1st Annual

HBOAccess Writing Fellowship

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Santa Monica CA 90404
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2015 Writing Fellowship




The HBOAccess Writing Fellowship is designed to give emerging, diverse writers the opportunity to develop a half-hour or hour script suitable for HBO or Cinemax.

The program will select up to 8 diverse writers to take part in a series of master classes held over one week in mid-August at the HBO campus in Santa Monica. Classes will consist of discussions with HBO executives and showrunners and will focus on character, story, pitching, securing an agent, and networking.

Each participant will then be paired with an HBO or Cinemax development executive who will serve as his/her mentor throughout next 8 months. Mentoring can be done remotely or in person pending whichever is logistically feasible. In addition, we will hold monthly group meetings during which projects will continue to be work-shopped. At the end of the 8 months, HBO will hold a reception for industry professionals where the writers will be introduced to the entertainment community.


The Writing Fellowship is the second program launched under the HBOAccess umbrella. Following the HBOAccess Directing Program which began in 2014 and allowed 4 emerging directors to shoot short films which will air On Demand and on HBOGo,the Writing Fellowship will offer similar support to up to 8 diverse writers interested in building a career in series television. Writers will develop original pilots and be considered for series staffing opportunities.


What is the submission process?

Submission portal on Withoutabox opens at 9am PST/12pm ET on Wednesday, March 4th.

Candidates are required to supply the following:
• Withoutabox Application
• Resume or Bio
• Original Material – ½ hour comedy pilot or 1 hour drama pilot, play, or feature film screenplay
• Answer to the personal statement prompt
• Agree to terms and conditions

Who is eligible to apply?
Any diverse writer, 21 or over, who meets the application requirements.

What is the definition of diversity?
For the purposes of the HBOACCESS program, diversity is defined as those who identify as any of the following: Asian Pacific, Sub-Continent Asian, African American, Hispanic, Native American, Middle Eastern, and/or women.

Are there any guidelines on who can apply?
Yes, applicants may have previously served as staff writer for up to 13 episodes. They should not have more than 1 feature film released by a studio, independently or shown in major film festivals. Or had 2 plays produced on or off Broadway. Ideally, applicants should be interested in staffing on Cinemax or HBO series.

What kind of material should I submit?
Submissions must be original 1/2 hour comedy pilot or 1 hour drama pilot, one act play or full length play, feature film screenplay. No short stories, novels, graphic novels, or blogs will be accepted.

What is the personal statement prompt?
How has your background influenced the stories you want to tell?

Can writing teams apply?
Yes, teams can apply, however no more than 2 people can constitute a team. Teams should cut and paste both resumes into the resume section and should answer the prompt as a team.

What if only one of the team qualifies?
If any part of the team qualifies under the above guidelines, then the team is considered eligible to apply.

When does the application process open?
March 4, 2015 at 9am PST/ 12pm ET.

When will it close?
When we have reached 1,000 submissions.

Can I still apply if I am represented by an agent or manager?
Yes, you are still eligible to apply.

Are there any costs to the candidates?
No, it is free of charge.

Is the program open only to those interested in television?
This program is for those who would like to work in hour and half hour series television.

Who are the mentors?
Each participant will be paired with a creative executive from HBO Entertainment, HBO Films, or Cinemax.

When will interviews be held?
May-June 2015.

Will I have to submit a second sample?
Yes, but only if you are chosen to advance to final round interviews.

Will I have to pitch an idea?
Anyone chosen to advance to final round interviews will be asked to come prepared to pitch the idea which will be developed during the 8 month mentorship. Concepts can be for either a ½ hour comedy for HBO or 1 hour drama suitable for HBO or Cinemax.

Can I pitch more than 1 idea?
Yes, you may pitch up to 3 ideas.

What days/times will the Master Classes take place?
The classes will take place August 17-21 at the HBO offices in Santa Monica from 10am to 5pm.

