Shelley Dennis Photo Provided

Shelley Dennis is carving a name for herself in Hollywood. She currently serves as staff writer for "The Conners."

Dennis selected as staff writer for The Conners

By Shelia Kirven
November 1, 2021

Choctaw tribal member and Clayton, Oklahoma native Shelley Dennis has been selected as a staff writer for season four of ABC’s sitcom series, “The Conners.” The Conners began in 2018 as a spin-off continuation of the long-running series Roseanne and is produced by Werner Entertainment.

Dennis previously completed work as a staff writer in an all-native writers’ room for the new and upcoming Netflix animated series for children ages 6-8, Spirit Rangers. The series follows a Native American trio in a National Park who can transform into their own animal spirits.

After completing her work on Spirit Rangers, Dennis was selected as one of 13 individuals to participate in the 2021 Disney Writing Fellowship in January. The one-year writing program was created in 1990 to offer advanced professional development to writers and help them secure staff assignments through the Disney General Entertainment Contest series, with a nearly 100% hiring rate with Disney. Dennis participated in the comedy category of the program, which has historically helped secure established award-winning careers for writers, producers and showrunners.

Dennis is also an accomplished actress, appearing in productions such as Days of Our Lives, Criminal Minds and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. She has performed stand-up comedy and has been a fashion model who lived in Milan, Italy, after receiving an invitation from a modeling agency to move there. She modeled successfully in both Italy and Germany, appearing in several publications, including teen magazines and Vanity Fair.

She attended Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilburton and graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts in 2005. Dennis is very passionate about being Choctaw, sharing her identity and creativity in her work, and encouraging others to do the same.

“As a Choctaw, it’s time that your voice be heard. Your work to be seen, read, worn, admired. Historically, in order for our people to survive, they had to mimic the white man; they could not be Choctaw. Today, the world’s like, ‘express yourself! It’s safe now!’ But it’s not that simple. That doesn’t remove centuries of suppression. And it won’t go away on its own. We must actively, consciously fight against it. Remember this every time those little voices in your head tell you, ‘you’re not good enough’ or ‘nobody cares’. Today, our culture’s survival is based on our ability to take up space in the world. Your creativity isn’t just about you. It’s also honoring our ancestors who had so much inside of them to give but never had the chance. You owe it to them, and you owe it to yourself.”
For more on Shelley Dennis, visit her website at shelleydennis.com.

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Shelley Dennis
Photo Provided

Shelley Dennis