|Industry Diversity Writing Programs, Conferences and Festivals
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 Diversity.
CAPE New Writers Fellowship: CAPE New Writers Fellowship is dedicated to discovering and nurturing Asian American and Pacific Islander voices and talents. Each accepted writer will participate in an intensive 6-week program consisting of seminars, workshops, and writing labs taught by top industry writers, producers, agents and executives to empower them with the tools they need to succeed as a professional writer in film and television. Each writer or writing team receives a $1,500 stipend.
The CBS Diversity Institute/Writers Mentoring Program: This program links aspiring writers with mentors from the ranks of CBS Network and CBS Paramount Studio executives. Also, writers are mentored by producer mentors from series airing on CBS. Additionally, there are weekly sessions with successful writers, producers and show runners examining in very specific and practical terms many aspects of the experience of being a television writer in Hollywood.
Film Independent, Project Involve: is dedicated to increasing cultural diversity in the film industry by cultivating the careers of under-represented filmmakers. The program, which runs from October through June, offers a combination of one-on-one mentorships, filmmaking workshops, community screenings, and job placement. Additionally, Project: Involve Fellows receive a complimentary one-year membership to Film Independent.
Film Independent, Screen Writers Lab: is designed to help screenwriters to improve their craft and develop their voice as writers. In this seven-week program, participants meet two nights each week to discuss their scripts and meet with industry professionals. Each lab participant also has one-on-one meetings with two lab advisors, who read and provide notes on the participants' scripts. Past instructors include Mardik Martin, Jeff Stockwell, Howard Suber, Barbara Turner, and Lee David Zlotoff.
FOX, Writer's Initiative: A writers' initiative designed to identify diverse writers for various staff position on Fox series.
NBC, Writers on the Verge: Writers on the Verge is a 10-week program focused on polishing television writers and readying them for a staff writer position on television shows. We are looking for writers who are “almost there,” and just need that final bit of preparation with their writing and personal presentation skills. The program consists of two, three hour, night classes weekly, held at NBC in Burbank.
NHMC Writers Program: The National Hispanic Media Coalitions Writers Program is not for beginners. It is for those writers who can write at least one half-hour comedy or one-hour dramatic television script in English within a five-week period of time. During the program each participant is expected to complete at least one script by the end of the five-week session, which will then be read by network executives. Those writers whose scripts show promise will be interviewed and mentored by the network executives with the idea of placing them on a show.
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 Native Film program: The Native Program has built and sustained an Indigenous film circle. The circle of our work begins by scouting for and identifying Native American and Indigenous artists, bringing them through the mechanisms of support at Sundance Institute to get their work made and shown, then bringing the filmmakers and their work back to native lands. The Native Lab Fellowship is a vital part of supporting Native filmmakers full-circle. Four projects are selected annually for the Fellowship from a national competition and supported in two phases over the course of a year.
Sundance Episodic Story Lab: Sundance Institute’s Episodic Story Lab will provide independent and underrepresented writers the opportunity to learn how to develop stories and characters that play out over multiple episodes, working in a setting where they can hone their writing skills and gain insight into navigating the business with accomplished creative and strategic mentors. Our world-renowned Screenwriters Lab will serve as a model as we identify and develop new writers, compelling stories, and showrunners/creators for the burgeoning opportunities for episodic storytelling on all platforms.
Tribeca All Access: It's a simple premise that has achieved great success in less than three years: provide unheralded and established filmmakers with unprecedented access to industry professionals, giving them the contacts and confidence they need to make their movies. For industry representatives, TAA is a place to meet exceptionally talented filmmakers, find new and exciting scripts covering a range of genres and budgets, and get a first look at new documentary works-in-progress.
Universal Emerging Writers Fellowship: The Emerging Writers Fellowship is an exciting 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.
The Walt Disney Studios and ABC Entertainment Writing Fellowship: The Walt Disney Studios and ABC Entertainment Television Group, in partnership with the Writers Guild of America, West, are currently running the 17th year of the Writing Fellowship program. This program is designed to identify and employ a diverse pool of creative writing talent. We offer Fellowships in the feature film and television areas. No previous experience is necessary; however, completed writing samples are required for admission to this program. The program is an intensive experience that involves workshops, seminars and personalized mentorship with creative executives from ABC Entertainment Television Group, ABC Studios (formerly Touchstone Television), Disney Channel, ABC Family and Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group. Fellows will receive a flat $50,000 annualized salary for a one-year period.
Warner Bros. Television Writers’ Workshop A writing program for new writers looking to start and further their writing career. The Workshop teaches every aspect of spec script writing and features exposure to Warner Bros. TV's top television writers and executives, all with the goal of staffing graduates on a Warner Bros. TV show. Program meets for three consecutive months, one evening a week, on the Warner Bros. lot and is free to those accepted.
Women in Film Mentoring Circles: Women in Film Mentoring Circles establish a safe and open environment to discuss issues relating to career objectives. Mentors and Mentees are expected to maintain mutual respect, honesty and confidentiality at all times. Circles are groups of eight WIF members who meet six times a year with two mentors, each of whom has significant experience in the entertainment industry.
