In its eighteenth year, over 100 emerging diverse writers have graduated from the Paramount Writers Mentoring Program. Over 120 careers have been launched including 14 alumni showrunners. The goal of the program is to positively impact the presence of diverse writers throughout the industry.
There are many different paths writers can follow to get their first foothold in being hired in television. As part of its ongoing commitment to create additional access for writers of diverse backgrounds Paramount’s Office of Global Inclusion has launched a different kind of writers program which highlights one of those paths. The focus of this eight month program is on opening doors: providing opportunities to build relationships with network and studio executives and show runners; to support new and emerging writers in their efforts to improve their craft; and to develop the interpersonal skills necessary to break in and succeed. The Writers Mentoring Program is not employment and there is no monetary compensation. It is, instead, a structured program of career development, support, and personal access to executives and the decision-making processes, with the goal of preparing aspiring writers for later employment opportunities in television. Each participant will be teamed with an executive mentor. A Paramount network or studio executive with whom they will meet on a regular basis, to discuss their work, get creative feedback on their material and get advice and support in furthering their career. Once a week, for 16 weeks participants will be invited to attend a small workshop-style meeting with various Paramount show runners and other industry professionals. Speakers include executive producers, agents, managers, development and current executives and show runners. The purpose of these gatherings is for participants to gain a better understanding of how the business works from many different perspectives as well as creating the opportunity to make critical networking connections. Another important part of the program is the opportunity for each participant to spend time observing in a writers room. Each participant will have help in creating a rigorous career action plan and there will be on-going support in evaluating and achieving those goals. Another important benefit of the program is the development of a close-knit peer support group that will sustain participants through the program and beyond. The Paramount Writers Mentoring Program helps aspiring writers to understand the unwritten rules of breaking in and moving up. It is a combination of mentoring and networking opportunities. Program opportunities such as mentoring, workshops, and observing can be scheduled around participants’ existing work commitments. In order for a participant to get the most out of the Program a meaningful commitment of time and effort are required. It has been found that in order to derive the greatest benefit from the program, participants should be available to 1) attend a once a week (evening) workshop and 2) attend meetings or observe in various situations for a minimum of five full days (not necessarily in sequence) over the course of the eight-month program. The primary focus of the Paramount Writers Mentoring Program is to provide access and opportunities for talented and motivated diverse writers. Aspiring diverse writers with a strong desire to write for Paramount television series are encouraged to apply. You must be 21 or older to be eligible. All completed application materials must be received between April 1, 2022 and May 1, 2022. Any submissions received before March 1st or after May 1st, 2022 will not be considered. No hand delivered submissions will be accepted. Finalists will be notified in mid September 2022 (or such later date as may be determined by Paramount). The program is scheduled to begin in October 2022 and continues through April 2023. Paramount reserves the right to make adjustments to program schedule as necessary.