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There’s no doubt about it — Hollywood has a growing interest in stories from different perspectives. Managers and agents are signing writers from underrepresented backgrounds in record numbers as the industry is finally taking strides to become more inclusive and diverse.
Diverse Voices is a dynamic virtual screenwriting lab with a proven track record of helping move the needle for stories that are told from perspectives that are often underrepresented in Hollywood today. This includes writers of color, women writers, writers with disabilities, writers over 40, writers in the LGBTQ+ community, and any other voices that have historically been ignored by Hollywood.
A minimum of 4 winners will be selected to participate in this career-changing lab!
All readers for this competition come from diverse backgrounds, and all entrants will receive a page of FREE written feedback on their script from their first round’s judge.
Over a dozen past winners have been signed, staffed, and optioned as a direct result of their Diverse Voices Lab meetings. Past finalists and winners have signed with companies including Heroes & Villains Entertainment, 3Arts, Zero Gravity, APA, ColorCreative, and more. See some of our past WeScreenplay success stories.
Plus, since it started in 2015, Diverse Voices has raised over $45,000 for various nonprofit organizations. What’s not to love?
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Eric Hsiao currently serves as Creative Executive at Justin Lin's Perfect Storm Entertainment (Fast & Furious franchise, Star Trek Beyond), where he has collaborated on the development of such films as F9: The Fast Saga and Space Jam: A New Legacy, and the HBO Max series Warrior, as well as projects set up at Universal, Paramount, Netflix, and Participant. Additionally, Eric oversees Perfect Storm's producing partnership with the Beijing-based film studio CMC Pictures (The Meg). Eric previously worked as an assistant and agent trainee in the Motion Picture Literary department at United Talent Agency after obtaining an MBA/MFA dual-degree from NYU and BAs in Mass Communications and Sociology from UC-Berkeley.
Daniela Gonzalez is a literary manager at Good Fear Content, a Los Angeles-based management and production company known for representing generation-defining talent and producing clutter-busting content. Daniela identifies as a TCI – a third culture individual: Venezuelan-born, with a childhood in South East Asia, Daniela’s found her roots in the United States. Prior to working at Good Fear Content, Daniela was with Circle of Confusion for nearly a decade. Her international background informs her taste as she builds her roster of clients who have unique voices and backgrounds. Daniela holds a BA in Film Production with a minor in Film Producing from New York University.
Angelina Chen is a literary manager at Energy Entertainment, Brooklyn Weaver’s company. Energy Entertainment represents screenwriters and book authors. Some of their company’s credits include RUN ALL NIGHT, OUT OF THE FURNACE and the TV show EXTANT. Her clients include Nissar Modi (Z FOR ZACHARIAH) and Tamara Carter (story editor LEFTOVERS). Prior to Energy Entertainment, Angelina was an asst at Management 360. Before Management 360, Angelina was at an asst at CAA. She graduated from UCLA with an undergraduate degree in political science and also attended USC’s Peter Stark Producing Program for grad school.
Dustin Alpern is a literary manager based in Los Angeles who works with both US and Canadian clients. He enjoys working with his clients in all aspects of their careers, whether that’s finding and introducing them to studio execs and producers with similar tastes, giving them creative feedback on their material, or fighting to improve their contracts. Dustin began his career as a freelance producer, working with notable artists and brands such as Glass Animals, Disturbed, The Amity Affliction, Cady Groves, Freestyle, and many more. Dustin also worked for a period of time in the marketing department at Sony Pictures helping produce integrated marketing campaigns for films such as Jumanji, Smurfs: The Lost Village, and Ghostbusters.
Josh Dove is a literary manager at Circle of Confusion, specializing in IP and TV staffing. His clients have written on shows including YELLOWJACKETS, HACKS, LIGHT AS A FEATHER, WOOL, and HOUSE OF THE DRAGON.
Crystal Holt is the Vice President of Series for 20th Television Studio – A Walt Disney Company. Crystal’s shows include WONDER YEARS for ABC, HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART II, MIKE & WASHINGTON BLACK for Hulu, GENIUS for NatGeo, OUR KIND OF PEOPLE for Fox, THE CROSSOVER for D+, TRUE LIES for CBS, ORDINARY JOE for NBC. She previously worked with AMC Networks on shows such as THE TERROR, FEAR THE WALKING DEAD, WALKING DEAD WORLD BEYOND, CREEP SHOW, HORROR NOIRE & the ORPHAN BLACK REBOOT. She is an alumnus of Columbia College Chicago.
Kasra Ajir is one of the owners and managers at Velocity Entertainment Partners, representing actors, writers, directors and television personalities. An immigrant to the United States and one of the few Iranian Americans working in the entertainment industry, Ajir has worked tirelessly during his career to create opportunities and open doors for diverse voices in film and television. A passionate advocate of talent, and a lover of stories, Ajir trained at the prestigious William Morris Agency (now WME) before embarking on his career as a manager.
