Mentorship Matters is an intensive, year-long mentorship program that pairs diverse emerging  writers with working TV showrunners.

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Applications will be open July 8th to July 22nd.

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Who you know
     matters.

86% of TV writers are white*
The problem is systemic.
*as reported by Darnell Hunt sponsored by Color Of Change

For too long our industry – both on camera and behind the scenes – has served a predominately white demographic.

Even as attention is finally being paid to this issue, writers' rooms are getting smaller, with showrunners turning to their friends and predominantly white colleagues for referrals when hiring their staffs.

Whether we like it or not, success in this business has always had to do with who you know. That’s how the “old boys' club” worked – and why it stubbornly survives to this day.  And that is why the majority of white-led writers rooms still lack diversity.

We are here to change that sh*#t.  From the inside.

We are a group of committed television showrunners
with Series on air and/or in development at:
Logos for HBO, NBC, Netflix, Apple TV, Showtime, Amazon, HBOMAX, FOX, Freeform, Peacock, CBS

We are volunteering to leverage our connections to advocate for and help create real opportunities for undiscovered diverse writers.

Your voice
       matters.

We are seeking talented, hardworking, ambitious writers who are ready to staff on a series.  Selected Mentees will be paired with a Showrunner Mentor for one year.

  • We will help you develop and polish an original writing sample.
  • We will introduce you to agents, managers, executives and fellow showrunners.
  • We will advise you on how to take these meetings and what to expect from them.
  • Though we cannot guarantee anyone employment, we will support you creatively, professionally and do everything in our power to get you writers room ready by the end of the year.

Required Materials

Plus sign
Apply Now

Letter of Interest:

1 page, double spaced, 12pt font

Brief background, including:
  • Where are you from?  How does your background influence your writing?
  • How long have you been writing?
  • What kinds of stories are you most interested in telling?
  • Do you have a favorite genre – or a specific strength as a writer?
  • What steps have you taken/are you taking now to pursue a career in television?
  • What existing shows could you see yourself writing for?
  • How do you think your unique voice/perspective will contribute to a Writers Room?

Resume

Relevant education and work experience.

Writing Sample

Original comedy or drama pilot.

Video Introduction

1 Minute (file size < 1GB)
  • What do you want us to know about you?
  • What do you hope to get out of the Program?
APPly Now
Testimonials from mentors and mentees in the mentorship matters 
program

Mentorship Matters has already become one of the most effective, thoughtful and proactive mentorship programs I've been involved with.

The mentee I've been working with is a terrific talent, a writer of vision and energy, who has what it takes to succeed in this business. But he really needed the support of someone who could help him polish his writing samples, help him make contacts, get meetings...get through the door. This is exactly what has happened during our time together. I've been honored to introduce him to execs I know, to help him land his first job, and to keep cheering him on as he blazes his trail. He deserved and earned the break that this program gave him. And he is thriving.

Melanie Marnich (Mentor)

My mentor instilled the confidence that I not only belong in this industry but can thrive in it. She pushed me to dig deeper and ask the hard questions that authentic storytelling demands. She became invested in my success, putting both my wins and losses into perspective with insights I will carry with me for the rest of my career.

The guidance, support and genuine sense of community I received in the Mentorship Matters program inspire me to give back to the next generation of writers.

Amadou Diallo (Mentee)

Being paired up with my mentor was incredible! She was so encouraging and gave me writing advice that helped me sharpen my voice and create a pilot that is so undeniably "me." When I was approached by a potential manager, she prepared me for the meeting and even put in a good word! I signed with the manager and have been going on lots of great generals ever since!

Madonna Diaz-Refugia (Mentee)

The Mentorship Matters Fellowship has changed the trajectory of my career. Being paired with a working showrunner in the industry has been invaluable, not only for my writing but also for broadening my connections in the industry. This fellowship landed me my first staff writing job, and introduced me to a network of talented peers, many of whom have also been staffed on various shows. I have this program to thank for the first big step in my writing career, and am very grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of the inaugural class.

Michelle Hsu (Mentee)

My mentee is a delight to mentor -- I'm thoroughly enjoying (and learning from!) her POV of a queer BIPOC writer whose genre romance is set in a vibrant time period and a very specific subculture. It's been my pleasure to introduce her to execs, showrunners and producers -- she consistently impresses them with her sample, her insights and her readiness to be staffed.

Melinda Hsu Taylor (Mentor)

Mentorship Matters has been a game-changer for me on many levels. It paired me with my incredibly talented and supportive mentor, who I now consider a friend. Her sincerity and generosity throughout the program resulted in a new script my reps are sharing, getting hired as a WA on two different shows, and being introduced to fantastic showrunners and writers. The cherry on top of all this awesomeness is bonding with my fellow mentees, who are super talented and wonderful writers ready to make their mark on this industry. Thank you, Mentorship Matters!

