Top 5 Diversity Screenwriting Contests

Based on my Master of Fine Arts earnings in screenwriting from UCLA, my participation in the Writers Guild of America, the Independent Screenwriters Caucus in the West, and my experience working in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles for over 10 years, I compiled this list. The 5 most notable variations are screenwriting competitions, programs and fellowships. In fact, there are 6 on my list, because they were all very close in terms of reputation, ability to reach out to industry insiders and promote the career of an emerging diversified writer.

1. Disney-ABC Writing Fellowship

The Writers Guild of America, launched in 1990 in partnership with the West, has become the industry’s most prestigious and prestigious writing fellowship. More than 200 alumni in select Hollywood class, including screenwriters, directors and television showrunners. A limited number of full-time fellowships are available each year for both feature film and television projects.

2. NBC Diversity Initiative for Writers

NBC is proud of the current diversity of its primetime series writing staff. To further promote diversity in our writing staff, NBC Minority Staff provides funding for author positions, which are open to all scripted NBC primetime series. These positions are filled with authors selected and hired by the show runners / producers of each show under the guidance of Network and Studio (s). Although submissions are read on a regular basis, positions are usually filled during the March-June staffing season.

3. Nickelodeon Writing Fellowship

Developed to expand Nickelodeon’s outreach efforts, the Nickelodeon Writing Fellowship is designed to attract, develop and staff writers from diverse backgrounds and experiences on Nickelodeon Network productions. Working in a three-stage framework, the fellowship offers a one-year paid position and the experience of writing a spec script and pitch story ideas into both live action and animation television.

4. The Guy a. Hanks and Marvin Miller Screenwriting Program (Cosby Writing Program)

Dr. Bill and Camille Cosby founded the Cosby Writing Program in 1993 at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. It was named after Camille’s father, Guy Alexander Hanks, and Bill’s creator, Marvin Miller. The fifteen-week intensive workshop was designed with a dual purpose: to help authors complete a film or television script, and to deepen participants’ appreciation and understanding of African American history and culture.

5. Fox Writers Initiative

Writers’ initiative designed to identify different authors for different staff positions on the Fox series. Since the beginning of the program, one-third of the writers have gone on to work as staff writers or assistant writers in the primetime series.

6. CBS Diversity Institute / Writers Mentoring Program

The program connects aspiring writers with guides to the ranks of CBS Network and CBS Paramount Studio executives. Also, the authors are guided by producer guides from the series airing on CBS. In addition, weekly sessions with successful writers, producers, and show runners examine many aspects of the experience of being a television writer in Hollywood in a very precise and practical way.

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