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The Writers Lab
The Writers Lab UK & Ireland
2022
Reads in Coverfly
Active Since 2021
A six-month script development programme for features/pilots by women screenwriters 40+ in the UK & Ireland.
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About

9 & 10 September: Virtual Intensive

September - December:  Script Development Phase

January - February:  Market Strategy Phase


The Writers Lab is the only programme in the world devoted exclusively to script development for women and nonbinary screenwriters over 40. 


Submissions of both Features and Pilots (both 1-hour and ½-hour) in English will be considered. We will select approximately 12 promising feature and pilot writers who, collectively, reflect the diversity of the populations across the UK and Ireland.


During the Virtual Intensive, Writers engage in rigorous script-development work through one-on-one meetings with Mentors, focused work in peer groups, panel discussions, and more. In the following 6 months of ongoing development and industry support, we guide writers through the revision process and offer development and market support with a team of partners, acclaimed screen industry leaders, our development team, and talented peers. The lab aims to build skills, confidence and community, and to prepare writers for collaborative work and market demands.


All selected participants will be issued a Stipend of £1,000 per participant. The stipend is intended to contribute to expenses incurred from freeing up time to dedicate to the Lab, and is to be used by participants as they see fit for this purpose.


Stay tuned as we add details and Mentors to our roster.


Questions? Email ​contact@thewriterslab.nyc​ ​or go to our​ ​FAQs.


The Writers Lab UK & Ireland is produced by TWL co-founders Elizabeth Kaiden and Nitza Wilon, with UK partner Untamed Stories, helmed by producers Julia Berg and Ruth Spencer. It is supported by Dirty Films, the independent film and television production company headed by Cate Blanchett, Andrew Upton, Coco Francini and Georgie Pym. It is presented in association with Dancing Ledge Productions (THE RESPONDER), Screen Scotland, Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, Northern Ireland Screen, Birds’ Eye View and Ffilm Cymru Wales & BFI NETWORK with funding from the National Lottery.

Benefits

Over six months, 12 screenwriters from across all regions of the UK & Ireland will receive deep script-development support and revision guidance from the experienced TWL team and some of the industry’s best writers, producers, financiers and commissioners in one-on-one and group sessions. They will build craft and career tools and strategies to achieve success. For details about the programme and Mentors, please visit The Writers Lab UK & I.


Writers gain

  • Individualized feedback, insights and guidance on their selected projects and their craft;

  • Understanding of industry standards, practices, expectations and predilections, and strategies and resources for navigating them;

  • A community of peers and a network of relationships that can extend well beyond the program;

  • Exposure and opportunities beyond the Lab, as well as the resources and year-round supplemental programming of The Writers Lab;

  • The lab aims to build skills, confidence and community, and to prepare writers for collaborative work and market demands.

  • All selected participants will be issued a Stipend of £1,000 per participant, intended to contribute to expenses incurred from freeing up time to dedicate to the Lab.


The Writers Lab network of producing, partnering and supporting entities have included:

TWL US co-founders Elizabeth Kaiden and Nitza Wilon

  • New York Women in Film & Television
  • Untamed Stories producers Julia Berg and Ruth Spencer
  • TWL UK & Ireland: Dirty Films, Dancing Ledge Productions, Screen Scotland, Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, Northern Ireland Screen, Birds’ Eye View and Ffilm Cymru Wales & BFI NETWORK with funding from the National Lottery 
  • TWL Europe: Fremantle, HBO Max Nordic, Wildside, German Films, The Netherlands Filmfund, Screen Ireland, The Austrian Film Institute, ORF, FISA - Film Industry Support Austria, Aurora Studios from Finland, Rabbit Films, Film Tampere, City of Helsinki, screen.brussels, and Odeon Fiction, with Drehbuchforum Wien, Women in Film and TV (WIFT) Finland, Women in Film and TV International (WIFTI), and Women in Film TV & Media Italy (WIFTM Italia)

Writer Success

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Announcements

Aug 14th
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Rules

At the program's request, Coverfly will automatically remove your title page for you if you include one when submitting to this program.

  • Applicants must be residents of England, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland, or Wales.
  • Applicants must be at least 40 years old on or before the Lab: born on or before 9 September, 1982.
  • Applicants must identify as women (cis, trans) or non-binary. We honor the fact that gender is personal and specific and seek to create an inclusive and supportive community.
  • Submissions must be feature-length screenplays OR pilots (both 1-hour and ½-hour accepted) in English. NO script fragments, treatments, synopses, shorts, stage plays, book excerpts, or documentaries. (A per-page surcharge will be levied on feature scripts 130+ pages and on pilot scripts 75+ pages.)
  • Scripts by more than one writer will be considered, but ALL writers must meet ALL eligibility criteria (i.e., gender, age, and residency requirements). 
  • Each Applicant may submit up to three (3) scripts, with a separate application for each script submitted.
  • The Lab seeks a broad selection of scripts across all genres of fiction (drama, comedy, horror, action, thriller, science fiction, animation, musical, etc.). Scripts may be about any topic and don’t need to be specifically about women, but we definitely notice scripts that feature women characters, especially if they transcend cliches and/or challenge norms.
  • The Lab seeks submissions from all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural groups and seeks to reflect the diversity of populations across Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
REQUIREMENTS

