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2024 Disney Entertainment Television Writing Program
Before completing an application, or posting any questions, please carefully read the following instructions, as well as the FAQs and other application materials. If you have applied in a previous year, be sure to read this new information, as this year’s application process has changed. Thank you.
ABOUT THE DISNEY ENTERTAINMENT TELEVSION WRITING PROGRAM
The primary goal of the Disney Entertainment Television (“DET”) Writing Program (the “Program”) is to staff Program Writers on DET series as staff writers during the Program year. Staffing is not guaranteed. The twelve-month Program is tentatively set to begin in mid-February 2024 and end in mid-February of the following year. Please note, time frames are subject to change. For the first few months of the Program, writers participate in a professional development curriculum designed to better prepare them for staffing consideration, including developing, writing, and polishing at least one (1) original pilot script to be used as a staffing sample. The Program also provides engagement with executives, producers and credentialed writers, designed to facilitate relationships that can prove invaluable in developing a television writing career. Additional past activities have included: workshops led by veteran television writers, producers and Program alumni, and networking mixers with executives, producers, and showrunners.
Applications will be accepted October 24, 2023 through November 17, 2023. Incomplete applications or applications received/submitted prior to 12:00 a.m. PST on October 24, 2023 or after 11:59 p.m. PST on November 17, 2023 will not be opened, reviewed, or accepted.
Applicants must be able to legally work in the United States and be at least twenty-one (21) years of age by December 1, 2023. Entertainment industry experience is not required but is strongly recommended. Those applying must fully complete an online application and submissions package, including uploading the following seven (7) items (eight (8) if you are opting in to be considered for the Boone Scholarship OR the FX John Singleton Scholars Initiative) (applicants may not apply for both Scholarships):
1) SCRIPT ONE: ORIGINAL PILOT SCRIPT capturing the writer’s unique tone, style and point of view. This sample must be live-action content; animation samples of any form are not accepted. This sample should tonally translate to the type of programming broadcast, airing or streaming on DET. This will be the primary script for consideration of your application. It cannot be changed or replaced after submission. This sample must not have been submitted in a previous application.
2) EXHIBIT “A”: SCRIPT ONE SUMMARY FORM
3) SCRIPT TWO: SECONDARY ORIGINAL PILOT SCRIPT capturing the writer’s unique tone, style and point of view. This sample must be live-action content; animation samples of any form are not accepted. This sample should tonally translate to the type of programming broadcast, airing or streaming on DET. This sample may have been submitted in a previous application and will receive the same score as before.
4) EXHIBIT “B”: SCRIPT TWO SUMMARY FORM
5) RESUME (two pages or less) outlining chronological salaried employment (which may include entertainment and non-entertainment positions). Only list jobs or positions where compensation was received, with the exception of entertainment industry internships and full-time volunteer work at non-profits. Please also list any courses or training you have taken to develop your craft as a writer. Please do not list undergraduate coursework.
6) STAFFING PITCH (no more than 1500 characters): “Pitch” yourself as a potential staff writer on a current DET series (broadcast, cable, or streaming). Before completing this section, please make sure you have a solid command of the breadth of programming across DET, as well as the particular show you are pitching yourself for; accepted series includes those confirmed to return for the 2023-24 season. In your pitch, please specify: 1) why you think you would be a good fit for the particular show you selected, 2) how you identify with that show (whether it’s through a character, series theme, series storyline, series location, premise, etc.), and 3) what you think you could add to this particular writers’ room. The pitch should address why you’re a fit, and not why you like the show or its impact.
7) PERSONAL ESSAY (no more than 3000 characters): a story from your life experience that conveys your unique perspective and/or multi-cultural sensibility.
8a) DISNEY BRANDED TELEVISION (“DBT”) EUNETTA T. BOONE SCHOLARSHIP PITCH (if applicable): If you opt in to be considered for the Eunetta T. Boone Comedy Writers Scholarship, please answer the following prompt in 1500 characters or less: Please share why you are applying for the Boone Scholarship. Specifically, share how familiar you are with Eunetta T. Boone’s life and work, your connection to the shows she ran, and, if selected for the scholarship, how you plan to honor Ms. Boone’s legacy in a Disney Channel writers’ room.
