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Applications Now Open for the $35,000 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting

Nicholl 2010 Fellow 2010 Destin Daniel Cretton wrote 'I Am Not A Hipster' during his fellowship year. The film, which he also directed, premièred at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

2010 Nicholl Fellow Destin Daniel Cretton wrote ‘I Am Not A Hipster’ during his fellowship year. The film, which he also directed, premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

Please note: the following post relates to the 2013 Nicholl Fellowships. For 2014 information please click here.

Entries for the prestigious and lucrative Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting are now open.

This international screenwriting competition is open to writers based anywhere in the world, regardless of citizenship, and awards up to five fellowships of  US $35,000 each year.

The fellowships were established in 1986 to identify and encourage talented new screenwriters. Since then 128 fellowship and $3,425,000 has been awarded.

In addition to the cash prize, winners of the Nicholl Fellowships receive networking opportunities and professional mentoring to help complete their next script (it is a requirement that all fellowship winners complete a new script in the year of their fellowship).

In order to be eligible, applicants must submit an original feature film screenplay, approximately 90 to 120 pages in length (the shortest script to earn its writer an Academy Nicholl Fellowship was 85 pages long; the longest was 153 pages).

The fellowships are for emerging writers only – screenwriters who have earned more than US$25,000 for writing fiction work for television or film are not eligible to enter.

Nicholl Fellowships 2013 Timeline

  • January – entries open
  • 1 March – early bird entry deadline ($35 entry fee)
  • 10 April – regular entry deadline ($50 entry fee)
  • 1 May – late entry deadline ($65 late entry fee)
  • Late July / Early August – entrants notified by email as to whether their script as reached the quarter-final round. At this stage three selected industry professionals read the scripts, with three reads by three different judges for each script.
  • Late August – semi-finalists notified by email. At the semi-final stage, the scripts are read by Academy members. In 2012, 35 of the Academy member semi-final round judges had either won or been nominated for an Academy Award.
  • Late September / Early October – Finalists are notified and asked to submit supporting materials.
  • Late October – Fellowship recipients are notified and announced

In 2012 the fellowship received 7,197 applications. Of these 350 reached the quarter-final round and just 129 reached the semi-final round.  There are usually 10 finalists selected, though sometimes there are fewer and on once occasion there were 11 finalists.

Full entry information can be found on the Academy website. Make sure you take the time to read the detailed FAQs section as there are very specific requirements about formatting and entering your script (non-US entrants be warned – your script must be formatted to  American 8.5″ x 11″ sized paper!)

For more information contact:

Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting
1313 Vine Street
Hollywood, California 90028
United States of America
1 – 310 247 3010


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