The following is provided for informational purposes only. A program's inclusion on this list does not, in and of itself, indicate endorsement by the Guild. The Guild counsels its members to analyze carefully the details of each program and not to participate in programs that require payment. Queries about individual programs can be addressed to Inclusion and Equity.
1497 Features Lab: The 1497 Features Lab is designed to elevate and develop screenplays by writers of South Asian descent, while providing career support. They believe in a holistic approach to foster writers' creative and career journeys. As a result, each selected Mentee will move through a multi-tiered process: Script Development, Mentorship, and Connect with the Industry. To be eligible, applicants must be of South Asian descent, over 18 years of age, must reside in the United States, and have a completed narrative feature script.
CAPE New Writers Fellowship: The CAPE New Writers Fellowship discovers and nurtures emerging writers launching their careers in television and film. This unique 6-week, 12-session Fellowship arms each participant with the practical and business knowledge they need to succeed as a professional writer in the entertainment industry. Each session is taught by top television and film writers, producers, agents, managers, and executives through a series of intimate panels and discussions. The Fellowship also offers a Writing Lab, which matches each Fellow with a high-level industry mentor to help them revise their scripts into professional-level writing samples to get them noticed and land that all-important first job.
Disney│ABC Writing Program: For over 25 years, the Disney | ABC Writing Program has been lauded as one of the most successful writer programs in the entertainment industry. The one-year program is the only program of its kind designed under terms approved by the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW). The program has launched the careers of many writers, including: Maria Jacquemetton (Mad Men); Jane Espenson (Once Upon A Time); Saladin K. Patterson (Psych); Bryan Oh (Chicago Fire); George Mastras (Breaking Bad); and Veena Sud (The Killing). The primary goal for Program Writers is to staff on a Disney ABC Television Group (DATG) series as a staff writer during the one-year program; however, staffing is not guaranteed. The program also provides access to executives, producers and literary representatives through various meetings and events designed to facilitate relationships that can prove invaluable in developing a television writing career. Program Writers participate in a curriculum designed to better prepare them for staffing consideration. Past activities have included workshops led by veteran television writers, producers and Disney │ABC Writing Program alumni; improvisational workshops; and networking mixers with DATG current programming and development executives. From self-branding to creating new writing samples, the goal is to present DATG executives and producers with viable writing candidates who will make invaluable contributions in a writers’ room. Writers become employees of Disney│ABC Television and will be paid a weekly salary of $961.54 ($50,000 annualized) plus any applicable benefits for which they are eligible in accordance with the then-current Company benefits.
Disney Launchpad: With a focus on building a more inclusive entertainment industry, Disney is looking for experienced writers and directors from underrepresented backgrounds with diverse and varied perspectives, including but certainly not limited to women, people of color, the LGBTQ community, various religious groups, military veterans, people with disabilities and others, to produce a short in the Disney Launchpad: Shorts Incubator program. In the Launchpad, writers and directors will be paired with Disney creative executives who will serve as mentors. Additionally, with the full support of the studio behind them, they will learn how to creatively collaborate and work effectively with their studio partners.
Film Independent Project Involve: Project Involve is a free, intensive, nine-month annual mentorship program that selects thirty filmmakers from under-represented communities and gives them an opportunity to refine their storytelling abilities, form creative partnerships, and build industry connections necessary to succeed as working artists.
Film Independent Screenwriting or Episodic Lab: The Screenwriting Lab is open to any writer applying with a completed draft of a feature-length project they wish to workshop during the program, with an eye toward production. The Episodic Lab is open to any emerging writer applying with a completed draft of a half hour or hour-long television pilot they wish to workshop during the program. Each applicant must be the author of the script he or she submits. The submitted pilot cannot have been pitched at any point to a studio or network.
FOX Entertainment Writers Incubator: The FOX Writers Incubator is a highly selective initiative designed to nurture and provide training to four (4) writers of all genres (comedy, drama, animation, etc) who have diverse voices, backgrounds and life experiences. Writers will have a chance to work intensively on their scripts with the support of established writers, executives, directors and producers. The initiative offers trained writers a rigorous three-month workshop focused on rewriting their material, honing writing skills, and exploring the business of media and entertainment. Upon successful completion of the FOX Writers Incubator, writers will receive priority in staffing meetings on FOX television shows.
Imagine Impact: Impact is a new and dynamic creative program whose mission is to cultivate and empower creative storytellers from around the world by taking an innovative and collaborative approach to content creation.
