Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS SCREENWRITERS COLONY?
Screenwriters Colony is a non-profit retreat program for screenwriters. Part residency, part mentorship, our programs bring together four writers who live and work in a beautiful, inspiring location (Nantucket or Costa Rica) with all needs accommodated to provide the time and space for intensive writing and workshopping with industry mentors.
WHAT IS THE OCTOBER COLONY?
The October Colony is our flagship program for four feature film screenplay writers who live at Almanack Arts Colony on Nantucket for the entire month of October each year. On three weekends throughout the month we bring established industry mentors to the island to workshop scripts and share meals and outings with the writers.
WHAT IS THE EPISODIC COMEDY COLONY?
The Episodic Comedy Colony is a program in partnership with the Nantucket Film Festival for four writers of 30-minute scripted serial comedy. Writers work together with eminent industry professionals to develop their comedy pilot scripts, experience the writers’ room, hone pitches, and present scenes in a staged reading at the film festival.
WHAT IS THE EPISODIC DRAMA COLONY?
Like our other programs, this new endeavor aims to provide a nurturing framework and breakthrough opportunities for four writers with unique voices and important stories for our times. The program will bring together four writers with industry mentors in Nosara, Costa Rica, from February 25th – March 15th (18 days). The main elements of the program include: a Writers’ Room for each project comprised of fellow writers and mentors; guidance on pitching; and, as with all SWC programs, time for writing.
WHAT DOES IT COST TO APPLY TO AND ATTEND THE SCREENWRITERS COLONY?
Application is free and all expenses are paid, including travel, shared use of a car, bicycles, and meals cooked by a private chef.
HOW CAN I APPLY FOR THE COLONY?
Application is not an open process. Writers must be nominated by a recognized industry professional in order to apply.
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN THE APPLICATION PROCESS?
Nominees are asked to submit a screenplay and completed application form including a bio and personal statement.
WHAT IS THE APPLICATION AND SELECTION TIMELINE?
For the OCTOBER COLONY, our annual call for nominations is generally announced at the beginning of April. We accept submissions on a rolling basis through the end of May. We actively work to make selections throughout the process so the earlier nominees submit applications, the better the chance of acceptance. Our selections are announced in early August.
For the EPISODIC COMEDY COLONY, our call for nominations will begin in early February with a final deadline of early March. As with the OCTOBER COLONY, selections are made on a rolling basis, so early submissions are recommended.
EPISODIC DRAMA COLONY submissions are due December 5, and we aim to announce our selected writers by January 8.
GENERAL INFORMATION AND SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:
We seek writers early enough in their career that the Colony will have a meaningful impact on their creative and professional growth, but not so early that they haven’t established the proven ability to build an audience and the necessary commitment to forge a life as a writer for the screen. In other words, a writer who’s already had three features produced is probably too far along, while a writer who hasn’t yet established her/himself (with well-received festival work, legitimate representation, paid writing work, or the like) is probably not far along enough.
Writers must be able to spend the entire duration of the program in Nantucket or Costa Rica. The immersion of participating in the full Colony program is vital to the experience.
For the OCTOBER COLONY, applicants may submit a writing sample other than the script they intend to work on during the program. In this event, please clearly indicate that the sample being submitted is a finished piece of work, and include a log-line and short synopsis or treatment for the intended script. This is entirely acceptable, but again, our bias is towards scripts that are on their way and need help getting across the finish line.
For our EPISODIC programs, we require the pilot script you intend to work on during the program. We prefer complete, promising drafts, but will accept unfinished scripts if it’s at least half written (more than 15 pages) and accompanied by a full detailed outline.
Adaptations are acceptable.
In the case of co-written projects, we can only consider one member of the writing team and will need clarification of the division of labor as part of the application.
Candidates need not be focused on a writing career to the exclusion of directing or other pursuits, but should demonstrate an unmistakable devotion to the process, craft and art of writing for the screen.
We don’t favor any genre or style of project over another. We’re open to “mainstream” and “indie” and projects anywhere on the artistic spectrum. What matters to us is finding writers with unique voices, points of view, and the potential to contribute powerful stories to society. If the submitted project feels like something we’ve seen a hundred times before, whether from Hollywood or Park City, we’re unlikely to be enthused. We look forward to receiving and reading the stories for screen you are most passionate about telling!