Hollywood Writer Shares Omega Roots

Add to favorites

Krista Vernoff took her first creative writing class at Omega while working as summer seasonal staff. She's gone on to become a Hollywood writer best known for her Golden Globe-winning work on Grey’s Anatomy. 

Krista Vernoff, an Emmy Award-nominated screenwriter and showrunner for Grey’s Anatomy, first came to Omega when she was 19 years old and fell in love with the campus and the community. 

"I returned every summer from 1990 through 1995, working in almost every department at some point," Vernoff said. "Honestly, I never cared much about where I was working. I came back every year for the community, and for the classes, and for the feeling of safety and kindness—the warm energetic embrace that I felt every moment I spent on campus. I grew up there in so many ways."

As part of the Seasonal Staff experience, she studied many subjects in the staff classes, but one class in particular became the most pivotal to her future career. 

“I took my very first creative writing class on campus," she said. "The writing circles at Omega were supportive and nurturing, and the lessons I learned in those classes—honesty, specificity, and vulnerability on the page—are lessons I teach and use in my work as a writer today."

Artists Can Commit to Thriving from Omega Institute on Vimeo.

Vernoff believes artists can be successful and don't need to suffer to achieve their goals.

“Moreover, the lessons I learned about living and working in community are lessons I apply in every aspect of my life today, from my work in television production to how I raise my daughter," Vernoff shared. "I found lifelong friends at Omega—confidantes, bandmates, traveling partners, and kindred spirits. I can't imagine myself without Omega, because the lessons of my time there are woven so deeply into the fabric of who I've become, and for that I am deeply grateful."

Much of Vernoff's professional writing career has been in the medium of television, and she is best known for her Golden Globe-winning and Emmy-nominated work on Grey’s Anatomy, the longest-running medical drama on television, and the dark comedy Shameless. 

Other shows she has worked on include CharmedWonderfallsLaw & Order, and Private Practice.

In 2018, she made her television directorial debut with an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, titled “Anybody Have a Map?” Her latest writing project is the new show Rebel, based on the life of activist Erin Brockovich.