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WeScreenplay
Diverse Voices
Fall 2022
Reads in Coverfly
Active Since 2016
WeScreenplay is looking for stories from writers with underrepresented backgrounds. If that’s you - we want to help amplify your voice!
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About

Diverse Voices is a dynamic virtual screenwriting lab with a proven track record of helping move the needle for stories that are told from perspectives that are often underrepresented in Hollywood. This includes writers of color, women writers, writers with disabilities, writers over 40, writers in the LGBTQ+ community, and any other voices that have historically been ignored by Hollywood.

At least 4 winners will be selected to participate in this career-changing lab.

Over a dozen past winners have been signed, staffed, and optioned as a direct result of their Diverse Voices Virtual Lab meetings. Past finalists and winners have signed with companies including Heroes & Villains Entertainment, 3Arts, Zero Gravity, APA, ColorCreative, and more.

A unique benefit of the Diverse Voices Virtual Lab is that ALL readers for this competition come from diverse backgrounds, and all entrants will receive a page of written feedback on their script from their first round’s judge.

Plus, since it started in 2015, Diverse Voices has raised over $40,000 for various nonprofit organizations. What’s not to love?

Benefits

Diverse Voices Lab

The Diverse Voices Virtual Lab is a one-of-a-kind experienceA minimum of 4 winners will be selected. Writers chosen for the virtual lab participate in a long weekend PACKED with workshops to hone their craft, mentorship calls with working writers, and general meetings with studio execs, literary reps, and more.

This is not a “sit back” passive webinar experience. It is a “get your questions answered, find the right literary representation, and meet potential collaborators” busy several days. It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for any emerging screenwriter.

Additionally, the winners get access to ongoing mentorship from WeScreenplay including an initial phone call, guidance for drafting query letters, research methods for finding the right representation, prep before big meetings, and strategic planning for next steps in their careers — all based on the writer’s specific goals.

This virtual lab has directly led to writers getting staffed, signing with their dream reps, and more! Want more info? You can read about the Diverse Voices Lab experience here.

Jury

Gabrielle E. Utsey - Coordinator, Original Drama Series, HBO Max
Gabrielle started work in children’s television at The Jim Henson Company and later working with Prentice Penny (Insecure, Uncorked, Happy Endings, Brooklyn Nine-Nine) as his assistant on his first television show, The Hustle. Gabrielle went on to explore opportunities in unscripted and branded content as well as post-production before returning to scripted television at HBO Max. Working her way up from assistant, she is currently a coordinator working on original drama series The Flight Attendant, Raised By Wolves, Pennyworth and DMZ. Gabrielle eventually would like to write and produce full time, focusing on placing marginalized people in genre bending stories that explore topical and culturally relevant themes. She enjoys comic books, graphic novels, action movies and crime thrillers. Gisselle holds a bachelor's degree from Clark University in Urban Development and Social Change and a masters degree in Policy, Planning, & Administration from Boston University. She is a proud first generation transnational bilingual Afro-Latina with a deep connection to her Dominican heritage. She coaches individuals and teams on owning their power, story, and journey to amplify and unlock their potential to achieve personal and professional growth.

David RubyManager of Original Comedy, HBO Max
David (he/they) has been on the comedy team at HBO Max since it’s founding in 2019. While there, he has been fortunate enough to work on a slate of wildly original comedies, including HACKS, MADE FOR LOVE, HARLEY QUINN, SORT OF, THE OTHER TWO, SEARCH PARTY, and the forthcoming JULIA and OUR FLAG MEANS DEATH. In the years prior, he cut his teeth in the comedy world at 3 Arts Entertainment and the Fox Network. He is passionate about supporting, encouraging, and platforming LGBTQ+ voices and talents, and has spent most of his quarantine drinking wine and making mac & cheese.

Neo LiDevelopment Executive, Starlight Media Inc.
Li is a Chinese writer-director who has developed a range of multi-cultural projects in both the USA and China. His short films Hank and Waiting For Frank have received international recognition, screening at Palm Springs International ShortFest, Cleveland International Film Festival, Chicago International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, and more than 30 other festivals. Luo also recently launched a project through his company called Stars Collective, which looks to support diverse and authentic voices through mentorship and project development opportunities. Currently, Li is a Development Executive & In-House Writer​ for Starlight Media, the production and finance company behind titles including Crazy Rich Asians, Malignant and Wuhan Wuhan.

Kirsten JacobsonLiterary Manager, Good Fear Content
Kirsten started her Hollywood career in the mailroom at UTA, where she spent most of her time reading scripts in the supply closet. After a short stint as an assistant on a TV Lit desk, she followed her agency boss to Moonshot Entertainment, where she worked in development for 4 years on a number of shows including SNEAKY PETE, THE DANGEROUS BOOK FOR BOYS, and THE ELECTRIC DREAMS OF PHILIP K DICK. She then took a job as a Creative Exec at Friendly Films, working on QUEEN OF THE SOUTH and developing a number of TV projects for Fox21. Kirsten has since transitioned to lit management - first independently and now at Good Fear Content - where she focuses on advocating for underrepresented voices.

