For over two decades the Paramount Writers Mentoring Program has seen 135+ emerging diverse writers graduate. The program launched over 125+ careers, including those of 18 current showrunners and executive producers.

As part of its ongoing commitment to create additional access, exposure, and opportunity for talented and motivated writers of diverse backgrounds, Paramount's Writers Mentoring Program is an eight-month program with a three-fold focus: It opens doors by providing opportunities for mentees to build and foster relationships with showrunners and network and studio executives, supports emerging writers in their efforts to improve their craft by working with executive mentors, and it helps writers hone the essential interpersonal skills necessary to break in and succeed.

Each participant will be teamed with an executive mentor from Paramount Global. Under the supervision of their mentors, participants will write a new writing sample. Once a week, for 16 weeks, participants will be invited to attend a small workshop-style meeting with various showrunners and other industry professionals. Speakers include agents, managers, Development and Current executives as well as showrunners. There is also a half-day mock writers room for mentees to experience the process in a safe environment.

Each participant will have help in creating a rigorous career action plan and there will be on-going support in evaluating and achieving those goals. Another important benefit of the program is the development of a close-knit peer support group that will sustain participants through the program and beyond.

It has been found that in order to derive the greatest benefit from the program, participants should be available to 1) attend a once a week (evening) workshop 2) attend a half day mock writers room and 3) have ongoing interaction with their mentors via zoom, phone or email. Program elements such as mentoring, weekly workshops the mock writers room can be scheduled around participants’ existing work commitments.

The Paramount Writers Mentoring Program is not employment and there is no monetary compensation. It is, instead, a structured program of career development, support, and personal access to executives and the decision-making processes, with the goal of preparing aspiring writers for later employment opportunities in television. Aspiring diverse writers with a strong desire to write for Paramount television series are encouraged to apply. You must be 21 or older and able to work in the United States to be eligible.

All completed application materials must be received between April 1, 2024 and May 1, 2024. Any submissions received before April 1st or after May 1st, 2024 will not be considered. No hand delivered submissions will be accepted. Finalists will be notified in late September 2024 (or such later date as may be determined by Paramount). The program is scheduled to begin in October 2024 and continues through April 2025. Paramount reserves the right to adjust the program schedule as necessary.

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What writing samples are appropriate for submission?

Two writing samples are required. The original work can be an original pilot, a one act stage play or a short fiction story. Short film scripts will not be accepted. We request that your original sample be similar in tone to the spec sample. The short fiction piece should be approximately 3,000 words. Spec scripts should be a half hour or hour episode based on a primetime drama or comedy series which aired or was released, during the 2023 - 2024 season and was broadcast on a network, cable, streamer.

What writing samples are unacceptable for submission?

Unacceptable materials include: treatments, outlines, newspaper or magazine articles, novels, short film scripts, motion picture screenplays and sequels to motion pictures.

Can I resubmit the same writing samples as I did for a previous year?

Please do not resubmit, regardless of how much it’s been updated.

In the case of a writing team submission, must we file separate applications?

Yes. We must receive an application for each team member as well as a resume or bio and letter of interest. We also require agreement to the terms and conditions from each team member. Please be sure to note the full name of your writing partner in the script submission sections of the application, and to include BOTH writers’ names’ on submitted scripts.

I don’t work or live in the United States, am I eligible to apply to this Program?

Yes, however, Paramount does not provide any travel or accommodation reimbursement. You must also have a work visa.

Where is the program being held?

The program is held in Los Angeles, and all participants will need to be close to Los Angeles for the duration of the program in order to participate in program activities. As stated above, participants are responsible for their own travel and accommodation expenses. For the past two years the program has been virtual, however if health and safety considerations allow the program to be in person, participants will need to be close to Los Angeles from January to the end of April to participate in program activities.

What is the duration of the program and the required time commitment?

The program is expected to run approximately eight months, beginning in October. Program hours and activities will vary, but regular meetings with mentors and fellow program members are an intrinsic part of the program and may require a time commitment of up to twenty hours a month. Additionally, to get the maximum benefits from the Program, participants should be available a minimum of five full days (not necessarily in sequence) over the duration of the eight months.

How many participants will be chosen?

Up to 8 participants will be selected each year

What is the compensation for participating in the program?

The Paramount Writers Mentoring Program is not employment and there is no monetary compensation.

How are the matches made between the program participants and mentors?

Matches are made based on career interests and mentor availability. Finalists will meet with a potential mentor.

Does my application have to be received by May 1st 11:59 PM PST?

Your application MUST be RECEIVED no later than May 1st 11:59 PM PST. The site will not accept applications past the May 1st 11:59 PM PST deadline. However, we encourage you not to wait until the last minute to submit your application.

When and how will I be informed as to whether or not I have been chosen to participate in the program?

Finalists will be chosen and invited for a personal interview by late October. PLEASE NO TELEPHONE INQUIRIES.

Must I submit a resume, even if I have not worked as a professional writer?

Yes. All applicants must submit either a work resume or a short biographical summary as part of the selection process.

Can you suggest any reading materials for new television writers?

Yes. The Hero Succeeds: The Character-Driven Guide to Writing Your TV Pilot by Kam Miller. One of the best books on developing a television series and writing a great pilot script. Creating Character Arcs: The Masterful Author’s Guide to Uniting Story Structure, Plot, and Character Development by K.M. Weiland. A good resource for creating multidimensional characters. The Art of Dramatic Writing: Its Basis in the Creative Interpretation of Human Motives by Lajos Egri. The Hidden Tools of Comedy: The Serious Business of Being Funny by Steve Kaplan. Helpful strategies for understanding how to write comedy. Hollywood Game Plan: How to Land a Job in Film, TV and Digital Entertainment by Carole Kirschner. Writer’s Wright Journal. A journal to help you stay motivated. The Executive Chair by Kelly Edwards’ / ‘Writers’ Room Survival Guide by Niceole Levy

How long should my letter of interest be?

One page double spaced, no smaller than 12 point font.’