Sky, Netflix launches screenwriting fellowship to help BAME screenwriters

Quentin Tarantino won the Golden Globe for best screenplay for ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" last year.

By U2B Staff 

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Alfred Hitchcock was quoted saying: “To make a great film you need three things – the script, the script and the script.” Screenwriting is only part of the storytelling process for the screen, but nevertheless, screenwriters play a critical role.

Everyone dreams of writing the next Hollywood blockbuster or the best TV show of the decade, but screenwriting can be a tough industry to break into.


Back in 2013, screenwriting teacher Matt McNevin said in the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ report, “From script to screen: Careers in film production”, that screenwriting can be incredibly easy to begin — after all, all you need is a pen and paper — but the screenwriting process itself is a different ballgame.

McNevin described the process of learning to write a screenplay akin to learning a new language.

If you’re an aspiring screenwriter based in the UK, here’s the opportunity of a lifetime to build your screenwriting chops under the tutelage of industry experts. Sky has launched a screenwriting fellowship with Netflix and screenwriter Bisha K Ali to support talent from under-represented communities in the UK.

Applications are open and will give those involved the chance to get writing experience at Netflix or Sky and gain their first TV credits.

Here’s what you should know about the screenwriting fellowship:

What is it?

The Screenwriters’ Fellowship is a one year programme that provides training, mentoring and other support to Black and Asian writers and writers from other racial and ethnic backgrounds under-represented in the high-end TV and film industry. 

This initiative will offer up to six successful applicants the opportunity for a year-long programme of professional development.

What does the screenwriting fellowship entail?

  • A bursary of £22,568 over 12 months to write a spec script for an original idea.
  • Paid placement in a writers’ room on a Netflix or Sky show, including the opportunity to write a shadow script and receive feedback on it.
  • Credit for writers’ room participation.
  • Production shadowing, details of which will be COVID-19 dependent.
  • Regular development workshops and events.
  • Allocation of an industry mentor.
  • Three mentoring meetings with Bisha K Ali over the year; beginning, middle and end of the programme.

Who’s eligible?

  • Black, Asian or individuals from another racial or ethnic group under-represented in the high-end TV and film industry in the UK are welcome to apply.
  • You must be aged 18 or over when you submit your application. There is no upper age limit.
  • Whether or not you are British, you must live in the UK (including Northern Ireland).
  • You must not currently be represented by a literary or film and TV agent.
  • If you are chosen to join the fellowship, you must be available to participate in the fellowship for 12 months starting from 13 September 2021.

How can I apply?

Apply here.

When’s the deadline?

Applications close on June 18. More details here.