Writers Guild of America
2016 Showrunner Training Program


The eleventh session of the Guild’s highly acclaimed Showrunner Training Program (SRTP) begins January 2016. Conducted in partnership with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, this important industry training program is designed to help senior-level writer-producers and recent creators hone the skills necessary to become successful showrunners in today’s television landscape.

Providing invaluable instruction from current showrunners and other industry professionals, the program has helped produce many successful results. SRTP graduates have gone on to create or co-create fifty-six new series.

This year, fourteen new shows were created by Program alums including Jonathan Butler & Gabriel Garza (Bella and the Bulldogs), Cheo Hodari Coker (Luke Cage), Ryan Condal (Colony), Karen DiConcetto & Bert V. Royal (Recovery Road), David Hudgins (Game of Silence), DJ Nash (People are Talking), Glen Mazzara (Damien), Chrissy Pietrosh & Jessica Goldstein (Telenovela), Joe Pokaski (Underground), Joshua Safran (Quantico), Nick Stanton & Devin Bunje (Gamers Guide to Pretty Much Everything), Craig Sweeny (Limitless), Ben Watkins (Hand of God) and Alan Yang (Master of None).

Twenty-seven alumni have continuing series this year, either as creators or showrunners or both.

The Program starts Saturday, January 9, 2016 and runs six consecutive Saturdays, ending February 13, 2016.

Who is Eligible to Apply?  

  • Current-active WGAW or WGAE members in good standing with writer-producer credit or above on a current, dramatic (comedy or drama) television series and/or an active studio or network pilot or pilot script commitment. Writing teams are considered a single entity and are welcome to apply.

The Application Process

To apply for the SRTP, a recommendation form must first be submitted on the writer’s behalf by a current or recent (2012-2015) showrunner, or executive producer, or a network or studio executive (from the development or current departments).

Recommendation Forms will be emailed to showrunners, executives, and TV series writers on August 10, 2015. The deadline for recommendations to be received is Monday, September 14, 2015.

If a writer applied last year there’s no need to have a new recommendation submitted on his or her behalf; he or she can use the recommender from the previous year. If a candidate chooses to do this, they should contact Program Director Carole Kirschner before the recommendation deadline (September 14, 2015).The program will then contact the recommender for any potential updates.

If an applicant has applied before, there’s no need to provide new references, though the applicant is welcome to do so. He or she can simply list the references from the previous application.

The above procedures have been implemented to streamline the re-application process and put a minimum of stress on both the candidate and his or her references and recommenders.

Once the Recommendation Form has been received, or in the case of a re-submission, the recommender has signed off for the current year, the candidate will be sent the URL for the online application and will have four weeks to complete and submit to the Guild. Once applications are reviewed, select candidates are invited for personal interviews. Approximately twenty-five writers/writing teams will be invited to join the Program.

Evaluation Criteria

Candidates will be evaluated principally on leadership, experience, project development (where relevant) and assessment of immediate need. The spectrum of applicants ranges from current showrunners to novice television writers with active development or picked-up pilots. In making final selections, consideration is given to diversity in terms of genres, personal backgrounds and industry platforms.


  • Online Recommendation Form: Monday, September 14, 2015
  • Online Application: Friday, October 9, 2015

If you have any questions concerning the submission process or the Program, please contact Program Director Carole Kirschner at (323) 782-4867 or e-mail the Showrunner Training Program.

Watch the Showrunner Training Program Video Series with Vince Gilligan, Alan Ball, and Jeff Melvoin