HBO Wants Diverse, Emerging Writers for New HBOAccess Writing Fellowship

HBO Wants Diverse, Emerging Writers for New HBOAccess Writing Fellowship

HBO has announced that the company is looking for new, emerging writers from diverse backgrounds to find new voices for its original content through its new HBOAccess Writing Fellowship. The fellowship follows the success of the HBOAccess Directing Fellowship and underscores HBO's desire to continue to develop new creative talent from diverse backgrounds.

Selected fellows will attend a week of master classes in Santa Monica, California, covering essential topics such as character and story, pitching, finding an agent and networking. The heart of the fellowship involves an eight-month writing phase after the master class week during which time an HBO development executive will pair up with each fellow and work with them on the story development process. The fellowship will conclude with a reception and staged reading of the fellows' writing as HBO introduces the writers to the industry.

You got a voice that you think will work for a new series on HBO or Cinemax? Here's what you need to know to apply:

  • HBO is seeking diverse writers 21 and older who must be able to work in the U.S. For the purposes of the HBOAccess program, diversity is defined as those who identify as any of the following: Asian Pacific American, Sub-Continent Asian American, African American, Hispanic American, Native American, Middle Eastern, and/or women.
  • Writers must not have been staffed on a network or cable series in excess of 13 episodes and/or had more than one feature film or more than two plays produced.
  • Applications will be accepted via Withoutabox starting March 4, 2015.
  • Only the first 1,000 applications will be accepted. Applications will be closed once 1,000 applications have been received.
  • Applicants will need to submit a resume/bio, original writing material consisting of either a 1/2 hour or 1 hour teleplay, play or screenplay, and answer the personal statement question, "How has your background influenced the stories you want to tell?" No short stories, novels, graphic novels, or blogs will be accepted. No spec material will be accepted.
  • Writing teams may apply, but teams may not be more than two people.
  • The application process is free to candidates.

In May 2015, HBO will select and interview 20 candidates. In June 2015, HBO will select finalists and continue the interview process. Finalists will need to provide a second writing sample and be prepared to pitch three story ideas. On July 1, 2015, HBO will announce the eight fellows, who will then each develop one of the story ideas they pitched during the final round. The week of master classes in Santa Monica will be held August 17-21, 2015, to be followed by the eight-month fellowship.

HBO will start accepting applications on March 4, 2015. To find out more about the HBOAccess Writing Fellowship and to apply, go to the program's application page on Withoutabox    

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Your Comment


"If I do not agree that $500 is acceptable compensation for your use of the Materials, I will not submit the Materials hereunder. I acknowledge that I shall suffer no damages in excess of the foregoing from your use of the Materials or by reason of any other claim that I may assert with respect thereto, and in no event shall I be entitled to, nor shall I demand, any other compensation or any legal or equitable remedy"

February 26, 2015 at 4:02PM, Edited February 26, 4:02PM


Anyone before submitting should have a lawyer review the submission agreement HBO drafted.

February 27, 2015 at 12:07AM


the world needs to invent an international standard for contract law to avoid needlessly wordy T&C's like this, especially when they might compromise the applicant.

and does the above paragraph apply to any candidate who applies? so HBO is essentially ploughing a field of 1000 fresh ideas and all they'll ever have to pay out to option/own the rights to the material is $500 per piece?

February 27, 2015 at 4:01PM

Ben Howling
Writer / Director

No white guys, waaa waaa.

February 27, 2015 at 12:22AM

Derek Olson

Racist and sexist.

March 1, 2015 at 3:06AM


I prefer they come right out and say it like this so that everybody knows the score up front.

March 2, 2015 at 1:26PM

Marc B
Shooter & Editor