Seeking New and Unique Voices
Universal Pictures’ Emerging Writers Fellowship
The Emerging Writers Fellowship is an exciting new program at Universal Pictures that is designed 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.
Emerging writers who are chosen to participate in the program will work exclusively with the studio over the course of a year to hone their skills. During this program, fellows will be given the opportunity to work on current Universal projects as well as pitch original story ideas. Fellows will also attend workshops, receive mentoring, interact with top literary agents and sit in on Universal’s executive meetings. Fellows admitted into the program will be hired under a writing service agreement and must be committed to working full-time for one year.
This program is not intended for candidates who received Producer, Director, Assistant Director, Co-producer, Associate Producer, 2nd Unit Director, Director of Photography, Writer or Source Material credits on any feature film commercially released theatrically or television show that has been aired within the U.S. Candidates may not have any attachment to third-party projects that are currently in development. Any candidates who do not meet the aforementioned criteria will be disqualified.
The Path to Fellowship
Universal Pictures’ will entertain applications for the fellowship beginning on September 3, 2013. Interested applicants should submit an original screenplay as well as additional background materials in order to be considered. All semi-finalists will then be asked to submit a second screenplay and complete a phone interview with members of the admission committee. Ten finalists will be selected and interviewed in Los Angeles. Up to five fellows will be chosen to participate in the program.
How to Apply
A link to the submission application will be available at 12:00 p.m. (PST) on Sept. 3, 2013.
Applicants must submit all of the following materials in order to be considered. Only online submissions will be accepted. The submission window will only be open for 30 days or until we receive 500 eligible applications (whichever comes first). Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible as only a limited number of submissions will be accepted. Universal Pictures reserves the right to close the application window at any time.
1. Original Feature Length Script – Applicants are eligible to submit one original feature length screenplay through the online process. Applicants who submit more than one original screenplay will be disqualified. Submissions must meet the following requirements:
- Genre – Comedy/Romantic Comedy, Action, Adventure, Thriller, Sci-Fi (other genres not accepted)
- Length of screenplay – Must be between 85 – 125 pages
- Must be sole owner of any original material submitted
- Screenplay submission must adhere to industry standards (i.e. font, spacing, format)
- Scripts must not have previously been sold, optioned, or otherwise exploited
- Scripts must have been registered at the WGA prior to submission (date to be determined upon opening of application cycle) and applicants will be required to acknowledge that any written materials submitted is the sole work of the applicant.
Candidates who advance to the semi-final round will be required to submit a second script within a specified period.
The Emerging Writers Fellowship Application will be available beginning at 12:00 p.m. (PST) on Sept. 3.
- Emerging Writers Application - https://universaltalentdevelopment.wufoo.com/forms/universal-pictures-emerging-writers-program/
- Legal Release Form – applicants must complete and sign a release form in order for their submitted scripts to be considered
- Two letters of recommendation from industry professionals. Each letter must be no longer than two pages and address the following:
1.) Comment on the context of your interaction with the applicant and your relationship to the applicant
2.) Explain why you feel this candidate will be a good fit for the Universal Pictures Emerging Writers Program and his/her potential to become a successful screenwriter
- Statement of Purpose – applicants must answer the following questions
1.) How will you contribute a diverse voice that is unique to the screenwriting industry? (300 words)
2.) Why are you interested in this program and how will this program help you succeed as a Hollywood screenwriter? (250 words)
Please view our Frequently Asked Questions for additional details about this program and the application process. If you have additional questions, please email email@example.com.
Please do not submit applications to this email.