Lauri’s List of Screenwriting Fellowships, Labs, Grants, Contests and Other Opportunities

(Updated for 2022 on December 31, 2021)

This is a list of screenwriting opportunities that I think are worthwhile.

Here are some thoughts on whether screenwriting contests are worthwhile in general — and why.

I define a “worthwhile” opportunity as providing one or more of the following:

  • industry-recognized validation of script quality that can help a writer get a script read and/or help a writer get represented
  • effective promotion of top scripts, leading to read requests
  • professional mentoring
  • script feedback and workshopping (more than just written notes)
  • introductions to industry professionals
  • professional training programs
  • entry-level screenwriting jobs

The best opportunities are highly selective and can have thousands of applicants for a handful of slots. It’s usually a waste of time and/or money to enter a first draft.

Most programs in the US are open to writers all over the world. Most programs outside the US are only open to people in those countries/regions.

Some programs (including the Nicholl) offer script feedback, but most don’t. If you want to see if your script is competitive before entering, you could consider getting free peer feedback from a site like Zoetrope, reddit, CoverflyX, etc.  You can also pay for professional reviews from a site like The Black List or hire someone like me to help make your script better.

Many for-profit contests (most of which I don’t list) offer only a very small chance at a monetary prize (in exchange for a hefty entry fee) and maybe a spam press release (deleted, unread, by industry recipients) announcing the finalists/winners. Very rarely, winning one of these for-profit contests will advance a writer’s career.

Reddit/TVWriting has a well-curated list of TV-related fellowships, along with updates, tips, and resources for applicants.

For additional resources, see the Sundance Inclusion Resource Map.

If you want to explore other contests you can find an exhaustive list here.

To suggest edits, additions, or deletions, please contact me with the details.

Programs may be changed, discontinued, or not offered every year. In-person programs may switch to on-line depending on the pandemic.

Check websites for the latest deadlines. Many of the dates listed below are from 2021 and may not be valid for 2022. Check requirements early as some applications will require multiple essays and a lot of time to complete.

If you see a shadow when viewing the chart on your handheld device, try turning the screen from vertical to horizontal.

Deadline Program Details
JAN Impact x Netflix DACH Impact and Netflix DACH are teaming up to launch an accelerator program for German-speaking screen and TV writers.

Through Impact’s open submission process, promising writers of all levels from in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland can apply with a well-thought-out idea and writing sample for consideration to develop in the Impact x Netflix DACH accelerator program.

The five writers selected for the 8-week program will be offered a writing deal with Netflix and be paired with a ‘Shaper’ (world-class showrunner or screenwriter) to help develop their feature film script or TV pilot and bible.

Deadline: Jan. 1.

No fee.

JAN Hat Trick Competition This is a competition for newer and less experienced writers. Both represented and non-represented writers are welcome to submit a script.

Open to those living in the UK and Ireland only.

Deadline: Jan. 5

 No fee.

NOV-JAN Hamptons Film Screenwriters Lab The Lab fosters emerging talent by pairing selected fellows with established writers and creative producers for a weekend of one-on-one mentorship. Over the course of the weekend, these film industry veterans advise the participating fellows on their feature length projects in a series of individual and group development sessions.

Additional events include nightly salons, roundtables, master class, and happy hours with industry guests, board members, alumni of the Lab, and members of the local artistic community.

Opens: Nov. 3

Early deadline: Nov. 17

Extended deadline: Jan. 7

 Fee: $85 for extended deadline

NOV-JAN Athena IRIS Screenwriting Lab Two-day script development intensive that will take place during the Athena Film Festival. Designed for women screenwriters who have not yet had a feature-length script, pilot, or teleplay produced, the Lab is also a chance for participants to receive seasoned mentorship. Screenplays must include one or more strong female characters in leadership roles at the center of the story.

Opens: Nov. 17

Deadline: Jan. 7

$55.

NOV-JAN ATX Television Festival Pitch Competition Anyone with an idea for a new show and a five-to-ten-page script sample may submit.

Opens: Nov. 15

Deadline: Jan. 30

$40 and up.

JAN The Writers Lab – Europe You are eligible if

  • you are a woman-identifying writer (cis, trans, binary)
  • you are over the age of 40 (born on or before June 10, 1981)
  • you submit a completed narrative feature or pilot (half-hour and/or one-hour)
  • you are based in the UK or Ireland

Up to 15 screenwriters will be mentored by some of the industry’s best writers and producers in APRIL 2022.

During the 4-day lab intensive, Mentors and Writers engage in rigorous script development through one-on-one meetings, small group and panel discussions, workshops and more to develop
their scripts and their craft, and to build tools and strategies to achieve success.

Deadline: Jan. 31

£25 – Regular Entry Fee

£15 – For TWL/US 2021 Applicants

JAN WIF Shorts Lab supported by Google Provides three filmmaking teams with grants of $30,000 and the support needed to produce a short film. Key team members (writer, director, producer, line producer) must identify as women or gender non-binary.

Projects must be shot within Los Angeles County (certain exceptions may apply).

Opens: December 1

Deadline: Jan. 4.

$40 fee.

JAN Circle of Confusion Writers Discovery Fellowship Circle of Confusion will provide an immersive introductory experience to the world of professional screen and television writing to a diverse group of aspiring writers who have not yet been employed or represented by the industry. The Fellows will each be given a $10,000 stipend by way of a first look deal with Circle of Confusion Television Studios. Once per year, the program will select six to eight writers for a six-month fellowship which closely replicates the writer-manager dynamic. Each Fellow will be assigned a mentor who will educate and guide them by way of script development, career advice, and support.

Opens Dec. 15.

Deadline: Jan. 2.

No fee.

JAN WarnerMedia Virtual Internships Interns will gain insight and knowledge of the industry by way of practical work experience, such as script coverage, reviewing dailies, creating and maintaining lists of available actors, writers, and directors, and other various projects to gain exposure to all facets of the business.

Students must be currently enrolled in a college degree program for the full duration of the internship

Deadline: Jan. 28

No fee.

