Universal Pictures announced that the studio has created an Emerging Writers Fellowship designed to identify and cultivate new and unique voices with a passion for storytelling.
Emerging writers who are chosen to participate in the program will work within the studio to hone their skills and gain access and exposure to Universal executives, producers and other key industry professionals. The announcement was made by Universal Pictures Co-Presidents of Production, Peter Cramer and Jeffrey Kirschenbaum who will oversee the fellows.
“This fellowship is a great opportunity for aspiring writers but it’s also a great opportunity for Universal,” said Cramer.
“As audiences continue to be even more discerning about the films they see, finding new voices with unique and creative ideas is extremely important for our business,” added Kirschenbaum.
Under terms approved by the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW), the Emerging Writers Fellowship will allow Universal the opportunity to expand the community of writers with whom the studio works. The Fellowship was an idea championed by Executive Vice President of Production Scott Bernstein.
Universal will entertain applications for the fellowship beginning on September 3, 2013. Interested applicants will be asked to submit a screenplay and other background materials to the studio for evaluation. Ten finalists will be selected and interviewed in Los Angeles. Out of that group, up to five fellows will be chosen to work for the studio over the course of one year. During that time, fellows will work exclusively with the studio and be given the opportunity to work on current Universal projects as well as pitch original story ideas. Fellows will also attend workshops, interact with top literary agents and sit in on Universal’s executive meetings. They will also be assigned industry mentors.