Scripted

series

lab

scripted series lab

At the core of the Pacific Screenwriting Program is a full-time 15 week curriculum that polishes and prepares candidates for an entry-level writer position on a series. 

Every term, up to six committed writers receive the necessary support to expand their portfolio and pursue opportunities in the evolving TV marketplace. Throughout the program, participants hone their craft, strengthen their collaboration and presentation skills, and obtain a deeper understanding of BC’s television industry and how to market themselves within it. Through workshops, events and mentoring, candidates will also be connected with key industry professionals, including senior screenwriters, producers, and agents.

The 2021 SSL!

Open Applications:
July 06 – August 23, 2020

Program runs:
January – April, 2021

Fees

Application Fee: $25
Program Fee: $1,500

My time at the PSP gave me a wealth of professional and creative experience and guidance that made me a better, more confident writer. It also gave me a bunch of life-long friends. It was truly one of my all-time favourite experiences.

The PSP is a lot. It’s challenging. It’s nerve-racking. It’s also very fulfilling and joyful. You get to experience the magic that happens within the writer’s room and you get the opportunity to build connections within the community. However, the biggest takeaway for me is the friendships I made with the fellow participants who I now consider my support group and dear friends.

We had access to so many showrunners, writers and producers and the support of our PSP staff and mentors. We also had an amazing cohort of talented writers who I know are going to be the next big things

I really can’t think of a more effective 6 months any aspiring TV screenwriter could spend than in the Scripted Series lab. You get to aid in creating a TV project from start to finish under the guidance of one of Canada’s top creatives, you get to work with another head writer for your own personal project, you meet so many important writers, producers, agents from here to Toronto, and you get to pitch to networks. And you get free snacks. And everyone’s super nice. I absolutely cherish my time spent under Sarah Dodd with Corey, Kat, Todd, Petie, and of course Raila and Kate. Apply now! Do it!

My time at the PSP gave me a wealth of professional and creative experience and guidance that made me a better, more confident writer. It also gave me a bunch of life-long friends. It was truly one of my all-time favourite experiences.

The PSP is a lot. It’s challenging. It’s nerve-racking. It’s also very fulfilling and joyful. You get to experience the magic that happens within the writer’s room and you get the opportunity to build connections within the community. However, the biggest takeaway for me is the friendships I made with the fellow participants who I now consider my support group and dear friends.

We had access to so many showrunners, writers and producers and the support of our PSP staff and mentors. We also had an amazing cohort of talented writers who I know are going to be the next big things

About

Weeks
1–10

Story Room

For the first 10 weeks of the program, participants will work as a team to develop an original series concept brought to the team by an established showrunner. In a collaborative story-room environment led by the showrunner and following a story room’s rigorous schedule—the writing team will build out the concept, ultimately arriving at a fully developed series package that is ready to present to broadcasters.

Weeks
11–15

Original Series & Business of Writing

For the final five weeks of the program, working one on one with an experienced mentor, participants will further develop their own original scripted television pilot script. During this time, through case studies, seminars, lectures, and workshops presented by industry professionals, participants will also be introduced to the business side of the  industry—everything from marketplace trends to project pitching.

Your Journey

Selection Process

All complete applications submitted by the (11:59 pm) August 23, 2020 deadline will be reviewed by a selection committee comprised of industry professionals.

Applicants who are not chosen to advance to the interview stage will be notified by email. Unfortunately, we will not be able to provide feedback on unsuccessful applications. 

Shortlisted applicants will be contacted by phone to confirm their interview date and time. We will make every effort to conduct interviews in person; where this is not possible, interviews will take place via video call. After all interviews have been conducted, the selection committee will determine which candidates will be best suited to the program, and will notify all remaining candidates of their decision.

Need-to-knows

▸ Your Application

Please include the following, in PDF Format:

  1. Writing Sample: An original series pilot script (half-hour or one-hour comedy or drama), properly formatted (cannot be co-written)
  2. Paragraph synopsis of the original script you are submitting
  3. An original series synopsis for another TV idea not yet developed. You may submit more than one [up to two] synopses at a maximum length of two pages each.
  4. A letter of intent outlining what you hope to achieve by attending the program, both during the program and after
  5. A letter of reference from an industry professional
  6. Your resumé 
  7. Completed application information
  8. A signed copy of our Release Form
  9. $25 application fee (paid in the application form below with Stripe)

 

▸ Eligibility

  1. You must be 19 years or older
  2. You must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident
  3. You must be a resident of British Columbia
  4. You must have completed some post-secondary training or have some work experience in the craft of writing. (This includes everything from a journalism degree to creative writing workshops.)