8b) FX JOHN SINGLETON SCHOLARS INTITIATIVE PITCH (if applicable): If you opt in to be considered for the FX John Singleton Scholarship, please answer the following prompt in 1500 characters or less: Please share why you are applying for the Singleton Scholars Initiative. Specifically, share how familiar you are with John Singleton’s life and work, and your connection to the shows he created/produced/directed. Please also share how and why you think you’re a great fit for an FX Networks writers’ room.
All files must: 1) be in PDF format and 2) be named exactly as specified below. Attachments that are not named correctly or are not in PDF format will disqualify the application. E.g., do not include your script title in the file name; it is not requested in the format below.
Please use this naming format for your uploads (with no spaces!):
File Name Samples:
Complete only one online application per individual applicant. For writing teams, each individual must submit an application (application will provide fields to list your writing partner’s information). Incomplete applications will not be opened or reviewed and will be disqualified without notification.
- Review all application materials carefully.
- Assemble required documents (download required forms here)
- Internet connection/browser (no faxed, mailed or emailed apps allowed)
- Two original writing samples (fully completed pilot scripts)
- Two completed script summary forms (one for each script)
- A resume
- Personal essay
- Staffing pitch
- Your writing partner’s designated email address (if applicable)
- Boone Scholarship Pitch (if applicable)
- FX John Singleton Scholars Initiative Pitch (if applicable)
- Select the two scripts you plan to submit. Both scripts must be original pilots.
- Assess your writing samples for quality and excellence
- Check for story and structure elements
- Does the main character behave in a clear, consistent manner?
- Does the pilot stand alone as an episode (as opposed to a script that has set up all characters, places, etc., at the expense of an actual story arc)?
- For comedy scripts, are there multiple laughs throughout each script?
- Is it crystal clear what the underlying conflict, setting, and circumstances of the next 99 episodes would be?
- Did the script get high marks in professional coverage from an established analyst, competition, or coverage service? Note: We cannot provide recommendations.
- Determine which script will be your primary script (Script 1, the main script for consideration) and your secondary script (Script 2, the back-up script for consideration)
- Check to ensure your samples are completed pilot scripts (no treatments, beat sheets, etc.)
- Page count
- Spell check
- Save/Print as PDF using the required naming conventions
- Assess your writing samples for quality and excellence
- Launch the online application form. Once you have assembled all of the above materials, open the online application. It will take you approximately 30 minutes to complete, including uploading your required documents. Once you have electronically signed and submitted your application, it cannot be edited. You will receive a confirmation email following the successful submission of the online application.
- Answer each question directly
- Do not type in all caps in any field
- If you do not have an answer to the question, leave it blank. Do not type N/A, TBD, ? or anything else. Leave it blank.
- If you have a writing partner, be sure your applications have the same scripts and script summaries – and include each other’s names and email addresses in the fields for your writing partner information. Decide in advance which emails you will use and be consistent.
- If you experience any technical difficulties while completing the application, please send us a message using the form below.
- Do not wait until the last day to submit as the chances increase of experiencing issues with uploading and submitting due to server overload. Applications will not be opened, reviewed, or accepted after the deadline; no exceptions, including for technical difficulty reasons.
- For the 2024 Program cohort, finalists will be contacted in the winter 2023-24, and Program Writers will be selected in December 2023 or January 2024, with an official press announcement in February 2024.
- Due to the volume of submissions, those not accepted will not be notified. We will not respond to any inquiries regarding the status of the selection process.
- Please note, these dates and timeframes are subject to change at DET’s/CTDI’s sole discretion.
Download the 2024 DET Writing Program Documents
Download the Essay and Staffing Pitch Forms
- Prepare your resume, essay, and staffing pitch
- Download the Essay and Staffing Pitch Forms
- Review/Update your resume (Maximum length: 2 pages)
- Includes all professional work experience, not just writing/TV related experience
- Do not include any creative content (e.g., don't list names of scripts, loglines, etc.)
- Focus on professional/paid work experience in all fields
- List experience from most current job(s) backwards (reverse chronology)
- Save/Print as PDF using the required naming convention
- Write a personal essay (Maximum character count: 3000 characters, or approx. 500 words)
- Read the prompt provided and answer it directly and specifically
- Write in first-person, and keep the tone personal
- Do not re-use an essay from another writing competition; it will not correctly answer the prompt
- Follow the below guidelines:
- Write your story and insights, not those of a family member or friend
- Write as if you are in a live interview, responding to the question.
- Don't write a speech, presentation or other impersonal statement of general beliefs.
- Share real anecdotes you would draw from to write scripts or inform a character in the room.
