Television writer, producer and showrunner Ben Cory Jones has announced a virtual television pilot writing workshop, @BenTheWritersRoom, for underrepresented writers of color and LGBTQ+ storytellers.
The workshop will enable “new writers to train and equip themselves with expertly crafted scripts that meet current industry standards and also serve as viable calling cards to forge their path as professional writers. Writers will learn how to clearly and articulately pitch a series concept, structure and write a pilot, give and receive notes in a virtual writers’ room setting and learn how to operate a “table read” from an established writer and showrunner in a small group setting. Additionally, writers will also gain insight into entertainment content development and production from concept to completion. Industry experts and TV Showrunners will join work sessions, engaging with writers to offer personal feedback that will evolve the writer’s craft."
“As we’ve witnessed during this current transitional moment in our lives – stories have power! They have the power to bring us together, even when we’re forced to be distances and miles apart. Because of that, now more than ever – studios, networks and television tastemakers are all looking for one thing: original voices,” said Jones in a statement.
Writers of all genres are welcome to apply if they meet the following criteria:
- - Applicant must be a writer of color or an LGBTQ+ writer
- - Applicant must be over the age of 25
- - Applicant must not have ever been paid or garnered profits as a professional writer in any capacity
Applications can be found at www.benthewritersroom.com beginning May 8, 2020. The site will have more application information and deadlines on that date as well.
Writers must submit:
- - A one-page bio (400 words max)
- - A one-paragraph synopsis of a pilot/series based on a real-life experience. The writer must also specify the show type (half-hour, hour-long, comedy, drama or dramedy) and the ideal network for their concept. (200 words max)
- - A one-page resume or CV
Jones added, “This is a full-circle moment. In the decade that I’ve been in the entertainment industry, I’ve held nearly every possible position on my writers’ journey, from PA to showrunner and I look forward to meeting and helping to guide the next crop of talented and fearless writers.”
Seven to 10 creators will be chosen and the program will begin in early June 2020. Jones is the co-creator of BET's Boomerang. He's also served as a consulting producer on BET's Games People Play and has written and produced on Insecure, as well as writing for WGN's Underground, among other shows. He's currently developing a slate of television, film and podcast projects.
Photo: Ben Cory Jones