Inevitable Foundation Screenwriting Fellowship: Inevitable Foundation started the Screenwriting Fellowship to substantially increase the number of disabled screenwriters working in film and TV. The Fellowship is for disabled screenwriters working in the industry with ample talent and ambition. Fellows receive $25,000, which is meant to cover 4-6 months of living expenses, and the money is unrestricted—you can use it to cover living expenses and other project-related fees.
NAMA TV Writers Lab, Feature Film Writers Lab or Showrunner Program: The Native American Media Alliance (NAMA) is a new initiative designed to advocate for Native American representation in the entertainment industry. The Native American TV Writers Lab is five-week program designed to familiarize participants with the format, characters and storyline structure of television. A total of 8 writers are accepted. The Feature Film Writers Lab is an annual program for talented and aspiring screenwriters. Over the course of 10 weeks chosen fellows develop a new screenplay, meet with partner studios and receive feedback on their scripts from literary professionals. The Showrunner program is a multi-month intensive designed to address the lack of Native American executive producers in television.
NBCUniversal Launch TV Writers Program: Formerly NBCUniversal’s Writers on the Verge, NBCU’s Launch TV Writers Program develops diverse writers whose distinct points of view and lived experiences provide unique perspectives to the writers’ room. During the eight-month program, writers develop an original pilot to which they retain all rights. They are paired with NBCUniversal programming executives from the NBCU Television and Streaming portfolio and Universal Studio Group who mentor them, as they write their original pilot and polish samples for staffing consideration. Writers also attend weekly evening workshops to enhance their creative and professional skills, including branding, pitching, and interviewing, as well as expand on their knowledge of the ever-changing television landscape. Additionally, they have opportunities to learn from and build relationships with industry professionals, including network and studio executives, showrunners, agents, and managers. At the conclusion of the program, participating writers will be considered for available staff writer positions on NBCU Television and Streaming as well as Universal Studio Group series. Writers must be at least 21 years old, authorized to work in the United States, must reside in Los Angeles during the program as workshops are in-person, and cannot have received a staff writing credit on more than one broadcast, cable, or streaming scripted series.
NHMC Writers Program: Ten diverse Latinx writers nationwide are selected for a 7-week intense writers lab. At the end of the program, these writers will have either a half-hour or hourlong original series pilot, which they will pitch to Industry leaders, beginning with our partners at ABC and NBC. Over the 7-week duration writers work with a professional writing mentor, meet and speak with professional industry writers, and build a community of Latinx writers. The program is officially conducted virtually. You must be 18 years or older, live in the United States, and must have access to reliable internet connection to participate in daily video conferencing.
Ojalá Ignition Lab: Established by Universal Content Productions and writer/producer Tanya Saracho (Vida), the Ojalá Ignition Lab is committed to empowering Latine creators by offering a nurturing artistic space to hone their voice. The Lab will serve as a culturally safe creative environment for writers to gain industry insight from established showrunners and producers, all while developing a television pilot script from start to finish. The Lab aims to give development access to TV writers who haven’t yet been staffed or whose careers have been stalled by repeating lower staffing levels, as well as storytellers from other disciplines who desire to enter the television space. Five writers will be selected to write a new original television project from story idea to finished pilot script. UCP will compensate the writers for this pilot. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age at the time of application and legally authorized to live, work and participate in the Lab in the United States. Applicants of diverse backgrounds and all Latinidades are encouraged to apply, including Afro-Latine and Indigenous writers.
Paramount Writers Mentoring Program: Formerly the CBS Diversity Writers Mentoring Program, the focus of this eight month program is on opening doors for talented and motivated diverse writers: providing opportunities to build relationships with network executives and show runners; to support new and emerging writers in their efforts to improve their craft; and to develop the interpersonal skills necessary to break in and succeed. Aspiring diverse writers with a strong desire to write for Paramount television series are encouraged to apply. You must be 21 or older to be eligible.
Sundance Episodic Story Lab: The Sundance Institute Episodic Story Lab offers 10 writers an opportunity to develop long-form episodic content in a setting where they can hone their writing skills and learn how to navigate the changing industry. Working with showrunners as well as non-writing creative producers and studio/network executives, the Fellows participate in one-on-one creative story meetings, pitching sessions, writers’ rooms, and group conversations focusing on the key creative and tactical elements that are central to their success in episodic storytelling.