JAN MPAC Hollywood Bureau’s Black Muslim Filmmaker Grant This award seeks to promote and elevate Black Muslim creatives as they work to tell intersectional stories with nuanced depictions of Black Muslims on screen. One filmmaker will receive a $10,000 grant.

Deadline: Jan. 28

 No fee.

JAN WarnerMedia Access X Canadian Academy Writers Program The WarnerMedia Access x Canadian Academy Writers Program is a professional development initiative focused on experienced Canadian writers from underrepresented communities. This program will support a maximum of 12 individuals seeking to advance their careers in episodic television or feature film through the development of a specific project; mentorship and community-building opportunities; and connections to and industry knowledge from WarnerMedia executives and creators.

This program is designed to support writers from underrepresented communities: Indigenous, Black, racialized groups, people with disabilities, LGBTQ2IA+ and Francophone members of the aforementioned communities. Applications and scripts can be submitted and developed in English or French, but the program sessions and communication are solely in English.

Opens Dec. 9.

Deadline: Jan. 7

 No fee

JAN Hyde Park Entertainment & Warner Music Group Asian Women Screenwriting Lab Fellowship $12,500 grants to two (2) woman-identifying filmmakers who are Asian or part of the Asian diaspora.

Deadline: Jan. 14

No fee.

JAN Hillman Grad Mentorship Lab

The tuition-free, 10-month program grants fellows the unique opportunity to enhance their creative skillset through personalized instruction from industry professionals, creating additional pathways to bring more people from diverse backgrounds into the entertainment industry.

Writing fellows will engage in a comprehensive writing experience, developing an original pilot from concept ideation to a fully polished and packaged script. Fellows will learn how to plan and write a pilot, participate in a simulated writers room –undergoing a series of rewrites from notes by both the instructor and peers – capped off by a table read featuring actors from the Hillman Grad Network.

No fee.

NB: Not clear if this is happening in 2022.

JAN Full Circle Lab Philippines Full Circle Lab Philippines is open to filmmakers from Philippines and South-East Asia countries: Brunei, Cambodia, East-Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The Fiction Lab nurtures 8 feature films in development. It combines works in plenary, groups and individual consultations.

Applications open Jan. 22.

Deadline: July 30?

 No fee

JAN? Southeast Asia Fiction Film Lab Nationals of the following countries are eligible for SEAFIC participation: Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Brunei, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Each year, SEAFIC shall select five 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-time filmmakers with work-in-progress scripts to work with our veteran script consultant for 8 months to develop and refine their screenplays. Participants shall attend three sessions in Thailand. The sessions are conducted in English.

No fee.

JAN

 

 

Native American TV Writers Lab

The NATIVE AMERICAN TV WRITERS LAB is an intensive scriptwriters workshop that prepares Native Americans for writing careers at major television networks.

The lab is for seasoned Native American writers who have written feature, short or television scripts. Each selected participant is expected to complete a draft of a pilot script by the end of the five-week session.

No fee.

JAN Universal Animation Writers Writers can submit for a Film Track or one of two Television Tracks, Kids 6-11 or Preschool 3-5. Writers selected for the Film Track will write two feature-length scripts.

Writers selected to participate in the one-year paid program are hired under a writing service agreement requiring an exclusive, full-time commitment of a minimum of 40 hours per week.

Writers will be compensated at a non-negotiable $75,000 annualized amount.

No fee.

JAN BBC Open Call Open Call is not a competition but a means by which the BBC seeks out the best writing talent. Looking for writers with the strongest potential to be developed and produced for BBC broadcast. You could be new to writing or new to the BBC but equally, you may be a playwright looking to write for TV, or you’ve written for radio drama and would like to try your hand at writing for the BBC.

Must be resident in the UK or Republic of Ireland.

 Opens: Dec. 9

Deadline: Jan. 13

No fee.

JAN 4Stories Applicants must be a resident of the United Kingdom.

The scheme is aimed at finding genuinely diverse voices, exploring contemporary stories of and by communities that are rarely seen on mainstream television. We encourage applications from talent currently under-represented in TV Drama – including women, disabled talent, BAME talent, and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. We want to hear from emerging UK writing and directing talent who bring a distinct and alternative view of modern Britain.

Initially we are looking for six writers who will be commissioned to write a treatment for an original half hour idea that can form part of an ambitious anthology series. Of those six, three will then be commissioned to write scripts for production. They will be tutored by and work with experienced drama producers at BlackLight Television to develop and showcase their unique voice.

Deadline: Jan. 30

No fee.

JAN Ubisoft’s Women’s Film and Television Fellowship

 

Two women, non-binary, trans, gender-nonconforming, and gender-variant aspiring screenwriters will be selected for the six-month, non-exclusive paid fellowship where they will have the opportunity to explore Ubisoft’s library of IP, which includes such game franchises as Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, Watch Dogs and more. Those chosen for the fellowship receive mentorship from Ubisoft Film & Television executives.

No fee.

JAN Stowe Story Labs Fellowships Stowe Story Labs brings emerging screenwriters, filmmakers and creative producers from around the world together with seasoned industry professionals to help get projects made and seen.

Writers’ retreats and labs; some online.

Types of Fellowships:

  • TOP EMERGING FILMMAKER OF COLOR
  • FEMALE SCREENWRITER WORKING ON A PROJECT FOR TELEVISION
  • UNDERREPRESENTED VOICE
  • WOMAN-IDENTIFYING HORROR WRITER, AGE 40 AND OVER
  • FILMMAKER ADMITTED TO THE HOLLYSHORTS FILM FESTIVAL
  • EMERGING UK-BASED SCREENWRITER OR FILMMAKER WHO IS IRISH, OF IRISH DESCENT, OR A MEMBER OF THE IRISH DIASPORA
  • A WOMAN OVER 40 TO ATTEND THE STOWE SIDEWALK NARRATIVE LAB
  • SCREENWRITERS, FILMMAKERS, AND CREATIVE PRODUCERS BASED IN NEW ENGLAND
  • FILMMAKERS OF ALL MARGINALIZED GENDERS
  • PAGE QUARTERFINALIST
  • EMERGING SCREENWRITER OR FILMMAKER WHO PRESENTS A MEANINGFUL CHARACTER-DRIVEN STORY FOCUSED ON UNDERREPRESENTED VOICES
  • FEMALE SCREENWRITER, FILMMAKER, OR CREATIVE PRODUCER
  • CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE FILM STUDENTS
  • UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT FILM AND TELEVISION PROGRAM STUDENT

Deadline: Jan 24 (late: Feb 15)

Fee:  $38 and up

JAN Sesame Street Writers’ Room

 

·Writers must come from an underrepresented racial group.