Paloma Riojas (Mentee)

I have been so privileged to be mentor.  Guiding my mentee through the pilot process was a total pleasure, and I am constantly impressed and inspired by her.  She is one of the most hard-working, talented, collaborative, generous, and kind young writers I've worked with, and every colleague I've introduced her to has felt exactly the same.  Her pilot has landed her generals with agents, producers, and showrunners alike, and I have zero doubt she will be staffed very soon.  I would hire her in a heartbeat, and I will just as soon as I have the chance.  

Jennifer Cacicio (Mentor)

I was linked with a mentor that not only helped me shift my approach to writing but gave me the skills to be ‘room-ready’.  My mentor's belief and investment in me was manifest as he championed me to my first staff position that, without exaggeration, changed the trajectory of my life.

Rah Johnson (Mentee)

"My time working with my mentee has been amazing.  I could not have asked for a better mentee; I credit the rigorous vetting process and careful consideration by the Mentorship Matters Team for putting us together.  I could see that he was a very talented writer from the moment we first sat down. His success in the program and beyond, first and foremost, is a credit to his hard work and dedication; my role as his mentor was simply to get him and his writing in front of people in the industry, so they could see what I already knew: that he was special; he's an amazing writer and person who would be a boon to any showrunner or producer in need of a talented scribe.  I'm happy to say that after 10 months of working together, he now has a manager, and is working as a staff writer in his first writers' room."

Graham Roland (Mentor)

Mentors are key, especially in television where the entry point is all about access and who you know. My Mentor has been a great help. Since day one of the program he's been an open book. After being staffed in my first room, he gave me priceless advice on what to expect and how to prepare. Mentorship Matters is a life changing program.

Saeed Crumpler (Mentee)

During my experience in Mentorship Matters, it has been my pleasure to participate as a mentor to my mentee, who has secured representation and earned his first opportunity as a staff writer. His success is a testament to his talent, hard work and the benefits of Mentorship Matters, through which we discuss everything from notes on writing, to how to navigate politics in the writers room, to how to strategically build a career (even after being staffed), to what to wear in a Zoom meeting.

Aaron Rahsaan Thomas (Mentor)

Group photo of mentorship matters participants at the end of year celebration

In the press:

Deadline magazine logo

Mentorship Matters BIPOC Writers Initiative Makes Debut, Unveils First Class & Participating Showrunners

Read Article
Deadline magazine logo

Mentorship Matters BIPOC Writers Initiative Announces 2023 Mentees & Participating Showrunners

Read Article

Sponsored by:

FAQ

1. Who is eligible for the Program?

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Participants will be emerging writers with diverse voices over 18, with at least one original pilot sample, who are not WGA members and are not currently, and have never been, staffed on a scripted series. Applicants can reside anywhere in the US but must be willing to move to Los Angeles if offered a paid position in a Writers' Room.

If you live in another country, you are eligible if you have a current valid work visa and can move to Los Angeles immediately if a job is offered.

Writing teams may apply and should fill out one application together.

2. What are the main elements of the Program?

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Over the course of one year, Mentors and Mentees will meet or talk at least once a month.  Mentors will provide advice, support, accountability and help prepare Mentees for the challenges of a career in television. Additionally, Mentors will guide Mentees in developing and polishing one original pilot with a calendar of steps clearly outlined:

• Mentor will hear/read pitch concept(s) and give general advice on one idea
• Mentor will provide Mentee with pilot outline and script samples if needed
• Mentor will read pilot outline and give notes
• Mentor will read first draft and give notes
• Mentor will give final set of polish notes

Mentors are committed to making introductions and fostering connections with other writers, agents, managers and executives.  The goal is to help Mentees build genuine, rewarding, professional relationships and collaborations that will continue beyond the program and ultimately lead to a career in television.

3. How will Mentors and Mentees be matched?

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A panel of working television writers will pair you with a Mentor they feel is best suited to your writing goals.  We will be taking into account your tone, style, whether you write drama or comedy, and what kinds of networks or streaming platforms your material reflects.

4. Who will own the script I develop with my Mentor?

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You will own your own material.  Your Mentor will simply be guiding you through the development process, providing notes and feedback.

5. Am I guaranteed a job upon completion of the Program?

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We cannot promise anyone a job upon completion of the Program.  What we can promise is direct access to allies in our industry who are committed to helping you succeed.  Like everything in life, this opportunity is what you make of it.  But it’s our hope that your hard work and the relationships you build within this program will lead to a successful career in television.

6. Do I have to live in Los Angeles in order to work in a Writers' Room?

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While some Writers' Rooms are still over Zoom, which means you can live anywhere you like, however, it can be hard to secure representation without a meaningful commitment to live in Los Angeles and be available for meetings and interviews.  We strongly recommend applicants be willing to move to Los Angeles should a job arise.

7. When does the Program start?  

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The Mentorship Matters Program is set to launch in fall 2024.