Frequently Asked Questions – UK & Ireland

The Application

How do I apply?

Applications for the 2021 Writers Lab UK & Ireland will be open APRIL 1 to APRIL 20.

  • Click on the APPLICATION FORM.
  • You will be re-routed to the Coverfly website.  Coverfly is hosting this contest, so you will need to open a FREE account with Coverfly.
  • Click on the green SUBMIT box.
  • Choose one of the options for our contest and add it to your cart.
  • We strongly recommend that you register your script for copyright. Registration is simple and will protect you and The Lab staff and volunteers:
    • Through THE SCRIPT VAULT.
    • OR with The Writers Guild, East. (The WGAE is offering a discounted price of $17 to Lab applicants who are not members of the Guild. Click HERE to register through the WGAE. Choose the Student and NYWIFT/The Writers Lab option.)

What are the fees and deadlines?

Registration Fees: 

  • £25 – Regular Entry Fee
    • £15For TWL/US 2021 Applicants (with valid Submission Confirmation Number)

Registration Deadline:
20 April 2021 (11.59pm GMT)

What information will I need for the application?

  • Basic contact and biographical information (name, email address, contact phone number, mailing address, birth date, gender)
  • Script log line and genre.
  • Questions: Please answer BRIEFLY (no more than 100 words TOTAL)
    • Why did you write THIS story?
    • What do you want to get out of the lab?
    • What has kept you busy the past year?  
  • Eligibility: For the purpose of meeting the specific geographic mandate of this unique lab, you will be asked to provide your country of Birth, Residency and Nationality/Citizenship.
  • Full-length narrative feature script, in PDF format, preferably no more than 130 pages long (at 130+ there is a per-page surcharge) and/or pilots (preferably no more than 44 pages (half-hour) or 75 pages (hour-long)(at 75+ there is a per-page surcharge).
  • Upload your script as a PDF through the online application when prompted. Each PDF must be labeled with the project name only. DO NOT include the name of the screenwriter(s) ANYWHERE on the PDF.
  • Payment via Credit or Debit Card.
  • We strongly recommend that you register your script for copyright. Registration is simple and will protect you and The Lab staff and volunteers:
    • THE SCRIPT VAULT
    • OR with The Writers Guild, East. (The WGAE has offered the discounted price of $17 (≈ £12) to Lab applicants who are not members of the Guild. Click HERE to register through the WGAE. Choose the Student and NYWIFT/The Writers Lab option.)

Why should I register my script?

We strongly recommend that you register your script to prevent infringement, to protect your work, and to protect The Writers Lab staff and volunteers.  It is common industry practice to register any professional script with The Script Vault or The Writers Guild of your choice.

The WGAE has offered a discount to The Writers Lab UK & Ireland applicants. See FAQ #3, above.

How many scripts can I apply with?

Writers may submit up to three (3) scripts. Each script requires a separate completed application and a separate nonrefundable application fee paid by credit card.

I've submitted to The Writers Lab US. Do I have to submit my script again to be considered for The Writers Lab UK & I?

Yes, you must submit again to TWL UK & I, even if you are submitting the same script – but there is a a discount:

  • £15For TWL US 2021 Applicants (with valid Submission Confirmation Number)

The Writers Lab UK & I submissions process will operate independently of the TWL US submissions process. 

Can writing partners apply?

Yes. Both writers must be over 40 and identify as women for the project to qualify. We will make every effort to include both writers in the virtual lab sessions, but please designate one writer as the primary contact and list that writer first in the writing credits on the application.

What if I can’t pay by credit card?

Payment by Credit OR Debit card should be accepted at checkout. Unfortunately, we are not equipped to process other forms of payment. Please contact us if you have additional questions: contact@thewriterslab.nyc

What if I can’t afford the application fee?

You will need to provide proof of public assistance with your application. You may email the proof to contact@thewriterslab.nyc with “Proof of Need” in the subject line.

What’s the absolute final deadline? Is it possible to get an extension?

The absolute FINAL Deadline is April 20, 2021, 11:59pm GMT. 