Emerging storytellers who are selected to join the Writers’ Room fellowship will receive hands-on writing experience guided by Sesame Street veterans and other media industry leaders.

Weekly sessions take place at the Sesame Street NYC offices in the summer.

Opens: Nov. 22

Deadline: Jan. 10 

No fee.

JAN Realness African Screenwriters Residency

 

Comprised of two six-week sessions, as well as a market experience, the programme provides screenwriters with the space and support to hone their skills and refine their projects.

Operating from the stunning Cradle of Humankind in South Africa, the first six-week period is focused on incubation – residents write in an inspiring and relaxed environment while being coached by script consultants and mentors.

All expenses are paid, including travel, accommodation, and meals.

You are eligible to apply for the residency if:

  • You have an up-to-date African passport.
  • 60 – 70% of your script is filmed on the African continent.

Fee: 30 euros.

JAN The Script Lab’s FREE Screenplay Contest Accepts features, TV pilots, and short screenplays.

Deadline: Jan. 31.

No fee.

JAN The Orchard Project Episodic Lab The Orchard Project’s TV/Episodic Lab, now entering its fifth year, allows a cohort of writers to work together and interact with industry guests to advance the development of their pilots. In a virtual setting via teleconference, participants will each have the time and resources to manifest their artistic vision. With a curiosity for feedback and desire to interrogate both the form and current trends, participants engage in a pilot-and-project-centered lab with the final goal of creating a more vibrant and impactful draft of their episodic pilot.

Deadline: Jan. 21

No fee.

JAN Norman Jewison Film Program – Writers’ Lab Applicants must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.

The Writers’ Lab is a 5 1/2-month, full-time program that offers a productive and immersive screenwriting experience for up to five writers a year.

Tuition is $8,000. Scholarships are available.

Deadline: Jan. 31

CAD$100.

JAN-MAR Trackingb.Com Original TV Pilot Contest Five finalists will be promoted on trackingb.com to community of entertainment industry insiders and will also be read by each member of the judging panel who will pick an overall winner.

Early deadline: Jan. 31

Late deadline: Feb. 28

Really late deadline: March 28

Fee:  $99 and up.

JAN-FEB Black Writers in Focus DIVERSO has partnered with RIDEBACK (Aladdin, It, The LEGO Movies) and THE WRITERS GUILD FOUNDATION to create Black Writers in Focus: a paid summer fellowship program for Black student screenwriters.

Vetted by a rigorous committee of all Black readers, four talented students will spend ten weeks over the summer fine-tuning a writing sample with a personalized mentor, attending panels and classes with industry leaders, and learning from the best by shadowing in a writers’ room. Students will be paid to develop their craft.

Open to:  Black student writers currently enrolled in a university or recent graduates, whose script has not been optioned. Screenwriters also may not have earned more than $25,000 writing fictional work for film or television.

Selected students will receive a $6,000 stipend to support a full-time commitment over 10 weeks. Fellows are expected to make a 40-hour commitment each week.

The program will be hosted virtually over the summer (June 7th – August 13th).

Opens: Jan. 18

Deadline: Feb 21

Sign up for newsletter for updates.

Fee:  $20

JAN-APR Page International Screenwriting Awards 10 genre/format categories and 31 awards. $25,000 grand prize.

Early deadline: Jan. 10

Regular deadline: Feb. 10

Late deadline: March 10

Last minute deadline: April 11

Fee:  $47 and up

JAN-APR CineStory Feature Retreat and Fellowship Contest The CineStory Feature Retreat takes place over four days in the beautiful mountains of Idyllwild, California. Attendees receive three 90-minute one-on-one sessions with CineStory mentors. During these sessions, attendees can discuss anything from the script(s) they submitted for feedback to jump-starting their writing careers.

The Grand Prize for the competition is the CineStory Feature Fellowship, a 12-month mentorship program, during which the Feature Fellow works with 2 Hollywood professionals hand-picked to help the Fellow advance his/her craft and career. The Feature Fellow also receives $10,000 as well as free tuition and housing for the retreat.

Early deadline: Jan. 18

Regular deadline: Feb. 15

Late deadline: March 21

Extended late deadline: April 25

Fee: $50 and up

DEC-FEB ISA Fast Track Fellowship Gives two screenwriters the opportunity to be mentored by eight top executives in LA.

Early deadline: Dec. 9

Regular deadline: Jan. 6

Final deadline: Feb. 10

Fee: $39 and up

JAN-FEB? BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Competition For UK passport-holders and residents only.

Selected script extracts are performed by a professional cast to an audience of producers, development executives, directors, actors and literary agents, aiming to give a platform to emerging writing talent from across the country.

Film and TV Comedy in 2022.

Children, Family and YA Media and TV Drama in 2023.

£42 fee; fee bursaries available.

JAN-OCT WeScreenplay Diverse Voices Screenwriting Lab A screenplay contest and lab that strives to encourage stories that are told from perspectives that are often underrepresented in Hollywood today. This includes writers of color, women writers, writers with disabilities, writers over 40, writers in the LGBTQ+ community, and any other voices that have historically been ignored by Hollywood.
Four winners will be flown out to LA for mentorship and meetings with industry professionals.Includes free feedback.$35 and up.
JAN-FEB Yes, And… Laughter Lab Open only to US residents.

The Yes, And Laughter Lab invites all comedy creators to apply for a chance to receive some training, some money, and a chance to pitch their project to a room full of potential allies and partners. The Laughter Lab is a pipeline for the best comedy projects that address pressing social issues.

