Red List #14 Animated TV Half-Hour, May 2023

  • "River Rats," ScreenCraft TV Fellowship, semi-finalist, May 2023

  • "Imaginary Friends, " Big Apple Film Festival, finalist, May 2023

  • "Meaderville," Big Apple Film Festival, semi-finalist, lab submission, May 2023

  • "Meaderville," Big Apple Film Festival, honorable mention, April 2023

  • "Meaderville," Coverfly, The Red List #12 Drama Television One-Hour, March 2023

  • "Meaderville," Tracking Board Launch Pad, second rounder, March 2023

  • "River Rats," Tracking Board Launch Pad, second rounder, March 2023

  • "River Rats," Austin Film Festival, AMC TV Pilot Award, semifinalist, October 2022

    • Selected from 10k entries; under consideration for finals as of October 2022

  • "Meaderville," Stage 32, TV Drama, semifinalist, August 2022

  • "The Minor Gods of West Virginia," Stage 32, TV Drama, quarterfinalist, August 2022

  • "Meaderville," Coverfly, The Red List #20 Drama Television One-Hour of the Year, June 2022

    • Top 1% of all 85,000 screenwriting projects, 2022

  • "Meaderville," Coverfly, The Red List #9 in Drama Television One-Hour, May 2022

    • Top 1% of all 81,000 screenwriting projects, 2022

  • "Meaderville," The Script Lab, finalist, 2022​

  • “The Minor Gods of West Virginia,” ScreenCraft TV Fellowship, quarterfinalist, 2022

  • “Meaderville,” Coverfly, The Red List #14 in Drama Television One-Hour, April 2022

    • Top 1% of all 79,000+ screenwriting projects, 2022

  • “Meaderville,” Austin Film Festival, AMC TV Pilot Award winner 2021, (selected from 14,648 entries)

  • “Meaderville,” Coverfly, The Red List #11 in Drama Television One-Hour, November 2021

    • Top 1% of all 65,000+ screenwriting projects, 2021​

  • “Meaderville,” Austin Film Festival, One-Hour TV Drama Award, semi-finalist (top 2% of 14,648 entries), 2021 

  • “Meaderville,” Austin Film Festival, Warner Bros. Pilot Award, semi-finalist (top 2% of 14,648 entries), 2021

  • “Meaderville.” ScreenCraft TV Fellowship, semi-finalist, 2021

  • “Stitch,” ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story Contest (judged by editors from The Paris Review, Granta, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), quarterfinalist, 2019

  • “Sheriff,” ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story Contest, (judged by editors from The Paris Review, Granta, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, quarterfinalist, 2019


    Hybrid: Creative Writing Meets Professional Writing 

  • "In Doubt." The Laurel Review 

  • "Everything is So Sun-Drenched and Awful." The Laurel Review *Pushcart Prize Nomination

  • “Broad Ripple, Toxic Masculinity, & The Uber Driver That Asked About the Snow.” The McNeese Review

  • “Dear Standard Parts of a Workplace Letter—the hell do you know(?).” The McNeese Review


  • “My Mother Made Popcorn in a Casserole Dish.” Permafrost

  • “Hello Chicago.” Chicago Sun Times

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