Lauri’s List of Screenwriting Fellowships, Labs, and Contests

(Updated February 26, 2021)

This is a list of screenwriting fellowships, labs, contests, grants and other opportunities that I think are worthwhile.

I define “worthwhile” 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)
  • in-person introductions to industry professionals
  • reputable 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 and Austin) 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. You can also pay for professional reviews from a site like The Black List.

 Some for-profit contests are very close to scams.  Hundreds of contests are legitimate — in that they actually pay out the prizes they offer. However, most 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.

For more on why most screenwriting contests aren’t worth winning, check out the Scriptnotes podcast.

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

For additional resources for writers and filmmakers from under-represented communities, see the Sundance Inclusion Resource Map.

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

Months indicated in the chart below may be for when applications open or for the final deadline; some have both indicated. Check requirements early as some applications will require a lot of time to complete.

 Check websites for specific deadlines, which may vary from year-to-year. Entry fees are indicated where known. Many programs offer discounted fees for early entries or impose higher fees for late entries. Programs may be changed, discontinued, or not offered every year.

 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 Imagine x Netflix Action-Comedy If Netflix chooses to develop one or more projects, the writer of selected projects (“Creators”) will then sign a writing services agreement with Netflix and be paid the then-current minimum scale set forth in the Writers Guild of America Basic Agreement. Once signed, the writer will be paired by Impact with a Shaper (an experienced industry professional) who will plan to meet with the writer twice weekly to offer non-writing consulting services, and the writer shall write and deliver a first draft to Netflix in 10 weeks or less in accordance with the signed writing agreement.

No 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. Twice 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. While the Fellowship cannot guarantee the sale of the pilot or specific employment, by the end of each Fellowship session, each Fellow will have developed a submission-ready television pilot, been afforded multiple opportunities for industry networking, and generally equipped with the essential tools for their success as writers in the entertainment industry.

No fee.

JAN Black List & Google Assistant Storytelling Fellowship Up to five writers will receive $20,000 each for the purpose of supporting those writers for six months as they work to draft their new feature screenplays and/or teleplays. During the course of those six months, the Black List and Google Assistant will also pair each fellowship recipient with a screenwriting mentor.

Pitches should be contemporary in nature and avoid violence and/or illegal activity as the premise of the story. Completed scripts can include the natural helpfulness of technology in everyday life, but shouldn’t be focused around technology or from a dystopian view.

Writers must not have had any previously compensated script writing work (whether for features or television). Script should highlight stories and perspectives from underrepresented communities and marginalized voices.

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.

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.

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 Television Screenwriting Lab For Black Muslim Writers

 

Selected writers will participate in a three-week lab in March 2021, which will include one 2-hour class and one 2-hour workshop per week.

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 Writersroom

(Drama)

Must be resident in the UK or Republic of Ireland.

 Only for drama scripts (TV, film, radio, stage or online); other deadlines apply for comedy.

At the end of the process, a group of writers (usually between 10 and 15) will be selected to join the BBC Drama Room writer development group.

Applications open in December and close in early January.

No fee.

JAN Make a Scene! For UK residents only.

A new bursary designed to provide opportunities for new and emerging writing talent to address the under representation of specific demographics in UK television.

One successful application will receive a bursary of £2,000 and we will also work with the writer/s of the successful application over a six-month period to develop their idea into a full script

No fee.

JAN

 

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.

Fee: $40 and up.

JAN

(NOV-MAR)

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.

Fee: $45 and up

JAN 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.

Fee:  $25 and up

JAN Ubisoft’s Women’s Film and Television Fellowship

 

Hopefuls must have representation and can submit samples and a statement of purpose to Ubisoft Film & Television through their agent or manager.

 Two women or non-binary writers will be selected for the six-month, non-exclusive paid fellow 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.

Four-day intensive program in Vermont.

All fellowships cover the fee to attend the fall Story Lab; some include a travel stipend.

Fee:  $45 and up

JAN It’s My Shout Script Writers Writers need to submit a short pitch (not a script).

If your idea is chosen you will attend script development meetings/workshops which will cover all aspects of screenwriting.

