Fellowships: Building an Equitable Career Pipeline

FilmNation Screenwriters Workshop

In 2020, The Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) and FilmNation Entertainment invited seven writers to participate in the inaugural New York Screenwriters Workshop, a six-month intensive program that focuses on professional development for diverse, emerging screenwriters in the greater New York City area.

The Workshop provided the seven writers with both a screenwriting mentor and an industry executive mentor while the writer completed a feature length screenplay during the run of the program. Throughout the program, writers were also primed on the business of entertainment by various screenwriters and executives representing various New York City-based film companies. The program was initiated by FilmNation Diversity Committee members Alison Cohen, Liz Siegal and Lucy Licht.

The 2023 NY Screenwriting Fellowship screenwriting mentors were Andrew Bergman (THE IN-LAWS, BLAZING SADDLES), Derek Cianfrance (THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES, BLUE VALENTINE), James V. Hart (CONTACT, HOOK), Peter Hedges(PIECES OF APRIL, WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE), Tony Kushner (WEST SIDE STORY, LINCOLN), Rebecca Miller (SHE CAME TO ME, MAGGIE’S PLAN), and Jim Taylor (ABOUT SCHMIDT, JURASSIC PARK III) .

Learn more about the FilmNation Screenwriters Workshop

Support Staff Training Program

In 2022, the Writers Guild Initiative (external – opens in a new window) – the independent non-profit affiliated with the Writers Guild of America East – launched its Support Staff Training Program (SSTP). The SSTP is a virtual bootcamp for underrepresented emerging writers looking to break into television at the support-staff level, divided into two tracks: Writers’ Assistant and Script Coordinator. This new initiative was designed and run by working television writers and former writers room support staff.

For the inaugural cohort, the SSTP sought applicants with previous industry experience, especially those who have worked as production assistants, and accepted 20 emerging writers. Meet the Support Staff Training Program Class of 2022.

Made In New York Writers Room

Since 2016, the WGAE has partnered with the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) and the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) to present the Made in New York Writers Room. The Made in NY Writers Room is a six-month fellowship that provides emerging television writers, who represent diverse backgrounds and lack access to the industry, with six months of intensive early-career training.

The writers or writing teams selected to participate in each year of the paid fellowship participate in monthly one-on-one mentorship sessions with television showrunners, ongoing roundtables with other writers and industry executives, ongoing career development resources and trainings, and the opportunity to build a refined portfolio of at least two sample scripts.

Fellows are mentored by leading television showrunners like Anya Epstein (THE AFFAIR), Michael Rauch (INSTINCT), Beau Willimon (HOUSE OF CARDS), Robert Carlock (UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT), Soo Hugh (THE TERROR), Thomas Kelly (THE PURGE), Michael Rauch (INSTINCT), and Tom Scharpling (WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS), among others.

Learn more about the MINY Writers Room Fellowship

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