Once I apply, can I send in a new draft if I can get it in before the deadline?

Coverfly offers the option to upload a revised draft of your script after you have submitted your application with the original draft. Please be advised that our evaluation process is underway and ongoing, and your initial submission might have already been read and processed by our evaluation team.

If you are considering submitting a revision, keep in ming that our reading process is exhaustive, our jurors are very experienced and thoughtful, and a strong, carefully crafted script will stand out – even a script that needs work.

Can I deliver my application in person?

No. If you are NOT able to submit an application electronically, please send an email to contact@thewriterslab.nyc.

What is the fee that the writer must pay to attend the Lab Retreat?

Applicants pay for the application fee and script registration. TWL UK & I is completely virtual, so there are no travel or accommodation costs.

Why do I have to pay an application fee?

We use the application fees to pay our independent readers, who read hundreds of scripts through multiple rounds. The contributions of our primary donors cover only the costs of the Lab.

Should I have my industry contacts call with references?

No. Our final decision is based on the material alone. Your work will speak for itself.

How will I be notified about acceptance?

All Lab notifications will be made via email. You will hear from us either way, whether accepted or not, on or before May 21, 2021.

Will I be notified if I’m not accepted?

All Lab notifications will be made via email. You will hear from us either way, whether accepted or not, on or before May 21, 2021.

I haven’t received my notification yet, but all my friends have. What’s wrong?

Notifications may be made on a rolling basis. All final decisions will be made by May 21, 2021.

What is The Writers Lab UK & I Privacy Policy?

The Writers Lab UK & Ireland

Privacy policy

  1. Introduction

1.1 We are committed to safeguarding the privacy of our website visitors, service users, individual customers and customer personnel.

1.2 This policy applies where we are acting as a data controller with respect to the personal data of such persons; in other words, where we determine the purposes and means of the processing of that personal data.

1.3 Our website incorporates privacy controls which affect how we will process your personal data. By contacting us, you can address the privacy controls via.

1.4 We use cookies on our website. Insofar as those cookies are not strictly necessary for the provision of [our website and services], we will ask you to consent to our use of cookies when you first visit our website.

1.5 In this policy, “we”, “us” and “our” refer to The Writers Lab, Untamed Stories, their agents, directors, staff and representatives 

  1. Credit

2.1 This document was created using a template from Docular (https://seqlegal.com/free-legal-documents/privacy-policy).

  1. The personal data that we collect

3.1 In this Section 3 we have set out the general categories of personal data that we process and, in the case of personal data that we did not obtain directly from you, information about the source and specific categories of that data.

3.2 We may process data enabling us to get in touch with you (“contact data“). The contact data may include your name, email address, telephone number, postal address and/or social media account identifiers. The source of the contact data is you. If you log into our website using a social media account, we will obtain elements of the contact data from the relevant social media account provider.

3.3 We may process your website user account data (“account data“). The account data may include your account identifier, name, email address, business name, account creation and modification dates, website settings and marketing preferences. The primary source of the account data is you and/or your employer, although some elements of the account data may be generated by our website. If you log into our website using a social media account, we will obtain elements of the account data from the relevant social media account provider.

3.4 We may process information relating to transactions, including purchases of goods and/or services, that you enter into with us and/or through our website (“transaction data“). The transaction data may include your name, your contact details, your payment card details (or other payment details) and the transaction details. The source of the transaction data is you and/or our payment services provider.

3.5 We may process information contained in or relating to any communication that you send to us or that we send to you (“communication data“). The communication data may include the communication content and metadata associated with the communication. Our website will generate the metadata associated with communications made using the website contact forms.]

3.6 We may process data about your use of our website and services (“usage data“). The usage data may include [your IP address, geographical location, browser type and version, operating system, referral source, length of visit, page views and website navigation paths, as well as information about the timing, frequency and pattern of your service use]. The source of the usage data is [our analytics tracking system].

3.7 We may process copyrighted content. This data may include creative content or intellectual property. We strongly encourage you to encrypt or watermark your copyrighted content and intellectual property. 

