Academy Reveals Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowships Winners

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Selected scenes from the winning scripts will be presented at a live read on Nov. 8.

Three individuals and one writing team have been selected as winners of the 2018 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition. The winners are Allison Buckmelter and Nicolas Buckmelter, American Refugee; Joey Clarke, Jr., Miles; Grace Sherman, Numbers and Words; and Wenonah Wilms, Horsehead Girls.

The fellows will each receive a $35,000 prize, the first installment of which will be distributed at the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting Awards Presentation & Live Read on Nov. 8 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. For the sixth consecutive year, an ensemble of actors will read selected scenes from the winning scripts.

A total of 6,895 scripts were submitted for this year’s competition. Nine individual screenwriters and one writing team were selected as finalists. Their scripts were then read and judged by the Academy Nicholl Fellowships Committee, who ultimately voted the winners. The other finalists, listed alphabetically by author, were: Avi Glick, A Yacht in the Apache Junction; Ernestina Juárez, Labyrinth of Destiny; Neal McLaughlin, The Sunshine Ward; Daniel Miska, The Soldier That Wagged Her Tail; Gabriel Mizrahi, Beside Ourselves; and Jordan Trippeer, Air.

Fellowships are awarded with the understanding that the recipients will each complete a feature-length screenplay during their fellowship year. The Academy acquires no rights to the works of Nicholl fellows and does not involve itself commercially in any way with their completed scripts. 

The Academy Nicholl Fellowships Committee is chaired by Academy Writers Branch Governor Robin Swicord. The members of the committee are Eva Marie Saint (Actors Branch); Steven Poster (Cinematographers Branch); Marcus Hu and William Mechanic (Executives Branch); James Plannette and Stephen Ujlaki (Members-at-Large); Stephanie Allain, Albert Berger, Julia Chasman, Julie Lynn, Peter Samuelson and Robert W. Shapiro (Producers Branch); Jennifer Yuh Nelson (Short Films and Feature Animation Branch); Bobbi Banks (Sound Branch); and Tina Gordon Chism, Eric Heisserer, Larry Karaszewski, Dan Petrie Jr., Misan Sagay, Kirsten Smith, Dana Stevens and Tyger Williams (Writers Branch).