Writegirl: Matches high school girls from under-privileged communities in LA with professional women writers who mentor them on a weekly basis in creative writing, journalism and other styles of writing.
RESOURCES — Please note that the following is provided for informational purposes only. A listing does not imply endorsement.
AAJA (Asian American Journalists Association): Mission is to encourage Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to enter the ranks of journalism, to work for fair and accurate coverage of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and to increase the number of Asian American and Pacific Islander journalists and news managers in the industry.
African American Women in Cinema: African American Women in Cinema is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support minority women filmmakers by providing resources in the film industry.
ABFF (American Black Film Festival): The American Black Film Festival is the premier international marketplace for films that showcase the best new work by and about people of African descent. Established in 1997, the core mission of the ABFF is to promote cultural diversity within the motion picture industry by strengthening the Black filmmaking community through resource sharing, education, artistic collaboration and career development. Through its film showcases and special contests, it annually introduces the top echelon of emerging artists to the film and television industry.
American Indian Film Institute: The American Indian Film Institute (AIFI) is a non-profit media arts center founded in 1979 to foster understanding of the culture, traditions and issues of contemporary Native Americans. Today, AIFI is the major Native American media and cultural arts presenter in California and its festival is the world's oldest and most recognized international film exposition dedicated to Native American cinematic accomplishment.
Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts: is a national not-for-profit advocacy organization based in New York City, established in 1986 to address and seek solutions to the problems of racism and exclusion in theatre, film, and television. Today, its mission is to serve as an expert advocate and educational resource for full inclusion in theatre, film, television and related media focusing on issues of race, culture, ethnicity and disability.
Alliance for Women in Media: American Women in Radio and Television is a national, non-profit organization that extends membership to qualified professionals in the electronic media and allied fields. AWRT's mission is to advance the impact of women in the electronic media and allied fields by educating, advocating and acting as a resource to its members and the industry.
ALMA: Founded in 1989, is a union for writers in Spain whose mission is to educate Spanish TV and Film writers on the importance their writing has within the audio visual world.
American Women in Radio & Television: American Women in Radio and Television is a national, non-profit organization that extends membership to qualified professionals in the electronic media and allied fields. AWRT's mission is to advance the impact of women in the electronic media and allied fields by educating, advocating and acting as a resource to its members and the industry.
Asian American International Film Festival: Asian CineVision is a nonprofit media arts organization dedicated to promoting and preserving Asian and Asian American media expressions by helping to develop and support both emerging and experienced Asian American film and video makers and other media artists working in a range of genres and styles; and helping to ensure that the full spectrum of Asian and Asian American media works reach diverse audiences in Asian American communities and beyond.
BlackFilm.com: BlackFilm.com is an online resource which links the Black film community while cultivating national and international audiences interested in their work. The site provides a forum for filmmakers, scholars and organizations to present information and promote artistic expression.
Black Hollywood Education Resources Center: The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center, a nonprofit, public benefit organization, is designed to advocate, educate, research, develop, and preserve the history, and the future, of blacks in the film and television industries.
Boston Underground Film Festival: The Boston Underground Film Festival is an annual festival committed to the celebration of alternative vision and cultivation of independent, provocative, and experimental filmmaking. By featuring work that pushes the envelope in form, style, and content, B.U.F.F seeks to be a platform for the screening of new work and a forum for the exchange of ideas amongst filmmakers, curators and audiences.
Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment: CAPE is dedicated to advancing diversity and creating social change by actively developing, promoting and positioning Asian Pacific Americans for key artistic and leadership roles in the entertainment industry and media arts.
Emma L. Bowen Foundation for Minority Interests in Media: The Emma L. Bowen Foundation was created in 1989 to prepare minority youth for careers in the media industry. The Foundation's program is unlike traditional intern programs in that students work for partner companies during summers and school breaks from the summer following their junior year in high school until they graduate from college. During the five-year program, students have an opportunity to learn many aspects of corporate operations and develop company-specific skills. Corporations have an opportunity to train and mentor students with the option of fulltime employment upon completion of their college degrees.
GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) - Media training services: GLAAD's media training curricula cover a broad range of media skills, from the basics of strategizing your own media plan, to improving your media skills, to monitoring your local media.
International Women's Writing Guild: The IWWG, founded in 1976, is a network for the personal and professional empowerment of women through writing and open to all regardless of portfolio.
ITVS: The Independent Television Service (ITVS) brings to local, national and international audiences high-quality, content-rich programs created by a diverse body of independent producers. ITVS programs take creative risks, explore complex issues, and express points of view seldom seen on commercial or public television. ITVS programming reflects voices and visions of underrepresented communities and addresses the needs of underserved audiences, particularly minorities and children.
Latino Public Broadcasting: Latino Public Broadcasting supports the development, production, acquisition and distribution of non-commercial educational and cultural television that is representative of Latino people, or addresses issues of particular interest to Latino Americans
MANAA (Media Action Network for Asian Americans): is part of the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition and Asian Pacific American Media Coalition which regularly meets with the top four television networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox) to encourage diversity in their programming. The organization also serves to support, encourage, and promote, Asian Pacific American talent in both the media and the arts, and advocate their increased employment in these fields.