The Lab will select ten original comedy projects from the pool of applicants. Winners will present their original projects either in New York City or Los Angeles to a curated room of traditional and digital media platforms, grantmakers and investors, leading NGOs/nonprofits, production companies, and other select industry players. We aim to build support around each winning comedy project to accelerate its impact and influence.

Opens: Jan. 18

Deadline: Feb. 18

No fee.

JAN-FEB Screencraft Screenwriting Fellowship Up to four winners will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Los Angeles for meetings with agents, managers, screenwriters and studio executives.

Deadline: Feb. 28

Fee:  $59.50 and up

JAN-MAR Black List/Women in Film Feature Residency The Black List and WIF will invite six promising non-professional screenwriters who are of underrepresented genders (women, NB/GNC, and/or trans, and others) to participate in a one-year residency, kicking off with a long weekend intensive in the Los Angeles area on June 23–26, 2022. Over the kickoff weekend, writers participating in the Residency will workshop one feature screenplay through one-on-one sessions with screenwriting mentors and in peer workshops. Throughout the following 12 months, writers will be supported through additional events as well as arranged meetings with representation, production companies, and fellow writers to elevate their projects and career trajectories. Participants should expect these events to be held in person in Los Angeles. Writers will also be invited to exclusive Black List and WIF events through the end of June 2023.

Opens: Jan. 6

Deadline: March 8
Applications accepted via the Black List and WIF site.

WIF Fee: $40

JAN-MAR Launch Pad Pilot Competition Grand Prize (3 winners):  Invited to exclusive, annual Launch Pad party where you will meet top agents, managers, executives, producers, and some of our current and previous judges.

Feedback available for additional charge.

Regular deadline: Jan. 17

Late deadline: Feb. 14

Final deadline: March 15

$65 and up.

JAN-MAR? Propelle Content Accelerator for Women The goal of the program is to further develop the careers of up-and-coming female creators by pairing them with female-owned production companies and female CEOs for project workshopping and mentoring.
Everywoman Studios will select and announce one winning project to receive up to US $20,000 to further develop their project into production.Opens: Jan?Deadline: March?No fee.
JAN-MAR? Summer Lab for Entertainment Professionals with Disabilities

 

6-week, 12-session Lab for people interested in – and with experience in – development, production and post-production, including careers as writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, animators and other production roles.

Opens: Jan.

Deadline: March?

No fee.

FEB Film Independent Episodic Lab Film Independent’s Episodic Lab will accept a diverse group of 6–8 writers or writing teams and provide them with critical support and mentorship. Through personalized feedback from experienced showrunners, creative producers and executives, Fellows will gain the tools to revise and refine their pilots and navigate a changing industry landscape.

Held online until further notice.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation will award one participant of the Film Independent Episodic Lab a $10,000 development grant.

The teleplay should have a scientific, mathematical and/or technological theme and storyline or have a leading character that is a scientist, engineer or mathematician.

Non-member deadline: Feb. 11

$45 and up

FEB Serial Eyes Applicants must be from the European Union, Iceland, Norway, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Republic of Serbia, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, or Tunisia. Applicants from other countries may apply for a very limited number of places on the programme.

Serial Eyes is a full-time course based in Berlin at the Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (DFFB) from September through May, with visits to Stockholm, London and the Séries Mania Festival in Lille.

The program normally costs 4.500 € but three full scholarships for residents of certain countries are available.

No fee.

FEB The Veterans Writing Project

 

The mission of the Writers Guild Foundation’s Veterans Writing Project is to identify emerging writers from United States military backgrounds and provide them with the tools and insights to nurture their passion for writing and successfully navigate the entertainment industry.

We do this in two phases over a yearlong program: A weekend-long retreat, and monthly follow-up workshops and special events. Each military veteran is paired with WGA members.

No fee.

FEB-MAR SFFILM Rainin Grant

 

Screenwriting Grant: These grants are open to filmmakers anywhere in the US, as well as internationally, and range between $10,000 and $25,000. The funds allow filmmakers to devote dedicated time to furthering their work, and the grant includes a two-month FilmHouse residency in the Bay Area to further develop the screenplay, and have access to both peer and established mentorship engagement. The screenplay must explore issues pertaining to social justice.

Regular deadline: Feb. 25

Final deadline: Mar. 25

Fee:  $25 and up

FEB-MAR Sundance – Episodic Lab program for original pilots.

Opens: Feb. 9

Deadline: March 9

$40 fee.

FEB-APR Humanitas New Voices Mentorship plus $7,500 grant.

$100 fee.

MAR The Writers Lab Four-day script development program for women over 40, sponsored by Meryl Streep and NY Women in Film & Television.

$55 fee.

MAR-? WarnerMedia Access Writers Program

(formerly the HBO Access Writing Fellowship)

 

A multi-month pipeline program for entry-level narrative TV writers. The objective of the program is to provide marginalized voices a pathway for entry into the television industry through instruction, mentorship and exposure.

Opens: March

Deadline: ?

No fee.

MAR The Disruptors The Disruptors Fellowship supports emerging television writers of color who identify as transgender, non-binary, disabled, undocumented, and/or formerly undocumented. This 14-week fellowship for LA-based emerging talent includes mentorship, professional development, master classes and a $5,000 stipend. Held online due to pandemic.

No fee.

MAR Felix Dexter Bursary For half-hour sitcoms.

Applicants must be a UK resident or entitled to live and work in the UK for the dates of the scheme

Entrants need to be located in London for the duration of the traineeship

The Felix Dexter Bursary aims to make a positive intervention to address an under-representation of black, Asian, minority ethnic professionals in comedy production and development in the broadcast industry. This training scheme is designed to find writers with fresh and unique points of view, who can help shape the future of comedy.

Deadline: March 19

No fee.

MAR PEI Screenwriters Bootcamp The Screenwriters’ Bootcamp is a professional development opportunity for Canadian emerging and mid-career creators offering one-on-one mentoring and group sessions with industry professionals. Writers from Atlantic Canada are invited to participate in activities either virtually or in person.

No fee.

MAR-APR Young Films Foundation Seven new screenwriters will have the opportunity to write a TV drama, comedy or feature film script commissioned by one of seven broadcasters over a year long programme.

