The Jeff Sagansky Harvardwood TV Writers Intensive is an 8-12 week long modules-based peer writing program. Modules meet weekly for 3 hours per week for the duration of the program. This program uses peer review, guest speakers and workshops to foster a motivating and supportive environment for each participant’s writing. Only full members are eligible to apply, unless a Friend of Harvardood is writing partners with a Full Member, in which case the writing team can apply jointly.
Spring 2024 Rules and Requirements
Deadline: Monday, March 4th at 11:59pm PT
There is a high expectation of preparation and writing done outside of the meetings (approx. 15-20 hours per week). Each module will have approximately eight participants and will meet for approximately eleven sessions over a 14-week period beginning in March 2024. The program has a strict attendance policy, so please make sure that you can fully commit before applying. Participants are required to give constructive feedback to fellow writers in each session, so there is an expectation that you will have read applicable work prior to the meeting. The modules are successful because of this peer review, and you should expect a "writers room" format for your group.
Participants should be based primarily in Los Angeles for guest speakers, networking, and community-building events. Pending interest, we will also accommodate remote (non-LA-based) writers.
Program fee: $100
HOUR-LONG and HALF-HOUR MODULES – ORIGINAL PILOTS
Requirement: Full member of Harvardwood, have written a spec TV episode or TV pilot.
Workshop your idea and receive peer review each step of the way: pitch, synopsis, outline, and first draft. This module is structured to help you get feedback when you need it, and produce work that has been vetted and strengthened by your peers. This module may include workshops with professional actors reading your material.
TV PILOT REWRITE MODULE
Requirement: Full member of Harvardwood, have a complete TV pilot to rewrite.
This module is structured in three steps: 1) an in-depth peer review of your script, with special emphasis on the premise and the first act; 2) a live reading of your first act followed by a discussion with industry professionals 3) a second full review of your script, with a focus on the page-by-page execution. This module is for those who are looking for a detailed analysis and polish.
SPEC TV EPISODE (Drama & Comedy)
Requirement: Full member of Harvardwood, have written an original TV pilot.
This module is highly structured and designed to prepare participants for the competitive studio writers' fellowships in the late spring (ABC Disney, Warner Bros., etc.). Attendance is mandatory, and only two absences will be allowed. The goal of this module is to have every writer submit a high-quality spec script to the fellowships. As with the fellowships themselves, this is not for brand new writers, but for writers looking to take themselves to the next level. Because at least one of the fellowships requires original material as part of the application process, only writers with a completed original pilot will be considered.
Panels and Workshops
All module participants will be invited to attend panel discussions and stand-alone workshops during the program. Past Program discussions and workshops have included:
Pitching Round Robin - A Workshop with Industry Professionals
All module participants pitch their TV series or spec ideas to guest panelists for expert feedback early in the Program. This workshop is intended to give the writers a clear understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of their pilot or spec episode ideas.
Agents and Managers Panel
Moderated discussion with top literary agents and managers. In the past, agencies and management companies including UTA, WME, Paradigm, Benderspink, Echo Lake, and more have been represented.
Staff Writers Panel
Moderated discussion with those new to the trenches of television writers rooms. In the past, we have welcomed writers from Community, COMMUNITY, THE FLASH, JANE THE VIRGIN, PARKS & REC, and SILICON VALLEY.
Participants of the TV Writers Program may be considered for the annual Harvardwood Most Staffable TV Writers List (see below).
In recent years, participants in the Harvardwood Writers Program and Competition have seen unprecedented success with pilot sales to ABC, the CW, Showtime, Sony, Spike, Syfy, and TV Land, in addition to blind script deals at ABC Studios and Warner Bros. Harvardwood writers have been staffed on AGENT CARTER (ABC), AMERICAN DAD (Fox), BILLIONS (Showtime), COMMUNITY (NBC), COVERT AFFAIRS (USA), FAMILY GUY (FOX), THE FLASH (CW), GIRLFRIENDS' GUIDE (Bravo), GOLIATH (Amazon), THE GOOD WIFE (CBS), GOTHAM (Fox), GREAT NEWS (NBC), GREY'S ANATOMY (ABC), HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER (ABC), JANE THE VIRGIN (CW), JUSTIFIED (FX), THE NEWSROOM (HBO), PERCEPTION (TNT), POWER (Starz), SLEEPY HOLLOW (Fox), and STATE OF AFFAIRS (NBC). Among our feature film writers, successes include the theatrical releases of Jamesy Boy and Unfriended, as well as OddLot Entertainment’s optioning of Septillion to One; previous HWC feature category winner Capture is in post production with Circle of Confusion producing. Participants have also secured representation at Apostle, Benderspink, Brant Rose Agency, Brillstein Entertainment Partners, CAA, Circle of Confusion, Echo Lake, Gersh, ICM, Madhouse Entertainment, Management 360, Original Artists, UTA, WME, and others.
Most Staffable TV Writers List
Within the Harvardwood Writers Competition, the top scripts from the Jeff Sagansky TV Writers Program may be selected for the annual Harvardwood's Most Staffable TV Writers list (2016 Deadline article) and sent to managers, agents, networks, studios and production companies. Each of the selected writers may also be paired with an Industry mentor. The Most Staffable List is part of the annual Harvardwood Writers Competition, but only writers of original pilots from the immediately preceding fall and spring HWP — TV Modules will be eligible to be considered. However, spec scripts will not be eligible for submission, and writers who complete only a spec script during the Program will not be eligible for the Most Staffable List. If you would like more information about the Most Staffable List, please review the rules.
If you have any questions, please contact us.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Only Full Members are eligible for the Most Staffable List, the Harvardwood Writers Competition, and any Harvardwood-organized showcase.
Special thanks to Harvardwood Advisory Board member Jeff Sagansky AB '74, MBA '76, whose generous support makes this program possible.