Screen Nova Scotia is excited to announce the call for applications for the first writers’ room of the 2019/2020 Screenwriter Internship Program. Now in its second year, this 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.
Call for applications: this writers’ room is for a one-hour dramedy (drama/comedy) series based in Los Angeles, taking place in January 2020 (the exact dates are TBC). The deadline to apply is Monday, December 16th by 5PM. Please read below for important details on the program format, eligibility criteria and submissions requirements.
Participation in these two-week internships will offer local screenwriter’s hands-on 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 local producers who are looking for talent to develop projects within Nova Scotia.
Last year’s program saw an overwhelming number of applications and placed three local screenwriters in the writers’ rooms of Canadian series in Toronto. With Netflix signing on as a presenting partner, this year’s program will expand into the writers’ rooms of US series in Los Angeles and New York, connecting Nova Scotian writers with some of North America’s top showrunners and screenwriters. Read the full press release HERE.
Please Note: 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.
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 and Screen Nova Scotia will cover costs of the internship (flight, accommodation, and per diem).
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) 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) Be a member in good standing of Screen Nova Scotia. (Not a member yet? Join HERE);
5) Demonstrate in the support material an understanding of the fundamentals of television screenwriting, such as story arcs and character development;
6) Commit to the two-week, full-day intensive writers’ room internship (please ensure you are available for the required room dates before applying, as these are not flexible).
Submission Requirements: In addition to completing and submitting the online Application Form HERE, entrants must send SNS 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 (2018-2019) 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.
When submitting, please save all support materials in .PDF format and send to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Screenwriter Internship Program”. Be sure to submit the online Application Form at the same time, so all materials are received together.
Note: due to tight timelines, 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: email@example.com / (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.