The following materials are required for your application and must be submitted electronically:

  • Contact information (name, email address, contact phone number, mailing address)
  • Biographical and demographic information, including birth date
  • Script information, including genre, log line, format
  • Responses to all questions in the application
  • PDF of a feature-length or pilot narrative screenplay (NAME REMOVED)
  • Script Registration, Acceptance of Terms & Conditions, Payment
APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS
  1. The script must be in PDF format. PDFs must be labeled with the project title only. DO NOT include the name of the screenwriter(s) ANYWHERE on the PDF. REMOVE YOUR NAME FROM ALL PAGES OF YOUR SCRIPT, including the cover page, before uploading.
  2. Complete the electronic application filling in ALL fields. You will be asked to complete questions in text boxes on the application. We recommend that you draft your answers, then cut and paste the final text once it has been completed to your satisfaction.
  3. Agree to the Terms and Conditions.
  4. Pay the non-refundable application fee.

TERMS & CONDITIONS


1. I am submitting a script (Material) to The Writers Lab (the Lab). In connection with the Material submitted by me, this constitutes the agreement between The Writers Lab, New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT), and Untamed Stories (herein "you"), and me, the undersigned.


2. I request that the panel convened for purposes of determining entry into The Writers Lab read and evaluate said Material, and you hereby agree to do so, and you will advise me of your decision with respect to the Material.


3. I warrant that I identify as a woman (cis, trans) or non-binary person born on or before 9 September, 1982. Proof of age and residence may be required. 


4. I warrant that I am the sole owner and author of said Material, that I have the exclusive right and authority to submit same to you upon the terms and conditions stated herein. The Writers Lab, New York Women in Film & Television, Untamed Stories, their directors, employees, agents, partners and representatives cannot be held liable for any infringements that may be perceived to result from the submission of the Material.


5. I acknowledge that the only obligation undertaken by you in consideration of my submission is to accept the Material for review and consider me, based on the Material submitted, for The Writers Lab to which I am applying. No other obligation or duty on your part shall arise from or be implied by this submission.


6. I agree that any part of said Material which does not in itself constitute protectable literary property may be used by any member, officer, agent or employee of NYWIFT, The Writers Lab, Untamed Stories, or those participating in the selection process for The Writers Lab to which I am applying without any liability, and nothing in this agreement or the fact of my submission of said Material to you shall be deemed to place you in any different position than anyone else to whom I have submitted said Material.


7. The Writers Lab is not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, invalid, unintelligible or misdirected Material, which will be disqualified. The Submission Fee will not be returned or adjusted. Submissions that do not comply with the Submission Requirements will be disqualified, and the Submission Fee will not be returned or adjusted.


8. If selected for the Lab, in return for participation in the Lab, I agree that IF the participating screenplay be produced at any budget level on or before February 28, 2028, The Writers Lab will receive a credit line and logo placement in the film's end titles.


9. I understand that the Internet is not a secure medium and information submitted online may be accessed by third parties. I indemnify The Writers Lab, NYWIFT, Untamed Stories, their members, officers, agents, representatives, partners and those participating in the selection process for The Writers Lab to which I am applying for any digital breach or infringements that may be perceived to result from the submission of said Material and information. Further, I acknowledge and agree that the Lab receives numerous submissions of ideas, stories and scripts, and that my submission, and the ideas and stories embodied in the Submission, may be similar or identical to other material already received and/or developed by the Lab and that I am not entitled to any compensation or credit for use by the Lab of any such other material.


10. I specifically acknowledge that you may refuse to accept, consider or otherwise evaluate my Material in the absence of my acceptance of the provisions herein.


11. In further consideration of your evaluation of said Material, I and my successors or assigns hereby release The Writers Lab, NYWIFT, Untamed Stories, their directors, officers, agents, representatives and employees, and their partners from any and all actions, claims and demands of any kind whatsoever, which I had, now have, or hereafter may have, by reason of any matter in connection with this submission and, if accepted, my participation in The Writers Lab to which I am applying.


12. I understand that if my project is accepted into The Writers Lab, the script must remain exclusive to the Lab and its partners during the 6 month development process and cannot be shared outside the lab (e.g., production companies, producers, other development programmes) until 28 February, 2023. 


13. I have read and understand this agreement. No oral representations of any kind have been made to me and this agreement states our entire understanding with reference to the subject matter herein. Any modification or waiver of any of the provisions of this agreement must be in writing and signed by both of us.