We are excited to announce the second round of the Screenwriters Lab of the Jewish Writers’ Initiative, which is opening applications May 1st, 2023!
The Lab is a year-long, non-exclusive, creative endeavor supporting the development of scripts that tell diverse Jewish stories, with the ultimate goal of connecting Jewish writers to their culture and launching accessible Jewish themed scripts into the mainstream media marketplace.
Featuring three in-person seminars - Los Angeles, New York, and Israel - and occasional Zoom sessions, the Initiative provides participants with the opportunity to learn from high-level industry professionals, Jewish educators, production financiers and project-related experts to enhance their craft, connect with relevant Jewish sources and ideas, and develop their projects. Travel and other expenses are included.
Between seminars, writers develop their scripts with support from experienced, one-on-one mentors and Jewish subject matter consultants, along with access to additional resources coordinated through the Initiative.
Each member of our group of up to 13 writers receives a $10,000 stipend in a non-exclusive relationship to create their product within a set schedule and output milestones. Writers own their screenplays when the program concludes and will have the opportunity to pitch their scripts to a group of experienced producers and financiers.
Television writer and comedian Carol Leifer addressing the 2019-20 cohort.
Scripts should be commercially viable narratives that explore Jewish themes, such as Jewish identity, culture, values, heritage, religion, spirituality, or history.
Writers must be based in the United States, at least 21 years of age, and have some industry experience, potentially including:
Represented by a current Agent or Manager
Completed an established writer's lab or graduate school program for screenwriting
Wrote a script that was optioned by a studio or an established production company
Worked in a writer's room for a major TV Network or Streamer
Writing teams may apply with a joint project. If accepted, teams will receive only one stipend and must designate one writer to attend all three seminars and Zooms.
On the application, you will be asked to provide:
General info about yourself (Name, Address, etc)
Quick Pitch (one-paragraph synopsis of your project, up to 250 words)
Written Synopsis/Treatment (up to 5 pages)
Video Submission (Tell us about your project and what you hope to get out of the program, up to 5 minutes, cell phone video is fine!)
CV (including links to any relevant work)
Writing Sample (a completed, original script)
Two References (at least one should be a professional or academic reference)
Your Jewish background or connection
CAN I SUBMIT TO THE SCREENWRITERS LAB DURING THE WGA STRIKE?
We’ve received questions about applying to the Screenwriters Lab during the writers' strike and want to reassure potential applicants that The Lab will not participate in any actions that go against WGA guidelines. Writers participating in the Lab own their screenplays. We hope the strike will be over by the time the program begins in Fall of 2023, but if it is not we will be adapting and working with the writers to make sure that they’re not breaking any rules.
July 1: Applications Due
October 1: Participants Announced
October 15: Cohort Meet and Greet Kickoff Event (virtual)
December 3 - 6: In-person Convening - Los Angeles
January - March: Zoom gatherings every 4-6 weeks (dates TBD)
Mid-March (exact dates TBD): In-person Convening - Israel
May - August: Zoom gatherings every 4-6 weeks (dates TBD)
September 15 - 18: In-person Convening - New York
*Dates may be subject to change