Missouri State alumna and daytime TV legend Kay Alden Nelson recently returned to campus to share her expertise with students. Nelson, who is credited for her writing as Kay Alden, has a decades-long career writing for “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful,” including several years as the head writer for “The Young and the Restless.”
During her career, Nelson has been recognized by a number of organizations. Her awards include:
- Four Emmy Awards – Best Writing Daytime Drama – The Young and the Restless – 1992, 1997, 2000, 2006
- Two Emmy Awards – Best Writing Daytime Drama – The Bold and the Beautiful – 2010, 2013
- Two Writers Guild of America Awards – Best Daytime Serial Writing – 2002, 2005
- 2004 Media Project – Shine Award (Youth Oriented Sexual Program Content)
- 2003 Sentinel for Health Award – “Neil’s Battle with Alcoholism”
- 2000 Sentinel for Health Award – “Raul’s Diabetes”
- 1998 Chicago Women in Film and Television Achievement Award
- 1992 Distinguished Alumni Award, Emporia (Kansas) State University
She has also been recognized with Missouri State’s Outstanding Alumni Award.
Impact on students
This was Nelson’s second visit with writing students during the 2017-18 academic year.
“Kay Alden Nelson is a model of success for student writers. She’s thrived in a volatile industry, and she has such important insight to share with our students,” Amberg says.
“As a writer, you must really know who your characters are. If you start with a character who is 42, why is he like this at 42? What was he like at 20? What was he like at 10? You may never share this information with the audience, but you must know it.” — Kay Alden Nelson, speaking to screenwriting students
Amberg likes to introduce Nelson by recognizing her volume of produced credits. “We’re in an industry where writers are always trying to get something produced, and even getting your short film on screen is hard,” he says. “When Kay is here, the students get to interact with someone who has more produced credits than the sum total of everyone else they’ll ever meet.”
He says, “Our students find her visits incredibly meaningful and inspirational — not only because of how clearly she speaks to them about the craft and the industry — but also because she’s created characters they’ve known for years. I’m thankful they have these opportunities .”