HOYT HILSMAN is an award-winning writer, journalist and former candidate for Congress in California. He has written screenplays for a number of studios and television networks, including Disney, Sony, New Line, Fox, ABC, NBC and CBS. 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 Slamdance Festival in Park City. He is the author of a series of political thrillers, including Nineteen Angels, which is currently in development as a feature film. His latest book, Back Channel, is a docu-novel based on back-channel negotiations with the Iraqi government to avert the 2003 American invasion. Mr. Hilsman has been a regular critic for Daily Variety, former President of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, and chair of the PEN West drama awards. He has also written, produced and directed several independent films and television series, including Deadly Embrace, Snow Without Name and Beneath The Eyes of God.
Mr. Hilsman has been an active participant in the national political scene. He grew up in Washington, DC, where his father was an advisor to JFK. He has been active in politics ever since, working with various national figures, including President Bill Clinton, and as an advisor to several Congressional campaigns. He has been a delegate to the Democratic National Convention and has been a director at the Hope Street Group, a national non-partisan policy think tank devoted to Opportunity Economics, a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and is founder of the Institute for Intentional Conversation, a foundation devoted to civil discourse. He is currently a member of the Board of Trustees at Pasadena City College and the Advisory Council at Marymount California University.
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, and The National Law Journal. He has been a regular theater and TV critic for Variety, is a recipient of the Apex Award for Excellence in Journalism and is currently a regular columnist/blogger for the Huffington Post. He has been a consultant to a corporations, non-profits and governmental organizations, including Vulcan Ventures, Idealab!, Paul, Hastings law firm, 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 taught screenwriting at UCLA and founded the Pasadena Writers Workshop, whose members have included the writers of Twilight, Dexter, Everybody Loves Raymond, and other films and TV shows. He is a past President of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, a judge of the PEN West Literary Awards and a founder of The Institute for Intentional Conversation at Marymount California University, which sponsors conferences for business, civic and arts leaders.
Mr. Hilsman is active as a community volunteer and has taught creative writing in the public schools in East Los Angeles through PEN West. He has been a volunteer at Union Station homeless shelter, at the Writers Guild and serves on several local commissions. He is a graduate of Columbia College and Columbia Law School. Mr. Hilsman is married to the painter Nancy Kay Turner, has one child and lives in Pasadena.