Winning a paid writing gig from Universal Studios could set your career on fire. So get those personal essays going and get ready to apply to the Universal Writer's Program. Winners of this grant are paid for a year to write two feature films under the Universal banner.
You also get mentors and a window into the industry and how things work.
This is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to see their name on the screen and has had trouble breaking in.
From Universal's site:
"The Universal Writers Program identifies up-and-coming and experienced screenwriters with unique points of view that build upon the Studio’s commitment to telling stories and creating films that reflect the vast diversity of our audiences. The only feature film program sanctioned by the Writers Guild of America West (WGAW), the Program develops storytellers who organically incorporate multicultural and global perspectives in screenwriting.
The one-year paid program engages writers to create material for development consideration; however, concept development is not guaranteed. From pitch to final draft, writers are afforded creative guidance from executives, producers and designated creative consultants. In addition to penning two (2) feature-length scripts, writers participate in a curriculum designed to strengthen their creative and professional development, as well as overall knowledge of the Studio production process from pitch to premiere. The Program also provides access to agents, managers and various industry professionals through meetings and/or events.
Writers selected to participate in the Program are hired under a writing services agreement requiring an exclusive, full-time commitment of a minimum of 40 hours per week. Additionally, should a writer’s material be identified as potential development content, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG) has the option to extend the writer’s contract for a term of up to one additional year."
What does the application require?
- Applicant must be authorized to work legally in the United States. This position is not eligible for visa sponsorship.
- Minimum age of 21 as of March 31, 2020.
- Applicant must be the sole writer and owner of any material submitted, which must be wholly original. Adaptations, biopics and screenplays based on real people or pre-existing materials are not eligible. Material written by more than one writer will not be accepted.
Any candidate who does not meet the aforementioned criteria will be disqualified.
Applicants must be authorized to work legally in the United States and be at least twenty-one (21) years of age as of March 31, 2020. Entertainment industry experience is not required but strongly recommended. We encourage those applying to review the FAQs carefully as they are designed to guide applicants towards a strong submission.