Fellowship Panel: NBC Writers on the Verge

Fellowship season is quickly approaching! I recently attended a small panel with Karen Horne, who currently runs the NBC Writers on the Verge program. She talked about the NBCUniversal brand, the Writers on the Verge program and how it equips writers, what they’re looking for, and general advice for writers. It was so helpful and enlightening and makes me that much more excited to apply to the WOTV program again this year!

For any of my fellow writers, please enjoy the fruits of my fierce note-taking labors with all this information I compiled and organized from the panel. And be sure to check out my previous blog post 2016 TV Writing Fellowships and Workshops if you’re interested in knowing when, what, and how to apply for the program.


Benefits of the WOTV Program:

  • Prepares you for staffing.
  • Gets your stuff sent out to agents and managers; exposure.
  • Pairs you with a mentor from the network.
  • Experience what it’s like in a writers’ room.
  • Complete both a spec and pilot throughout the program.
  • Classes on pitching and improv.

What they’re looking for in candidates:

  • Personality and Passion.
  • Industry experience is helpful but not necessary.
  • A body of work that indicates who you are as a writer.
  • Writers who are writing all the time, even in their resume or essay.

What they’re looking for in the essays:

  • Diversity of experience.
  • Why would you be a great candidate as a storyteller?
  • What’s your point of view?
  • What can you bring that they don’t have already? Why do they really need to have you there?
  • What’s your brand?
  • Are there stories you have to tell? That you have to talk about? Why are you writing anyway?

Tips for Writing:

  • Write for your truth.
  • Write what you need to write, not what you think they want to read.
  • Don’t be afraid to take risks.
  • Make the reader fall in love with a character and then break the reader’s heart because you did something to that character.
  • For comedy writers: Your stories can’t be a clothes line to hang your jokes on.
  • For drama writers: Know how to edit your writing.
  • Be able to receive notes on your work.

For more information on Writers on the Verge or other NBC/Universal talent infusion programs, check out their Website.


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