The Global Talent Development & Inclusion group at Univeral Pictures has officially launched their new Universal Writers Program. Formerly known as the Emerging Writers Fellowship, the program identifies experienced and up-and-coming screenwriters with unique points of view that build upon the Studio’s commitment to telling stories and creating films that reflect the vast diversity of its 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 aims to inclusively develop storytellers with the intent to incorporate multicultural and global perspectives in screenwriting. It is the only feature film program sanctioned by the Writers Guild of America West and seeks writers whose talent and voice matches the Universal Pictures and Focus Features slates.
The program has been redesigned and has been subject to substantial changes when it comes to the application process. This includes eligibility requirements. The program was primarily open to novice writers, but now they are rallowing experienced writers with produced credits the opportunity to apply. There will also be several enhancements including a professional script consultant 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.