The Writers Lab EuropeEnter Now
April 7-10, 2022: Lab Intensive
April-July: Script Development Phase
August-September: Market Strategy Phase
The Writers Lab is the only program in the world devoted exclusively to script development for women screenwriters over 40.
Submissions of both Features and Pilots (both 1-hour and ½-hour) in English will be considered. We will select approximately 15 promising feature and pilot writers who, collectively, reflect the diversity of the populations across the entirety of Europe.
During the 4-day lab intensive, Mentors and Writers engage in rigorous script development through one-on-one mentor meetings, small group and panel discussions, peer workshops, story rooms, 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. During the lab, some projects may be encouraged to be translated to their original or local language, which we will do by engaging a local translator who is a good creative fit for the writer. The lab aims to build skills, confidence and community, and to prepare writers for collaborative work and market demands.
Mentors and Guests in 2022 include Susanne Bier (The Night Manager), Jantje Friese (Dark), Christina Ham (Them), Ameenah Allen (Rocks, Ali and Ava), Isabel Coixet (Secret Life of Words), Jasmila Žbanić (Quo Vadis, Aida?), Nadine Labaki (Capernaum), and others to be announced.
TWL Europe is produced by co-founders Elizabeth Kaiden and Nitza Wilon and UK & European partner Untamed Stories, helmed by development producers Julia Berg and Ruth Spencer. Partners include German Films, The Netherlands Filmfund, Screen Ireland, The Polish Film Institute, The Austrian Film Institute, Aurora Studios from Finland and screen.brussels. Award winning European based production companies Wildside, a Fremantle Company (My Brilliant Friend) and Germany-based Odeon Fiction (Spy City) also join. The Lab is in association with Drehbuchforum Wien (Screenwriters Forum Vienna), Women in Film and TV (WIFT) Finland, Women in Film and TV International (WIFTI), and Women in Film, Television & Media Italy (WIFTM Italia).
Prices & Deadlines
Deep script development work and revision guidance by the experienced TWL team and some of the industry’s best writers, producers, financiers and commissioners in one-on-one and group sessions. Craft and career tools and strategies to achieve success.
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.
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 Europe Mentors: Susanne Bier, Jantje Friese, Christina Ham, Ameenah Allen, Isabel Coixet, Jasmila Žbanić (Quo Vadis, Aida?), and Nadine Labaki, and others
TWL Europe partners and support: Wildside, German Films, The Netherlands Filmfund, Screen Ireland, The Polish Film Institute, The Austrian Film Institute, Aurora Studios, screen.brussels, Odeon Fiction, with Drehbuchforum Wien Women in Film and TV (WIFT) Finland
TWL US: Writers Guild of America, East, The Black List, Cinequest, Falco Ink, FilmFatales, Filmarket Hub, Population Media Center, Roadmap Writers
TWL UK & Ireland: Birds’ Eye View, Dirty Films, Ffilm Cymru Wales & BFI NETWORK with funding from the National Lottery, Northern Ireland Screen, Screen Scotland, Screen Ireland
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 at least 40 years old on or before the first day of the Lab: born on or before April 7, 1982.
Because The Writers Lab serves women writers over 40, applicants must identify as women (cis, trans, nonbinary). 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 identify as women and be over 40.
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.
EUROPE applicants must be residents of Europe.
US applicants may be residents of any country.
Biographical and contact information (name, email address, contact phone number, mailing address, birth date)
Demographic information, including residence, nationality and identity information
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
Protect your work:
EUROPE: In EU countries, copyright protects intellectual property from initial creation until 70 years after death automatically, so you don't need any formal application process. However, you can attach a copyright notice to your work – such as the "all rights reserved" text, or the © symbol with the year the work was created. https://europa.eu/youreurope/business/running-business/intellectual-property/copyright/index_en.htm
US: Register your script with the US Copyright Office https://www.copyright.gov/registration/ OR with The Writers Guild, East, which offers TWL applicants their discounted price of $17: Writers Guild of America, East (select "Student and NYWIFT/The Writers Lab" option.)
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.
Complete the electronic application filling in ALL fields.
Agree to the Terms and Conditions.
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, nonbinary) born on or before April 7, 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, and that, if I am also applying for the US lab, I have registered this script with a legally recognized guild or copyright office as required for the US Lab. If the submitted script is not legally registered for copyright protection, The Writers Lab, New York Women in Film & Television, Untamed Stories, their directors, employees, agents and representatives cannot be held liable for any infringements that may be perceived to result from the submission of said unregistered intellectual property. Failure to register your script may result in your disqualification for this submission..
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 understand that I am asked (not required) to make the following commitment: IF the participating screenplay be produced with a total budget of $1,000,000 or more and less than $5,000,000 on or before December 31, 2027, make a tax-deductible contribution to The Writers Lab of $2500; IF the participating screenplay be produced with a total budget in excess of $5,000,000 on or before December 31, 2027, make a tax-deductible contribution to The Writers Lab of $5000. And, I agree that IF the participating screenplay be produced at any budget level on or before December 31, 2027, 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, 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, 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 September 30, 2022. This is to ensure that during the intensive revision process the script is kept private, so that when it is distributed more widely it is polished. Additionally, select regional partners have first look options during the 6 month period of the Lab.
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.