Screen Nova Scotia is pleased to announce the call for applications for the second virtual writers’ room for the 2021 Screenwriter Internship Program. Now in its third year, this Netflix-sponsored television writing training program is designed to help emerging to mid-level Nova Scotian screenwriters grow their network, sharpen their professional skills, and bring new perspectives and ideas to the writers’ rooms of established television series across North America.
2021 writers’ rooms include season two of the CBC/NBC series Pretty Hard Cases (successful applicant: Shelley Thompson) and season four of the primetime drama series Coroner (successful applicants: Bill Chernin and Kas Nolan). The call for applications for the third writers’ room will be announced later this summer — stay tuned!
Participation in these two-week internships will offer local screenwriters training, industry insight, invaluable experience and practical knowledge to help them advance as writers of compelling scripts for television. Their experience will also make them ideal candidates for producers who are looking for talent to develop projects and writers’ rooms within Nova Scotia.
Due to the challenges of travel due to COVID-19, this program will take place online with selected participants joining virtual writers’ room (which is currently the industry standard across North America).
Last year’s program saw an overwhelming number of applications and placed one local screenwriter in the writers’ room of a television series in Los Angeles before the pandemic hit. We then placed N.S. screenwriters in virtual writers’ rooms for two U.S. series, both based out of New York.
Thank you to Netflix for signing on as a presenting partner in 2019/2020, allowing us to expand the program and connect Nova Scotian writers with some of North America’s top showrunners and screenwriters. Read the full press release HERE.
Program Format: Applicants will be selected on the basis of the following materials via a competitive application process.
1) A resume/CV that includes credits as well as relevant education and training;
2) A writing sample;
3) A letter of interest and intent;
4) A letter of reference.
Selected writers will be paired with a writers’ room for a two-week internship, which allows them to gain invaluable screenwriting experience, as well as facilitate relationships that can prove invaluable in developing a screenwriting career. There is no fee to apply.
Eligibility Criteria: Please note that this program is designed as a professional screenwriting training program, not an introductory course. An emerging screenwriter has experience in or has completed basic education and training in screenwriting, film and television production, film studies, and/or any field related to narrative and story structure.
Emerging and mid-level screenwriters can apply to the program with a writing sample for an original, English-language concept for a television series suitable for broadcast. Only concepts in the genres of drama, comedy, and children’s and youth programming are eligible. Projects may be 1/2-hour series, 1-hour series or mini series, in either live-action or animation. The following are ineligible: Feature films, talk shows, game shows, reality-based series, documentary series, news, stand-up and sketch comedies. While the program welcomes and encourages stories that include diverse perspectives, themes, and characters, this is not a requirement. Eligible applicants must:
1) Be a resident of Nova Scotia;
2) Not be enrolled in any full-time school or university program;
3) Demonstrate ownership of all underlying rights to their original concept;
4) Demonstrate in the support material an understanding of the fundamentals of television screenwriting, such as story arcs and character development;
5) Commit to the two-week, full-day intensive virtual writers’ room internship (please ensure you are available for the required room dates before applying, as these are not flexible).
6) Be a member in good standing of Screen Nova Scotia (Individual Professional Members / Producer Members).
Please note: this writers’ room is also open to Associate Members who identify as diverse (Black, Indigenous, Person of Color, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities). Please identify this in your application. If you are not yet a member, join HERE.
Submission Requirements: In addition to completing and submitting the online Application Form HERE, entrants must send SNS the following documents:
1) A letter of interest and intent describing why you believe this program is right for you, based on your background and career objectives;
2) A resume/CV that includes credits as well as relevant education and training;
3) A current letter of reference (2020/2021) from a recognized screen industry professional;
4) A writing sample: One script for either a 1-hour or 1/2-hour TV series. Not eligible are feature film scripts, co-written scripts, and spec scripts for existing television series.
When submitting, please save all support materials in .PDF format and send to: email@example.com with the subject line “2021 Screenwriter Internship Program”. Be sure to submit the online Application Form at the same time, so all materials are received together.
If you applied to rooms in the past, you are welcome to reapply for this room but will need to update and resubmit your application accordingly.
The deadline to apply is 12:00 a.m. (midnight) on Wednesday, May 5th. Due to tight timelines, late and/or incomplete applications will not be considered by our jury.
FAQ’s: If you have any other questions, please contact Melanie Solomon, Industry Services & Locations Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org / (902) 229-1499.
Do I have to be a member of Screen Nova Scotia to apply to the program?
Yes, all entrants must be a member in good standing at the time of their submission. Participation in professional development opportunities and training programs are one of the many membership benefits of Screen Nova Scotia. Learn more about membership HERE.
How will my application be evaluated?
Applications will be reviewed by an independent jury of experienced screenwriters and showrunners.
How will participants for the program be chosen?
Participants will be chosen on the strength of their creative material and its development potential as a television series.
How will I know if I’ve been selected?
All entrants – even those who are not selected – will be notified of the status of their application by email.
May I send in additional support material beyond what is required?
No, the jury will only review the required materials. Additionally, incomplete applications will not be considered.
What do you mean by ‘emerging’ screenwriter?
The program is designed as a professional screenwriting training program, not an introductory course. An emerging screenwriter has experience in or has completed basic education and training in screenwriting, film and television production, film studies, and/or any field related to narrative and story structure.
What do I need to include in my letter of interest and statement of intent?
It’s important for us to know that this program is right for you and that you are serious about pursuing a career in television screenwriting. Your letter should reveal your personality (including humour) so that the jury has a good idea of who you are.
What are the acceptable program genres?
You may submit drama, comedy or children’s and youth projects – live-action or animated. Formats include hour-long dramatic series, half-hour series, and mini-series. Ineligible formats include feature films, talk shows, game shows, reality-based series, including home improvement and food shows, documentaries, documentary series, news shows, stand-up and sketch comedies.
Why can’t I submit a spec script for an existing television series?
Spec scripts will show us that you can write within an existing framework, but they won’t reveal your abilities to create original projects.
May I apply with more than one project?
No. We will accept only one project/writing sample per applicant.
May I apply if a producer has already optioned my project?
No. Projects that have already been optioned are not eligible. You may, however, apply with a different project.
May I apply with a co-screenwriter?
No, co-written writing samples are not accepted.
If selected, is there a fee for participating?
No, Screen Nova Scotia covers all costs.
The Screen Nova Scotia Screenwriter Internship Program is presented in partnership with Netflix, the Writers Guild of Canada and the NS Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.