2014-2015 TV Writer Access Project Submission Guidelines

For Mid-Level Diverse Writers

The mission of the TV Writer Access Project (“Project”) is to identify excellent diverse writers in order to provide a hiring resource for television writer-producers. WGAW members who meet the criteria for participation below are invited to submit one piece of literary material: one spec script for a television series in first run on either network or cable as of August 8, 2014 OR one original spec pilot teleplay, in either the half-hour or one-hour format. The deadline for all submissions is 6PM on October 10, 2014.

It is our hope that the Project will provide increased access to WGAW members from groups that have been historically underemployed in television and will also be of benefit to showrunners and other executives who are staffing television shows by creating a strong pool of diverse candidates for their hiring consideration.

WGAW members interested in participating in the Project should carefully read this description.

Judging process:

Scripts will be submitted to a panel of WGAW members including current and former showrunners and writer-producers, who will serve as judges for the Project. There will be two rounds of judging. Writers whose scripts are selected by the first round judges will be considered semi-finalists. These scripts will be automatically submitted to a second round of judging, which will result in the selection of TV Writer Access Project honorees in each category. These final selections will be made available to showrunners and other hiring executives for their consideration in the upcoming television staffing season. All judging will be on the basis of blind submissions; no names or other identifying information will appear on the literary material submitted to the judges. Judges will be required to return or delete the literary material upon completion of judging. Judges will not read spec scripts for shows on which they are or have been employed.

Please note: Each participant will be judged on the spec script or original pilot that has been submitted with the TV Writer Access Project application. Judges will have the option of reading a second submission from participants. A second piece of material will be requested from participants only if requested by a judge, but participants should have such material ready to submit. In the event that the original submission was a spec script, the second piece of material should be an original pilot, and vice versa.

Project guidelines:  

As of August 9, 2014, a Project participant must be a Current or Post-Current member in Active status. If submission is made by a writing team, both writers must be Current or Post-Current members in Active status. All dues must be current at the time of application. If your membership status is listed as “In Arrears”, please contact the Dues department at (323) 782-4531 in order to arrange for payment in full (payment can be made by credit card) before submitting your application. WE CANNOT MAKE EXCEPTIONS TO THE ABOVE REQUIREMENTS.

  1. Each Project participant must be a member of one of the groups represented by a diversity committee at the WGAW, or a writing team comprised of at least one such person.
  2. Scripts will be judged in five categories:

    Category 1: Minority writers
    Category 2: Writers with disabilities
    Category 3: Women writers
    Category 4: Writers age 55 and over (as of August 8, 2014)
    Category 5: Gay and lesbian writers
  3. Writers shall specify the category from the list above in which they wish to be considered and shall only submit in one category.
  4. Participants must have the following work experience: (a) past employment in half-hour or hour staff writing position under WGA jurisdiction with EITHER one produced, credited television script OR one pilot teleplay written or sold under WGA jurisdiction in a half-hour or hour format.

    OR

    (b) a minimum of two (2) produced, credited made for television movies.
  5. Participants must submit one piece of literary material: (a) one spec script for a series that currently has episodes in first run (on network or cable); OR (b) one spec pilot script. NOTE: (1) Episodic scripts written while on staff or as a freelance writer for a television series are not eligible for consideration. (2) Participants may not submit spec scripts that have been sold or are currently optioned to any company.
  6. Please be advised that spec scripts should include characters and situations in keeping with the current season’s usage in order to receive the most favorable response from judges. Judges will be advised that they can reject scripts that are improperly formatted or have an unacceptable number of typographical errors.
  7. Spec scripts submitted in previous years to the TV Writer Access Project are not eligible for re-submission – writers must submit a new spec script to be eligible for the 2014-15 Writer Access Project. However, the same pilot script may be submitted.
  8. Participants may make separate submissions for the half-hour and the one-hour formats only if they have two pieces of material available for each (Note: the second piece of material for each suggestion should be available, but may not be requested).
  9. Participants must submit an application and signed release form together with the submitted material. Forms may be downloaded here.
  10. Participants must submit proof of WGA script registration or copyright registration for each piece of submitted material.

Project timetable:

  1. The deadline for all submissions (including literary material, application, signed release form and proof of registration) is 6PM Friday, October 10, 2014. Participants will receive an e-mail acknowledgement when their completed application has been received.
  2. Participants will be notified by e-mail of the results of the judging process in both the semi-final and final round.
  3. It is anticipated that final selections will be made by January 19, 2015.  

If you have any questions about the submission process or the criteria for submission, please contact the Diversity department with “TV Writer Access Project” in the subject line or call (323) 782-4589.