Universal’s Global Talent Development and Inclusion group at Universal Pictures has officially started their brand new Universal Writers Program. Previously known as the Emerging Writers Fellowship, the program is looking for experienced, aspiring and up-and-coming screenwriters with unique points of view that build on the Studio’s commitment to telling stories and creating films that reflect the wide diversity of audiences.
“We are a studio committed to discovering unique voices and developing writers on the cusp of breaking through,” said Peter Cramer, President, Production, Universal Pictures. “Although the breadth of the application process is expanding, these programs are designed to identify game-changing talent.”
The program’s focus aims to develop storytellers with the intent of incorporating multicultural and global perspectives in screenwriting. It is the only feature film program approved by the Writers Guild of America West and looks for writers whose voice and talent matches both the Universal Pictures and Focus Features branding and programming.
The program has been retooled and has been subject to significant changes when a writer looks at the application process. For example, eligibility requirements include being open to novice and experienced writers. There will also be several changes including a professional script consultation to help writers develop and present material to Universal Pictures and Focus Features development executives.
“We’re excited to find the next group of innovative and multicultural and global-minded screenwriters to create content that reflects both our world and Universal’s vast audience,” said Senior Vice President, Global Talent Development & Inclusion Janine Jones-Clark. “Our intention in allowing experienced writers an opportunity to apply is to encourage writers who have had success in other media to consider a career in features.”
The applications are available now through November 6 with the program starting in April 2018. To apply click here.