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The Writers Lab 2017:
Submissions are Closed.

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The Writers Lab, produced by IRIS and New York Women in Film & Television and funded by Meryl Streep, in collaboration with the Writers Guild of America, East, is now closed for submissions for 2017. The Lab, now in its third year, welcomes screenplays by women over 40 (birth date on or before 3/30/77).

Regular Deadline – Thursday, March 23, 2017 - Fee: $50.00
Late Deadline – Thursday, March 30, 2017 - Fee: $65.00
Member Deadline  –  March 30, 2017 - Fee: $35    

(Applies to NYWIFT, other WIF chapters, and WGA members. Members of other WIF chapters must provide proof of membership via a letter from their chapter’s staff or Board President.)


1) Applicants must have a birth date on or prior to March 30, 1977, and must be US Citizens or Permanent Residents.
2) Submissions must be full-length narrative screenplays in English (no TV scripts, shorts or documentaries) exclusively by writers who identify as female.
3) The Lab invites submissions from all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural groups.
4) Previous applicants reapplying should do so with revised drafts.

Materials (submitted electronically)
1) A PDF of a feature-length narrative screenplay.
2) Contact information and log line.
3) Payment via Paypal or with a Credit Card

MISSION: The Writers Lab is dedicated to developing promising feature scripts of cinematic scope and imagination, in all genres, by women screenwriters over the age of 40, as part of the movement to amplify the female voice in narrative film. We are committed to female storytellers, yet do not limit our search to stories about women.

The 2017 Writers Lab will take place September 14 to 17, 2017, outside of New York City. We invite you to SUPPORT the vital work of The Writers Lab.

The Writers Lab brings a select group of women screenwriters over the age of 40 with promising scripts together with outstanding professional female filmmakers for an intensive four-day screenwriting retreat of one-on-one meetings, panel discussions and other activities designed to inspire the artists; to prompt rigorous creative exploration; and, through revision, to cultivate first-rate cinematic stories.


We seek a broad selection of screenplays across all genres of fiction. Scripts by more than one writer will be considered, but all writers must be female, and only one writer can attend the Lab. We welcome submissions from novices to professionals; anyone who has a story to tell and a cinematic vision. Selections are based on the script’s artistic merit and craftsmanship, not the applicant's level of professional experience.

Past Writers Lab mentors include Jessica Bendinger (Bring It On, Aquamarine), Susan Cartsonis (Carrie Pilby), Lisa Cortes (Precious), Amy Fox (Equity), Caroline Kaplan (Time Out of Mind, Personal Velocity), Meg LeFauve (Inside Out, The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys), Darnell Martin (Cadillac Records, I Like It Like That), Gina Prince-Bythewood (Secret Life of Bees, Beyond the Lights), Mary Jane Skalski (Win Win, The Station Agent), Kirsten Smith (Legally Blonde, Ten Things I Hate About You), Pat Verducci (Pixar).

IRIS is a collective of women filmmakers founded by Nitza Wilon, Kyle Ann Stokes, and Elizabeth Kaiden to champion the female voice in fictional narrative film. IRIS built this lab for female storytellers, targeting the development stage of filmmaking in order to address the gender imbalance in the stories being told and ensure that women have an impact through their work on both sides of the camera.

New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT)
New York Women in Film and Television supports women calling the shots in film, television and digital media. NYWIFT energizes the careers of women in entertainment by illuminating their achievements, providing training and professional development, and advocating for equality. The preeminent entertainment industry association for women in New York, NYWIFT brings together nearly 2,000 women and men working both above and below the line. NYWIFT is part of a network of 40 women in film chapters worldwide, representing more than 10,000 members. NYWIFT is a nonprofit 501c3 public charity.

Questions? Call: 212-679-0870 or contact@thewriterslab.nyc

Join the conversation on Twitter: #nywift | @nywift

NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts