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The Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition is now open for submissions.
Up to five $35,000 fellowships are awarded annually. Fellowship recipients are expected to complete at least one original feature film screenplay during the Fellowship year. Fellowship payments are subject to satisfactory progress of the recipient’s work, as judged by the Academy Nicholl Fellowships Committee. Fellowship recipients, selected from approximately ten finalists in the competition, are announced in October. The winners and finalists are invited to participate in awards week ceremonies and seminars in November.
The Academy reserves the right to grant no awards if, in the opinion of the Academy Nicholl Fellowships Committee, no entry is of sufficient merit.
Applications are accepted online only. Entrants must register an online account, then log in to that account to access an application. The application is available only when the competition is open for submissions. You may confirm whether your script has been processed into the competition by logging into your online account. Due to the volume of entries received, it may take up to one week to see "confirmed" next to your script title. All entrants will receive notification of their status by e-mail sent no later than August 1 of each year.
Please visit www.facebook.com/nichollfellowships for updates and troubleshooting suggestions addressing the online application.
An entrant’s total earnings for motion picture and television writing may not exceed US$25,000 before the end of the competition. This limit applies to compensation for motion picture and television writing services as well as for the sale of (or sale of an option on) screenplays, teleplays, stage plays, books, treatments, stories, premises and any other source material.
Entrants may not have received screenwriting fellowships or prizes totaling more than US$25,000 that include a "first look" clause, an option or any other quid pro quo involving the writer’s work.
Entrants must be 18 or older at the time of entry.
Members and employees of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, competition judges, and the immediate families of these individuals are not eligible.
Entrants must register an online account at the Nicholl website (www.oscars.org/nicholl) and submit:
A completed online application form.
One copy of an original feature film screenplay uploaded in PDF format. There is no page minimum or maximum, but the feature screenplay should be approximately 90 - 120 pages in length. Submissions must have been written originally in English; translations will not be accepted.
Submissions must be the original work of the entrant(s) and may not be based, in whole or in part, on any other fiction or nonfiction material, published or unpublished, produced or unproduced. Entries may, however, be adapted from the entrant’s (or entrants’) original work, which should be noted in the log line required on the application form. Entries lacking a log line on the application form will be disqualified.
If the script is based on a true story, historical or contemporary, the "based on true story" button should be selected within the online application form.
Collaborative work by two writers who share equally in its creation is eligible. Collaborative work for which one writer developed the idea and another writer wrote the screenplay is not eligible. Collaborative work by three or more writers is not eligible. The collaborator’s name must be added during the online application process. Writing partners selected as fellows will divide the fellowship stipend equally.
The entrant’s name, address, phone number or any other identifying information should not appear on the title page or any other page of the script. Placing a Library of Congress or WGA registration number on the title page is acceptable but not required.
A single entry fee per script entry paid online via credit card. Entry fees will not be returned or adjusted. The entry fee for each script is $35 if submitted by March 1, $50 if submitted by April 10, and $65 if submitted by May 1.
- Submissions for the 2013 fellowships must be uploaded and paid no later than 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on May 1, 2013. Applications will be accepted only via accounts registered at the Nicholl website. Submitted scripts will not be returned.
- The final selection of fellowship winners will be made by the Academy Nicholl Fellowships Committee.
- Only one copy, draft or version of any screenplay may be submitted by an entrant or entrants. Under no circumstances will substitutions of either corrected pages or new drafts of an entry screenplay be allowed. An entrant may submit a maximum of three screenplays in the current competition.
- By October 2013, every writer of a screenplay that advances to the final round will be asked to write a letter to the Academy Nicholl Fellowships Committee, expressing the writer’s personal and professional interests should he or she receive a fellowship.
- Academy Nicholl Fellowships may not be held concurrently with other fellowships or any other similar award, or while completing a formal course of study. The fellowship year may be deferred to allow a student winner to complete his or her education.
- Academy Nicholl fellows agree to furnish the Academy with a copy of the screenplay(s) written during the fellowship year. The Academy acquires no rights to the work (or to the entry script) and will not participate in its marketing or in any other aspects of its commercial future.
Academy Nicholl Fellowships
The Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study
By entering, you attest:
- To the accuracy of the information supplied in this application.
- That the material submitted is my (our) sole and original work.
- To my (our) agreement to hold the Academy Foundation and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences harmless from, and defend them against, all claims, demands, losses, costs, damages, judgments, liabilities and expenses (including attorney’s fees) arising out of or in connection with any stories submitted to the Academy Nicholl Fellowships competition or on any screenplay developed out of such stories.
- That the Academy Foundation may retain the material submitted for use in connection with its Academy Nicholl Fellowships deliberations, and thereafter for its archival collection of educational materials, as to which use I (we) expressly waive compensation.
- That the burden of obtaining copyright or otherwise protecting any proprietary interests in the material, if I (we) wish to do so, rests entirely with me (us).
- To my (our) understanding of the purposes and conditions of the Academy Nicholl Fellowships and to my (our) acceptance of them should I (we) be selected as an Academy Nicholl Fellow.
- That I am (we are) eligible for the competition, and that I (we) will notify the Academy Foundation if I (we) become ineligible prior to the conclusion of the competition.
- That providing false or misleading information on this application, or failing in any other way to comply with the rules of the competition, will subject me (us) to disqualification, forfeiture of prize money and/or other penalties.