- Don't state what kind of subjects you write about or what impact you want to have. Just let us get to know you, in direct response to the question that is asked.
- Save/Print as a PDF using the required naming convention
- Prepare one staffing pitch (Maximum character count: 1500, or approx. 250 words)
- Watch the wide range of DET content across our networks and studios
- Select one live-action DET show, ideally that is related to your life experience
- Prepare pitch for yourself as a staff writer for the DET show, with an emphasis on things you have done, relationships you have had, places you have lived, jobs you have held or other personal experience that would directly inform the character or story of that DET show
- Save/Print as a PDF using the required naming convention
- Download the Boone Scholarship Pitch form. (Note: If you are not opting in to be considered for the Boone Scholarship or if you are opting in to be considered for the Singleton Scholars Initiative, please do not submit a Boone Scholarship Pitch.)
- If you are opting in to be considered for the Boone Comedy Writers Scholarship, you are required to submit a short pitch prompt in no more than 1500 characters (approx. 250 words).
- Save/Print as a PDF using the required naming convention
- Download the Singleton Scholars Initiative Pitch form. (Note: If you are not opting in to be considered for the Singleton Scholarship or if you are opting in to be considered for the Boone Comedy Writers Scholarship, please do not submit a Singleton Scholars Initiative Pitch.)
- If you are opting in to be considered for the Singleton Scholars Initiative, you are required to submit a short pitch prompt in no more than 1500 characters (approx. 250 words).
- Save/Print as a PDF using the required naming convention.
- Download and complete the script summary forms for both selected scripts. You will have to complete a summary form for your first script (please download “Exhibit A”) and for your second script (please download “Exhibit B”). Please download and complete both forms prior to beginning the application process. Be sure to complete and save the fillable forms using a desktop PDF viewer application. (Adobe Reader or Preview)
- Download Exhibit A and Exhibit B
- Fill out forms
- Title of Material Submitted: enter the exact title of the script (do not include your name, "pilot", genre, etc.)
- Material Logline: A 1-3 sentence summary of the premise of the pilot with an emphasis on the character, the central conflict, the Location and the tension of the overall series. (This is specifically a logline, not a synopsis.).
- Principal Characters: List names and critical descriptions of the Main Character and the core supporting characters in the pilot script.
- Setting/Geographical Location: List the main physical setting(s) of the pilot.
- Time Period: List the year, decade, century, etc. in which the pilot takes place (e.g., "Present Day,", "1980s," "the early 1700s," etc.)
- Demographics of Lead Character: List these characteristics of the character that is the main character (as defined by the rules of story and structure, even if there is an ensemble cast):
- Age: List the age range (e.g., "child," "'tween", "30s," etc.)
- Confirm that you are the sole author and owner of the content
- If you have a writing partner, confirm that you both are the sole authors and owners of the content
- Do not submit adaptations, unless you are the sole author and owner of the underlying content
- Save/Print the completed forms as PDFs using the required naming conventions
- Assemble your required documents for uploading.The seven documents you will upload during the online application process are: Script One, Script One Summary Form (Exhibit A), Script Two, Script Two Summary Form (Exhibit B), Resume, Essay, and Staffing Pitch. An eighth document, the Boone Scholarship Pitch OR the Singleton Scholars Initiative is only required for those opting in to be considered for the Boone Scholarship or Singleton Scholars Initiative. IMPORTANT! All files must: 1) be in PDF format and 2) be named exactly as specified below. Attachments that are not named correctly will not be opened or reviewed and will disqualify the application. For example, do not include your script title in the file name; it is not requested in the format below.Please use the following naming format for your uploads (replacing “FirstName” with your first name and “LastName” with your last name): FirstName_LastName_2024_ DocumentType
- File Naming Formats:
- There can be no spaces in the file name. Do not add extra characters, type in all caps, use dashes instead of underscores, change the order of your name, add the name of your script, include a date, add a version number, or otherwise not follow the naming convention above. If you are part of a writing team, only use your name in all file names – including those for scripts.
- File Naming Formats:
The following FAQs should comprehensively answer any questions regarding the application process for the 2024 Disney Entertainment Television (“DET”) Writing Program (the “Program”). Please read these and the rest of our application materials carefully before beginning the application or posting questions. If you have applied in a previous year, be sure to read these new FAQs, as this year’s application process has changed. Thank you.
