Nickelodeon’s Writing Program offers aspiring television writers, with diverse backgrounds and experiences, the opportunity to hone their skills while writing for our live action and animated shows. Participants will have hands-on interaction with executives writing spec scripts and pitching story ideas. ThePprogram, developed to broaden Nickelodeon's outreach efforts, provides a salaried position for up to one year. The next submission deadline is February 28, 2013.
Applications and submission guidelines are available on our website at www.nickwriting.com.
Information via phone: (818) 736-3663, Information via email: email@example.com, Follow us on twitter @NickWriting, Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/NickWriting
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The Nickelodeon Writing Fellowship Program has announced their 2011 semifinalists.
An interview with Karen Kirkland regarding the Nickelodeon Writing Competition.Q: Who sponsors this contest, and what is their background in the industry? When was the contest founded?
A: The contest is sponsored by Nickelodeon. Launched in 1979, Nickelodeon has grown to become the most-watched television network by kids in the United States, and basic cable's #1 network overall. Nickelodeon's kids first'' philosophy is the key element to its business successes, which in addition to television now includes feature films, consumer products, records, online, recreation and publishing.
The Nickelodeon Writing Fellowship was founded in 2000.
A: As the Executive Director of the Writing Fellowship my overall job is to ensure that there is a steady stream of diverse writers afforded the opportunity to work for Nickelodeon Networks. I also serve as a liaison between the network and show productions. I'm responsible for promoting and executing the objectives of the program with an emphasis on staffing quality writing talent.
Part of my job is to serve as a public relations representative for the fellowship by interfacing with the entertainment community as well as faculty at colleges and universities. This elevates the fellowship to the degree that it is relevant and competitive in our industry.
The best part of my job is discovering new talent, watching them develop into strong writers and (as corny as it may sound) helping to make their dreams come true!
A: As a result of being in the fellowship, the majority of the writers that have come through the program have received multiple produced credits on Nickelodeon shows. However, our main objective is to not only get them produced credits, but to get them staff writing jobs - in either live action or animation.
We've been successful at staffing the majority of our writers on Nickelodeon shows. In addition to those that are still writing for Nick (Jonathan Butler, Gabe Garza, Jessica Gao, May Chan, Ron Holsey, Ivory Floyd), others that have come through the fellowship are currently writing on shows like 'Modern Family', 'The Cleveland Show', 'Mr. Sunshine' and 'Seasame Street' to name a few.
A: Our judging process is pretty rigorous! There are three rounds of reading. During round one, all of the scripts are read by professional readers who are hand-picked by me. They are readers who understand the sensibilities of the fellowship and they understand precisely the qualities that make for a good script. Scripts that make it through the first round are then moved into the second round. These scripts are read in-house by the coordinators and managers on the network side of development and current series (both live action and animation). The third round of reading is done by the Directors, EIC's and VP's within development and current series live action and animation.
After the scripts have gone through the several rounds of reading, I then read the scripts that have come through the sifter. At that point I may or may not "pass" on a few more. The writers of the remaining scripts become the semi-finalists. All semi-finalists have a phone interview with me. During which time I ask for a second spec. If you don't have one - you're immediately disqualified. It's my belief that if you're a writer - you're constantly writing. If you're a television writer - you should have more than one television spec. Once I read your second spec, you're then called in for an in-person interview. If all goes well during the in-person interview - you're then a finalist and moved into speed interviews. Speed interviews are a series of interviews over a course of a few days.
A: During every round of reading - the script is read in its entirety!
It's a bit easier for us to read the entire script because we're reading 1/2 hour spec scripts, not original pieces or features.
A: For submission to the fellowship you must submit a 1/2 hour spec script based on ANY comedic television series currently on-air and in production on primetime network or cable. Any 1/2 hour spec. It does NOT need to be for a Nickelodeon show, nor does it need to be kid-friendly.
Your best bet is to write a spec script for '30 Rock', 'Modern Family', 'The Office', 'Parks and Recreation', 'Community', 'Curb Your Enthusiasm', 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' - just to name a few
Your script will be judged on story, humor, dialogue, character development, structure and originality, amongst other things.
A: Each year, when the writing fellows are chosen we'll do a press release to the major trades in addition to some other publications. There's also an internal release that's distributed throughout the Studio introducing them and giving a bit more detail on who they are and how they came to Nickelodeon.
During the first few months the writers are inundated with meetings with everyone at the Studio, from executives, to show creators, to head writers, to line producers and even folks in our post-production department. So practially everyone in the Studio knows who they are and the fellow is then free to network and create relationships - which is something we encourage.
When a fellow is placed on a show - it's announced internally so the Studio can keep track of the writer's progress and if the writer is ultimately staffed on a show, that too is announced internally as well as in the major trades.
Have multiple 1/2-hour television specs written - assuming you want to write for television.
Beware of typos - they are not your friend!
Before you write your spec, do yourself a favor - write a 1/2-page premise first, then an outline, then (and only then) should you write your first draft.
Do your research - it's not enough to watch a couple of episodes. Watch them all - multiple times!
Have a unique premise, a well told story, a clear A, B and C story, clearly defined character motivations, scenes that move the story forward, and a solid structure - that's all...