  1. Purposes of processing and legal bases

4.1 In this Section 4, we have set out the purposes for which we may process personal data and the legal bases of the processing.

4.2 Operations – We may process your personal data for the purposes of operating our website, communication of information about our programs, providing our services, supplying our goods, generating invoices, bills and other payment-related documentation, and credit control. The legal basis for this processing is our legitimate interests, namely the administration of a script development lab.

4.3 Publications – We may process account data for the purposes of publishing and sharing news and other information in connection with our services and programs on our website and elsewhere through our services. The legal basis for this processing is consent on the basis of your expressed interest in our programmes and services.

4.4 Relationships and communications – We may process contact data, account data, transaction data and/or communication data for the purposes of managing our relationships, communicating with you by email, SMS, post, fax and/or telephone, providing support services and complaint handling. The legal basis for this processing is our communication and administration of a script development lab and support for women-identifying screenwriters over 40 in the UK & Ireland, the maintenance of relationships, and the proper administration of our website, services and business.

4.5 Direct marketing – We may process contact data, account data and/or transaction data for the purposes of communicating about writer support programmes, promoting our business and communicating.

4.6 Research and analysis – We may process usage data and/or transaction data for the purposes of researching and analysing the use of our website and services, as well as researching and analysing other interactions with our business and the demographics of our target community. The legal basis for this processing is consent.

4.7 Record keeping – We may process your personal data for the purposes of creating and maintaining our databases, back-up copies of our databases and our business records generally. The legal basis for this processing is our legitimate interests, namely ensuring that we have access to all the information we need to properly and efficiently run our business in accordance with this policy.

4.8 Security – We may process your personal data for the purposes of security and the prevention of fraud and other criminal activity. The legal basis of this processing is our legitimate interests, namely the protection of our website, services and business, and the protection of others.

4.9 Insurance and risk management – We may process your personal data where necessary for the purposes of obtaining or maintaining insurance coverage, managing risks and/or obtaining professional advice. The legal basis for this processing is our legitimate interests, namely the proper protection of our business against risks.

4.10 Legal claims – We may process your personal data where necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims, whether in court proceedings or in an administrative or out-of-court procedure. The legal basis for this processing is our legitimate interests, namely the protection and assertion of our legal rights, your legal rights and the legal rights of others.

4.11 Legal compliance and vital interests – We may also process your personal data where such processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which we are subject or in order to protect your vital interests or the vital interests of another natural person.

  1. Providing your personal data to others

5.1 We may disclose your personal data to our insurers and/or professional advisers, partners and consultants insofar as reasonably necessary for the purposes of obtaining or maintaining insurance coverage, managing risks, obtaining professional advice and fulfilling our stated business objectives.

5.2 Your personal data held in our website database and may be stored on the servers of our hosting services providers

5.3 We may disclose your personal data to our partners and funders insofar as reasonably necessary for fulfilling our stated social and creative mandates.

5.4 Financial transactions relating to our website and services may be handled by our payment services providers. We will share transaction data with our payment services providers only to the extent necessary for the purposes of processing your payments, refunding such payments and dealing with complaints and queries relating to such payments and refunds. You can find information about the Coverfly privacy policies and practices at https://www.coverfly.com/privacy-policy/

5.5 In addition to the specific disclosures of personal data set out in this Section 5, we may disclose your personal data where such disclosure is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which we are subject, or in order to protect your vital interests or the vital interests of another natural person. We may also disclose your personal data where such disclosure is necessary for the establishment, exercise, or defence of legal claims, whether in court proceedings or in an administrative or out-of-court procedure.

  1. International transfers of your personal data

6.1 In this Section 6, we provide information about the circumstances in which your personal data may be transferred to The Writers Lab US.

6.2 The hosting facilities for our website are situated in the United Kingdom and the United States. The competent data protection authorities have made an “adequacy decision” with respect to the data protection laws of each of these countries. Transfers to each of these countries will be protected by appropriate safeguards, namely [the use of standard data protection clauses adopted or approved by the competent data protection authorities.