Yes. However, due to the nature of the Program, we are unable to sponsor individuals for United States work visas to participate in the Program. To be eligible, by December 1, 2023, an applicant must possess, and present evidence of identity and United States employment eligibility (valid for the duration of the Program) as required by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, as amended.
Yes. The Writing Program is open to employees of The Walt Disney Company and its subsidiaries.
About Disney Entertainment Television
Disney Entertainment Television is a collection of renowned content brands at The Walt Disney Company creating original entertainment and news programming for the Company’s streaming platforms Disney+, Hulu and Star, and its broadcast and cable networks. Its extensive portfolio is comprised of ABC Entertainment, ABC News, ABC Owned Television Stations, Disney Branded Television, Freeform, FX, Hulu Originals, National Geographic Content and Onyx Collective, in addition to Disney Television Studios, which include 20th Television, 20th Television Animation, ABC Signature and Walt Disney Television Alternative. Responsible for over 4,500 hours of programming a year across more than 300 programs of all genres, Disney Entertainment Television’s creative brands are at the forefront of groundbreaking storytelling, captivating audiences and generating critical acclaim. In 2022, Disney Entertainment Television’s programming excellence earned 288 Emmy® nominations across daytime, primetime, news & documentary, and children’s & family categories.
You must be at least twenty-one (21) by December 1 of the current application year to apply to the Program.
Professional writing or production experience is not required but is strongly recommended. Past participants who entered the Program with television experience (e.g., writers’ assistant or script coordinator) have found that knowledge and experience helpful.
You will upload a minimum of seven documents during the online application process, and all must be in Portable Document Format (PDF).
Yes. All applicants must submit a chronological employment resume that is two (2) pages or less in length. Only list jobs or positions where compensation was received with the exception of entertainment industry internships and full-time volunteer work at non-profits. Positions must have been held within the past fifteen (15) years and may include entertainment and non-entertainment positions. Applications that do not include a resume will be disqualified.
No. Recommendation letters are no longer being accepted.
Your application cannot be updated once it is submitted. All elements must be re-submitted together. If you submit an incomplete application or uploaded an incorrect element, you must complete a new application by the submission deadline. The application with the latest submission date and time is the only one that will be considered. We will not mix materials from multiple applications, and you must maintain the same name and email address each time you update your application submission
Yes. Your application must be submitted no later than 11:59 pm PST of the deadline date. Applications received prior to the application start date or later than the application deadline date will not be opened or reviewed and will be disqualified.
No. All submissions must be made through the designated online portal.
Writing Partner F.A.Q.
Yes. Each partner must complete a separate application. In the application, you will indicate your writing partner’s name and contact information. Writing teams who fail to submit two individual applications will be disqualified without notice.
No. Even though each of you must complete and sign an individual application, you must each submit the same two scripts. Both scripts must have been written by you as a writing team. Writing teams who fail to submit the same two scripts in their individual applications will be disqualified without notice.
No. Individual applicants must be the sole writer of submitted materials. Failure to comply will result in disqualification without notice.
The Boone Scholarship is a dedicated position in the DET Writing Program. The recipient is selected from our Writing Program applicants, will join the DET Writing Program and will be considered for staffing specifically on a Disney Branded Television show during the Program year. Please read more about the Scholarship, and the remarkable showrunner who inspired it, here. To be considered for selection for the Boone Scholarship, applicants must opt in and will be required to submit a short essay in the application. Applicants are not required to opt in for consideration for the Writing Program.
The Singleton Scholars Initiative is a dedicated position in the DET Writing Program. The recipient is selected from our Writing Program applicants, will join the DET Writing Program and will be considered for staffing specifically on an FX Networks show during the Program year. To be considered for selection for the Singleton Scholars Initiative, applicants must opt in and will be required to submit a short essay in the application. Applicants are not required to opt in for consideration for the Writing Program.
Submissions to the Writing Program must include TWO original writing samples: two original pilot scripts capturing your unique tone, style and point of view, which must be original works (adapted materials, not written by you, cannot be submitted). Both samples MUST be live-action content – and each must be stand-alone pilots (i.e. no two-part scripts), whose stories begin in that episode as opposed to episode 3. We do not accept animation, feature, or play samples. Spec scripts will not be accepted.
We are looking for structurally-sound original television pilots with a clear premise, fully-developed characters, consistent tone, and solid pacing and dialogue. We will accept and read original pilot scripts with broadcast network, cable network, and streaming sensibilities. Samples should tonally translate to the type of programming airing or streaming on DET.
