Sesame Workshop Writers’ Room is a writing fellowship from the creators of Sesame Street. And we’re looking for YOU!
Fresh new writing talent from writers who reflect the diversity of our vast audience. Emerging storytellers who are selected to join the Writers’ Room will receive hands-on writing experience guided by Sesame Street veterans and other media industry leaders. Each participant will develop and write a pilot script for their own original kids concept. Past fellows have gone on to develop their own original content with Sesame Workshop, as well as write for Sesame Street and various programs at Nickelodeon, Disney, DreamWorks, and more! Learn about the 2022 fellows and speakers below.
About the Program
- Up to 8 writers with diverse identities will be selected
- Sessions will take place virtually from September thru November, 2023
- Learn from industry writers, producers, agents and executives
- Learn and complete all steps of creating an original pilot episode script
- Includes eight, three-hour sessions on creating original children’s content
- Up to two participants will have the opportunity to receive creative development deals and further mentorship
What Are the Requirements?
Application information when available will be posted here along with a link to the application. See Terms and Conditions and FAQ for any additional questions or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Application Check List|
|Application form: Application must be submitted by June 5, 2023 12PM EST. Applications for the 2023 Fellowship Program will open on Friday, May 5th, 2023||Original script sample: 11-page maximum, it should NOT contain Sesame Street elements, it can be an excerpt from a larger piece you’ve written, it must be kid-friendly content for viewers up to age 12…we’re looking for great characters and stories that inspire kids to be smarter, stronger and kinder!|
|Resume: this can feature your overall work experience, NOT only writing experience||More info on your script: what’s the bigger picture/idea of your script sample? (up to 100 words)|
|Personal statement: tell us about yourself, for example, why you want to write for children’s educational media, how your experiences influence the stories you tell, why you value diversity/representation in children’s media, etc. (up to 250 words)|
|Eligibility Check List|
|Participants must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident||No extensive media writing experience, such as having written more than six episodes for a network or cable scripted/narrative series|
|Participants must be 21+ years old||Participants must be able to attend and complete writing assignments for all 8 sessions, which will be held virtually from September to November 2023|
How do I apply to the Sesame Workshop Writers’ Room?
Subscribe to the Writers’ Room mailing list to get an update on when the next years application will be open. Once the application is available, we will add the link to this site.
When are Sesame Workshop Writers’ Room the application due?
Applications will be due on June 5th, 2023.
What are the script sample and resume requirements for Writers’ Room?
Original script sample: 11-page maximum, it should NOT contain Sesame Street elements, it can be an excerpt from a larger piece you’ve written, but it must model a 3 act story structure, and be kid-friendly content for viewers up to age 12…we’re looking for great characters and stories that inspire kids to be smarter, stronger and kinder!
What makes a good children’s script?
The same elements that make any good script or story—clear structure (a beginning, middle and end), character development, and a little bit of kid-friendly conflict. Humor is also a huge plus. Just make sure it’s all age-appropriate material.
Can a writing pair apply to Writers’ Room?
No, we can only accept individual writers to the program. If you are in a writing pair, you must submit a script that you wrote by yourself.
Can I submit a short story or manuscript to Writers’ Room?
No, for this fellowship we can only accept writing that is in a script format. That said, it can be a script for a play, television, film, etc.
Can I submit multiple applications, featuring different scripts to Writers’ Room?
No — only one application will be accepted per person.
Will I have to work on the script from my application during the fellowship?
No, you are free to continue working on your application’s script during the fellowship, or you can work on another idea you have.
For the Writers’ Room fellowship, what qualifies as an underrepresented group?
Underrepresented groups include writers of color, writers with mental and physical diversity, writers over 40, writers in the LGBTQ+ community, veterans, and any other voices that have historically been ignored by Hollywood.
Should applicants have writing experience?
No, writing experience is not necessary to apply—what is most important is that applicants show a passion for writing. Our goal is to identify and nurture new writers from underrepresented backgrounds for children’s educational media. Therefore applicants cannot have extensive media writing experience, such as having written more than 6 episodes for a network or cable series.
I am not a US citizen or permanent resident – can I apply to Writers’ Room?
No, we can only accept applications from those with US citizenship or permanent residency.
Do participants have to pay for the Writers’ Room fellowship?
The fellowship is free of charge to apply and to participate.
When will interviews be held?
What days/times will the sessions be held?
The exact details have not been confirmed, but the sessions will be virtual and will likely take place over eight, 3-hour, weeknight evenings from September to November 2023.
Where Can I Find the Writer’s Room Application Terms and Conditions?
Please review the terms and conditions here.
The Sesame Workshop Writer’s Room is an 8 week writing intensive program for writers who reflect the vast diversity of our audience. The 2021 Writing Fellows each develop and workshop their own original children’s television concept and script, with guidance from a wide range of industry leaders. Select fellows will have their work featured in a staged reading and will be awarded developmental deals from Sesame Workshop.
Danielle Eliska Lyle | Detroit MI
Danielle Eliska is a writer, filmmaker, photographer and educator from Detroit. She received her MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU and was one of the inaugural grant recipients of the 2018 Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and New York Foundation for the Arts (MOME NYFA) ‘Made in NY’ Women’s Fund in Film.
Stephanie Kyung Sun Walters | Philadelphia, PA
Stephanie is a playwright, actor, and educator from Philadelphia where she serves as Lead Artist for Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists’ Playwrights Project, uplifting the voices of emerging AAPI playwrights. She has taught students in preschool through the collegiate level and is excited to bring those experiences to this unique storytelling medium. Stephanie is the recipient of the 2022 Terrence McNally Award from Philadelphia Theatre Company.
Veronica Reyes-How | New York, NY
Veronica is a writer/director/actor who, by pen, partnership, or performance, desires to elevate characters and stories that invite, encourage, and reassure the viewer they are seen, known, and loved. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a Mathematics degree. Since changing careers to the arts, her pilots have been Finalists in the 2021 Screencraft Fellowship, The 2022 Orchard Project Episodic Lab, the 2021 Screencraft True Story Competition and 2021 The Stowe Story Lab.
Minna Lee | Brooklyn, NY
Minna (they/she) lives and works on Lenape land as a writer, animator, and performer. In their work, they explore themes of adolescence, queer joy, immigration, and anti-capitalism. Their mission is to nurture the growing hearts of young audiences by sharing authentic stories that portray more nuanced QTBIPOC characters.
Janice Chun | Los Angeles, CA
Janice is a storyboard artist and writer in Los Angeles and has worked for various studios such as Cartoon Network, Warner Bros, Netflix and South Park Studios. Her work explores the relatable humor and tragedy of everyday life and has been featured and awarded at several film festivals and the Vimeo Staff Pick selection.
Eric Tate | Pomona, CA
Eric is a teacher, traveler, and writer currently working in television production. A Southern California-native, he taught K-8 students in Berkeley, Seattle, and South Korea before returning home to get his MFA in screenwriting at LMU. He was recently a fellow of the PBS Kids Writing Program.