Fellowship Panel: WB Writers’ Workshop

I attended another TV fellowship panel – this time with Chris Mack, who is the current head of the Warner Bros. Writers’ Workshop. He talked about the benefits of the program, what they look for in the selection process, and offered some helpful advice for writers while stressing the importance of having a strong voice in your writing.

I’ve been a long-time fan of the Warner Bros. brand and the shows they’ve put out. I also used to work at WB, so they hold a special place in my heart. I’m so thankful I was able to attend this panel and get a little more insight into the program as I prepare my application this year. I did some rigorous note-taking, so for my fellow writers, I hope you find the information below useful!

Be sure to read 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. And check out my blog post on the NBC Writers on the Verge fellowship panel I attended a couple weeks ago.

wbtvworkshop

Benefits of the WB Workshop:

  • Works to maintain a relationship with the workshoppers even after the program has ended.
  • Pairs you with an executive mentor and alumni from the workshop.
  • Classes on pitching, interviewing, brainstorming.
  • Experience what it’s like in a writers’ room.
  • Complete both a spec and a pilot throughout the program.

What They’re Looking for in Candidates:

  • Different values and perspectives.
  • Someone who has a strong voice.
  • Not really someone fresh out of college with little experience.
  • They’re looking for the best writers.
  • Someone who knows who they are as a writer.

Essays and Interviews:

  • Don’t just write that you grew up on TV and that’s why you want to write for TV.
  • Your essay, like everything else you write, should be good writing.
  • You want to show that you’re a good storyteller. So tell them a story about yourself.
  • Find those emotional beats in your life.
  • Tell them something that will make them think, “Wow, this person is interesting.”
  • Let them see that you’re comfortable talking about yourself, which will be useful in a writers’ room.
  • Don’t rush through your interview thinking they don’t have time.

More About the WB Workshop:

  • Unlike other workshops/fellowships, the WB workshop is not a diversity program. They are just looking for the best writers.
  • They receive twice as many comedy specs than drama, but generally accept six drama writers and two comedy writers.
  • Later in the selection process, they will ask for a second sample that is original material. Can be a feature, play, pilot – just something that best expresses your voice.
  • The program runs from October to April and meets Tuesdays 7-10pm.

Tips for Writing:

  • The best writers say something about humanity.
  • Leave people thinking about what you’re writing about.
  • Embrace who you are as a writer.
  • Remember that story is about emotion.
  • Don’t just approach a story from the concept, approach it from the characters.
  • Be interesting in your specs and focus on the main character.

For more information on the Warner Bros. Writers’ Workshop check out their Website.

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