​They will be mentored throughout the programme by a leading industry professional who will support them through the script commissioning process.

​The programme culminates in a week-long residency in Skye.

Applicants must:

  • Be over 18 years old
  • Reside in Scotland (resident for two years)

Opens: March 8

Deadline: April 19

MAR-APR NBC Late Night Writers Workshop 5-Day workshop in New York City.

Focused on exposing talented sketch and comedy writers to NBCUniversal’s late night & alternative line-up and readying them for a staff writer position. “We are looking for writers who are “almost there,” but need that final bit of preparation and exposure to key industry players. We particularly encourage female writers and those of diverse backgrounds to apply. The selected writers will create new sketch material and gain insight into the dynamics of a late night writers’ room. Participants are given the chance to interact with key writers and producers from across NBCUniversal’s late night and alternative shows, as well as receive feedback on their material.”

Opens: March 23

Deadline: April 5

No fee.

APR-JUN Outfest Screenwriting Lab The authors of five scripts will be invited to participate in a lab in mid-June, where they will work closely with Lab Mentors — established writers who will critique and encourage their work.

Only narrative feature-length screenplays and episodic pilot script (standard broadcast length – half hour or hour) will be considered.

After the lab, the fellows work with experienced Outfest directors to present their screenplays on stage with a live reading at the Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival in July. Screenwriting Lab Fellows will continue to receive guidance from Outfest Staff and Mentors for the full calendar year.

Opens: April 16

Early Deadline: April 23

Regular Deadline: May 14

Final Deadline: June 30

Fee: $40 and up.

MAR-MAY Austin Film Festival Accepts screenplays, teleplays, stage plays, and digital series. Feedback available.

Early deadline: March 25

Regular deadline: April 18

Late deadline: May 16

$40 and up.

NB: In the past, Austin has been considered one of the top 5 screenplay competitions. However, in 2021 there were widespread complaints about the quality of the reader feedback.

MAR-MAY CBS Writers Mentoring Program For diverse writers. Eight-month structured program of career development, support, and personal access to executives and the decision-making processes, with the goal of preparing aspiring writers for later employment opportunities in television.

Opens: March 1

Deadline: May 1

No fee.

MAR-MAY Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting Considered the most prestigious fellowship for amateur screenwriters.

Up to five $35,000 fellowships are awarded.  Fellows are invited to participate in awards week ceremonies and seminars in LA in November.

Early deadline: March 3

Regular deadline: April 3

Late deadline: May 3

$48 and up.

APR? Talents Durban Talents Durban is the Durban FilmMart’s annual 5-day training and development programme, that brings together Africa’s rising film professionals.

Storytelling Lab selects three features, three shorts and three TV/Web series currently in development. The stories are given advanced consultation and mentoring by three script editors, as well as participating in scriptwriting workshops.

Animation Lab is open to screenwriters and animation directors with animation projects. The lab will focus on character development, visual development, and the business of animation in Africa.

Fee?

APR-JUL? NHMC Series Scriptwriters Program

 

Ten diverse Latinx writers nationwide are selected for a five-week intense writers lab. At the end of the program, these writers will have either a half-hour or hourlong original series pilot, which they will pitch to Industry leaders, beginning with our partners at ABC & NBC.

No fee.

APR-MAY? Sundance Screenwriters Lab Five-day writers’ workshop in Utah.

Fee.

APR-MAY? Sundance Screenwriters Intensive Two-day workshop in LA. Supports writers, writer/directors, and writer/director teams from underrepresented communities who are developing a first fiction feature screenplay.

Fee.

APR-MAY? Sloan Science in Cinema Filmmaker Fellowship Supports the development of screenplays with scientific or technological themes (NOT science fiction).

Winners of the Sloan Science in Cinema Filmmaker Fellowship will receive a $35,000 cash grant and a two-month residency at FilmHouse, SFFILM’s suite of production offices for local and visiting independent filmmakers. The residency program provides filmmakers with artistic guidance, office space, a vibrant creative community, and mentorship from established filmmakers and members of the independent film industry. To strengthen the film’s portrayal of science or technology, each fellow will be connected to a science advisor with expertise in the subjects at the center of their screenplays, as well as leaders in the Bay Area’s science and technology communities.

Fee.

APR-JUN Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award

 

The competition is for non-American novice writers under the age of 30. Entrants are asked to create a completed half-hour to one-hour English-language television drama script.

The winner will be flown to New York City to be presented with an award and a USD $2,500 prize at the International Emmy® World Television Festival.

Opens: April 21

Deadline: June 30

No fee.

MAY Disney | ABC Writing Program

 

12-month program. Pays $50,000 per year.

No fee.

MAY NBC Writers on the Verge Evening classes at NBCUniversal in Universal City, CA. Two nights per week for 12 weeks.

No fee.

NB: This long-running program hasn’t updated its site in some time. They announced on Twitter in June 2021 that they were redesigning the program.

MAY Warner Bros. Television Writers’ Workshop

 

The Warner Bros. Television Writers’ Workshop consists of three components, all geared towards preparing the writer for a successful career in television writing.

Lectures

Weekly lectures feature guest speakers currently working in television and include a mix of showrunners, directors, actors and agents. Each seminar will teach a new skill essential for surviving and excelling in a writers’ room as a staff writer and beyond.

Simulated Writers’ Room

In the winter, the Workshop participants are divided into smaller groups for an intensive writing experience. Each participant will be required to complete a new spec script under the same deadlines typical for a show in production. How participants perform during this exercise will determine whether they will be supported for a possible staffing position on a Warner Bros. show. Yes, the stakes are that high!

Staffing

Upon completion of the program, studio executives will help participants who pass the Writers’ Room obtain a staff position on a Warner Bros. Television show. We can’t guarantee you will get staffed, but we will get your material in front of the people who make the ultimate decisions – the showrunners.

Opens: May

Deadline: ?

No fee.

JUN? Launch Pad Feature Competition You will be invited to our annual Launch Pad Party celebrating you and the other Launch Pad Winners of the year. This will be an exclusive industry event centered on showcasing and honoring you and your work, while also introducing you to agents, managers, executives, producers, and other creatives. This is a private guest list event tailored toward our winners from the year, and including some of our previous judges, mentors, partners and past Launch Pad Alums.

