2017 & 2018 Screenwriting Initiatives Grants & Funds


Universal Writers Programme LA, USA The Universal Writers Program identifies experienced and up-and-coming screenwriters with unique points of view that build upon the Studio’s commitment to telling stories and creating films that reflect the vast diversity of our audiences. Created under terms approved by the Writers Guild of America West (WGAW), the Program inclusively develops storytellers with a specificity to incorporating multi-cultural and global perspectives in screenwriting. The sought-after program seeks writers who tonally match the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group’s (UFEG) various divisions including, but not limited to, Universal Pictures and Focus Features. Unknown TBA. The submission period for the 2018-19 Universal Writers Program opens Fall 2017 (Check here for updates)
Sundance 2017 Philadelphia Screenwriters Intensive PA, USA The Philadelphia Screenwriters Intensive is for filmmakers in the Philadelphia, PA area only. With generous support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and in collaboration with Scribe Video Center, Sundance Institute is hosting a FREE one-day Screenwriters Intensive on Saturday, November 4, 2017. Led by Screenwriters and Directors Lab alum and Creative Advisor Katherine Dieckmann (Associate Professor of Screenwriting at Columbia University’s Graduate School of the Arts), this workshop will support 10 local writers with completed drafts of independent, character-driven projects with a personal, unique vision, and provide creative tools to delve more deeply into the dynamics of storytelling and make vital discoveries to enrich their craft. Free Applications open from 21st August – 22nd September 2017 6:00PM ET
4Screenwriting London, UK The course finds 12 talented writers new to TV drama and, pairing them with an industry script editor, works with them for 6 months on creating a series pilot episode for C4 / E4; book-ended by two weekends at Channel 4 in London in January and June. Writers attend a series of lectures from writers, producers and directors working in the industry in January. They work with a script editor on an original script for C4/E4 and then have a read-through of their script followed by workshop discussions with other industry professionals in June. C4 option the scripts for 6 months and offers a meeting with our Head of Development, Matthew Wilson, to discuss further development opportunities in the department. Free Applications open 11th Sept 11 – 1st Oct 2017
The Cassian Elwes Independent Screenwriting Fellowship USA The Cassian Elwes Independent Screenwriting Fellowship is an annual program designed to encourage and identify new talent in the field of independent cinema by awarding one screenwriter each year with an all-expenses paid trip to the Sundance Film Festival and an opportunity to meet with Producer Cassian Elwes (Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints). Each year, The Black List will choose ten screenplays imbued with an independent spirit by unrepresented screenwriters, which will be sent on to Mr. Elwes for his consideration. The short list will be determined in early December and the Fellowship recipient will be selected by Mr. Elwes by calendar year’s end. Unknown TBA. Approx. October time. (Check here for updates)