Maya Rodrigo - Manager, M88
Maya Rodrigo is an LA-Native and a self-proclaimed ‘Jew-Rican’ with a deep-rooted passion for storytelling. Raised in a family of diverse artists, Maya’s background has informed her personal mission to honor & champion global voices, both in front of and behind the camera, through authentic and accessible storytelling. At M88 she serves as a Literary Manager representing boundary-pushing filmmakers and multi-hyphenates such as Blindspotting & Raya and the Last Dragon filmmaker Carlos López Estrada, Palme d’ Or winning filmmaker Yi Tang, actress and producer Naomi Scott, and Michael B Jordan and his production outlet Outlier Society, among others. Prior to M88, Maya served as Creative Executive for QC Entertainment, the production and finance company behind the Academy Award-winning films Get Out & BlacKkKlansman. During her time at QC she identified, cultivated and helped to shepherd projects across QC’s film and television slates from conception through distribution.

Ilayda YigitManager, Scripted Television at MACRO
As Manager of Scripted Television Development & Production at MACRO Television Studios, Ilayda works to highlight emerging BIPOC talent and produce creative properties driven by people of color. In addition to her regular executive duties, she specializes in shepherding literary adaptations driven by authors and television writers of color for MACRO’s slate. Prior to starting at MACRO, Ilayda worked in the Literary Packaging department at WME, building out her expertise in tracking, acquiring, and adapting IP for television. She utilizes her background in working with literature & media rights at William Morris to source a variety of intellectual property for MACRO’s television slate. Her passion for progressing on-screen representation, especially for women of color, stems from her experience growing up as a first-generation Turkish American. As a proud graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, she hopes to produce premium television for multicultural audiences.

Patrick Strapazon - Literary Manager & Producer, Stellar Entertainment
Patrick Strapazon started in development at HBO. Following his time at HBO, he assisted writer/director Joss Whedon on MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. before moving to London for principal photography on AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON. Wanting to get experience at a studio, he joined Fox 2000 Pictures where he worked on a number of films including LOVE, SIMON and Oscar nominated HIDDEN FIGURES. He relocated to Belfast after being hired by multiple Emmy award winning director David Nutter to work as his assistant on GAME OF THRONES. Patrick continued his work in the genre space by accepting a job with showrunner Rafe Judkins on the television adaptation of THE WHEEL OF TIME, the bestselling book series that he has loved since childhood. He became the Development Coordinator at Judkins’ production company, Long Weekend, before becoming a manager and producer. Patrick is the founder of Stellar Entertainment, a literary management and production company that represents artists across television and film. He is thrilled to advocate for writers, bring their creative vision to life and to amplify underrepresented voices.

Amanda N'Duka - Creative Executive, Yoruba Saxon
Amanda --Nigerian-born and Texas-raised--started her Hollywood journey as an intern at Deadline Hollywood before becoming a full time reporter where she contributed to the daily news breaks for both film and television, conducted interviews, as well as covered events such as Emmys, Oscars, Golden Globes, Comic-Con, SXSW, ATX Television Festival, and more. She also co-hosted the award-winning podcast, Deadline New Hollywood, which championed people of color, women, members of the LGBTQ community and other underrepresented voices in film and television. She recently transitioned to development and joined the team at Yoruba Saxon Productions, a production company that focuses on values-based content with an aim to shift the culture and color outside the lines. 

Writer Success

Fall 2022 Finalists on Coverfly

See Other Placements

Announcements

Jun 24th
Semifinalists
Aug 1st
Finalists
Sep 1st
Winners

Rules

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


  1. Screenplays entered must:

    1. Be submitted in PDF form and must fit all standard screenplay format guidelines. Personal formatting conventions will be accepted but must not intentionally or accidentally alter the page count of the project as determined by the judges. Anything over 120 pages will cost $1 extra per page.

    2. Be owned solely by the writer or writing team listed. It may be an adaptation or reimagining of true events or fictional stories. 

    3. Be written in English. However, scripts from anywhere in the world will be accepted.

    4. Have pages numbered. Scripts of any length will be accepted for an additional fee, but we’d advise that scripts over 150 pages should be edited down before being submitted.

      NOTE: WeScreenplay automatically removes the cover page before assigning scripts to readers, so writers may include any typical information on their cover page. Scripts are accepted with or without cover pages.

  2. Writer must be 18 years of age or older at the time of the winner's announcement.

  3. By entering this screenplay into the competition, you must have full permission from all co-writers and any attachments to the project.

  4. WeScreenplay claims no ownership nor option on your work. All ownership and rights to the scripts submitted to this contest remain with the original rights holder(s).

  5. Screenplays entered may be in any genre or combination of genres. All will be treated equally and read by an unbiased panel of readers and jury members.