Fee:  $65 and up

JUN? Black List Feature Lab The Black List will invite six to eight promising non-professional writers to a weeklong, intensive writers workshop in Los Angeles, CA. All writers involved in the Lab will workshop one feature screenplay through one-on-one sessions with each screenwriting mentor and in peer workshops. The weeklong program will also include attendance at several story-related events including screenings and Q&As with professional screenwriters and dinner with lit agents and managers.
Scripts must be hosted on The Black List Site for at least one week during the submission period. The site charges a monthly hosting fee, but hosting can be paused after a week so that one month’s hosting allows submission to multiple opportunities.NB: I did this and it was great!
JUN Netflix/Sky Screenwriters’ Fellowship This fellowship, for each writer, will include a bursary of £22,568 to write a spec script for an original idea over the course of a year, monthly development events and workshops, and a paid placement in a writers room of a Netflix or Sky series.

We are looking for applications from writers of Black, Asian and other racial and ethnic backgrounds that are under-represented in the High End TV and film industry.

Deadline: June 18

No fee.

JUN-JUL Ojalá Ignition Lab Ojalá is a media company dedicated to amplifying and elevating Latine narratives while empowering Latine voices.

The Ojalá Ignition Lab is committed to empowering creators by offering a nurturing artistic space to hone their voice.  The Lab will serve as a culturally safe creative environment for writers to gain industry insight from established showrunners and producers, all while developing a television pilot script from start to finish. The Lab aims to give development access to TV writers who haven’t yet been staffed or whose careers have been stalled by repeating lower staffing levels, as well as storytellers from other disciplines who desire to enter the television space.  Five writers will be selected to write a new original television project from story idea to finished pilot script.  UCP will compensate the writers for this pilot.

Opens: June 21

Deadline: July 31

No fee.

JUN-OCT CineStory TV Retreat & Fellowship The CineStory Television Retreat takes place over three days in the mountains of Idyllwild, California. Attendees receive three one-on-one, one and a half hour sessions with CineStory mentors during which they can discuss everything from the project they submitted for feedback to jump starting their writing careers.

The Grand Prize for the competition is the CineStory TV Fellowship, a 12-month mentorship program during which the TV Fellow works with 2 Hollywood professionals hand-picked to help the Fellow advance the Fellow’s craft and career. The TV Fellow also receives $1,000 as well as free tuition and housing for the retreat.

Early deadline: June 14

Regular deadline: July 12

Late deadline: August 30

Extended late deadline: October 11

Fee:  $50 and up

JUN-OCT Studio21 Drama Series Script Competition The competition connects emerging writers with the global content business, offering the winner a £10,000 development option and unique opportunity to connect with the global drama business through C21Media’s Content London in December.

The Competition is open to Entrants worldwide.

Opens: June 16

Deadline: Oct. 1

Fee: £40

JUL? Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Contest

Big Break rewards screenwriters with over $80,000 in cash and prizes, including a trip to Los Angeles for a series of A-list executive meetings.

Fee.

JUL Black List/Women in Film Episodic Lab The Black List and Women In Film will invite six to eight promising non-professional television writers who identify as women to the Lab.

The Lab will begin with a weekend-long intensive and then run twice weekly for four weeks and will consist of script development, peer workshopping sessions and Master Classes with established writers and industry executives. Lab participants will have their final pilots read by agencies and networks.

Applicants may enter via the Black List or WiF members may submit via Women in Film.

Scripts must be hosted on The Black List Site for at least one week during the submission period. The site charges a monthly hosting fee, but hosting can be paused after a week so that one month’s hosting allows submission to multiple opportunities.

JUL-SEP Berlinale Talents
Who can apply?

Screenwriters and writer/directors who have written scripts for at least two short films, a feature film or a series that have been officially invited to international festivals or released widely on TV, online or theatrically.

Participants share their short scripts or feature-length screenplays with a line-up of internationally acclaimed script consultants.

Opens: July

Fee: 20 Euros

JUN-AUG? Tracking B Feature Contest Three finalists will be promoted on trackingb.com to community of entertainment industry insiders and will also be read by each member of judging panel who will pick an overall winner.

Fee:  $99 and up

JUL-AUG? Nickelodeon Writing Program Paid full-time writing job for six or 12 months, based in LA (Burbank). International applicants eligible for J-1 visas accepted.

Application must include a half-hour comedy spec script from the Accepted Shows List.

No fee.

JUL-AUG Women Write Now Fellowship 

Women Write Now is looking for applicants who meet the following criteria:

  • Identify as Black or African American
  • Identify as female
  • Be 18 years or older at the time of application
  • Be an emerging non-union writer
  • Be based in the US and legally authorized to work in the US

Applicants will be evaluated on the strength of the submitted material, which will include a statement of interest and an original short comedic screenplay.

Opens: July 8

Deadline: Aug. 5

No fee.

AUG BBC Writersroom and BBC Drama Commissioning – World Productions Writers’ Award Open to both emerging and established writers, this programme will offer a paid opportunity to develop an original series idea with World Productions. Two writers will be chosen to be taken into development with World and write a treatment commission.

To be eligible for this scheme, you must be able to represent Wales with authenticity (for example you may be from there or have lived/worked there).

Deadline: Aug. 23

No fee.

AUG George RR Martin Sci Fi/Fantasy Screenwriting Grant

 

$5000 grant only available for New Mexico residents who are non-WGA members.

Must be for feature length film or TV Pilot. Must be in the Science Fiction or Fantasy genre.

Deadline: Aug. 15

No fee.

AUG-OCT The Minority Report Screenwriting Fellowship The Minority Report is an industry-vetted fellowship program for the top diverse screenwriters enrolled in undergraduate or graduate educational institutions (Class of 2022 Graduates are eligible).

Opens: August 6

Deadline: Oct. 14

No fee.

