An essential round-up of fellowships and opportunities for screenwriters in 2018. Deadlines and conditions can change, so please check the relevant websites for full entry details.
PAGE International Screenwriting Awards
were established in 2003 by an alliance of Hollywood producers, agents and development executives. This competition awards a cash prize of $25,000 to a screenwriter who has written the best screenplay in any genre. There are also prizes in ten genre categories. The final date for entries is 16 April.
The Disney | ABC Writing Program
was created in 1990 and is based in Los Angeles. The program aims to place participants as staff writers on Disney/ABC television series and begins with a curriculum designed to better prepare them for this role. Writers become employees and will be paid a weekly salary. Applications open and close in May (dates TBC).
Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting
awards up to five fellowships of US$35,000 each year. This international screenwriting competition is open to writers based anywhere in the world, regardless of citizenship. All entrants must be aged over 18. The final entry deadline is 1 May.
CBS Diversity Institute’s Writers Mentoring Program
aims is to provide access and opportunities for talented and motivated diverse writers. The program is held in Los Angeles but writers do not need to be American residents to apply (there are no travel grants or subsidies though). Applications close on 1 May.
The National Hispanic Media Coalition Television Writers Program
was created in 2003 and is an intensive workshop designed to prepare and place Latinos in writing jobs for the major television networks. This five-week workshop is mentored and guided by former NBC VP of Script Development Geoff Harris and is conducted in Burbank, California. Applications open on 9 April and close on 5 August.
Sundance Screenwriters Lab
is a five-day writer’s workshop that gives independent screenwriters the opportunity to work intensively on their feature film scripts with the support of established writers in ‘an environment that encourages innovation and creative risk-taking’. The next Screenwriters Lab will be held in January 2017, just before the Sundance Film Festival. Applications close on 15 May.
Norman Mailer Writers Colony
in Pennsylvania is running a five-day screenwriting workshop in August, led by Ross Klavan (Tigerland). The workshop will focus on screen language, the nature of imagery and storytelling structure. Applications close on 15 May and a limited number of scholarship places are available.
The Djerassi/SFFS Screenwriting Fellowship
provides a one-month residency at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program for an emerging or established screenwriter. Located in the Santa Cruz Mountains, 40 miles south of San Francisco, the program provides artists with uninterrupted time for work, reflection and interaction in a professionally supportive and inspirational environment. The fellowship is open to screenwriters internationally but travel costs are not included. Applications are expected to close in May.
NBCUniversal’s Writers on the Verge
is a 12-week program focused on polishing writers and readying them for a staff writer position on a television series. They are looking for writers who are ‘almost there’ but need that final bit of preparation with their writing and personal presentation skills. The program consists of two weekly night classes to be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at NBCUniversal in Universal City, California. Applications open on 1 May and close on 31 May.
Hedgebrook Screenwriters Lab
supports five female screenwriters in developing their projects over a weeklong residency. Held at a Hedgebrook’s retreat on Whidbey Island in Washington, the program aims to support the creative process of a diverse group of screenwriters each year, and build a community that harnesses the power of film as a storytelling medium to change the cultural conversation. Applications close on 2 June.
The Warner Bros Writers’ Workshop
is for new writers looking to start and further their career in the world of television. Graduates include Terrance Winter (Boardwalk Empire), Marc Cherry (Desperate Housewives), Greg Garcia (My Name Is Earl) and Felicia Henderson (Soul Food). Applications on 1 May and close on 31 May.
Script to Screen
is a joint initiative presented by Adelaide’s Media Resource Centre and the Australian Writers’ Guild. It is designed as a professional development opportunity to support screenwriters during the writing process. The winning scripts will be directed, rehearsed and then read by actors in front of an audience in the Mercury Cinema. Applications close on 3 August.
The BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum
aims to connect aspiring British writers and filmmakers with agents, development executives and established industry members. TV Sitcom applications close on 18 April; TV Drama on 26 April, Children’s Media on 18 July and Film Script applications close on 26 September.
Film Independent’s Screenwriting Lab
is an intensive five-week program that runs two to three evenings a week in Los Angeles every Autumn. It is designed to help screenwriters develop and express their unique voices as writers and to take their current scripts to the next level. Lab Fellows connect with established screenwriters and explicate their films, learn about their careers, and discuss the writing process. Additionally, Screenwriting Fellows have one-on-one meetings with established screenwriters, producers, and other industry professionals who act as advisers on the Fellows’ projects. Applications for non-members close on 22 October (5 November for Film Independent Members).
Missouri Stories Scriptwriting Fellowship
is an international competition for screenplays and television pilot scripts with storylines set in Missouri. Three writers’ scripts will be chosen and all winners will receive an all-expense-paid trip to the concentrated fellowship experience, held in Missouri. Applications are expected to open in October.
Wellcome Screenwriting Fellowship
provides one British screenwriter with a £30,000 bursary and a range of resources including introductions to scientists, historians, social scientists, ethicists and creative practitioners (including other Wellcome fellows). This fellowship is an industry-nominated award (no direct applications or self-nominations); the winner will be announced in November.
Cassian Elwes Independent Screenwriting Fellowship
is an annual program designed to encourage and identify new talent in the field of independent cinema by awarding one screenwriter each year with an all-expenses paid trip to the Sundance Film Festival and an opportunity to meet with Producer Cassian Elwes (Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints). Registrations are completed via The Black List and a shortlist will be finalised in early December.
Screencraft’s Screenwriting Fellowship
is open to writers worldwide. To be eligible, applicants must not have earned more than US$50,000 from professional writing services for film or TV in the preceding year. Up to four winners will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Los Angeles for meetings with agents, managers, screenwriters and studio executives. Applications open on 18 October and will close in March 2019.