Arielle Díaz is a writer-director-performer from Chicago who is currently a writer and co-producer on season two of Amazon’s romantic comedy series, WITH LOVE, created by Gloria Calderon-Kellett. Formerly, she was a writer and co-producer on both seasons of the Netflix Original series GENTEFIED, executive produced by America Ferrera and MACRO. One of her season 2 episodes titled “Daddy” was selected as one of the best episodes of television in 2021 by IndieWire. Previously she’s written for the Emmy nominated series, THE LAST MAN ON EARTH on Fox starring Will Forte, and David E. Kelley’s series BIG SHOT on Disney+. Before launching her career in entertainment, Arielle was a staffer at Google in Silicon Valley where she consulted women and BIPOC-owned businesses on marketing strategy.
Diverse Voices Virtual Lab
The Diverse Voices Virtual Lab is a one-of-a-kind experience. At least 4 winners will be selected to participate in this game-changing virtual lab. Writers chosen for the virtual lab have a long weekend PACKED with workshops to hone their craft, mentorship calls with working writers, and general meetings with studio execs, literary reps, and more.
This is not a “sit back” passive webinar experience. It is a “get your questions answered, find the right literary representation, and meet potential collaborators” busy several days. It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for any emerging screenwriter.
Our virtual labs have directly led to writers getting staffed, signing with their dream reps, and more! Want more info? You can read about the Diverse Voices Lab experience here.
Additionally, the winners get access to ongoing mentorship from WeScreenplay including an initial phone call, guidance for drafting query letters, research methods for finding the right representation, prep before big meetings, and strategic planning for next steps in their careers — all based on the writer’s specific goals.
Meeting with Writer Development Team
Each finalist will have a 1:1 virtual meeting with a member of the WeScreenplay Writer Development Team to discuss personalized career guidance for you and your work.
See what some of our past Lab Mentors and Lab Winners had to say!
I think the best part of discovering a new voice is learning more about a community I would have never otherwise known about had it not been through a beautifully crafted story.
Manager, Mucho Mas Media
It's always exciting to be able to engage with emerging writers through programs like WeScreenplay because it opens the door for talent from around the world to be discovered and potentially find the right fit in terms of literary representation. There's always such a diverse array of writers from different perspectives, backgrounds, and walks of life that make the discovery process that much more rewarding.
Literary Manager, Empirical Evidence (2021 Lab Mentor)
When I’m reading scripts from Wescreenplay, one of my favorite things is to have the chance to discover such different universes! From drama to comedy, there is a really wide range of style from talented screenwriters that I enjoyed reading.
Maria Gracia Turgeon
Producer (2021 Lab Mentor)
Group Mentorship Meetings
Before the lab, we will share all the winning scripts with the group. During a one to two hour session, the group will share script notes verbally. While all the winning scripts are already strong, the purpose of this notes session is to refine your work, to get thoughts on next steps, and to practice giving and receiving notes.
We will have exciting workshops for winners to get hands on experience with industry professionals. Winners participate in curated workshops with screenwriters, literary managers which have included showrunner’s like Naren Shankar, Chuck Rose, managers like AE Jones of Stagecoach Entertainment, and a Pitching Masterclass with Jim Arnoff.
Writers will meet with executives, literary managers and working writers to learn more about the industry and craft for a deeper 360 perspective of a career in screenwriting. Each session includes a mentor who will share their experience and area of expertise followed by a Q&A with the writers.
Writers will participate in private curated 1:1 meetings with literary managers, working writers, and execs. This is the perfect opportunity to connect, ask questions, and expand your knowledge of the craft and industry.
A portion of every single Diverse Voices submission is donated to charity. Since the program was launched in 2015, Diverse Voices has raised over $45,000 for various nonprofit organizations including those listed below. THANK YOU to all the amazing writers who’ve helped us get there.
Founded by Ava DuVernay, Array is an independent film distribution and resource collective comprised of artist advocacy organizations, maverick volunteers, and rebel member donors worldwide. Their work is dedicated to the amplification of independent films by people of color and women filmmakers globally.
Hollywood HEART is a nonprofit organization that empowers young people through the arts, building supportive communities and safe environments that cultivate confidence, creativity, and self-esteem. Hollywood HEART serves an expanding list of LGBTQ+ youth, underhoused youth, and youth affected by HIV/AIDS. They bring the arts to life through online programming, in-person workshops, and their annual summer camp, creating opportunities for collaboration, exploration and expression.
Check out more of our Writers’ Successes.