SEP Nantucket Film Festival Tony Cox Screenplay Competition

 

One of the prizes in the feature category is this screenwriting residency:

Each year the Screenwriters Colony brings four emerging screenwriters together during the month of October to live and work together at picturesque Almanack Farm, perched on the edge of Nantucket’s cranberry bog conservation land. To ensure a comfortable and inspiring work environment, the Screenwriters Colony is an all-expenses-paid residency. Writers are provided with round-trip transportation to the Colony, a chef, shared car, bicycles, and private workspace.

Opens: Sept. 8

Deadline: ??

Fee: $45 and up

SEP Drama Series Co-Writing Residency Israel-France Up to 5 projects will be selected to take part in the residency.Each project will be carried by a team composed by at least two screenwriters, one from Israel and one from France.

The 10 selected participants will take part at 2 workshops, one in Israel and one in France.

The teams will have approximately 4 months (from November to mid-March) to co-write the full bible of a fiction series.During all this period, the selected teams will be trained by experienced tutors with whom they will have a regular contact online.

Working language – English.

No fee.

SEP Film Independent Screenwriting Lab The Screenwriting Lab is a two-week workshop held in the first quarter of the year, designed to provide individualized story and career development for emerging screenwriters with a fiction feature screenplay.

Each Screenwriting Fellow will be paired with a Creative Advisor, with whom they’ll work one-on-one and in group sessions to further develop their project over the course of the program. The Screenwriting Lab also helps to further the careers of its Fellows by introducing them to film industry veterans who can offer guidance on both the craft and business of screenwriting.

Non-member deadline: Sep. 1

$45 and up

SEP-OCT? Universal Writers Program The one-year paid program engages writers to create material for development consideration. Writers will be compensated with a non-negotiable salary of $75,000.

In addition to penning two feature-length scripts, writers participate in a curriculum designed to strengthen their creative and professional development, as well as overall knowledge of the Studio production process from pitch to premiere. The Program also provides access to agents, managers and various industry professionals through meetings and/or events.

No fee.

SEP-OCT Channel 4 Screenwriting Course

 

Applicants must be resident in UK or Ireland.

The purpose of the course is to offer 12 writers new to television drama an insight into how the industry works and to provide a “dry-run” of what it can be like to write under a television drama commission, specifically for one hour series and serial drama, and to work with them as they write an original drama script.

Each writer will be assigned a script editor, who is currently working in the industry, to guide them through this process.

Writers are paid a fee to participate.

Opens: Sept. 14

Deadline: Oct. 1

No fee.

SEP-OCT The Pitch Offers an array of training and support and £40,000 to spend on two short films, offering you the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of everyone from Monty Python to Martin Scorsese in making a film inspired by the Bible.

Anyone who is eligible to work in the UK and is 18 years old or over on the closing date. You can apply if you’re from overseas, but everyone is responsible for their own travel/accommodation/visas etc.

Early Bird – Free – 13 Sep.

Standard – £20 27 Sep.

Late – £50 – 11 Oct.

SEP-OCT Cannesfilms Unlimited Participants in the Residency will develop a new original European film or TV series, in English.

18 writers will be selected for the first round of the residency, a two-month-long online program during which they will write a ten-page treatment for their film or television series. They will meet regularly with mentors and participate in master classes led by industry professionals.

“Your film or television series idea, and the resulting treatment, must reflect the European imagination. Europe and its history should act as an inexhaustible source of inspiration, with its rich subject matter, various heroes (real and fictitious) and emblematic places offering up their storytelling potential. With your original projects, this Residency aims to highlight stories from and about Europe that are not often seen in film or on television, while promoting the creation of universal stories with an international scope.”

Deadline: Oct. 30?

No fee.

OCT-NOV Monte Miller Awards The Monte Miller Awards are the premier awards for unproduced scripts in Australia, dedicated to uncovering the best new scripts and talent among AWG’s Associate and Student Membership.

Categories are open to short and long form work across all genres and formats including film, television, theatre, and interactive media, with the shortlisted and winning projects inducted onto AWG’s prestigious Pathways Showcase.

The Monte Miller Awards Long Form category is open to scripts of any genre more than 30 minutes in length (1 page of text = 1 minute of screen time). The Short Form category is open to scripts up to or including 30 minutes in length (1 page of text = 1 minute of screen time).

Opens: Oct. 23

Deadline: Nov. 25

No fee.

OCT-NOV Netflix-UNESCO Short Film Competition ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA:

  • You are 35 years old or under
  • You are a citizen and resident of a Sub-Saharan African country
  • You are a filmmaker with limited experience, but have developed and produced 1- to 2 theatrical feature films, television fiction, documentaries, or 2-3 short films and/or commercials seeking to venture into feature film development and production

Opens: Oct. 14

Deadline: Nov. 28

No fee.

NB: These details are from 2021; not clear if this will be offered in 2022.

NOV Four Nations Mentoring Scheme For mid-career women who are based in the UK.

You are eligible to apply for this scheme if you have five (Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland) or seven (England) years’ experience or more in the film and TV industry.

Deadline: Nov. 19

No fee.

NOV Cassian Elwes Independent Screenwriting Fellowship At the Sundance Film Festival The 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 (Mudbound, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Dallas Buyers Club).

No additional fee for scripts hosted on the Black List. Hosting and evaluation on the Black List may be obtained at no cost.

NOV Fox Writers Incubator Initiative

 

The FOX Writers Incubator is a highly selective initiative designed to nurture and provide training to four (4) writers of all genres (comedy, drama, animation, etc) who have diverse voices, backgrounds and life experiences. Writers will have a chance to work intensively on their scripts with the support of established writers, executives, directors and producers.

Opens: Nov. 1

Deadline: Nov. 15

No fee.

NOV BEYOND THE BINARY

 

ViacomCBS International Studios’ newly launched social impact unit,

VIS Social Impact, invites creatives from Anglophone African countries to apply for its’ inaugural writers’ room, Beyond the Binary: Fluid Voices.

Beyond the Binary: Fluid Writers’ room, led by South African film director, writer and actor Thishiwe Ziqubu (Instagram: @thishiwe | Twitter: @thishiweziqubu), will run weekly for 4 months and aims to create content geared towards change agency in equity, global health and climate change.

