Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program (Canada)

Post date: Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Deadline: 14 September 2012 (Western Canada), 7 December 2012 (Eastern Canada)

The Western Canada session of the Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program is now open for applications. The deadline to submit all materials is September 14, 2012. The one-week intensive workshop will be held in Vancouver in December 2012. (please remember, travel support will be provided where necessary for successful applicants).

We will be accepting applications for the Eastern Canada session between October 1 and December 7, 2012 only. Please do not submit your application before this time period.


The Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program presented by the Writers Guild of Canada is an intensive television-training program. It’s designed to help emerging and mid-level screenwriters from diverse backgrounds expand their network, sharpen their professional skills, and bring new perspectives and ideas to the writers rooms of English-language television series in Canada.

The Program connects participants with some of Canada’s top showrunners, screenwriters, broadcast executives, literary agents and producers through a one-week workshop, and with experienced WGC story editors through a three-month mentorship. At the end of the process, two screenwriters will each win a paid internship in the writers room of a Bell Media television series.

Up to 16 applicants each year are selected on the basis of the following four materials: 1) a concept for an original series, 2) a writing sample, 3) a letter of interest and intent, and 4) a letter of reference.

The Program is offered in two sessions – one serving screenwriters in Western Canada and the other for screenwriters in Eastern Canada.

The goals of the Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program are:

1. To bring more diverse screenwriters into the professional television talent pool in Canada and thereby enrich the dialogue and perspectives of the writers rooms to the benefit of the content.

2. To connect emerging and mid-level diverse screenwriters with the practical and theoretical knowledge that will help them advance as screenwriters of compelling script material for Canadian television series.

3. To help emerging and mid-level diverse screenwriters develop marketable materials and marketing insight as professional screenwriters.

4. To connect experienced Canadian television professionals with rising screenwriting talent.


The program, for each session in Western and Eastern Canada, consists of three phases:

Phase One - Workshop

A one-week intensive bootcamp in which participants learn how a television series moves from concept to pitch to production and broadcast. Sessions include training in television story structure, character development, and writing for different television genres. They also feature mock pitching sessions with broadcast executives, as well as mock story departments with showrunners and WGC screenwriters to help participants develop their original concepts, outlines, drafts and bibles. The workshop also includes informal discussions with literary agents and producers offering candid career advice to the participants.

Phase Two - Mentorship

A 10-12 week mentorship in which each participant works with an experienced WGC story editor to develop, write and polish the following materials: 1) one script based on their original concept for a television series, 2) one mini-bible for the concept, 3) one pitch document for the concept and 4) a second script based on an existing series.

The Writers Guild of Canada presents the Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program

At the end of this period, a jury will deliberate on these materials and select one screenwriter to advance to Phase Three.

Whether they are chosen to advance to Phase Three or not, participants will, at the end of Phase Two, have the kind of professional script material that is strong enough to act as a calling card to the industry.

Phase Three - Internship

The selected screenwriter will enter a paid internship for 6-12 weeks in the writers room of a Bell Media television series.


Each workshop of the Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program takes place over five days. One session takes place in Vancouver and the other in Toronto at different times of the year. Please check the website for the exact dates.

Screenwriters west of Ontario must apply to the Vancouver session. Screenwriters east of Manitoba must apply to the Toronto session.

Out-of-town screenwriters who are selected for the workshop will be awarded bursaries to cover their travel and accommodation expenses.

The Writers Guild of Canada presents the Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program


Emerging and mid-level screenwriters may apply to the program with original, English-Language concepts for a television series suitable for broadcast.

Eligible screenwriters living west of Ontario can apply only for the Western Canada session and must meet its deadline. Eligible screenwriters living east of Manitoba can apply only for the Eastern Canada session and must meet its deadline.

Only concepts in the genres of drama, comedy and children’s programming are eligible. The following are ineligible: feature films, talk shows, game shows, reality-based series, documentary series, news, stand-up and sketch comedies. Projects may be half-hour series, one-hour series, mini-series, or movies of the week. The program does not limit screenwriters to writing stories about diversity.

Eligible applicants must:

• Not be enrolled in any full-time school or university program.

• Demonstrate ownership of all underlying rights to the project with which they are applying.

• Be a Canadian Citizen or Landed Immigrant; as well as a Permanent Canadian Resident.

• Demonstrate in their support material an understanding of the fundamentals of screenwriting for television such as story arcs and character development.

• Be able to make a commitment to the week-long, full-day intensive workshop and the subsequent 10-12 week mentoring process, if selected for the program.

• Be in a position to accept a paid internship on an English-language Canadian television series,
if selected for the internship.

The Writers Guild of Canada presents the Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program


You must submit your application by EMAIL. Hard copies of your support material will not be accepted.

Your application package must include the following items in the following order:


1. Two copies of your completed Application Form, Submission Release and Declaration of Ownership: one fillable pdf to be emailed PLUS one signed hard copy to be delivered to the WGC address below.

Support Material:

2. A letter of interest and intent indicating why you believe this program is right for you. You may also comment on how your diversity is, or isn’t, currently reflected on the television screen.

3. A curriculum vitae that includes screen credits and relevant education and training.

4. A current letter of reference from a recognized industry professional.

5. Series concept and a 1-2 page synopsis briefly describing the story, characters, genre, format and target audience of that concept.

6. Writing sample: One 1-hour series episode or two half-hour series episodes. Feature film scripts and spec scripts for existing television series are not eligible.

7. If necessary, chain of title documentation to indicate you have the right to develop the project.

Do not include any visual materials with your application. They will not be accepted.

Applicants must apply to EITHER the Western Canad OR Eastern Canada session within a program single year.


1) Please see the WGC website ( for the appropriate deadlines for the Western Canada and Eastern Canada sessions.

2) Download the fillable Forms (Application Form, Submission Release and Declaration of Ownership) with Adobe Reader and enter your information.

3) Save your completed Forms as: lastnameDiverseWest.pdf or lastnameDiverseEast.pdf, e.g. SmithDiverseWest.pdf

4) Print a copy of your completed Forms and provide your signature in the spaces provided.

5) Save your Support Material separately as: lastnameDiverseWestSupport.pdf or lastnameDiverseEastSupport.pdf in the order specified in the above Submission Requirements.

6) EMAIL the two pdfs -- Forms and Support Material -- to:

Download: Application Form, Submission Release and Declaration of Ownership


For queries:

For submissions: deliver the signed hard copy of the forms to Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program, Writers Guild of Canada, 366 Adelaide Street West, Suite 401, Toronto, ON M5V 1R9