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Women Write Now Fellowship

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

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Laugh Out Loud (LOL) Studios and Sundance Institute

Deadline Date:

08/05/21 11:59 PM (PDT)


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Fellowships to USA African American women writers to develop short comedy screenplays and prepare them for production. In addition to a $10,000 cash stipend, selected 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. The purpose of the program is to champion and elevate the voices of historically underrepresented Black female comedy writers.

A comedic screenwriting fellowship for Black Women, Women Write Now is a talent development initiative from Laugh Out Loud developed in collaboration with Sundance Institute. The fellowship is designed to provide mentorship, advocacy, production, and exhibition.

This immersive script-to-screen fellowship will support 4 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 four (4) short films, which will be staffed above and below-the-line by traditionally underrepresented talent, will premiere at a special screening during the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and will be distributed across Laugh Out Loud Network. Travel to the 2022 Sundance Film Festival will be provided. At the end of the program, the selected fellows will also receive a one-year 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.

During the Fellowship, fellows 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. The 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. 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. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 197399

Number of Grants:

Four (4) finalists will be selected to take part in the Fellowship.

Estimated Size of Grant:

The Fellowship includes:

- Participation in the Fellowship with individualized mentorship and creative and professional development opportunities
- A stipend for the duration of the Fellowship which shall include:
(i) $5,000 upon acceptance into the Fellowship
(ii) $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 2022 Sundance Film Festival including flight, per diem, accommodations for writers only, and festival tickets. (Such travel (if any) in connection with in-person set visits and Sundance shall be capped at $5,000 in the aggregate.)
- A First Look Deal with Laugh Out Loud

Term of Contract:

The fellowship runs from approximately September 17, 2021-January 30, 2022 with Lab and Mentorship sessions taking place September 20-October 1, 2021.

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 US and legally authorized to work in the US

The Women Write Now program is not currently accepting collaborations or writing team applications. (Screenplay may not be written by more than one (1) writer.) Submissions of screenplays written by a team (or more than one writer) may be automatically disqualified at LOL Studios sole discretion.

Pre-Application Information:

Women Write Now is accepting applications from Jul 8 2021 05:00 AM (PDT) to Aug 5 2021 11:59 PM (PDT).

Key Dates
- July 8, 2021: Application Available Online
- August 5, 2021: Application Closes (11:59 pm PDT)
- September 17, 2021: Final Selection & Notifications
- September 20–October 1, 2021: Women Write Now Fellowship Lab
- October 2021: Production
- November 2021: Post Production
- January 20–30, 2022: Sundance Film Festival + Premiere

Application materials are to be submitted electronically unless the applicant does not have sufficient access or resources to do so. If an applicant needs an accommodation for submitting materials in an alternative format, they should contact Jennifer Kushner prior to July 30, 2021, to determine an alternative means for submission.

Applicants will be evaluated on the strength of the submitted material, which will include a statement of interest and an original short comedic screenplay. Approximately ten (10) finalists will be interviewed by Laugh Out Loud staff, with final decisions made by the panel
of Laugh Out Loud Studios and partners from the Sundance Institute.

All applicants will receive notification of their application status via e-mail.

Applicants must fill out the online application and submit a short screenplay between 5-10 pages (page count does not include the title page). When produced, the short films will be under 10 minutes in length.

Submissions must be made directly by the credited writer/applicant themselves through the online application. Any screenplays submitted by any other method or by a representative (agent, manager, lawyer, publicist, etc.) will not be considered.

Applicants may submit only one project.

For more information about the program, see:

For further details about the program, see:

For a Fellowship Overview and Program Terms and Guidelines:


Contact Information:

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

To register and apply online:

For inquiries, email Women Write Now Program Manager, Jennifer Kushner at

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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