Sunday, March 1, 2015

HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship

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HBO has announced the launch of the HBOAccess Writing Fellowship which will begin accepting applications on March 4, 2015. The program will give emerging writers from diverse backgrounds an opportunity to attend a week of master classes held at the HBO campus in Santa Monica, California focusing on character and story development, pitching ideas and projects, securing an agent, and networking. Each participant will then enter into an 8-month writing phase where he/she will be paired with an HBO development executive and guided through the script development process. At the conclusion of the program, HBO will hold a reception and staged reading for industry professionals where the writers will be introduced to the entertainment industry.

The HBOAccess Writing Fellowship is open to diverse and female writers 21 and older who must be able to work in the US. Prior to the application, the writer must NOT have been staffed on a network or cable series in excess of 13 episodes and/or had more than one feature film or more than two plays produced.

All submissions must be made through the online portal, Without A Box, and will require a resume, a writing sample, a completed release form and a personal essay in 500 words or less explaining how his/her background has influenced his/her storytelling. For more information on eligibility, visithttps://www.withoutabox.com/03film/03t_fin/03t_fin_fest_01over.php?festival_id=13830.

GENERAL RULES

What is the submission process?

Candidates are required to supply the following:
• Without A Box Application
• Resume or Bio
• Original Material – ½ hour or 1 hour teleplay, play, screenplay
• Answer to the personal statement prompt
• Agree to terms and conditions

Who is eligible to apply?
Any diverse writer, 21 or over, who meets the application requirements.

What is the definition of diversity?
For the purposes of the HBOACCESS program, diversity is defined as those who identify as any of the following: Asian Pacific American, Sub-Continent Asian American, African American, Hispanic American, Native American, Middle Eastern, and/or women.

Are there any guidelines on who can apply?
Yes, applicants may have previously served as staff writer for up to 13 episodes. They should not have more than 1 feature film released by a studio, independently or shown in major film festivals. Or had 2 plays produced on or off Broadway.

What kind of material should I submit?
Submissions must be original 1/2 hour or 1 hour teleplay, screenplay or play. 
No short stories, novels, graphic novels, or blogs will be accepted. No spec material will be accepted.

What is the personal statement prompt?
How has your background influenced the stories you want to tell?

Can writing teams apply?
Yes, teams can apply, however no more than 2 people can constitute a team.

When does the application process open?
March 4, 2015.

Can I still apply if I am represented by an agent or manager?
Yes, you are still eligible to apply.

Are there any costs to the candidates?
No, it is free of charge.

Is the program open only to those interested in television?
This program is for those who would like to work in hour and half hour series television.

Who are the mentors?
Each participant will be paired with a creative executive from HBO Entertainment, HBO Films, or Cinemax.

When will interviews be held?
May-June 2015.

Will I have to submit a second sample?
Yes, but only if you are chosen to advance to final round interviews.

Will I have to pitch an idea?
Anyone chosen to advance to final round interviews will be asked to come prepared to pitch the idea which will be developed during the 8 month mentorship. Concepts can be for either a ½ hour comedy for HBO or 1 hour drama suitable for HBO or Cinemax.

Can I pitch more than 1 idea?
Yes, you may pitch up to 3 ideas.

What days/times will the Master Classes take place?
The classes will take place August 17-21 at the HBO offices in Santa Monica from 10am to 5pm.

Will HBO pay for travel and lodging?
HBO will provide a small stipend to those selected. However, all participants in the program will be responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses.

Must I be a U.S. citizen in order to apply?
No, however you must have a right-to-work permit prior to applying to the program. This is not eligible for VISA sponsorship.

Can HBO employees apply?
Those who work for HBO directly are ineligible for the program.