The Michael Collyer Memorial Fellowship in Screenwriting (Collyer Fellowship), underwritten by a grant from the King Family Foundation, is awarded to a student who plans to pursue a career in screenwriting on completion of his or her undergraduate course of study.
The student chosen receives a $10,000 stipend to write an original screenplay and is mentored during the course of the fellowship by a prominent screenwriter. The fellowship is for one year and is offered to a selected list of schools (currently 18 schools).
In 2016, the WGI expanded the reach of the Collyer Fellowship, both in terms of the people reviewing scripts and the number of students who can submit their scripts. Working with The BlackList (blcklist.com), the WGI now takes submissions from around the country. Those submissions will be reviewed by their renowned team of film and television industry insiders, ranging from from agency assistants to studio presidents and working actors and directors.
This year’s submission window opens on Wednesday, October 5th and the deadline for submissions is Monday, November 28th, 2016.
Entrants must be current undergraduate seniors with a demonstrated interest in, and talent for, screenwriting as a profession. The winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize, and the opportunity to work on a specific project for one year with a professional screenwriter / mentor. The Collyer Fellowship is looking for students who have a passion for writing. Emphasis will be placed on feature film projects that are character driven and personal in nature. (No TV pilots at this time.)
To submit material to the competition, entrants should go to blacklist.com’s Collyer Fellowship Page, where they’ll find submission requirements and a submission agreement. There is a $100 fee for each entry ($25 to host and $75 for an evaluation. Each entry will receive feedback on their script, including strengths, weaknesses and commercial prospects. Students at participating Film Schools and Universities will be eligible for a reduced Registration Fee. (A FAQ for the competition can be found here.)
In early December, the BlackList will choose 15 screenplays to send to the WGI selection committee for consideration. The Fellowship recipient will be selected by the WGI by the calendar year’s end. The winner may also have the opportunity to attend the Writers Guild Awards in New York City in February 2017.
Further questions can be directed to The BlackList at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The award honors Michael Collyer, a distinguished entertainment attorney in New York City for four decades, who practiced primarily at his namesake firm Kay Collyer & Boose and specialized in television financing and production. The fellowship is presented each year at the Writers Guild of America, East Awards ceremony in New York.
Our Collyer Fellows often go onward to bigger and brighter successes, many times being able to get established using their Collyer scripts. Past winners have received accolades such as the Nicholl Fellowship and the Bahamas International Film Festival residency.