As part of Starz’s ongoing #TakeTheLead initiative to support inclusion behind the scenes as well as onscreen, the network is launching a program to train scribes from historically excluded backgrounds to write for cable premium.
The Starz #TakeTheLead Writers’ Intensive is a first partnership with the National Association of Latino Independent Producers and NewFilmmakers Los Angeles. Eligible entrants must come from a background that is traditionally underrepresented among television writers (which includes all races other than white). To ensure participants are positioned to make the most of the program’s offerings, they must either have had at least a single writing credit on a completed short or feature film that has been accepted into a film festival , or have a related story-credit department (such as writer’s assistant, crew writer, showrunner’s assistant, script coordinator) on a TV show.
“It’s incredibly important that underrepresented writers from all walks of life tell their own stories, and we’re thrilled to provide an excellent level of access through this new program,” said Starz President of Original Programming Kathryn Busby, in a statement.
Ten writers will be selected to participate in the first phase of the intensive, which will run from August 22 to September 16 and will involve mentorship from industry professionals to help them develop an episode treatment and pitch. A jury will then select four of these writers to move on to phase two, which will run from October 3 to November 4, in which they will write a full episode specification script, with support from industry executives and creatives. .
“Through programs and partnerships like these, NALIP advances its commitment to correcting the systemic underrepresentation and chronic misrepresentation of Latina and all BIPOC communities on screen and behind the scenes,” said NALIP president Karla Pita Loor in a statement.
Applications are due July 29 on the Intensive’s Coverfly portal.
“Providing opportunities like the #TakeTheLead Starz Writers Intensive is central to the missions of both NFMLA and NALIP. Both of our programs operate year-round to cultivate opportunities for untapped talent, and we couldn’t be more excited to launch this premium TV writers program in partnership with Starz,” NFMLA co-founder and executive director Larry Laboe said in a statement. “The program combines education , access and a real shot in a writers room, and that’s the kind of access that next-gen talent really needs.”