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Fellowships to USA Black Women Writers to Develop
and Produce Short Comedy Screenplays

Women Write Now Fellowship

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Laugh Out Loud (LOL) Studios and Sundance Institute

Deadline Date:

06/06/22 11:59 PM (PDT)


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Fellowships to USA Black female writers to develop short comedy screenplays and prepare them for production. In addition to a $10,000 cash stipend, fellows will benefit from mentoring, workshops, meetings, and individualized feedback, and will also participate in the pre-production, production, and post-production process as creative producers.

Women Write Now is a partnership between LOL Studios and the Sundance Institute designed to champion and elevate the voices of historically underrepresented Black female comedy writers through a fellowship that provides: mentorship, advocacy, production, and exhibition. This immersive script-to-screen fellowship will support talented writers in developing short comedic scripts while being advised and mentored by some of the most influential Black women in comedy. 

The resulting scripts will be produced by LOL Studios and directed by a celebrity Black female director. The three (3) short films, which will be staffed above and below-the-line by traditionally underrepresented talent, will premiere at a special screening during the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and will be distributed across Laugh Out Loud Network. Travel to the 2023 Sundance Film Festival will be provided. 

Following the fellowship, the selected writers will also receive a twelve (12) month first look deal with Laugh Out Loud to submit original projects for consideration for production and distribution with LOL Studios and Laugh Out Loud Network and shall have the opportunity to separately pitch one (1) project to LOL Studios for a possible development deal. The first look deal will be subject to execution of a separate agreement with terms provided or approved by LOL Studios.

About the Fellowship

Over the course of two weeks in August, the selected writers will develop their short comedic scripts, receiving feedback and guidance from some of the biggest names working in comedy and entertainment. During the Fellowship, the selected writers will attend workshops on how to thrive in the business, pitch, get to the greenlight, market themselves and their work, create an artful punchline, and more! Selected writers will also participate one-on-one creative development meetings and receive screenplay feedback in order to get their short film screenplays production ready. 

About the Production

Following the writing and development process of their short comedic scripts, the selected writers will participate in the pre-production, production, and post-production process of their short films as creative producers. Each selected writer will participate in a set visit, virtually or in-person, to be determined by Laugh Out Loud. The selected writers will also be given the opportunity to consult on the edit of their short film. Laugh Out Loud will maintain final cut approval on the short films. In connection with the production of the short films, each selected writer will be required to sign a submission release that, among other things, includes a grant of rights to LOL Studios with respect to the writer’s script.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 197399

Number of Grants:

Approximately ten (10) finalists will be interviewed by Laugh Out Loud staff, with final decisions made by the panel of award-winning filmmakers, industry leaders, LOL Studios executives, and partners from the Sundance Institute. Three (3) finalists will be selected to take part in the Fellowship.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Included in the Fellowship:
- Participation in the Fellowship with individualized mentorship and creative and professional development opportunities
- A stipend for the duration of the Fellowship which shall include:
US$5,000 upon acceptance into the Fellowship
US$5,000 upon delivery of final approved script
- Writing and Creative Producing credit in the writer's respective short film
- Virtual or in-person set visit and a four-night trip to the 2023 Sundance Film Festival including flight and accommodations
- A first look deal with Laugh Out Loud

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Women Write Now is looking for applicants who meet the following criteria:
- Identify as Black or African American
- Identify as female
- Be 18 years or older at the time of application
- Be an emerging non-union writer
- Be based in the United States and legally authorized to work in the United States

Women Write Now does not support co-writing teams at this time. You must be the sole author of the material and apply as an individual.

Pre-Application Information:

Women Write Now - Accepting applications from Apr 24 2022 05:00 AM (PDT) to Jun 6 2022 11:59 PM (PDT)

If an applicant needs an accommodation for submitting materials in an alternative format, they should contact Jennifer Kushner prior to May 30, 2022 to determine an alternative means for submission.

All applicants will receive notification of their application status via e-mail by approximately July 18, 2022.

Key Dates:
- April 25, 2022: Application Available Online
- June 6, 2022: Application Closes (11:59 PM PDT)
- July 18, 2022: Final selection & notifications
- August 1-15: Women Write Now Fellowship Lab (a detailed schedule will be provided upon acceptance)
- August - September 2022: Pre Production
- September 2022: Production / Principal Photography
- October - November 2022: Post Production
- January 2023: Sundance Film Festival Premiere





Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

Jennifer Kushner

Contact Form:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

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