Applications are open to any writer who is Welsh, or who is currently residing in Wales, or for Welsh-based stories.

No fee.

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.

Up to two participants will have the opportunity to receive creative development deals and further mentorship.

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.

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.

No fee.

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

Fee:  $45 and up

JAN-APR 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.

Fee:  $99 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.

Fee: $55 and up

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

$29 and up; early application in December.

JAN-FEB BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Competition

(TV Drama)

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.

£42 fee; fee bursaries available.

JAN-FEB The Orchard Project Episodic Lab The Orchard Project Episodic Lab will be a 10-day-long accelerator program uniting 6-8 artists with invited professionals from the episodic field. The Orchard Project Episodic Lab will invite 6-8 writers to bring a draft pilot and leave with a pilot and show bible. Matched with the participants will be industry professionals, including television and film producers, directors, show-runners, etc. Built into the Episodic Lab will be ample development opportunities for readings and writing time.

Accommodations, and meals for up all participants are covered. Beyond the application fee, there is no fee to participate. There are also travel allowances from all artists to travel to Saratoga Springs.

Fee.

JAN-APR BET’s Project CRE8: TV For comedy pilots.

Screenplays must (a) tell a story that depicts an aspect of the range of experiences of (and/or issues facing) people of African descent and (b) feature characters of color.

The winning screenplay will be purchased by Sponsors for $25,000 and will further develop the script with Tracy Oliver’s production company, Tracy Yvonne Productions, for series consideration at BET.

No fee.

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.

$35 and up.

FEB MGM + The Black List Feature Partnership The Black List and MGM have partnered to discover new voices with unique perspectives from historically underrepresented communities over the next two years. Every six months, The Black List will deliver a shortlist of new feature writers to MGM for consideration. MGM seeks to provide one writer from each six month cycle with a two-step Guild minimum blind deal, over a continuous period of two years.

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.

NOV-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.

$69 fee

FEB Film Independent Episodic Lab 5-week lab in LA, which will meet several nights a week, will accept a diverse group of 6-8 writers or writing teams and provide them with critical support and mentorship.

$65 fee.

FEB Rideback TV Incubator The Rideback TV Incubator (RTI) offers a paid, eight-month residency program to a curated group of writers (“Creators”) from diverse backgrounds who have each previously staffed on series and want to create their own dramatic show for cable or streaming. With a focus on inclusion, RTI aims to mentor the next generation of television creators from underrepresented groups including but not limited to women, people of color, LGBTQ, socioeconomic background, disability and age.

Applicants will also need to have been staffed on a one-hour or half-hour television series prior to applying.

Each Creator will receive a fee of $150K which will be paid weekly over the course of the program.

Also see this article.

No fee.

FEB Black List/Women in Film Feature Residency The Black List and Women In Film will invite six promising non-professional screenwriters who identify as women to participate in a one year residency, kicking off with a weekend intensive in the Los Angeles area. Over the kickoff weekend, writers involved in the Lab 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 arranged meetings with representation, production companies, and fellow writers to elevate their projects and career trajectories.

Applicants may enter via the Black List or 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.

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 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.

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 Propelle Propelle is a female-focused accelerator program launched in partnership with Abby Greensfelder’s Everywoman Studios. 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.

No fee.

MAR-MAY

(opens in NOV)

Humanitas New Voices Mentorship plus $7,500 grant.

$65 and up.

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 Sundance – Episodic Lab program for original pilots.

$40 fee.

MAR Impact x Skydance

Impact x Imagine Entertainment

Impact x Skydance:

Impact and Skydance TV are excited to announce a year-long deal to source television content from undiscovered writers worldwide.

Over the course of the next year, Impact will host call-outs and online submissions across four specific prompts through which writers of all levels from around the world can apply with a well-thought out idea and writing sample. Applications will be vetted via Impact’s review process before a subset of applicants are interviewed. From there, a group of finalists will have their proposed project presented to Skydance by the Impact team. Writers then selected by Skydance will have the opportunity to enter into an if/come agreement with Skydance to develop the project further.

The first two prompts are ‘Premium Drama’ and ‘Grounded, Elevated Sc-Fi’. Applications will be accepted through March 7.

