The HBOAccess Writing Fellowship got off to a rough start this morning when the application site crashed due to popular demand, after which HBO said it expand the number of applicants and grant waivers to some who got caught in today’s traffic jam. But with a cap on the application’s availability via online portal Without A Box, some people took to Twitter to fume and foment:
“The site was unable to handle the volume of activity at the time of launch,” HBO said in a statement to Deadline. “Without A Box worked quickly to resolve the issue, but due to the overwhelming number of applicants the site is moving slowly. In response to the demand for the program, HBO will expand the number of applicants it will review and grant waivers to some who were unable to access the site at the time of launch. Applicants may request a waiver by sending an email to email@example.com with REQUEST FOR WAIVER in the subject line. Waivers will be granted on a first-come basis until the new cap is reached.”
On the heels of its inaugural HBOAccess Directing Fellowship, HBO announced last week it was launching the HBOAccess Writing Fellowship, seeking emerging writers from diverse backgrounds. Today was the start date for applications for the program. Participants will attend a week of master classes at HBO’s Santa Monica campus that will focus on character and story development, pitching ideas and projects, securing an agent, and networking. Each participant will then go on to an eight-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 fellowship is open to writers 21 and older who must be able to work in the U.S. 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 had to be made through Without A Box and 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.
Last year, four directors were selected for the HBOAccess Directing Fellowship. The program ended with the production of four short films which are set to air in March on HBO On Demand and HBO GO.