If you meet all of these requirements, you are encouraged to apply. To reflect BC’s rich diversity, we welcome applications from writers of all backgrounds.

Successful applicants who show proof of financial need may be eligible for tuition scholarships and/or travel bursaries (if you are from outside Greater Vancouver). Please indicate on your application form if you would like to be considered should you be successful.

 

The 2021 Scripted Series Lab

Open Applications:
July 08–August 23, 2020 (11:59pm)

Program runs:
January – April, 2021

Fees

Application Fee: $25
Program Fee: $1,500

Application checklist

  1. Your writing samples
  2. Your letter of intent
  3. Your letter of reference
  4. Your resume
  5. A signed Release Form
  6. $25 entry fee (paid online in the form below via Stripe)

Applications for 2021 are now closed. See you next year! 

The SSL Faq

▸ How do I submit my application?

Upload the requested writing samples and documents, and complete the $25 application. Please ensure you read and accept our terms and conditions and privacy policy

▸ What happens after I submit my application?

A selection committee, composed of industry professionals, will review applications and shortlist candidates. If you are shortlisted, you will be contacted for an interview (in person or via Skype/video call). Final selections will be determined after these interviews.

▸ What are you looking for in an application?

Well written samples demonstrating strong voice, fresh ideas, an understanding of structure, and a talent for dialogue. We are also looking for evidence of your commitment to a writing career.

▸ How should I format my script?

Scripts should be submitted as .pdf documents. Format the script as closely to the industry standard as possible, demonstrating a professional approach and an understanding of the TV medium. Our jurors will not read handwritten scripts.

▸ How much experience do I need to be accepted?

This program is for writers who are serious about a career in writing for television. You will need to have some writing experience, either through post-secondary training, or work experience, and a strong working knowledge of television structure.

▸ I have written for theatre/film/magazines/novels/etc., but not for TV. Can I still apply?

Absolutely! If you have previous creative writing experience in areas other than TV, we welcome your application. That said, this program assumes that successful applicants will demonstrate a strong working knowledge of the craft of writing specifically for television, as demonstrated in their pilot script sample. 

▸ I’m currently developing a show with a co-writer. Can we apply as a team?

We are not accepting writer teams into the program. Please submit a script that you have developed on your own.

▸ Does my pitch script have to be set in BC or Canada?

No, it does not.

▸ I have a show in development with a producer. Can I work on that during the program?

Yes. During the Business of Writing portion of the program, you will have the opportunity to work with a mentor on further developing your script.

▸ I know/have worked with the showrunner for this year’s program. Am I still eligible to apply?

Yes, you are still eligible to apply.

▸ How many hours a week is the course?

The program runs full-time (approximately 10:00 am–4:30 pm) from Monday to Friday for the first ten weeks of the program, (the showrunner-led portion). The following weeks, (the mentorship portion) are self-regulated. Participants should expect to reside in Vancouver for the program’s duration.

▸ Do I need to stay in Vancouver even for the mentorship portion of the program?

Yes. Even though the program’s hours become more flexible for the final four weeks, participants will be expected to attend guest lectures and seminars from industry experts during this time.

▸ Are travel and accommodation stipends available for those living outside Vancouver? Is the program eligible for Canada student loans or other funding?

Yes, there are some travel stipends available. Please indicate your request on the application form. This program is not eligible for Canada student loans. We may have some bursary funding available for participants who can demonstrate need. 

▸ Can I have a job while enrolled in the program?

Due to the intensive, full-time nature of the program, this program is not compatible with working full time, but prospective applicants can contact the office to discuss individual situations.

▸ If I have prior commitments, can I start the program a week or so late or leave early?

No, for your benefit and the benefit of your fellow participants, you must be physically present for the entire duration of the course.

▸ If I don’t get accepted into the program, is my application fee refundable?

No, the $25 application fee is non-refundable. However, if you are accepted into the program, your application fee goes toward your tuition.

▸ Who should I get to write my reference letter? What should it say?

We recommend you ask someone in the writing and/or film industry who you have worked with or studied under.  The reference need not be long or complicated. It’s just to affirm that you have some experience writing either as a student or professionally.  Remember, by far the biggest weight will be placed on your script rather than supporting documents. Letters can be addressed “To Whom It May Concern,” or to the “Selection Committee.” (We’re not picky.) 

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