Impact x Imagine Entertainment:

Imagine Entertainment is teaming up with Impact to find an emerging screenwriter to write the first draft of their original family basketball comedy feature film.

Similar to Impact’s content accelerators, applicants vying to claim the role as screenwriter of the project will go through an extensive review process. The top candidates will interview with Impact before making it to the finals where they will present to Imagine — who will make the hiring decision. Writers of all levels are invited to apply with a well-thought out take on the open writing assignment (OWA) and a writing sample. Submissions will be accepted through March 7.

No fee.

MAR-APR BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Competition

(TV Comedy)

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.

£42 fee; fee bursaries available.

MAR-APR BBC Writers Academy Applicants must be resident in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Republic of Ireland.

The Writers’ Academy will give a minimum of eight writers a year’s paid training, with guaranteed commissions on the BBC’s flagship shows as well as the chance to develop an original project with BBC Studios, or one of the BBC’s independent production partners.

No fee.

MAR-APR Respect Ability Summer Lab

 

A 5-week, 10-session summer Lab for people interested in – and with experience in – development, production and post-production, including careers as writers.

The Summer Lab Program moves the needle when it comes to authentic stories and genuine representation of diverse people with physical, cognitive, sensory, mental health and other disabilities in film, TV and media.

No fee.

MAR-APR 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.

No fee.

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

$35 and up.

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.

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.

$45 and up.

MAR-APR  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.

No fee.

APR Islamic Scholarship Fund Film Grants Project may be a narrative feature length, short film, animation or documentary. Web-series are not accepted.

Award Recipient will receive:

Cash grant up to $20,000 to be awarded for each category.

Creative support from an industry professional during creative process.

Networking opportunities with industry professionals

ISF Screening after completion of the film

No fee.

APR Launch Pad Pilot Competition Grand Prize (3 winners):  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.

$65 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 National Latino Media Council (NLMC)/National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) Latino Television Writers Program

 

Open to people of all races and ethnicities.

During the five-week, Los Angeles-based, intensive program (October and November), participants create a mock writers room led by an entertainment executive to develop at least one television spec script.

Stipend of $250/week plus Southwest Airline vouchers, housing, and meals will be provided to accepted participants from out of state.

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 Sundance Asian American Fellowship For writers or writer/directors developing their first or second fiction feature film and of Asian American descent or with significant themes and/or characters portraying the Asian American experience in their screenplay.

Fee.

APR-MAY Sundance Feature Film Program Latinx Fellowship Supports one U.S.-based Latinx writer or writer/director through participation in either the Screenwriters Lab or the Screenwriters Intensive. In addition, the fellow receives an unrestricted grant of $2,500 in support of their work as well as ongoing creative and tactical support.

Fee.

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-MAY Sundance Open Borders Fellowship Applicants must be a writer/director or director developing their first or second feature-length fiction project.

Filmmakers from all countries outside the US are eligible.

Includes a development grant as well as a trip to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City to receive the award and attend a curated slate of industry meetings, networking opportunities, panels, and screenings. Filmmakers are eligible to receive year-round creative and strategic support from the Sundance Institute Feature Film and Documentary Film Programs for their next feature-length project.

Fee.

APR-MAY Sundance International Screenwriting Labs Labs in Greece, Mexico, Cuba, and other locations (check website).
APR-JUL 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.

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.

MAY Warner Bros. Television Writers’ Workshop

 

Runs October-April with a meeting on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, CA one evening a week.

No fee.

MAY-JUN HBO Access Writing Fellowship Designed to give emerging, diverse writers the opportunity to develop a half-hour or hour script suitable for HBO or Cinemax.

Series of master classes held over one week in August at the HBO campus in Santa Monica, plus 10 months of remote mentorship.

No fee.

MAY-JUL BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Competition

(YA and Children’s Media)

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.

£42 fee; fee bursaries available.

MAY-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.

Fee:  $50 and up

JUN Launch Pad Feature Competition The Launch Pad Competitions have led to more than 450 signings, 164 projects set up, 68 writers staffed, and 7 bidding wars.

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.