  • Applicants with an interest and/or lived experience in these issues are encouraged
  • Applicants from previously disadvantaged backgrounds will be prioritized
  • Applicants must be between the ages of 25 and 40
  • Applicants must be residents and or citizens of an anglophone African country

Deadline: Nov. 26

No fee.

NOV-DEC The Mother Tongues Award 

 

We are looking for feature films at treatment or script stage that are set mainly in the UK, written by UK-based filmmakers. The film dialogue must mainly be in a language other than English, but the submission materials may be written in English at this stage. We are open to any non-English language, whether native to the UK (e.g. Welsh, Scots, Irish, BSL, etc.) or from another country (e.g: Spanish, Mandarin, Punjabi, Yoruba, etc.). Typically, applicants will either speak the relevant language(s) themselves, or have strong connections to it through their heritage or personal circumstances.

Following the open call and at least one round of interviews, we will make available a minimum of one development award of £10,000.

Opens: Nov. 1

Deadline: Dec. 1

No fee.

NOV-DEC Black Boy Writes & Black Girl Writes Mentorship Initiative

 

The initiative focuses on supplying industry access and resources to pre-WGA Black screenwriters.

Mentees will participate in writing workshops and notes sessions to prepare mentees for Fellowships, Generals, and Staffing. They will also participate in general meetings with Networks and Production Companies.

Opens: Nov. 15

Deadline: Dec. 15

No fee.

NOV-DEC CAPE New Writers Fellowship Sponsored by the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment

but open to writers of any race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability or sexual orientation.

Each Fellow is matched with a high-level industry mentor to help them revise their scripts into professional-level writing samples to get them noticed and land that all-important first job.

Fellowship runs from early March to mid-April with each Session and Writing Lab meeting weekday evenings for approximately 2 hours in the Los Angeles, CA area.

$65 fee.  Fee waivers available.

DEC A Thousand Stories Writing Competition

 

A Thousand Stories aims to help writers from under-represented groups in the UK to take the first steps in a career as a professional TV writer. This year, the competition will focus on finding and supporting storytellers from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds who don’t yet have agent representation.

The winning writer will receive a prize package that includes a mix of mentoring, development plans and networking opportunities.

Open to writers 16 and up.

No fee.

DEC Storyland RTÉ and Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, have come together to increase the investment in Storyland. For the first time, Storyland short dramas will broadcast on RTÉ2 as well as RTÉ Player, providing a wider platform for new drama talent and increased funding for these original Irish drama commissions.

We are seeking to commission eight scripts, working closely with script writers and producers on their development. Writers from the worlds of television, film, theatre, advertising, literature, documentary, and journalism are being sought, whether or not they have written for television or film before.

Deadline: Dec. 12

No fee.

Varies The Black List Offers various labs and other opportunities during the year; see site and listings above for details.

Generally, scripts must be hosted on The Black List Site for at least one week during the submission period. The site charges a monthly hosting fee, but hosting can be paused after a week so that one month’s hosting allows submission to multiple opportunities.

Varies Impact Creative Systems

 

(formerly Imagine Impact)

In the past, the program has offered mentorship programs, development partnerships, and open writing assignments in the US, Australia, and Germany. Programs for 2022 haven’t been announced as of this posting. Sign up for their newsletter and follow them on Twitter to be alerted to new opportunities.

No fee.

Year-Round Inevitable Foundation Screenwriting Fellowship

 

Mid-Career Screenwriting Fellowship

The Screenwriting Fellowship gives professional disabled screenwriters $25,000 in unrestricted funding, bespoke mentorship and access to in-depth workshops to advance their careers and projects.

Emerging Screenwriter Fellowships

Fellowships for emerging and student screenwriters will build a pipeline of up-and-coming disabled writers that are ready to take the industry by storm. Coming soon.

No fee.

Year-round Pacific Screenwriting Program Story Department Internship The Writer-Intern must be a resident of British Columbia, and a Canadian citizen or a Permanent Resident.

This program is designed to encourage the hiring of interns in local story rooms. It is the prospective intern’s job to find a production company willing to work with them before applying to access this funding.

Eligible applicants can apply to the PSP for a non-recoupable cash advance of $600 per week. These funds will be paid directly to the Mentor Production Company and must be used only for the Writer-Intern’s salary. The Mentor Production Company must at a minimum match this amount.

Applications will be evaluated on a first come, first served basis until the budget has been fully committed for the fiscal year.

No fee.

Year-round Unfinished Works

 

The Unfinished Works program provides screenwriters with the opportunity to see their work brought to life by Film Lab Actor Directory members and then led through a constructive workshop by the Unfinished Works Coordinator for the Film Lab, at no cost.

The purpose of the Unfinished Works program is to provide (1) screenwriters of color (all colors) or (2) screenwriters writing about diverse and/or Asian American themed stories or with at least one Asian American character to receive honest and practical feedback on their unfinished screenplay through seeing and hearing their screenplay read aloud by professional actors in a table read, followed by a workshop of their script utilizing the Liz Lerman technique.

No fee.

Monthly Breakthrough Reading Series “We highlight six stellar writers a month at a cold reading event filled with diverse actors” (in LA).

Directors, producers, casting directors, and other friends in the entertainment business will be invited.

No Fee.

Monthly Sundance Co//ab Submit 10 pages of your work for a chance to win a subscription and a one-on-one mentoring session with a Sundance Co//ab Advisor.

No fee.

Monthly Roadmap Writers Diversity Initiative Each month, Roadmap selects one diverse screenwriter to participate in the Pitch Prep Program.

This program is for diverse screenwriters with at least one completed original Feature or TV Pilot who are ready to tackle the marketing aspect of their career and start getting their work out there! Roadmap defines “diverse” as anyone belonging to a group whose voice has traditionally been marginalized in Hollywood, particularly BIPOC, AAPI, LGBTQIA+, women over 45, and Disabled.

No fee.

Monthly The John Byrne Award

 

Entries are open to everybody over 16 living or studying in Scotland of single pieces of creative work in any medium – Audio, Video, Writing (including Scripts) or Imagery.

No fee.