6.3 You acknowledge that personal data that you submit for publication through our website or services may be available, via the internet, around the world. We cannot prevent the use (or misuse) of such personal data by others.

  1. Retaining and deleting personal data

7.1 This Section 7 sets out our data retention policies and procedures, which are designed to help ensure that we comply with our legal obligations in relation to the retention and deletion of personal data.

7.2 Personal data that we process for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes.

7.3 We will retain your personal data as follows:

(a) Contact data will be retained for a minimum period of 1 year following the date of the most recent contact between you and us, and for a maximum period of 5 years following that date;

(b) Account data will be retained for a minimum period of 1 year following the date of the most recent contact between you and us, and for a maximum period of 5 years following that date;

(c) Transaction data will be retained for a minimum period of 1 year following the date of the most recent contact between you and us, and for a maximum period of 5 years following that date;

(d) Communication data will be retained for a minimum period of 1 year following the date of the most recent contact between you and us, and for a maximum period of 5 years following that date;

(e) Creative Content and Intellectual Property shared by you with us will be retained for a period of1 year following the date of the most recent contact between you and us, and for a maximum period of 5 years following that date;

7.4 Notwithstanding the other provisions of this Section 7, we may retain your personal data where such retention is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which we are subject, or in order to protect your vital interests or the vital interests of another natural person.

  1. Your rights

8.1 In this Section 8, we have listed the rights that you have under data protection law.

8.2 Your principal rights under data protection law are:

(a) the right to access – you can ask for copies of your personal data;

(b) the right to rectification – you can ask us to rectify inaccurate personal data and to complete incomplete personal data;

(c) the right to erasure – you can ask us to erase your personal data;

(d) the right to restrict processing – you can ask us to restrict the processing of your personal data;

(e) the right to object to processing – you can object to the processing of your personal data;

(f) the right to data portability – you can ask that we transfer your personal data to another organisation or to you;

(g) the right to complain to a supervisory authority – you can complain about our processing of your personal data; and

(h) the right to withdraw consent – to the extent that the legal basis of our processing of your personal data is consent, you can withdraw that consent.

8.3 These rights are subject to certain limitations and exceptions. You can learn more about the rights of data subjects by visiting https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/individual-rights/.

8.4 You may exercise any of your rights in relation to your personal data by written notice to us, using the contact details set out below.

  1. About cookies

9.1 A cookie is a file containing an identifier (a string of letters and numbers) that is sent by a web server to a web browser and is stored by the browser. The identifier is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server.

9.2 Cookies may be either “persistent” cookies or “session” cookies: a persistent cookie will be stored by a web browser and will remain valid until its set expiry date, unless deleted by the user before the expiry date; a session cookie, on the other hand, will expire at the end of the user session, when the web browser is closed.

9.3 Cookies may not contain any information that personally identifies a user, but personal data that we store about you may be linked to the information stored in and obtained from cookies.

  1. Cookies that we use

10.1 We use cookies for the following purposes:

(a) authentication and status – we use cookies to identify you when you visit our website and as you navigate our website, and to help us determine if you are logged into our website;

(b) personalisation – we use cookies [to store information about your preferences and to personalise our website for you;

(c) security – we use cookies as an element of the security measures used to protect user accounts, including preventing fraudulent use of login credentials, and to protect our website and services generally;

(e) analysis – we use cookies [to help us to analyse the use and performance of our website and services]; and

(f) cookie consent – we use cookies to store your preferences in relation to the use of cookies more generally.

  1. Cookies used by our service providers

11.1 Our service providers use cookies and those cookies may be stored on your computer when you visit our website.

11.2 We use Google Analytics. Google Analytics gathers information about the use of our website by means of cookies. The information gathered is used to create reports about the use of our website. You can find out more about Google’s use of information by visiting https://www.google.com/policies/privacy/partners/ and you can review Google’s privacy policy at https://policies.google.com/privacy.