  6. The following formats will be accepted: Feature screenplay, TV pilot screenplay

  7. Entrant’s total earnings for screenwriting for either film or tv, produced or unproduced, must not exceed $50,000 in the previous 18 months from submission or $250,000 lifetime earnings. This excludes any prize money from competitions or fellowships and only applies to fund or money transferred in exchange for an option or sale of a script, treatment, idea, intellectual property, or other writing for filming. Money earned from acting, directing, producing, or any other film work outside of writing is not included.

  8. Screenplays submitted must not have been previously sold or produced unless said sale or production was completed with no financial gain to the writer.

  9. Purchasing Additional feedback throughout the competition will in no way impact your standing or odds of advancement.

  10. For a submission to be valid it must be accompanied with the appropriate payment based on the submission deadlines.

  11. All deadlines are at 11:59pm PST on the date listed. Any deadline alteration or promotion of any kind does not make any entry valid for a refund of any kind.

  12. RESUBMISSIONS will be accepted. Alterations can be re-uploaded via our submissions management platform at coverfly.com for $6. New drafts of an entry will be accepted at any time during the contest.

  13. There are no refunds for any submitted screenplay. Coupons may not be applied to previously submitted scripts. Coupons deemed for WeScreenplay coverage may not be used for submission to the contest or addition of coverage to any submission unless explicitly stated or exempted on the coupon or by a WeScreenplay representative via e-mail communication only.

  14. There is no limit on the number of scripts a writer or writing team may submit.

  15. Prizes are awarded per script and teams of writers are expected to divide prizes on their own accord. If the lab is in-person, WeScreenplay will provide flights and hotel accommodations up to $2000 total. WeScreenplay will send prizes to the writer who submits the project and will in no way be responsible for how the prizes are distributed among the writing teams.

  16. The decision of the judges will be final and cannot be contested in any manner. There is no score on a scorecard that guarantees advancement to the next level as advancement will be based on all scores in the competition.

  17. Scorecards can be accessed on the writer’s dashboard. Feedback will be delivered before the next announcement but usually sooner. Feedback for each round of the competition, whether it's the 1 page or 3 page option, will be returned before the next competition announcement.

  18. WeScreenplay reserves the right to delay announcements for any reason. While we never anticipate any delays, such delays will not alter the standing of any screenplay entry and will not qualify an entry for a refund under any circumstance.

  19. By entering a WeScreenplay competition every entrant is agreeing to all WeScreenplay Terms of Service listed on the website and additional terms agreed upon at checkout. If you disagree with any terms you may not submit to the contest.

  20. By submitting to the contest you are releasing your script (but not it’s underlying rights) to WeScreenplay and holding harmless WeScreenplay or any affiliates from any claims, expenses, and liabilities, including but not limited to invasion of privacy, defamation, copyright, libel, trademark infringement, slander, personal property infringement, etc.

  21. Any prize winners will be required to sign an affidavit validating their entry into the contest.

  22. Any writer winning a cash prize of over $599 will be required to file the appropriate tax and legal documentation before the cash prize is distributed.

  23. All prizes provided by sponsors or mentors are subject to said sponsor or mentor providing the prize. WeScreenplay will do everything in its power to collect the prize packages promised, but is not responsible for a sponsor’s failed delivery.

  24. Former Grand Prize, Second Prize, and Third Prize Winners of the contest may enter so long as it is NOT the same script that won in a previous year. Any other placement in former years does not disqualify the script from being entered this year.

  25. Void where prohibited.

  26. Except where prohibited by law, participation in the contest constitutes each entrant’s consent to WeScreenplay and its agents’ and contest sponsor’s use of entrants’ names, likenesses, photographs, and/or personal information for promotional purposes in any media, worldwide, without further payment or consideration. All uses of a entrants’ information are in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

  27. BY ENTERING THE CONTEST YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE READ AND AGREE TO THESE CONDITIONS. You agree to release and hold harmless WeScreenplay, Red Ampersand, Inc., Industry Arts, LLC., WeScreenplay.com, its subsidiary, parent and affiliated companies, Prize contributors, judges, screenplay readers, Sponsors, and any other organizations responsible for administering, advertising or promoting the Contest, and every one of their respective members, directors, employees, agents and representatives (collectively, the “Released Parties”) past and present from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liability, including but not limited to damages and negligence to property and persons, including but not limited to invasion of privacy, defamation, slander, libel, violation of right of publicity, copyright, infringement of trademark or other intellectual property rights relating to a participant’s Entry, participation in the Contest and/or acceptance or use or misuse of Prize; provided however, that such release will not apply to any commercial exploitation of the script by a Released Party in violation of your rights under applicable copyright law; and (c) indemnify, defend and hold harmless the WeScreenplay.org and its Sponsor, agents and employees from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liabilities (including reasonable attorney’s fees) relating to an entrant’s participation in the Contest and/or entrant’s use or misuse of Prize. Employees of WeScreenplay and their immediate families are ineligible to participate in this contest. Any such submission will be immediately disqualified. ENTRY TO THIS CONTEST IS VOID WHERE PROHIBITED or restricted by any Federal, State or Local law. Voided entries will be refunded. Recipients’ eligibility will be verified before the grant is awarded and the winner may be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility.

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Fall 2022