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Netflix and Sky have launched a bursary for six writers from under-represented backgrounds to write an original spec script and get their first TV credit.

The writers, from Black Asian and other racial and ethnic backgrounds under-represented in TV and film, will each be paid £22,568 for the year long programme, in which they will attend monthly development events and workshops.

The Screenwriters’ Fellowship also includes a paid placement in a writer’s room on an established Netflix or Sky series, with an on-screen credit and the chance to get feedback on their own shadow script.

Each of the six will be assigned a mentor and each will get three meetings with writer and stand-up Bisha K Ali [main picture], who has spearheaded the scheme with Anne Mensah, Netflix UK’s head of original series and previously head of Sky drama.

Ali is a graduate of an earlier Sky diversity programme who has written for Netflix’s Sex Education and Hulu's adaptation of Four Weddings and a Funeral and is showrunner on upcoming Disney series Ms Marvel.
She said the fellowship will
create “a substantial financial safety net for underrepresented writers whose voices and stories are vital and incredibly valuable, and who may otherwise be priced out of building a career in television and film.”

Mensah said that on top of breaking down barriers to entering TV, the programme “provides the space, time and financial security to help writers develop their craft”.

Entrants must submit an original script of between 27 and 90 pages by 18 June. Interviews will be held in August, with an official launch date of 13 September.

For full details of the fellowship, click here

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