11.3 We use WordPress to host our Website. You can view the privacy policy of this service provider at https://wordpress.org/about/privacy/.

  1. Managing cookies

12.1 Most browsers allow you to refuse to accept cookies and to delete cookies. The methods for doing so vary from browser to browser, and from version to version. You can however obtain up-to-date information about blocking and deleting cookies via these links:

(a) https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/95647 (Chrome);

(b) https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/enable-and-disable-cookies-website-preferences (Firefox);

(c) https://help.opera.com/en/latest/security-and-privacy/ (Opera);

(d) https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/17442/windows-internet-explorer-delete-manage-cookies (Internet Explorer);

(e) https://support.apple.com/en-gb/guide/safari/manage-cookies-and-website-data-sfri11471/mac (Safari); and

(f) https://privacy.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10-microsoft-edge-and-privacy (Edge).

12.2 Blocking all cookies will have a negative impact upon the usability of many websites.

12.3 If you block cookies, you will not be able to use all the features on our website.

  1. Amendments

13.1 We may update this policy from time to time by publishing a new version on our website.

13.2 You should check this page occasionally to ensure you are happy with any changes to this policy.

13.3 We notify you of significant changes to this policy by email.

  1. Our details

14.1 This website is owned and operated by New York Women In Film & Television.

14.2 We are registered in the United States, and our registered office is at 6 East 39th Street #1200, New York, NY 10016.

14.3 Our principal place of business is virtual.

14.4 You can contact us 

(a) by post, to the postal address given above;

(b) using our website contact form;

(c) by telephone, on the contact number published on our website; or

(d) by email, using at contact@thewriterslab.nyc 

 

Eligibility

Am I eligible to apply?

You are eligible if

  • you are a woman-identifying writer (cis, trans, binary)
  • you are over the age of 40 (born on or before June 10, 1981)
  • you submit a completed narrative feature or pilot (half-hour and/or one-hour)
  • you are based in the UK or Ireland

Why do you ask for my birth date?

The Lab supports women-identifying writers over the age of 40. Your birth date must be on or before June 10, 1981.

I am a UK or Republic of Ireland national living abroad. Am I eligible to apply?

Not at this time. This is a Lab for residents of the UK and Ireland. Please email contact@thewriterslab.com with questions.

However, The Writers Lab US is open to ALL international applicants.

(You must have the appropriate passport or visa if you are selected to travel to the Lab. And your narrative feature script or pilot must be in English. Keep in mind that we do not cover transportation to New York City. You will be expected to be in New York by the day before the Lab begins.)

I live in a British Commonwealth country. Am I eligible to apply to TWL UK & Ireland?

Not at this time.

This is a Lab for residents of the UK and Ireland. (Welsh Nationals living abroad are eligible.)

Please email contact@thewriterslab.com with questions.

Do you need to see proof of birth date, passport or visa in the application?

No, you do not need to submit these documents with your application. However, accepted applicants will need to have these documents in order to sign the Lab Contract.

I don't have much experience. Does that affect my chances at the Lab?

Absolutely not. The Lab seeks to foster exciting emerging voices, regardless of professional film experience. However, The Lab does NOT teach screenwriting basics. Submissions must exhibit knowledge of screenwriting standards, technique and style.

The Lab Retreat

What are the Lab dates?

The 2021 Writers Lab UK & Ireland is scheduled for June 10-13, 2021.  

Will I have to get myself there, or will you provide transportation?

The Writers Lab UK & Ireland is completely virtual. 

What kind of grants / support / production will the Lab offer?

The Lab does not offer grants, nor are we a producing lab. The Writers Lab is a script development lab. However, the retreat offers writers access to and interaction with film industry professionals, feedback on their submitted script, as well as a growing peer group of driven and talented writers.

If my script is good enough to be accepted, why do I need to develop it further?

Any script that is accepted to our screenwriting lab requires further development. In addition to writing support and industry guidance, the Lab offers a 5-month incubation period and a unique, supportive community.

Does the Lab offer any followup to the writers after the retreat?

