The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) and Bell Media have expanded their program to bring more diverse writers into the talent pool of Canadian screenwriting. The invitation is now open for interested writers in western Canada to answer a call for applications to take part in this intense hands-on educational program taking place in Vancouver this December.
This session is for writers who live west of Ontario, as they must apply to the Vancouver session, while writers east of Manitoba must apply to the Toronto session. More information for the Spring 2012 Toronto session will be released later this Fall. Out of town writers who are selected for the immersion program will be awarded bursaries to cover their travel and accommodation expenses. The application deadline for this session is September 6th.
The Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program (formerly known as The CTV Diverse Screenwriters Program) reaches out to offer emerging and mid-career writers from diverse backgrounds the chance to hone the skills they need to become successful professional screenwriters. And one writer will come out of the program with a paid internship on a Bell Media TV series.
Each session of the Program will offer up to eight writers a one-week intensive workshop, featuring lectures, guest speakers, screenings, and more. This immersion phase will launch the writers’ development of their original script. After the workshop, each writer will partner with an experienced screenwriter mentor to hone their script and pitch, finishing the program with a polished calling card to the industry. In addition, one writer will be selected by jury for a paid internship in a writers’ room on a Bell Media conventional television or specialty service show.
Eligibility Requirements in Brief:
- Not currently be enrolled in any full-time school or university program.
- Demonstrate ownership of all underlying rights to the project with which they are applying.
- Be a Canadian citizen or Landed Immigrant.
- Demonstrate in their support material an understanding of the fundamentals of screenwriting such as story arcs and character development.
- Be able to make a commitment to the one-week intensive training and the subsequent 10-12 week mentoring process.
- If chosen, be in a position to accept a paid internship on an existing television series.
Please visit the program’s web pages for a full list of requirements, FAQs and the application package (PDF). The Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program presented by the WGC is made possible through the CTV-CHUM tangible benefits. Contact Elizabeth Stewart if you have further questions.
My two cents’ worth: I hope that those of you who are contemplating this program bite the bullet and apply. If I had had access to, or even known about, the myriad of programs available in this country for creative people, especially writers, when I was much younger – granted, there are more programs now than there was back in the stone-age – and had I been encouraged to follow my creative tendencies, I would have a very different career history from the one I have now. When you see an opportunity like the one above, take it – whether you are successful in your application or not – make the attempt.