The Only Woman in the Room: Episodes in My Life and Career as a Television Writer

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TV writers’ rooms have typically been the domain of men. Even nowadays, men dominate the TV writing scene. So imagine what it was like trying to break into TV writing as a woman in the 1960s. Rita Lakin smashed her way through and succeeded where many expected her to fail, going on to thrive for decades as a respected, award-nominated, groundbreaking talent.

The Only Woman in the Room chronicles her journey from heartbroken widow and aspiring writer to trailblazing TV show producer, writer, creator, and showrunner (a job she helped define along the way). Through stormy relationships, institutionalized sexism, and a monstrously competitive market, she created worthwhile, thoughtful hours of television that stand the test of time. Everyone could learn something from Lakin’s brutally honest look at her life, her triumphs, and her struggles.

Honestly, the only part I didn’t like was the part she confessed to conjuring herself: the framing device of the fictitious interviewer. It felt clunky and obtrusive, especially compared to her sincere, flowing narrative.

The Only Woman in the Room is arguably more relevant now than ever. I hope many aspiring TV writers take a page from Lakin’s playbook.

Reviewed By:

Author Rita Lakin
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 304 pages
Publisher Applause Theatre & Cinema Books
Publish Date 2015-Oct-20
ISBN 9781495014055
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue November 2015
Category Biographies & Memoirs


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