The personal essay is another writing sample, a way to showcase your storytelling ability. We are looking for heartfelt, well-written essays that capture an experience, story, or moment in your life that has shaped the way you view the world or affected your POV as a writer. Please see Application Instructions for more information.
For the staffing pitch section, we want you to “pitch” yourself as a potential staff writer on a current DET series (broadcast, cable, or streaming). Before completing this section, please make sure you have a solid command of the breadth of programming across DET, as well as the particular DET show you are pitching yourself for. In your pitch, please specify: 1) why you think you would be a good fit for the particular DET show you selected, 2) how you identify with that DET show (whether it’s through a character, series theme, series storyline, series location, premise, etc.), and 3) what you think you could add to this particular writers’ room. The pitch’s focus should address why you’re a fit, and not why you like the show or its impact on society. For writing teams, you are encouraged to submit the same staffing pitch (i.e., both the same DET show and the same pitch speaking to your contributions as a team), but we will accept any combination: same or different DET show; pitches can be identical or different; pitches can speak to contributions either as a team or as individual writers.
No. Please see FAQ "Writing Samples"
No. If you are a comedy writer, submit two half-hour comedy scripts. If you are a drama (or dramedy) writer, submit two hour-long drama scripts.
Please select “Drama” as your genre. You may upload two hour-long dramas or dramedies as your scripts. Do not upload a comedy or half-hour script.
Your first script must not have been previously submitted to the Program – regardless of degree of rewriting or updating. Your second script may have been previously provided; however, it will receive the same score as in the past – regardless of degree of rewriting or updating. This applies to scripts from applications that were disqualified. While we are not able to let you know whether your application was disqualified, you are allowed to re-submit a script from a previous application as your second script. However, you cannot submit it as your first script.
Yes, one Program Release Form covers both Script One, your original pilot script (“Exhibit A”) and Script Two, your second original pilot script (“Exhibit B”). The release form is part of the online application. The Exhibit A and Exhibit B forms must be downloaded and completed in advance.
Yes. Scripts must be presented in the standard, industry-accepted format for the type of script being submitted. Formatting guidelines can be found in various publications. Please include a standard title page at the beginning of your script (you may include your contact information on the title page).
Script formats vary by series. We encourage you to research the proper industry-accepted format for your submission.
No. For legal reasons, we are unable to accommodate this request.
You will retain ownership of material. However, if you are selected as a Program participant, any material written by you prior to the term of the Writing Program and currently controlled and/or owned by you must be disclosed in writing as part of the Writing Program Agreement. DET shall have an “Exclusive First Look” for such material, whereby, DET shall have the exclusive option to purchase such material from you in accordance with the policies and terms outlined in the Writing Program Agreement.
No. Due to the high volume of submissions, we are unable to provide feedback.
Upon your initial submission of the online application, you will receive a confirmation email. After that, and throughout the course of the application evaluation process, we will not notify you of your individual application’s status per the below.
- Semi-finalists, finalists, and final participants selected will be contacted directly. Typically, semi-finalists are contacted in winter 2023-24, and Program Writers will be selected in December 2023 or January 2024, with an official press announcement in February 2024.
- Due to the volume of the applications, those not accepted will not be notified; and we will not respond to any inquiries about the status of the selection process.
For all Program-related updates, follow and stay tuned to our Website and Facebook page.
No. Due to the high volume of submissions, we are unable to provide feedback.
No. Finalist interviews/events may be conducted virtually. If any Finalist interview is conducted in-person in Los Angeles, Finalists are expected to attend at their expense. For additional info, see question below.
If you are selected to participate in the Program, you must make yourself available for in-person and/or virtual events, programs, and meetings that will take place in Los Angeles. If you do not currently live in Los Angeles, you must relocate/make yourself available for the program’s events and activities in Los Angeles at your own expense.
Writers typically begin the Program in January or February; however, the schedule is subject to change.
Yes. Writers become employees of Disney Entertainment Television and will be paid, as of the current date, a non-negotiable weekly salary plus any applicable benefits for which they are eligible in accordance with the then-current Company benefits plans. If a writing team is accepted to the Program, each partner will be paid the aforementioned weekly salary plus any applicable benefits. You may not hold other employment or be enrolled in school during the Program period.
The number of writers selected for the Writing Program varies.
No. Applications to the Writing Program are not added to any other talent databases we or other teams work with.