Diverse Screenwriters Program earlier this year in Toronto, the Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) has expanded the program to Vancouver. The Toronto program will continue for applicants from Ontario and the Eastern part of Canada, while the Vancouver program will serve all applicants west of Ontario.
The call for submissions has now officially gone out for diverse writers who are emerging or mid-career who are from the western half of Canada. Up to eight people will be selected for the training program which involves a week-long intensive session followed by a 10-12 week mentorship with a story editor. One writer will be selected at the end of the program to receive a paid internship on a Bell Media TV series.
You must apply with an original series idea, and an original writing sample for a feature film or television. Samples for existing series are not eligible. There is no cost or fee to participate in the program. Those selected from outside Vancouver will receive a bursary to cover their travel and accommodation expenses.
The deadline to apply is September 6, 2011. The eastern Canada call for submissions will come later in the fall.
The Writers Guild of Canada Presents
The Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program
Vancouver session call for applications now open!!!The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) and Bell Media have now launched the second session of their program to bring more diverse writers into the talent pool of Canadian screenwriting with a call for applications from western Canada. The Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program (formerly known as The CTV Diverse Screenwriters Program) reaches out to offer emerging and mid-career writers from diverse backgrounds the chance to hone the skills they need to become successful professional screenwriters. And one writer will come out of the program with a paid internship on a Bell Media TV series.
The call for applications for the western Canada session of the Program - which will take place in Vancouver in December 2011 - is now open.
The Deadline for application is September 6, 2011(Note: The Program will run a session for Eastern Canada in Toronto in the spring of 2011. Application call coming early fall 2011.)
Each session of the Program will offer up to eight writers a one-week intensive workshop, featuring lectures, guest speakers, screenings, and more. This immersion phase will launch the writers' development of their original script. After the workshop, each writer will partner with an experienced screenwriter mentor to hone their script and pitch, finishing the program with a polished calling card to the industry. In addition, one writer will be selected by jury for a paid internship in a writers' room on a Bell Media conventional television or specialty service show.
The Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program presented by the WGC is made possible through the CTV-CHUM tangible benefits. Click here for the application packages, including eligibility requirements and a FAQ.
OVERVIEW AND GOALS
The Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program presented by the Writers Guild of Canada is a one-week intensive television-training program designed to help emerging and mid-level film and television writers from diverse backgrounds develop and refine their original concepts for an English-language prime-time television series.
Up to eight (8) participating writers will be selected for each session of the Program. Participants will be selected on the basis of their submitted support material: a concept for an original series, writing samples and a letter of interest and intent.
The Program will connect screenwriters with a team of television experts including executive producers, showrunners, story editors, writers, producers and broadcast executives. Screenwriters will further develop their writings skills as well as learn how to pitch their projects and move them into development.
The Program will run for four consecutive years, with sessions held in Toronto and Vancouver each year.
The goals of the Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program are:
1. To bring more diverse writers into the talent pool.
2. To bring more diverse stories and perspectives to television screens.
3. To give emerging and mid-level diverse screenwriters the tools to develop and refine a television series concept.
4. To introduce writers to the tools and resources they need to develop and market their skills as professional screenwriters.
The program consists of three phases:
A one-week intensive training component. Training will be a combination of workshops in television story structure and character development and a mock story department to help participants further develop their concepts, bibles, beat sheets, outlines and drafts. Guest speakers will include writers, showrunners, network executives, and producers. Writers will learn how a series moves from concept to pitch to production and broadcast.
An eight to twelve week writing period during which time writers will be working on their individual projects to refine their concepts further by developing their storylines and characters. Each writer will work with an assigned story editor and will be individually mentored for an average of one hour per week, depending on the preferences of both participant and mentor.
At the end of this period, participants will ideally have completed a minimum of one original script and one spec script in the format of their choice, as well as one mini-bible and one pitch document for their original series.
These elements will then be submitted to an adjudication panel for evaluation. The panel will select one writer to advance to Phase Three.
Whether they are chosen to advance to Phase Three or not, participants will, at the end of Phase Two, have script material that is well-thought out and strong enough to act as a calling card to the industry.
The selected writer will enter a paid internship in a Bell Media conventional or specialty series story department for the production season of a series.
WHEN AND WHERE
Training for the Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program will take place for five days in both Vancouver and Toronto. Check the website for exact dates.
Writers west of Ontario must apply to the Vancouver session. Writers east of Manitoba must apply to the Toronto session.
Out of town writers who are selected for the immersion will be awarded bursaries to cover their travel and accommodation expenses.
Emerging and mid-level screenwriters may apply to the program with original, English-Language concepts for a television series suitable for broadcast.
Eligible writers living west of Ontario can apply only for the Vancouver session and must meet its deadline.
Eligible writers living east of Manitoba can apply only for the Toronto session and must meet its deadline.
The program will encourage but not limit screenwriters to writing diverse stories.
Concepts in the genres of drama, comedy and children’s programming are eligible. Projects may be half-hour series, one-hour series, mini-series, or movies of the week.
Eligible applicants must:
• Not currently be enrolled in any full-time school or university program.
• Demonstrate ownership of all underlying rights to the project with which they are applying.
• Be a Canadian citizen or Landed Immigrant.
• Demonstrate in their support material an understanding of the fundamentals of screenwriting such as story arcs and character development.
• Be able to make a commitment to the one-week intensive training and the subsequent 10-12 week mentoring process.
• If they are chosen, be in a position to accept a paid internship on an existing television series.
Selected screenwriters must be able to commit the time necessary to participate in this program. The week-long immersion sessions take place during the day and all selected writers must participate in all sessions.
You must submit two unbound, single-sided and collated copies of everything including the application form.
Please submit your application by mail or by courier.
Your application must include the following items in the following order:
1. Completed application form including diversity identification. (Available as a download)
2. A letter of interest and intent indicating why you believe this program to be right for you. You may also comment on how your diversity is, or isn’t, currently reflected on television screen.
3. A curriculum vitae that includes screen credits and relevant education and training.
4. A current letter of reference from a recognized industry professional.
5. Series concept and a 1-2 page series synopsis briefly describing the story, characters, genre, format and target audience.
6. Writing samples: one feature-length script or one 1-hour series episode or two half-hour series episodes. Spec scripts for any existing television series are not eligible.
7. Chain of title documentation to indicate you have the right to develop the project.
8. A release form.
Do not put your application materials in any kind of binders or have the application bound in any way. We prefer that you use binder clips to hold all your materials together.
Do not include any glossy visual materials or DVDs of previous work with your application.
REMINDER: WE NEED TWO COMPLETE SETS OF YOUR APPLICATION PACKAGE
Applicants west of Ontario must apply to Vancouver. Applicants east of Manitoba must apply to Toronto.
The Deadline for application is September 6, 2011
Please do not email or fax your application. We must receive hard copies of all your documents.
Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program
Writers Guild of Canada
366 Adelaide Street West, Suite 401
Toronto, ON M5V 1R9
Click here for application.