Universal Extends Emerging Writers Fellowship for Second Year

Fellows in the first program were paired with Will Packer, Chris Morgan and Jeremy Garelick

Universal has renewed its Emerging Writers Fellowship -- designed to identify and cultivate unique voices with a passion for storytelling -- for a second year, the studio announced Tuesday.

Starting on Oct. 21, Universal will begin accepting applications for up to five fellowship positions. Potential candidates will be asked to submit an original feature length screenplay and other background materials for evaluation.

“Universal Pictures has created a fully immersive program dedicated to cultivating new voices in film with diverse perspectives," said Craig Robinson, executive vp and chief diversity officer for NBCUniversal. "It has been a joy to see how this year’s fellows have progressed, and we anticipate even more success as the team begins its search for next year. ”

In May, five writers were chosen from a pool of more than 700 hopefuls for a chance to gain exposure to the industry during the year long program.

The fellows in the year-long program were paired with Universal and WGA-assigned mentors Will Packer, Chris Morgan, Jeremy Garelick, Cheo Hodari Coker, Suzanne de Passem David Goyer, Melisa Wallack, Craig Mazin, Melissa Stack and Andrea Berloff.

Universal Pictures’ co-presidents of production Peter Cramer and Jeffrey Kirschenbaum will oversee the second round of participants.

“Working with the writers allowed us a fresh perspective on some of our own material and we were also able to work with them on developing some of their own ideas,” Kirschenbaum said in a statement. “The process was a mutually-beneficial one that understood our belief in this important program. ”