New Fellowship Launched For Under-Represented Writers

A new talent initiative that will offer up to six successful applicants the opportunity for a year long programme of professional development has been launched by Netflix in Associaton with Sky. Writer Bisha K Ali has been working on this project and it is now open with a deadline for applications of June 18.

This fellowship for each writer chosen will include a bursary of £22,568 to write a spec script for an original idea over the course of a year, monthly development events and workshops, and a paid placement in a writers room of a Netflix or Sky series.

The fellowship will include mentoring meetings with Sex Education writer Bisha K Ali (pictured) over the course of the year, at the beginning, middle and end of the programme.

They are looking for applications from writers of Black, Asian and other racial and ethnic backgrounds that are under-represented in the high end TV and film industry.

Each submission will be assessed by an experienced script reader. Shortlisted applicants will then be interviewed and selected by a panel of industry experts.

One of the aims is to encourage greater diversity of voices among new writers.

Bisha K Ali said: "I am thrilled to be working alongside Netflix to launch our new Screenwriting Fellowship. Although my hope is that one day there will be no need for programmes like this to exist, this fellowship serves as an attempt to move toward a more inclusive industry.

Both a champion of mine and a champion of other underrepresented creatives, Netflix is committed to doing things differently – which is instrumental if we want to see change.

This industry holds many barriers to entry and unfortunately the true price can be insurmountably high when the hidden costs add up. It’s a huge ask – to juggle a job that brings you an income with the ability to drop work to go to meetings, find time to improve your craft, and build relationships in what is a freelancer’s field.

This fellowship will create a substantial financial safety net for underrepresented writers whose voices and stories are vital and incredibly valuable, and who may otherwise be priced out of building a career in television and film.

It will provide outstanding writers with relationships that will help them break through, workshops to help develop their craft, and invaluable peer-to-peer support. All selected Fellows will get their first job in a writers’ room, and their first TV credit.

We’ll be growing and adapting the Fellowship in line with our Fellows’ needs. Please apply now – I can’t wait to meet you.”

More details and application link here.

Picture of Bisha K Ali: Twitter



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