You and your project will be showcased individually to agents, managers, executives, and producers who are looking for new clients, new projects, and new writers. We specifically curate a meeting list for each winner based on their individual material, and what you, the writer, want to achieve now and in your career overall.

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.

The Black List’s  Sloan Foundation Fellow at the Annual Black List Feature Lab will be a science- and technology-focused writer with a science-rooted feature screenplay. Mentoring opportunities for the Sloan Fellow will continue throughout the year following the Lab.

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-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 1497 Writers Lab The 1497 Writers Lab is designed to elevate and develop screenplays by writers of South Asian descent.

Fee:  $25.

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.

FALL Sundance YouTube New Voices Lab Four-day lab followed by two-day lab. Supports developers of scripted digital series.

Fee.

AUG SFFILM New American Fellowship

 

SFFILM offers six-month fellowships to narrative or documentary filmmakers who have arrived in the United States within the past ten years as either an immigrant or a non-immigrant. The fellowship is open to both directors and producers working on at least one active project.

Winners of the SFFILM New American Fellowship will receive a $25,000 cash grant and a two-month residency at FilmHouse, SFFILM’s suite of production offices for local and visiting independent filmmakers.

Fee?

AUG-SEP BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Competition

(Film)

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.

£42 fee; fee bursaries available.

SEP Jewish Writers’ Initiative The Jewish Writers’ Initiative is a year-long, non-exclusive, creative endeavor supporting the development of scripts that tell diverse Jewish stories, with the ultimate goal of launching these scripts into the mainstream media marketplace.

​Featuring three seminars in Los Angeles, New York, and Israel, the Initiative provides participants with the opportunity to learn from high-level industry professionals,  educators, and project-related experts, to enhance their craft and develop their projects. Travel and other expenses are included.

Each member of our group of up to 15 writers will receive a stipend of $36,000.

No fee.

SEP Scratch Me To be eligible for Scratch Me as a writer/writer-performer, you must be based in the North of England.

Scratch Me is a new filmmaking lab for people who don’t make films. Yet.

It’s a talent development programme for writers and writer-performers from a range of disciplines who want to experiment with the moving image. You might be a comedian, spoken word artist, scratch performer, theatre maker, social media storyteller or DIY filmmaker.

No fee.

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-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 The Neal Street Screenwriting Bursary

 

For legal residents of the United Kingdom.

Open to emerging Black, Asian and minority ethnic screenwriters who are passionate and ambitious and are at the start of their screenwriting careers.

Five successful candidates will each be entitled to receive £20,000 for writing their own original screenplay for a television pilot or feature film with the aid and guidance of NSP’s experienced development team.

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.

No fee.

SEP-NOV 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.”

No fee.

OCT Film Independent Screenwriting Lab Five-week workshop beginning in May, designed to provide individualized story and career development for emerging screenwriters.

$65 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).

No fee.

NOV 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.

No fee.

NOV 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.

Fee.

NOV 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

No fee.

NOV Caroline Aherne Bursary 

 

Aimed at writer/performers, the bursary will award £5000 to the successful applicant to enable them to fund future development, alongside the guidance of an experienced BBC commissioning editor.

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-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.”

No fee.

NOV-JAN ATX Television Festival Pitch Competition Anyone with an idea for a new show and a five to ten (5-10) page script sample may submit.

$40 fee or enter via the Black List.

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.

No fee.

DEC 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.”

No fee.

DEC Made in NY Writers Room

 

Only for New York City residents.

While the fellowship is open to everyone (in accordance with the eligibility requirements) women, people of color, and others underrepresented in the television writing profession who lack access are encouraged to apply.

For six months, fellows receive mentorship from seasoned New York City-based showrunners and career development education from other local television writers and executives.  The goal of the Fellowship is to increase diversity in the pipeline of writers in NYC, and also the number of shows written in the city.

Stipend of $10,800.

No fee.

DEC Canadian Film Centre 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 (5) writers a year.

Tuition for all 2020 Film Program labs is $8,000.00. If accepted into the program, you are eligible to apply for a CFC scholarship of up to $8,000.00 based on financial need.

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 addition to the opportunities listed above, check the website and get on the mailing list for more opportunities during the year.

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.