After winning the Spring 2021 Diverse Voices competition, Brittany took meetings with literary reps and production companies WeScreenplay set up as part of the Diverse Voices Lab. She signed with literary managers at Thoro Artists, and is in development on two features.
“The WeScreenplay team is fantastic, their feedback is thorough and extremely helpful. I’ve done a few labs with other competitions I’ve placed in and the Diverse Voices Lab was by far the most engaging, useful and inspiring I have taken part in. They really believe in the program they have created to uplift diverse and underserved narratives.“
After placing as a Finalist the Spring 2021 Diverse Voices competition, WeScreenplay provided career consulting and got Teresa’s work read at numerous management companies, resulting in her signing with a literary manager at Heroes & Villains Entertainment.
“Honestly I was floored when WeScreenplay reached out to me as a Finalist in the Diverse Voices competition saying that they also work with finalists to get their work seen and help their careers. I didn’t expect that anyone other than those selected for the lab would have gotten that kind of help. Sarah Eagen graciously met with me to offer loads of great career guidance. It’s a real testament to WeScreenplay that they go so out of their way to help all the writers that come into their orbit. I couldn’t be more grateful!”
After winning the Fall 2020 Diverse Voices Competition, WeScreenplay set up Elise with a general at UCP. Shortly after the Diverse Voices Lab, Elise got staffed on CANDY for UCP/ Hulu, starring Elisabeth Moss.
“Diverse Voices was an incredible experience, and one that I’m very happy to have had. Sarah Eagen and the staff at WeScreenplay put a lot of (very appreciated) work into creating a lab that would prepare us for the next step in our careers, while encouraging us and doing anything they could to help move us forward. Once you’re part of the WeScreenplay family, it feels like they are truly rooting for your success and do what they can to help you achieve it.“
After winning the Fall 2020 Diverse Voices Competition, WeScreenplay set Junot up with numerous meetings with literary reps. After fielding multiple offers, he signed with manager Cameron Cubbison at Zero Gravity and agent Halle Mariner at APA!
“WeScreenplay gave me inspiration and encouragement. It just takes one person to believe in you to help you get a running start. WeScreenplay filled those shoes, and I’m grateful. The world is hungry for fresh news in the form of story, and you as the artist are their chosen messenger. Your story and voice are worth it. WeScreenplay treated us all with care, support, and insight. My first reader’s notes were the most helpful, actionable notes I’d ever received.“
After winning the Fall 2020 Diverse Voices Competition, Phylicia worked with the WeScreenplay team to target reps and prep for specific meetings, landing literary rep with Issa Rae's new company ColorCreative!
“Being a part of this community has opened my eyes to the magic that can come from collaboration and how powerful you can become when other people are supporting you. I am so grateful everything Sarah and WeScreenplay have done for me and it was a true bright spot of 2020!”
After placing as a Finalist in the Spring 2021 Diverse Voices, WeScreenplay pitched Soma to several managers, garnering multiple meetings and offers. As a direct result, she signed with Josh Goldenberg at Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment.
Considering entering a WeScreenplay competition? “Absolutely go for it! You can get invaluable feedback to polish your script and it’s an amazing opportunity to get your work in front of reps. I’d like to say a big, heartfelt thanks to WeScreenplay for helping me connect with representation. Sarah Eagen was the epitome of professionalism and courtesy. I don’t doubt that I would be much further behind in my journey to find representation if it weren’t for her help.“
Jai Jamison won the 2020 WeScreenplay Diverse Voices Competition with his race-bending Superman pilot THE AMERICAN WAY before getting staffed on the new CW show SUPERMAN & LOIS and signing with KPE.
“Submitting to contests is a great way to make sure your writing is sharp and clear before you send it out to the industry. Winning the Diverse Voices Lab was great because it put me on the radar for a lot of folks and introduced me to the great team at WeScreenplay who have been fantastic (and very patient) resources for me. I’m now staffed on SUPERMAN & LOIS and signed with great managers at Kaplan / Perrone!”
A FREE, 1-page mini-version of our phenomenal coverage from the entry’s first round judge, including their scores!
*Note: You can upgrade your free Judges Notes to WeScreenplay’s famous Classic Notes for an additional fee!
A new reader and another read for every script that makes it to this round.
*Note: You can upgrade to include a fresh round of Judges Notes for a small fee!
Another new reader and another read for every script that makes it to this round … and you are welcome to submit an updated version of your script for only $6.
Scripts that make it to this round will be read internally by the WeScreenplay team as well as by our industry jury. Scores will not be provided for this round, as judging will be discussed privately.
The top scripts as selected by the industry jury and WeScreenplay team! We’ll be reaching out to the winners for inclusion in our Diverse Voices Lab, which has resulted in numerous signings, collaborations, and staffings.