Media Access: The Media Access Office was established in 1980 by the California Governor's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, and entertainment and media industry professionals. They recognized the need to provide a liaison between performers with disabilities and the media and entertainment industry.
MOST: (Muslims On Screen and Television): A resource center that provides research, data and expert consultations, free of charge, for Television, Film and New Media Writers and Producers on any character or storyline pertaining to Muslims and Islam.
NABJ (National Association of Black Journalists): NABJ, the nation's largest organization of journalists of color, was founded by 44 men and women on Dec. 12, 1975, in Washington, D.C.
NAHJ (National Association of Hispanic Journalists): The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) is dedicated to the recognition and professional advancement of Hispanics in the news industry. Established in April 1984, NAHJ created a national voice and unified vision for all Hispanic journalists.
NAJA (Native American Journalists Association): The oldest and largest international organization for indigenous journalists.
NALIP (National Association of Latino Independent Producers): (NALIP) is a national membership organization that addresses the professional needs of Latino/Latina independent producers. NALIP is the first such effort aimed at Latino production in thirty years, and it is the first to last more than one year and to provide ongoing support for the Latino independent film and video makers.
NAPT (Native American Public Telecommunications): Native American Public Telecommunications (NAPT) supports the creation, promotion and distribution of Native public media.
NLGJA (The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association): Founded in 1990, NLGJA is an organization of journalists, media professionals, educators and students that works within the news industry to foster fair and accurate coverage of LGBT issues. NLGJA opposes all forms of workplace bias and provides professional development to its members.
NBPC (National Black Programming Consortium): NBPC funds, commissions, acquires and awards grants to producers and directors of quality films and video projects that reflect African Americans and the African Diaspora.
NewFest: As New York City's premier LGBT film organization, NewFest empowers, educates, entertains, and provokes the culturally rich and diverse communities of the greater metropolitan region. Through our annual film festival and year-round programming, NewFest showcases international, US, and local film, video, and other media, fostering a greater sense of awareness and community among LGBT and LGBT-friendly audiences.
New York Women in Film & Television: New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) is a nonprofit membership organization for professional women in film, television and new media. A champion of women's rights, achievements and points of view in the film and television industry, NYWIFT is an educational forum for media professionals, and a network for the exchange of information and resources.
Nosotros: The organization was founded in 1970 by Ricardo Montalbán and was formed to help fulfill the goals of persons of Spanish-speaking origin in the motion picture and television industry. The organization continues to provide training, employment advocacy and to improve the image of people of Spanish-speaking origin as they are portrayed on screen.
Organization of Black Screenwriters: The Organization of Black Screenwriters, Inc. (OBS) began in 1986 to address the lack of black writers represented within the entertainment industry. Our primary function is to assist screenwriters in the creation of works for film and television and to help them present their work to the industry.
Pacific Islanders in Communications: The mission of Pacific Islanders in Communications is to support, advance, and develop Pacific Island media content and talent that results in a deeper understanding of Pacific Island history, culture, and contemporary challenges.
Pride @ Work: National Pride at Work is affiliated as the newest constituency group of the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations). The purpose of Pride at Work is to mobilize mutual support between the organized Labor Movement and the LGBT Community around organizing for social and economic justice.
UNITY: Journalists of Color: UNITY: Journalists of Color, Inc. is a strategic alliance advocating fair and accurate news coverage about people of color, and aggressively challenging the industry to staff its organizations at all levels to reflect the nation's diversity.
Visual Communications: The mission of Visual Communications is to promote intercultural understanding through the creation, presentation, preservation and support of media works by and about Asian Pacific Americans. Visual Communications was created with the understanding that media and the arts are important vehicles to organize and empower communities, build connections between generations, challenge perspectives, and create an environment for critical thinking, necessary to build a more just and humane society.
Women in Film: is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting equal opportunities for women, encouraging creative projects by women, and expanding and enhancing portrayals of women in all forms of global media. Given that women comprise 50 percent of the population, WIF's ultimate goal is to see the same gender parity reflected on and off screen. Founded in 1973, WIF focuses on advocacy and education, provides scholarships, grants and film finishing funds and works to preserve the legacies of all women working in the entertainment community.
Women Make Movies: Established in 1972 to address the under representation and misrepresentation of women in the media industry, Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitates the production, promotion, distribution and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. The organization provides services to both users and makers of film and video programs, with a special emphasis on supporting work by women of color. Women Make Movies facilitates the development of feminist media through an internationally recognized Distribution Service and a Production Assistance Program.
Writers Guild Foundation & Shavelson-Webb Library: The WGF is a 501 (c) 3 charitable and educational organization, closely associated with the Writers Guild of America West, whose mission is to preserve and promote excellence in writing and to advance the recognition of the writer's unique contribution to the art of film and television. In addition to the Library, the WGF has educational outreach programs and screenwriting events including Writers on Writing, an ongoing interview series with writers; two major award nominee panels, Sublime Primetime (Emmy's) and Beyond Words (Academy Awards); craft days with workshops, screenings and established writers as speakers; and special events, including the Living Legends Festival, which includes screening and Q&A with screenwriters of classic films.