2018 MINY Writers Room Fellowship Guidelines

The Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE), New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and The City of New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) have announced their continued partnership for the Made in NY Writers Room.

The Made in NY Writers Room is a fellowship designed to assist in the professional development of under-represented writers based in New York City.

The Fellowship identifies emerging local writers with diverse backgrounds and viewpoints and provides early-career development training from seasoned writer-producers and provide access that they would not otherwise have from hiring professionals in the television industry.

Following the completion of the inaugural cohort of the fellowship in 2017, the Made in NY Writers Room is accepting applications for its second cohort. Women, people of color, and individuals from other groups under-represented in the television landscape are encouraged to apply.

 

Overview:

Through a competitive application process, up to 12 writers, either applying as an individual or a writing team of two(each individual and team referred to as a “writer”), will participate in a six-month fellowship during which they will be assigned a dedicated mentor who is a New York City-based writer-producer.  The goal of the Fellowship is for the mentors to help propel the careers of under-represented writers.  Selected fellows will receive professional development opportunities and industry feedback to develop either an original drama or comedy pilot.   Writers selected for the fellowship will be matched with mentors based on their career interests. During the six-month fellowship period, fellows will have access to educational and professional development programs offered by the WGAE, industry feedback and guidance from their respective mentors and the opportunity to produce a live scene reading from their script by professional actors.

Within the first month of the fellowship, mentors and fellows will jointly submit a calendar detailing at least two, one-hour meetings per month (by video or phone conferencing if necessary) for the duration of the fellowship. The calendar will also outline how the following objectives of the fellowship will be met:

  • Completion of a minimum of two professional writing samples (one original script submitted through the application process and one additional television spec script)
  • Attendance at WGAE educational craft/career programs specified in the fellowship curriculum
  • Attendance at one career coaching session provided by WGAE
  • Production of a scene reading from the fellows’ script byprofessional actors
  • Additional milestones as defined by MOME, SBS and WGAE
  • Additional milestones as defined by the fellow and mentor

Number of Writers Selected:

Up to 12 fellow or fellow writing teams (this includes individual and team based submissions for a maximum cohort of 24 fellows)

Eligibility Requirements:

All applicants, i.e. each individual or team member applying, must meet Criteria A.  At least one applicant or team member must meet one criterion listed in Criteria B.

Criteria A:

  • Be age 18 or older
  • Eligible to work in the U.S.
  • Reside in one of New York City’s five boroughs

The list of proofs of New York City residence include:

  • NYS drivers license, learner permit or non-driver ID card (must be current OR not expired for more than two years)
  • NYS certificate of title
  • NYS professional license
  • NYS/NYC pistol permit
  • U.S. college ID card with transcript (issued within the past year)
  • Federal or State income tax W-2 with SSN (issued within the past year)
  • U.S. life insurance policy or current statement in effect at least 2 years (issued within the past 100 days, MUST include address)
  • U.S. utility bill with applicants name AND address. A utility bill is defined a bill containing the applicants name AND address for any reoccurring service, e.g. home or cell bill, electric, cable trash (issued within the past 120 days)
  • Bank statement including applicants name AND address (issued within 120 days)

Criteria B:

  • WGAE member, or
  • Writer recommended by the WGAE Diversity Coalition, or
  • Writer recommended by the designated representative at one of the approved organizations.
The list of recommending organizations is as follows:
  • Austin Film Festival
  • Black Filmmaker Foundation
  • Black List
  • The Blackhouse Foundation
  • Borough of Manhattan Community College
  • Brooklyn College
  • Color Creative
  • Columbia University (MFA Television Writing Program)
  • Dramatists Guild
  • Ghetto Film School/The Roster
  • Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) Media Lab
  • Magnet Theater
  • Ma-Yi Theatre Company
  • National Association of Latino Independent Producers
  • The National Black Theatre
  • The New School (College of Performing Arts)
  • New York Television Festival
  • New York University (School of Continuing Professional Studies, Tisch)
  • New York Women in Film and Television
  • Peoples Improv Theatre – Diversity
  • ReelAbilities Film Festival
  • Tribeca Film Institute
  • TV Writers Studio at Long Island University
  • Upright Citizens Brigade

Other organizations may be announced.

