2013 writing program notifications

it’s that time of year again!. i’ll update this post as i hear more. if you have any news to share, let me know.

congrats to those who already got good news, and best of luck to those who are still waiting.


  • Nickelodeon
    the writers have been chosen.
  • WB
    the writers have been chosen.
  • NBC
    the writers have been chosen.
  • CBS
    the writers have been chosen.
  • ABC/Disney
    the writers have been chosen.


    winners announced on their site. congrats to beau who was finalist!
  • Austin
    they just posted all the semifinalists and second rounders (top 10%) on their website. my pilot made the top 10% for the 2nd year, but i’m more excited that 2 of my students had their specs place in the top 10%!

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    1. i’m not sure what terminology they use, but i think you either 1) get a phone call to submit more material, 2) you get a letter/email saying you’re top 5%, 3) you get a rejection letter.

  1. Kiyong, thanks for posting this!
    What do you think it means if I haven’t gotten a rejection letter from WB, but also haven’t been called?y Does this maybe mean I’m a backup or something? Or that I just haven’t received a rejection letter/email yet haha?

  2. Hi Kiyong,
    Got a call and set up a phone interview for Fri. What are the chances finalists get called and don’t get selected? And what happens in the phone interview?

      1. All Austin calls and letters have gone out. Emails have also started going out. Everyone who advanced should have their answer at this point.

        Has anyone heard a peep from ABC? I’m really surprised that no one has posted anything yet. They are usually one of the first to notify semifinalists–and those calls usually go out in mid-August.

      2. From the Disney website:

        Notification Periods
        Writing Program semi-finalists are contacted in November. Those who are selected to move on to the finalists’ round are typically notified in December, and will be required to participate in an in-person interview with a panel of Disney|ABC Television Group executives, and established television producers. The Writing Program commences in January and concludes in January of the following year. Please note that time frames are subject to change.

      3. Far as I know, that was the case last year and the year previous (though I know in past years they’ve staggered calls over about a month or more). Last year I had two good friends who were notified that they advanced in Mid-late August. One became a fellow. The other went on to win the Austin Film Festival (he had been a finalist for ABC the year prior as well).

  3. As a former reader for Disney ABC, we were asked to list all the shows we were familiar and not familiar with and in what degree. We were also told to omit those shows that were canceled. Happy Endings was on the bubble during the entry period. While your WOV participation may earn you a bye, it’s really important that applicants pay attention to industry news and spec shows assured another season.

    1. Do you think that directive would apply to shows that were on the bubble and canceled a couple of weeks before the fellowship deadline (I’m specifically talking about Southland.)

      1. I don’t think its absolute but also when readers get it, it has been several months in processing which would be early August. Thats when readers submit their lists so they can get shows they know.
        There’s been changes to the dept so much is now unknown.

  4. Hi,

    I applied for the NBC Late Night Writers Workshop.

    The folks at NBC asked me to provide more info on my release form and resubmit it to them. Is this is a good sign that they’re considering my work or just legal stuff they have to do even if they aren’t interested in you?


  5. Hey Everyone,

    I’ve been waiting for the Disney/ABC call too and was surprised to see that on their website it says that semi-finalists will be contacted in November. Is this changed from previous years, Kiyong?

    1. In the years that I’ve been following the program, they’ve given a later date on their website than the dates that they actually make the calls…I assume they want to leave some wiggle room in case the reading period runs longer than expected.

  6. I just received an email from ABC with an attached release form saying that “in the event we need additional material” to send an original spec in by Tuesday.

  7. I just got an email from ABC that said this:
    “Thank you for applying to the 2014 Disney ABC Writing Program. We are in the process of reviewing applications and reading material. In the event we need additional material, please send us your original specby Tuesday September 24th, 11:59 pm PST, with a completed release form (attached).”
    Does this mean I made it to a second round or did they send this to everyone?

      1. Someone on Twitter (from #TVwriterschat) said that they ask for 2nd samples for the 1st round and then do a phone interview if you make it to the 2nd. I guess a little different this year cause we get almost a week and only have been requested one spec but maybe more made it to this step. Who knows? But I think its a good sign.

  8. In 2011 ABC/Disney asked for two additional samples at the end of August. Then in late October I got a phone call saying I had made it to the semi-finals and would be doing a phone interview the following week, which came in early November.

    1. This thread is exactly what I was looking for. I received that exact email from ABC last night, and I’m a bit confused by the phrasing:

      “please send us your original spec”

      This can be interpreted a couple different ways. Do they want another spec script, or an original pilot? Can someone with previous experience with the ABC program help clarify this?


      1. Every writing program I’ve submitted to has defined “original spec” as an “original pilot.”

        Especially since the original first round submission for ABC called for “a spec script of a broadcast or cable network series that is in production for broadcast during the current television season” so it’s unlikely they’d change the phrasing but mean the same thing (i.e. an “existing spec.”).

  9. I know several people who did not get that email from ABC/Disney. I think there’s just more awareness now with Facebook and all the blogs. I heard about 100 people got that email. I don’t know of it’s out of 1000? 1500? 2000? I have no idea what the percentage is.

      1. That was my understanding. Then again, I’ve lined up materials, letters of rec, specs, etc. in order to submit to programs and then had them cancel the program the day we were meant to submit before (ABC Production Program, that was lame!), so I don’t hold out hope about clear communication from anyone any more.

  10. Gosh I haven’t heard anything yet from ABC about a phone interview. I am so excited. I hope that I am still in the running. Maybe they are just backed up this year. Still Hopeful!

    1. Hey Tiffany. I’m in the same boat – no word yet. On a related note, Frank Gonzalez, the longtime manager of this program, has moved on. Based on my talks with previous selectees, they’re doing things differently this year. Good luck!

  11. I haven’t heard from ABC/Disney either– I’m hoping we’ll hear something in the next few days. I did message the Disney/ABC facebook page asking if they had notified semi-finalists at this point, and I received a message in return saying:

    “We can’t comment on the status of anyone’s application. Those who make it to the semifinals will be contacted. Thank you for your interest and good luck!”

  12. Still nothing yet for ABC! I know from what I heard in previous years they have contacted semi-finalist by now for their phone interview. I haven’t seen that anyone has been contacted, so I am still hopeful.

    1. I heard they were not making decisions till December. I don’t know if that means final decisions or next round decisions. I also heard that they are doing things completely different this year. Maybe that means no phone interview stage?

  13. On ABC Writing Fellowship Facebook page, they just posted the following message:

    Congratulations to all of our 2014 Semi-Finalists for the Writing Program! From the thousands of submissions we have narrowed it down to nearly 100 based upon information provided in the application and an average of multiple scores earned from Disney-ABC executives and readers who reviewed script submissions. We won’t list names, but those selected have already received an email explaining the next step in the judging process. Stay tuned for a post letting you know who made it to the finals.

    Again, congrats to all and a thank you to all who applied! If you didn’t make it this time around….we hope you start prepping to apply again in Spring 2014.

      1. I was hopeful that was what they were talking about, but after seeing Kris’ comment below about receiving an email scheduling a call, it looks like another year down the tubes.

      2. Hi Tiffany,
        The 2nd email basically stated that a rep from ABC Creative Development will call sometime over rest of the week for a 10 minute phone interview.

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