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Writers FAQ Writers FAQ

What is the Universal Writers Program?

The Universal Writers Program identifies experienced and up-and-coming storytellers with unique, global perspectives that build upon the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group’s (UFEG) commitment to telling stories and creating films that reflect the vast diversity of our audiences.

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What makes a good candidate for the Program?

The Program seeks the next generation of leading writers with voices that reflect the diverse perspectives of today’s audiences.  Additionally, the writers should tonally match the slates of UFEG’s various divisions including, but not limited to, Universal Pictures and Focus Features.

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What is the goal of the Program?

The primary goal is for writers to create material for potential development consideration for UFEG; however, concept development is not guaranteed.

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What is the Program’s time commitment?

Writers selected to participate in the one-year paid program are hired under a writing service agreement requiring a full-time commitment of a minimum of 40 hours per week. 

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Are there extensions past the one-year Program commitment?  

Should material written in the Program be identified as potential development content, UFEG has the option to extend a writer’s contract for a term of up to one additional year. 

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What are the application requirements?

Applicants are required to submit the following: a Universal Writers Program application, an original screenplay, an original treatment for a project other than the submitted screenplay, release form for submitted material, a current résumé, a personal essay, and optional letters of recommendation.

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What is the acceptable format for submitted material?

The original screenplay, original treatment, signed release form, résumé, personal essay, and recommendation letters must be submitted as PDFs on the application website.

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Can I email, hand deliver or mail my application and material? 

No.  Only online applications will be accepted. 

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Is there an application fee? 

No. However, there is a cost in registering your script and treatment with the Writers Guild of America (WGA).  Please visit www.wgawregistry.org  for more information such as registration rates.

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When will the Program begin and end? 

The Program typically starts at the beginning of April and runs to the end of March of the following calendar year.

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Is the Program a full-time commitment? 

Yes.  If selected, writers will be compensated with a non-negotiable bi-weekly salary of $2,794.69 ($72,662.00 annualized).

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May writers hold other forms of employment or be enrolled in school in concurrence to the Program?

No.

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How many writers are selected each year?

The number of writers selected for the Program varies. 

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If selected for the Program, what types of writing assignments will I receive?  

Writers will be required to complete two feature-length scripts during the 12-month period.

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If selected for the Program, will I be guaranteed that my material will be developed and/or produced?   

No.  Concept development is not guaranteed. 

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Where is the Program located? 

The Universal Studios Lot in Universal City, CA.

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If I’m selected as a finalist to participate in the in-person interview, will UFEG reimburse my traveling expenses?

No.

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If I’m selected into the Program but do not live in Los Angeles, will UFEG reimburse my relocation costs?

No.

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May writers participate in the Program remotely from other locations?

No.  Writers must be based on the Universal Studios Lot in Universal City, CA for the duration of the Program.

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Must I reside in Los Angeles to participate in the Program? 

Yes.

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Is there an East Coast version of the Program? 

No.

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How do I know my submission has been received? 

Once you submit your application you will see a message on your computer verifying confirmation. If a confirmation does not appear, it means you may be missing information and will need to resubmit your application.

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Will you contact me about the status of my application? 

No.  Due to the large volume of submissions, we cannot provide status updates or notify those who have not been accepted.  Please check our Facebook or Twitter pages for periodic updates on the selection process. 

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