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  • Joseph Morganti

Screenwriting Fellowships to Enter in 2023

One of the best ways to break into the screenwriting industry is through a screenwriting fellowship or writing program. A screenwriting fellowship is a writing lab for beginner screenwriters that are offered by film associations, studios, or organizations. Getting accepted into the program and advancing throughout it is a huge accomplishment that can open many doors.


Still, many are confused about where to begin with screenwriting fellowships since there are so many options to highlight. Below will mention a few of the best in the industry looking ahead to 2023 and an excerpt of what the program offers. Remember, many options are available; these are just some of the best.

Photo credit: Asia Society


Academy Nicholl Fellowship


The Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting is an international screenwriting competition established to identify and encourage talented new screenwriters. For announcements and updates on when the 2023 competition will open, please follow the group on Instagram and Facebook.


The Academy Nicholl screenwriting competition awards up to five $35,000 fellowships to amateur screenwriters each year. To enter, submit a feature-length screenplay and entry fee via the online application when the competition is open for submissions. Fellowship winners are invited to participate in awards week ceremonies and seminars, receive individualized Academy member mentorship, and are expected to complete at least one original feature film screenplay during their Fellowship year.


ScreenCraft Screenwriting Fellowship


The ScreenCraft Fellowship program is designed to provide career guidance with personalized action plans and thoughtfully curated industry meetings. Fellows expand their network through industry meetings. Past fellows have met with companies like Warner Bros., Blumhouse, Bad Robot, and have landed representation with Good Fear, Gersh, Brillstein, CAA, 3 Arts, UTA, and others.


The program includes seven days of intensive professional meetings, three months of career consultation, and is once in a lifetime opportunity. TV pilot scripts and feature-length screenplays are accepted, while submissions are accepted via electronic submission only.


Golden Script Competition Fellowship


H2L Media Group will offer in 2023 an option fund of up to $10,000 to one Feature or TV Pilot writer of their choice based on their top scripts. The fellowship recipient will also be offered creative guidance through one-on-one consultations with their judges.


The Fellowship was created to discover and promote a screenwriter whose unique voice stands out among the rest. If you believe this is for you, you must submit your Feature or TV Pilot script with the link above.


Sundance Screenwriters Lab


The Development Track and Directors and Screenwriters Lab help filmmakers find a visual language in an atmosphere where experimentation and risk-taking are encouraged. The development track has one open application that allows the artists’ work-in-progress fiction feature screenplay to be considered for programs, fellowships, and grants.


Meanwhile, the Directors and Screenwriters Lab is a month-long program where eight fellows work with accomplished creative advisors throughout the entire filmmaking process. Immediately following the Directors Lab, The Screenwriters Lab will provide a rigorous schedule of one-on-one story sessions with advisors to help further advance their scripts.


Nickelodeon Writing Program


Founded in the year 2000, the Nickelodeon Writing Program is a full-time, paid, yearlong development Program for television comedy writers with unique voices and from underrepresented communities. Join them at the studio in Burbank for classes and workshops to sharpen your skills, executive mentorship, and networking to build your professional relationships.


The Nick Writing Program is not a writing contest but rather a launching pad for diverse and emerging creatives. If you bring a unique voice and innovative ideas for kids and family content, they’ll help you launch a career with all the tools you’ll need to succeed in the industry for years to come.


Universal Writers Program


The Universal Writers Lab identifies up-and-coming and experienced screenwriters with unique points of view that build upon the Studio’s commitment to telling stories and creating films that reflect the vast diversity of our audiences.


The one-year paid Lab engages writers in writing exercises to demonstrate their ability to generate theatrical and commercial concepts. Concepts may be considered for further development by the studio, but it is not guaranteed. Writers selected to participate in the Lab are hired under an agreement requiring a non-exclusive but full-time commitment during the lab term.


Black List / Women in Film Episodic Lab


The WIF Writing Labs, held in partnership with key collaborator and industry benchmarker The Black List, are designed to equip new television and screenwriters with the knowledge to build and sustain their careers. These programs (an Episodic Lab and a Feature Residency) provide participants with support in craft, professional development, and networking toward advancing their livelihoods.


The Episodic Lab selects six to eight female TV writers and runs for four weeks, with sessions including script development, pitching, a mock writers’ room, and roundtables with established writers and industry executives. The yearlong Feature Residency consists of one-on-one mentoring with established screenwriters, peer workshopping sessions, and industry advice from decision-makers and executives.

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