The Writers Lab for Women Over 40 – Applications Available Now

Deadline: June 1, 2015 @ 5 PM

Presented by NYWIFT and IRIS, The Writers Lab is funded with the generous support of Meryl Streep. The Lab brings 8 women screenwriters over the age of 40 together with established mentors from the film industry for an intimate gathering and intensive workshop at Wiawaka Center for Women on Lake George, NY from September 18-20, 2015. The Lab is presented in collaboration with the Writers Guild of America, East. 

About the Lab:

The only program of its kind, The Writers Lab evolved in recognition of the absence of the female voice in narrative film, along with the dearth of support for script development. The lab offers 8 promising films by women over 40 a springboard to production.

The Lab will take place September 18-20, 2015, at Wiawaka Center for Women, on Lake George. Caroline Kaplan (Time Out of Mind, Personal Velocity), Kirsten Smith (Legally Blonde, Ten Things I Hate About You),Jessica Bendinger (Bring It On, Aquamarine), Mary Jane Skalski(Win Win, The Station Agent), Gina Prince-Bythewood (Secret Life of Bees, Beyond the Lights), Lydia Dean-Pilcher (The Lunchbox, The Reluctant Fundamentalist), Meg LeFauve (Inside Out, The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys) will be serving as mentors, pending scheduling. Mentors advise in one-on-one meetings with additional events to inspire artists to hone their creative vision.


Applicants must be women who were born on or prior to June 1, 1975, and must be US Citizens or Permanent Residents. The Lab seeks submissions from all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural groups. Submissions must be full-length narrative screenplays in English. (No TV scripts, shorts or documentaries.) We seek a broad selection of screenplays across all genres of fiction. Scripts by more than one writer will be considered, but all writers must be female, and only one writer can attend The Lab.

Full guidelines can be reviewed on the submission page.

Selection Process:

Scripts will be read by experienced professionals in film and screenwriting and evaluated on the following criteria: artistic vision, craft, subject matter, and marketability. Please note: We welcome scripts on all topics and from all fiction genres (drama, comedy, horror, action, thriller, science fiction, animation, musical, etc); scripts can be about any topic and do not specifically need to be about women.

Submission Process:

The following materials are required for your application and must be submitted electronically:

1) A PDF of a feature-length narrative screenplay.
2) Contact information, a brief personal statement, and short synopsis.
3) WGAE members will receive the NYWIFT member discount.

Questions? Email [email protected]

See our FAQ’s for more details.

Submissions Page

Join the conversation on Twitter: #nywiftlive | @nywift

NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Check this out on