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The Writers Lab 2017:
Call for Submissions

The Writers Lab, produced by IRIS and New York Women in Film & Television and funded by Meryl Streep, will soon open for submissions of screenplays by women over the age of 40 (birthdate on or before 3/30/1977)! This year's lab takes place September 14-17.

Open for Submissions: Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Regular Deadline: Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 11:59 PM EST (Fee: $50.00)
Late Deadline: Thursday, March 30, 2017 at 11:59 PM EST (Fee: $65.00)
Member Deadline: Thursday, March 30, 2017 at 11:59 PM EST (Fee: $35.00)
NYWIFT, other WIF chapters, and WGA members (Members of other Women in Film chapters must provide proof of membership via a letter from their chapter’s staff or Board President.)

PLEASE NOTE: The application itself is not available until submissions open on February 1.

Applicants must be women who were born on or prior to March 30, 1977, and must be US Citizens or Permanent Residents. The Lab seeks submissions from all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural groups. Submissions must be full-length narrative screenplays in English. (No TV scripts, shorts or documentaries.)

The following materials are required for your application and must be submitted electronically:
1) A PDF of a feature-length narrative screenplay
2) Contact information and log line
3) Payment with a credit card


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. One-on-one meetings, panel discussions and other activities are 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 professionals, amateurs, and everyone 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.

The 2017 Writers Lab will take place September 14 to 17, outside of New York City. Presented by IRIS and NYWIFT, The Writers Lab is presented in collaboration with The Writers Guild of America, East.

The 2015 inaugural Writers Lab became a beacon for women filmmakers everywhere, and the 2016 Lab established the program as an annual entertainment industry event. 2016 Mentors included Jessica Bendinger (Bring It On, Aquamarine), Susan Cartsonis (What Women Want, Where the Heart Is), Lisa Cortés (Precious, Shadowboxer), Amy Fox (Equity), Caroline Kaplan (Time Out of Mind, Personal Velocity), Mary Jane Skalski (Win Win, The Station Agent), Kirsten Smith (Legally Blonde, Ten Things I Hate About You),and Pat Verducci (True Crime).

See more at thewriterslab.nyc.


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.


IRIS was founded by Kyle Ann Stokes, Nitza Wilon and Elizabeth Kaiden to champion the female voice in fictional narrative film. IRIS built this lab for female storytellers, targeting script development in order to address the gender imbalance in the film industry and to ensure that women have a growing impact through their work.

New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT)

New York Women in Film & 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