Will HBO pay for travel and lodging for the one week course?
HBO will provide a small stipend to those selected. However, all participants in the program will be responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses.

Do I have to be in LA for the 8 month mentoring process?
No, mentoring can be done remotely via phone, email, or Skype. How you connect with your mentor is up to the two of you.

Must I be a U.S. citizen in order to apply?
No, however you must have a right-to-work permit prior to applying to the program. This is not eligible for VISA sponsorship.

Can HBO employees apply?
Those who work for HBO directly are ineligible for the program.


I am submitting to you today an original play or script and a personal essay (the "Materials"). I request that you examine the Materials in connection with reviewing my application to participate in the 2015 HBO Access Writing Fellowship Program (the “Program”). You are under no obligation to review the Materials, but if you do choose to review them, I understand that you are doing so in reliance on this Release and my agreement to its terms and that it is not revocable.

I agree that you are under no obligation to compensate me for any Materials (i) that I do not own or control; (ii) in which you have no interest; (iii) that are not novel, unique, or protectible under United States law; (iv) that are in the public domain or publicly known or available prior to the date of the submission by me of such Materials; (iv) that are in your possession or available to you from another source prior to or after the submission by me of the Materials; or (v) that become part of the public domain or publicly known or available by publication or otherwise subsequent to the submission by me of the Materials.

I also understand that the Materials may reference ideas, themes, subjects, or issues that are incorporated or dealt with in a project already under consideration, in development, or in production at HBO. In that case, I agree that you are not obligated to compensate me in any way unless you use verbatim, in the final version of the project and in violation of this Release, some or all of the Materials that are owned and controlled by me, and only to the extent the Materials are protectible.

I agree that nothing in this Release shall be deemed to create a confidential relationship between you and me or shall place you in a position different from that of a member of the general public with respect to the use of the Materials. If you commence use of the Materials in violation of this Release, and provided that I own the Materials and the Materials are original, novel, protectible and valuable, you agree to pay me as total compensation therefor such sum of money as we may subsequently agree upon in writing. If we have not attempted or are unable to agree upon the sum, and you commence the use of the Materials in violation of this Release, you will pay me, and I will accept as consideration for all rights of every kind in the Materials, the sum of Five Hundred Dollars ($500). If I do not agree that $500 is acceptable compensation for your use of the Materials, I will not submit the Materials hereunder. I acknowledge that I shall suffer no damages in excess of the foregoing from your use of the Materials or by reason of any other claim that I may assert with respect thereto, and in no event shall I be entitled to, nor shall I demand, any other compensation or any legal or equitable remedy, including but not limited to, injunctive relief.

I have retained a copy of the Materials, and you need not return the attached materials to me. If I own the Materials and you ask me to develop the Materials, or if you make me an offer to purchase the Materials, and we do not come to an agreement, your making such a request or offer will not be deemed to mean that you thought the Materials were original, protectible, or novel or that you thought I was the first person to submit them to you. If you decide not to accept me for the Program, you do not have to tell me the reasons for your rejection. If I am selected to participate in the Program, the terms of this Release shall also apply to any additional material that I submit during the course of or in connection with the Program.

I represent and warrant that I have the right to submit the Materials to you upon the terms and conditions of this Release. I retain all rights to submit the Materials or any similar materials to persons other than you.
The words "you" or "your" in this release refer to Home Box Office, Inc. and its officers, agents, employees, affiliated companies, partners, licensees, successors and assigns. This Release is binding on all of my successors, heirs, and assigns.

I HAVE READ THIS RELEASE CAREFULLY AND I UNDERSTAND ITS CONTENTS. No representations have been made to me other than those set forth in this Release and this Release states our entire understanding with reference to the Materials.

This Release shall be governed and construed under the laws of the State of New York. Should any part of this Release be declared void, the remainder shall remain in full force and effect and at all times this Release shall be construed so as to carry out its intent.