Application Requirements:

  • Writing submissions entered for consideration must be either a comedy or a drama pilot written for television in standard screenplay format. Submissions must be original works by the writer(s) and capture the writer(s)’s unique tone, style and perspective.
  • Each writer must submit an essay (no more than 500 words) detailing how he/she or the writing team is reflective of the mission of the fellowship to bring new and diverse points of view to television. It is expected that strong essay submissions will reflect the writer’s personal narrative(s)and his/her or the writing team’s ability to make unique contributions to a writers’ room. Writing teams should submit an essay for each member of the team.
  • Each writer must submit an up-to-date resume (no longer than one-page in length). Writing teams should submit a resume for each member of the team.
  • Applications must be completed by the writer(s) and not a representative.
  • Only online submissions with attachments in PDF format will be accepted. A receipt will automatically be sent to the email address of the entrant upon successful completion of the submission process. Email or mail submissions will not be accepted.
  • Pilots must be registered with the WGAE at the time of submission. WGAE will provide a discount code on November 8 to waive registration fees for up to 300 applications for the program. Applicants should allow for 3 business days for their Script Registration to process, and not apply until they are in receipt of a Script Registration Number.  To register, applicants should visit www.scriptregistration.org .

 

Note on Previous Applicants:

Writers who previously applied for the Fellowship and were NOT selected as Fellows are eligible to apply, however no one may re-submit a script that was reviewed in a previous application round.  Re-submitted scripts will disqualify an application for consideration.

 

Note on Writing Teams:

Teams of no more than two people are eligible to apply. Writing teams should submit one application and not apply as two separate applicants.  Each member of the writing team must meet all of the requirements identified in Criteria A.  However, only one member of the writing team must meet requirements identified in Criteria B. Writing teams consisting of more than two people will not be considered.

 

Submission Period:

The submission period will open on November 8, 2018. The deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m. ET on December 9, 2018. Late or incomplete submissions will not be accepted. No more than 300 applications will be reviewed and the submission period will close at either the 300-application capacity or at the submission deadline, whichever occurs first.  Applicants may only submit one application for consideration, whether as an individual or part of a writing team. Multiple submissions will be disqualified.

 

Criteria and Selection Process:  

In considering submissions for the fellowship, applicants will be evaluated on overall strength of all application materials including personal essay, script and interviews with program partners. WGAE members who write for television will review all scripts through a blind review process.  Each script will be scored based on quality, originality, character development and resonance with the mission and spirit of the fellowship.  The submission assessment process will consist of three rounds of review. All submissions reviewed by WGAE members will be read, scored and provided with written feedback.

Round 1: Applicants will be notified if they have been selected as one of up to 50 semi-finalists by March 2019.
Round 2: Applicants will be notified if they have been selected as one of up to 20 finalists by May 2019.
Round 3: Up to 20 finalists will be invited to interview with staff representatives of MOME, SBS and WGAE. Interviews will take place in May 2019.
Fellowship Selection: Finalists will receive written notice of Fellowship selection or non-selection by June 2019.

Dates of Fellowship:

The six-month fellowship is expected to begin in June 2019 and continue through December 2019.

 

Stipend:

Fellow and fellow writing teams will be paid a stipend of $10,800 disbursed in two installments and will be contingent upon meeting fellowship requirements. Writing teams will receive a shared stipend.

 

Finalist and Semi-Finalist Events:

Finalist and semi-finalists will be provided with two craft or industry-focused WGAE educational and professional development programs during the course of the six-month fellowship.

Contact Information:

Questions regarding the program and application guidelines should be directed to miny@wgaeast.org.

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