The Writers Lab UK & Ireland offers 4 days of intensive virtual sessions, followed by individual support sessions for each participating writer in the months July-November. Beyond the post-lab period, relationships with your peers and the TWL team may continue in the form of writing support and industry guidance.

The Script

Is there a correct length for a script?

While there is no correct length, features are between 90 and 120 pages. Half-hour pilots are 22-44 pages and hour-long pilots are 45-75 pages (depending on genre and other factors). There is a per-page surcharge in CoverFly for feature scripts longer than 130 pages and for pilots longer than 75 pages.

What if my script is not in PDF format?

You will have to convert it. All film industry professionals expect scripts in PDF format, so this is a good opportunity to format your script to industry standards.

Will you consider scripts written in a language other than English?

No. Although your script may include other languages, the predominant language must be English. Providing some translation to passages in other languages can help, but we don’t recommend translating every non-English line, as doubling up can slow the pace – and is often unnecessary.

Can I apply with the same script that I submitted to TWL US, this year or last year?

Yes, but if you submitted to TWL US last year, please submit a revised draft to TWL UK & Ireland 2021.

Can I submit a script based on a book, or an adaptation?

Yes, we will consider scripts based on prior works, as long as you have secured the underlying rights to the material. We ask for proof, in the form of a contact, email, or letter, when your script has reached the Finalist level in the selection process. You may email the proof to contact@thewriterslab.nyc at that time.

How complete should the script be?

While the Lab will consider scripts at various stages of development:

  • Scripts must be either feature-length polished drafts, in the 90-to-120 page range, OR polished pilots that are 22-44 pages (half-hour) or 45-75 pages (hour-long). You are free to use a software of your choice, as long as the script is converted to a PDF before submission.
  • We will not consider screenplay fragments, treatments, synopses, book excerpts, or stage plays.
  • Each script should show a strong understanding of screenwriting standards, technique and style.

Will my ideas be protected?

We will make all reasonable and customary efforts to protect your ideas. Please see FAQ #3 and #4 under THE APPLICATION. And remember:  The Internet is not a secure medium.

Do you accept scripts that have been submitted elsewhere?

Yes, we have no restrictions on material that has been through other workshops or programs.

Top Reasons Your Script Was Not Selected

Typos, spelling and/or formatting errors

Proofread, proofread, proofread. It matters.

Poor or confusing world building

World needs to be clearly, economically, and cinematically established (especially in genre scripts).

Poor or confusing story setup

Choose a main story and set it up clearly for your audience. Many scripts take on too much and lose their way.

Weak protagonist arc (often because the stakes are low)

Clearly establish your protagonist’s need and obstacles, and make sure you see it through, so your audience cares.

Script is overwritten

Most film stories can be told in well under 120 pages. Every line or sentence should add to the story, not repeat or distract, so cut what you can to keep your story moving.

Excessive dialogue

Ask yourself: Is that line essential? Is it stating subtext or exposition that can be SHOWN? Does it successfully build conflict? Does it reveal character through wit and/or texture?  

Ineffective description

Have you written too little? (Set your scenes! Introduce your characters! Include important visual details!) OR, do you have way too much? (Don’t describe characters’ feelings, camera shots, or back story.) And, break up blocks of description into easily digestible bites.

The overall concept is overdone or lacks relevance

Old or new, your story must stand out, with new insights into universal themes or compelling characters or perspectives. At the same time, know your cliches and tropes, and when to use or lose. 

Uncinematic storytelling

Make sure your story unfolds visually and aurally (but use music references with care – because referencing unlicensed songs can reveal lack of screenwriting savvy: suggest only –  “She sings something like …”)

Too few OR clichéd characters who identify as women.

The Writers Lab UK & Ireland doesn’t require a woman protagonist, but we definitely notice scripts that can pass the Bechdel test, and wince when women characters are objectified or marginalized (eg. introduced solely as hot, pretty, ditzy, slutty, etc.)

If you have any other questions or problems, email contact@thewriterslab.nyc