Que Que?! There’s A Paid Television Writing Program in the Los Angeles Area?

NHMC-TWP-400x72Are you an aspiring television writer looking to hone your writing skills?

If yes, have you been looking for a television writers workshop that is not only free to apply to but also provides you with a weekly stipend if selected?

Yes! Then apply today to the NHMC TV Writers Program!

Great! But what is the NHMC TV Writers Program?
The NHMC Television Writers Program was created in 2003 and is an intensive scriptwriters workshop to prepare and place Latinos in writing jobs for the major television networks. Modeled after the previously successful Hispanic Film Project, the program is a direct response to the lack of diverse writers in primetime network TV.

Wait – you said the program prepares Latinos for writing jobs. Do I have to be Latino to apply?
No, the program is open to people of all races and ethnicities.

Is the program for beginners?
No, the program is for seasoned writers who are capable of writing at least a one half-hour comedy or a one-hour dramatic television script in English within a five-week period of time.

WPTVShowsOkay. But what’s the program’s track record?
Since its inception 12 years ago:

  • 120 writers have completed the NHMC TV Writers Program
  • 28 writing careers have been launched
  • 25% of NHMC Writers have been staffed on shows at the following networks: ABC/Disney, NBC, CBS, FOX, Nickelodeon, CW, BET, LATV, VH1 and NUVOtv.
  • In 2015, three alumni sold shows to NBC and ABC; one of which is already in production, and alumni contributed to the following shows during the 2015-2016 season: NCIS (CBS), Jane the Virgin (CW), The Catch (ABC), Telenovela (NBC), Rosewood (FOX), East Los High (hulu), Devious Maids (Lifetime), Superstore (NBC), Elena of Avalor (Disney Jr), Shades of Blue (NBC), and Fuller House (Netflix). Most of these shows attack negative stereotypes with multidimensional portrayals of lovable Latino characters.

NHMC Writers are also participating in the following writers programs that serve as direct pipelines to jobs in the business:

  • NBC Writers on the Verge
  • Warner Bros. Writer’s Workshop
  • Disney/ABC Writing Program
  • CBS Writers Mentoring Program
  • Fox Writers Intensive

Cool. Is the program sponsored by any of the TV networks?
Yes, the program is sponsored by NBC and ABC.

IMG_5252Where does the program take place and how does it work?
The five-week, total immersion workshop is mentored and guided by former NBC V.P of Script Development, Geoff Harris and is conducted in Burbank, CA. A total of 10 writers are accepted nationwide from an established network of non-profit agencies, schools, universities, guilds and media organizations. Each selected participant is expected to complete at least one script by the end of the five-week session, which will then be read by network executives.

What are the workshop hours during the five weeks?
The program takes place from 9am-5pm, Monday through Friday.

How many participants are selected for the program?
Ten writers are selected each year.

Are there opportunities to network and meet with executives from NBC and ABC?
Yes.

What are the program dates for 2016?
The program takes place from October 3 to November 4.

Is the program open to all ages?
No, you must be at least 18 years of age to participate in the program.

Can citizens of other countries apply to our program?
Yes, but if you are accepted into the program you must be residing in the U.S. and have valid U.S. employment eligibility to participate. NHMC does not sponsor visas.

Scripts

What kind of writing sample should be submitted? Is there a length restriction? Can I submit more than one?
We accept ANY original writing sample, but television scripts are preferred. This includes plays, pilot scripts, spec scripts, books, etc. There is no length restriction and only ONE writing sample can be submitted.

Is there a length restriction for the statement of interest?
No, but we recommend you keep it to two pages or less.

You mentioned earlier that the program provides a stipend…
A stipend of $250 per week will be given to each participant.

LA
What if I don’t live in the Los Angeles area?
If you’re not in the Los Angeles area, NHMC will provide one round-trip Southwest Airline voucher and housing to accepted participants who hail from out of state. Those who reside outside of Southwest’s flying regions will have to get to an airport that flies Southwest, AT THEIR OWN COST, and then catch a Southwest flight to Burbank.

When is the application deadline?
August 7, 2016

How do I apply and is it free to apply?
Yes, it’s free to apply. Fill out the online application here, but before you do that you must have the following documents prepared to upload:

  1. Writing sample in .pdf format (only one can be uploaded)
  2. Resume or Bio in .pdf or .doc format
  3. Statement of interest: Why do you want to write for television? in .pdf or .doc format
  4. Signed ABC and NBC release forms in .pdf or .doc format (be sure to download the forms from this page, complete, sign, scan and upload to your application)

Will the judges provide feedback on the work that I submit for my application?
No, the judges will not provide feedback to individuals that are not accepted into the writers program.

If I’m selected for the program, what can I expect as a graduate after completing the workshop?
You can expect continued mentorship from NHMC as well as the possibility of being mentored by network executives who show interest in your pilot and writing. You will have the opportunity to network with over 120 writers program graduates on an ongoing basis, many of which have been staffed and are currently staffed and working on television shows. As a graduate of the writers program you will be considered for other opportunities such as submitting for the annual Latino Scene Showcase produced by NHMC and LATC, and other entertainment programs NHMC has created for opening doors for Latinos in media. In completing the program you will be added to our database for ongoing recommendations and referrals for staffing and representation.

NHMC has solidified relationships with the top four television networks, and together with a multi-ethnic media coalition, NHMC pushes television networks, film studios and Hollywood talent agencies to diversify. The coalition has successfully convinced television networks to diversify their rank and file, through MOUs signed in 2000. In the coming year the coalition will launch a campaign to integrate film studios and talent agencies.

Latino Showcase Group
To take NHMC TV Writers Program graduates to the next level, NHMC has also created the Latino Scene Showcase. The showcase features scenes written by NHMC TV Writers Program alumni and performed by Latino actors before an audience of television network executives, agents and managers. The goal of the event is to bring attention to Latino actors and writers so they can connect with key industry professionals who will help them further their careers. Due to the exposure received at these events, various participants have signed with agents and managers and/or are currently in the process of acquiring representation. To view all seven of the 2015 Latino Scene Showcase scenes please click here. Graduates are welcome to submit their scenes for consideration in early spring.

Graduate Writers Program – NHMC’s newest writing program. In April 2016, NHMC developed and hosted a Graduate Writers Program to further hone the skills of promising alumni. The program will serve as a continuation of NHMC’s original TV writers program and include eight writers program graduates working on original scripts over a period of four weeks. This year’s program was sponsored by Univision and Televisa. NHMC is currently seeking funding to continue the program next spring.

And finally, what is the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC)?
The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is a media advocacy and civil rights organization for the advancement of Latinos, working towards a media that is fair and inclusive of Latinos, and towards universal, affordable, and open access to communications. Please visit us at www.nhmc.org for more information.

No, really, break it down for me.
NHMC:

  • ˜Opens doors for Latinos in the media (actors, directors, producers, writers, execs, journalists, etc.)
  • ˜Coordinates professional development programs to train Latinos on how to succeed in the media industry (TV Writers Program, Latino Scene Showcase, Policy Fellowship Program, etc.)
  • ˜Works to improve the image of Latinos in the media and fight negative stereotypes
  • ˜Advocates for national communications policies that benefit the Latino community (example: the FCC’s Lifeline program, which subsidizes phone and Internet service costs for low-income families and individuals)

If you still have more pressing questions that weren’t covered up top, contact us at info@nhmc.org.

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