Tuesday, August 24, 2010

TV Writing Fellowships

After our wonderful Script Chat with guest Jane Espenson, I thought about what she said about getting into her position by having a fellowship at ABC.

So I looked up the available fellowships once again to put in one place. I've had most of these in my favorites file for a long time. And I've only had the nerve to enter one. I hope this is helpful

WB Workshop

I don't think I told a lot of people, but I entered the WB Workshop/Fellowship. So I'll start with this. The workshop runs from October to March, and after the workshop the students are (hopefully, but not promised) placed on WB shows. The entry window for the workshop is May 1 to June 1, so the deadline for 2010 has passed.

Disney/ABC

This is a paid one year fellowship. Currently pays $50,000 plus benefits. I like this.
The application period starts in spring. Writing Program semi-finalists are contacted in November. Those who are selected to move on to the finalists’ round are typically notified in December, and will be required to participate in an in-person interview with a panel of Disney|ABC Television Group executives, established television producers. The Writing Program commences in January and concludes in January of the following year.

The spec requirements here were copied directly from the Disney/ABC web site.
"Among the extensive criteria for spec scripts are: accuracy in character voice; story structure; effectiveness in capturing the series’ tone; and innovation. No materials will be returned after the judging process. No previous professional writing experience is necessary, but strong spec script writing samples are required. Individuals selected as finalists might be asked to provide an additional writing sample. Applicants must be able to legally work in the United States."
ABC also offers a soap opera fellowship. Just sayin'


Nickelodeon Fellowship

The submission period will begin on January 2nd and run through midnight on February 28th. Semi-finalists are notified in August.This fellowship wants only half hour comedic specs. This is a full-time one year fellowship. You can not have a job while doing this fellowship.

***added after original post***

NBC/Uni Writers on the Verge

This is a 12 week program that runs from the end of September to the end of January. The program focuses on polishing the writer to be prepared for a staff writing position.
The entries are open from the end of May through the end of June.

The web site states, "Past participants have gone on to series including Community, Burn Notice, White Collar, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Friday Night Lights and Chuck."


Check out the web sites for more information. Also there is a screenwriting competition that helps writers meet TV industry folks.

Scriptapalooza has a great contest
Deadline is October 1, 2010, so act fast if you are interested.
This was the only reputable contest I found while searching.

I hope this helps a little so you don't have to do a google search to learn a little more about the fellowships.

Also, please remember, when you are submitting a spec script for TV, it's not like features. If you are wanting to write for Modern Family, you will send them specs of Cougar Town or Big Bang Theory. Never send a spec of the show you want to write for, because no matter how good it is, it won't be as good as their writers.

TTFN, Jamie