So, you wanna’ write for TV?
It’s a tough gig to get, but you can make up to $7,000 a week or more depending on the studio and your personal experience.
After you’ve learned the basics of writing for television – and finished a handful of specs – you’ll want to look into TV writing fellowships. If you’re good, they can get you staffed at the end of the program.
Warner Bros. Television Writers’ Workshop
With over 40 years running, the WB Television Writers’ Workshop has been a major staple in the studio workshop scene.
Competition is fierce, and WB only selects a mere 8 participants into their program. If you manage to get the golden ticket, you can expect exposure to WB’s top television writers and executives.
The 2018-2019 workshop will run from October ’18 to April ’19. You must devote one very full day a week, and participation is mandatory.
The application period will begin in May. Check out the workshop page for more information.
CBS Writers Mentoring Program
A product of CBS’ Diversity Institute, this 8-month program is “opening doors” for writers who belong to minority groups.
The program promises to provide career development, support, and access to executives. In fact, if you’re selected, you will be teamed with an executive mentor.
CBS is already open for applications and will be until May 1st, 2018. The program will run from October 2018 to April 1st, 2019.
For more information, check out the program’s official page.
Nickelodeon Writer’s Program
Writing for television has never been easier for those interested in younger demographics.
The site claims that alumni from their program have gone on to create their own Nickelodeon shows; others are now writing for other series and films.
If selected, you can expect to meet series creators, work in an actual writer’s room, and even learn to pitch.
The best part is, unlike most other programs, this one actually compensates you for your time.
Nickelodeon offers two track options: General Track (12-months) and Pre-school Track (6-months).
The call for submissions has already ended for this year, however, you can apply next year anytime during the month of January. Check out the information page for more.
NBC Universal’s “Writers on the Verge”
From the program description, NBC is only looking for seasoned writers who are “almost there” and just need an extra nudge. The focus is on presentation skills as well as writing.
Just like with CBS’ program, diverse writers are highly encouraged to apply.
If accepted, you can expect interaction with executives, show-runners, and agents.
The workshop runs two nights a week from October to January. For more information check out their guidelines page. Please note: the deadline has long passed. To stay up-to-date, visit the Universal Talent Development site or follow them on twitter: @UniTalentDev.
Already Part of the Game? How Did You Start Writing for Television?
There’s more than one way to make it into a writer’s room. You need skill, talent, and above all, networking skills. Fellowships can only help so much.
Comment below and tell us how you got your “big break” in the television world.
Also, if you’re trying to make in the business without living in L.A., take a look at some of my tips.