Screenwriter Program

The deadline to apply is Monday, April 15th.

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Screen Nova Scotia is excited to announce that we’ve confirmed our third 2018 writers’ room for our Screenwriter Internship Program. This room was delayed in January 2019 due to unforeseen circumstances, but a new room has been selected and will take place in May 2019.

Our first program participant was Andrew Mortimer, who joined the writers’ room of MARY KILLS PEOPLE in August, and our second participant was MJ Miller, who participated in the writers’ room of #RELATIONSHIPGOALS, a new comedy series from Hungry Eyes Media.

The third writers’ room is taking place in Toronto in May 2019 (exact dates are TBD) for an hour-long drama series. The deadline to apply is Monday, April 15th.

Program Overview:
 The Screen Nova Scotia Screenwriter Internship Program, presented in collaboration with the Writers Guild of Canada, the NS Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage, and the Bell Fund, is a television writing training program. It is designed to help emerging and mid-level screenwriters expand their network, sharpen their professional skills, and bring new perspectives and ideas to the writers’ rooms of television series in Canada.

This new program will connect Nova Scotian writers with some of Canada’s top showrunners and screenwriters through two-week internships in the writers’ room of Canadian TV series. Through participating in these rooms, NS writers will gain hands-on experience and practical knowledge to help them advance as writers of compelling scripts for Canadian television. Their experience will also make them ideal candidates for local producers who are looking for talent to develop projects here in the province.

Program Format: Applicants will be selected on the basis of the following materials:
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 in Toronto 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.

Screen Nova Scotia will cover the following costs of the internship:
1) Return airfare ($500)
2) Two weeks hotel accommodation ($150/night)
3) Per diem ($50/day)

Selected participants will be required to pay a $500 participation fee. IMPORTANT UPDATE: We are thrilled to announce that a group of Canadian writers and showrunners have come together with a Writer’s Pledge, which will cover the $500 participation fee for the selected participant in this program!

Eligibility Criteria: 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) Not be enrolled in any full-time school or university program;
2) Demonstrate ownership of all underlying rights to their original concept;
3) Be a member of Screen Nova Scotia (Not a member? Join HERE);
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 writers’ room internship.

Submission Requirements: In addition to completing the online Application Form (HERE), entrants must include the following:
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 (2017-2018) from a recognized 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.

The deadline to apply is Monday, April 15th. Please save all support materials in .PDF format and send to: with the subject line “SNS Screenwriter Internship Program”. Be sure to submit your online Application Form at the same time, so all materials are received together! Note: Due to tight timelines, incomplete applications and applicants that do not meet eligibility criteria will not be considered by the jury.

FAQ’s: If you have any other questions, please contact Melanie Solomon, Industry Services & Locations Manager: / (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 a 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?
Yes. There is a $500 participation fee per participant. IMPORTANT UPDATE: We are thrilled to announce that a group of Canadian writers and showrunners have come together with a Writer’s Pledge, which will cover the $500 participation fee for the selected participant in this program!

What financial assistance will I receive?
Screen Nova Scotia will cover the costs of airfare, accommodation and per diems for the two-week program.