It’s no secret that Hollywood has a diversity problem; one glance at last week’s Academy Awards, which boasted not one African American nominee in any of the major televised categories (Ava DuVernay’s Selma was nominated for Best Picture; “Grateful” from Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Beyond the Lights and “Glory” from Selma were both nominated for Best Original Song, with Common and John Legend taking home Oscars for the latter) and triggered the pointed and hilarious #OscarsSoWhite social media hashtag, and it is beyond obvious that there is more than enough room for creators of diverse backgrounds in front of and behind the camera. Enter the HBOAccess Writing Fellowship program, a week-long workshop in Los Angeles aimed at providing aspiring writers from diverse backgrounds with the opportunity to learn the basics of writing for TV and film. At the end of the week, participants transition into an 8-month writing intensive where each writer will be paired with an HBO development executive who will serve as a mentor and assist the writers with character and story development. The program will culminate with a staged reading of the writers’ scripts.
Applications for the program will be available beginning March 4, with the program anticipated to begin in August. Last year, HBOAccess debuted a directing program with a similar scope. HBO’s writing program joins a host of other networks that offer one of a kind training for emerging creators; ABC, NBC, and Nickelodeon are among the studios that invite aspiring writers, directors, and producers to apply for their programs each year.
For more information about the HBOAccess Writing Fellowship, click here.