Sundance Feature Film Program: The Sundance Institute Feature Film Program (FFP) is dedicated to developing and nurturing the next generation of leading edge narrative feature filmmakers through its unique system of creative residencies, resources, and advisory support. For the past 30 years, the Program has championed many of the world’s groundbreaking independent filmmakers by encouraging a rigorous creative process with a focus on original and deeply personal storytelling. By providing tailored year-round support to pioneering filmmakers, the FFP has become a model for supporting artists around the world.
Sundance Indigenous Program: Sundance Institute’s commitment to support Indigenous artists is woven throughout our history. Indigenous filmmakers have long been involved in the Institute, going back to Larry Littlebird (Laguna/Santo Domingo Pueblo) and Chris Spotted Eagle (Houmas Nation), who participated in the first meetings founding Sundance Institute.
The Thousand Miles Project: In partnership with Universal Content Productions (UCP) and writer/producer Soo Hugh (The Terror, Pachinko), The Thousand Miles Project will provide up to 20 writers/writing teams the opportunity to learn about television writing and the industry through panels and lectures with writers, development execs, managers, and agents in a two-day intensive virtual workshop. After the workshop, participants will be invited to apply for a 24-week development lab by submitting a series idea for further development. Television project proposals in any genre are welcome. From those proposals, up to 3 writers/writing teams will be selected to join the development lab with Soo Hugh, her team and UCP to write a pilot script and potentially develop their project further with UCP. The lab writers will meet on a bi-weekly basis, with additional monthly meetings with Soo and her team. Applicants must be at least 18 years old at the time of their application. Applicants to the workshop need not be from a particular country or background – we encourage anyone with Asian and/or Pacific Islander voices or stories to apply.
Tribeca All Access: Tribeca All Access®, TFI’s flagship program for fiction and documentary storytellers, specialized in providing a full range of services for storytellers who are best described by one word: fearless.
Launched in 2004, the fund provided year-round support to passionate and motivated directors, writers, and producers who come from communities underserved in the U.S. film industry.
Universal Writers Lab: The Universal Writers Program identifies up-and-coming and experienced screenwriters with unique points of view that build upon the Studio’s commitment to telling stories and creating films that reflect the vast diversity of our audiences. The only feature film program sanctioned by the Writers Guild of America West (WGAW), the Program develops storytellers who organically incorporate multicultural and global perspectives in screenwriting. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age before the Program start date and applicants must be authorized to work in the United States.
Warner Bros. Television Writers’ Workshop: For over 30 years, the Warner Bros. Television Writers’ Workshop has been the premier writing program for new writers looking to start and/or further their career in the world of television. Each class will teach a new skill essential for surviving and excelling in a writers room as a staff writer and beyond. The Workshop consists of weekly lectures featuring a mix of showrunners, executives and agents, as well as a Simulated Writers Room, where each participant will be required to complete a new spec script under the same deadlines expected of a show in production.
Warner Bros. Discovery Access Writing Fellowship or Showrunner Program: Formerly the HBO Access Writing Fellowship, the Warner Bros. Discovery Access Writers Program has been expanded to a two-year program for entry-level narrative TV writers. The objective is to provide marginalized voices a pathway for entry into the television industry through instruction, mentorship and exposure. The WBD Access Showrunner Program was developed in consultation with veteran showrunners and producers including: Nkechi Okoro Carroll, Janine Sherman Barrois, Bill Lawrence, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Sarah Schecter (Berlanti Productions), Rachel Kaplan, and John Wells. The program will give participants valuable first-hand instruction from established showrunners to prepare them for the demands of running a writer’s room and managing a production. For those who need the additional experience, the program will also offer a unique opportunity to shadow a showrunner during pre-production and on set in production.
Women In Film/Black List Writers Labs: The Episodic Lab selects six to eight female writers and runs for four weeks, emphasizing both craft and professional development in order to equip participants with the knowledge on how to build and sustain their careers, through programs on script development, pitching, a mock writer’s room and round tables with established writers and industry executives.
The Black List and WIF selects six to eight female writers to participate in the Feature Lab, a weeklong residential program, consisting of one-on-one mentoring with established screenwriters and peer workshopping sessions. Additionally, participants will attend a series of events and screenings that will further expose them to the realities of a life as a professional screenwriter.
All Lab participants will be hosted by the Black List website for free following the Labs and have their final scripts read by a variety of agencies, studios and networks, to be announced at a later date.