It’s amazing how many different programs exist for writers — ferreting them out isn’t always easy, but they often offer exciting opportunities for developing craft and building industry connections. One example: The Emerging Writers Fellowship sponsored by Universal Pictures. The goal of the program: “to identify and cultivate new and unique voices with a passion for storytelling. We are looking for talented screenwriters who have the potential to thrive, but don’t have access to or visibility within the industry.” Universal Pictures just opened its 2015 entry process on October 21 and will accept applications for the next 30 days or until 500 applications are received, whichever comes first.
Emerging writers chosen to take part in the immersive program will work exclusively with the studio over the course of a year to sharpen their skills. During this time, they will help shape current Universal projects and also be free to pitch original story ideas. While working on writing assignments, fellows will also receive valuable industry exposure by:
– Participating in filmmaking workshops and studio seminars
- Receiving mentoring from established filmmakers
– Networking with top literary agents and managers
– Meeting with production development executives
- Attending screenings and premieres.
Applicants must submit an original feature-length screenplay and other background to Universal Pictures for evaluation. Ten finalists will be selected and interviewed in Los Angeles, with up to five fellows chosen to work for the studio for a year. “Working with the writers allowed us a fresh perspective on some of our own material and we were also able to work with them on developing some of their own ideas,” said Universal Pictures co-president of production about a recent crop of aspiring screenwriters.
So if you have a fabulous screenplay that needs a home and can commit to a stint out in LA, you might check out this program. For more information, Google: Emerging Writers Fellowship + Universal Pictures. And write on!