The Made in New York Writers Room fellowship works to identify emerging local writers who come from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented groups. Following an application process, up to 12 writers will be selected to participate in the program, which includes a six-month, paid fellowship as well as a dedicated mentor who works as a New York City-based showrunner.
Last year’s mentors included Robert Carlock (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), Lee Daniels (“Empire”), Anya Epstein (“The Affair), Julie Klausner (“Difficult People”) and Richard LaGravenese (“The District”) who joined selected fellows in developing an original drama or comedy pilot. Other benefits of the fellowship include professional development programs from the Writers Guild of America East and a live scene reading from the fellows’ scripts by professional actors.
To apply, writers must live in New York City and must receive a referral from one of the programs partners. Writers looking to obtain a referral should email firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to already existing contacts at other organizations.
“It’s hard to build a career, people hire who they know, studios only approve folks they’ve had experience with which is a sort of classic barrier to entry,” said WGAE executive director Lowell Peterson, who spearheaded the fellowship. “Programs like this help us overcome that, and having deep and broad member support on our end has been very useful.”
(Pictured: WGA East’s Lowell Peterson)