92 days until SeriesFest

Professional Development


At the heart of its mission, SeriesFest champions and empowers artists in episodic storytelling to share their stories on a global scale. SeriesFest proudly presents year-round opportunities for creators to connect, collaborate, hone their craft, and learn from established industry professionals to move their projects – and careers – forward.

Check out our independent pilot competitions, scriptwriting competitions, and student education initiatives for additional opportunities to cultivate your episodic storytelling craft.


INCLUSIVITY INITIATIVE: FROM START TO SCREEN

Inclusivity Initiative: From Start to Screen Pilots applying for the Independent Pilot, Digital Short Series, Late Night, and Collegiate Spotlight competitions have the opportunity to apply for a waiver submission. SeriesFest, in partnership with the Royal Bank of Canada, is launching a sequence of opportunities to make our festival more accessible for all content creators.

WOMEN DIRECTING MENTORSHIP

SeriesFest and Shondaland are proud to have partnered for the past four years on the Women Directing Mentorship — a competition designed to discover aspiring female directors with a unique voice and provide a launchpad for their career. The Women Directing Mentorship is anchored with the prestigious opportunity to shadow a director for an episode of a Shondaland original series and a $5,000 stipend to use during the duration of their mentorship. 

EXECUTIVE ELEVATION MENTORSHIP

The Executive Elevation Mentorship aims to diversify the landscape of television’s top decision-makers. Fellows will be paired with top television, new media, and digital executives of color in hopes of moving their projects — and careers — forward. As part of our mission, SeriesFest will curate a dedicated group of mentors and mentees to spark change in the landscape of the tv/film/media industry at the leadership level.

CAZ MATTHEWS FUND

Caz Matthews is a Colorado-based supporter of SeriesFest and of the independent creators of television content who show their projects at the annual SeriesFest. In particular, Caz has an interest in providing funding to projects in which diversity stereotypes and unfavorable characterization of minority groups are dispelled.

WRITERS’ ROOM SERIES

SeriesFest has partnered with Unreal Media on a professional development opportunity for emerging writers in independent episodic television. SeriesFest will invite select writers to participate in a three-day workshop and month-long follow-up led by Unreal Media with the goal of producing pitch-ready scripted episodic content.

JAN MARINO SCHOLARSHIP

SeriesFest is honored to partner with the Stephens College M.F.A. in Television and Screenwriting for the third year on the Jan Marino Scholarship, designed to support women over 45 who are students in the Stephens College M.F.A. in Television and Screenwriting program. Named to honor author Jan Marino, the mother of M.F.A. student Betsy Marino Leighton, the scholarship nurtures the power of strong, independent female storytelling in television and film. 

STORYTELLERS WRITING COMPETITION: WONDALAND

SeriesFest is partnering with Janelle Monáe and Wondaland Productions to discover episodic content featuring radical and rebellious stories. The script competition provides artists the opportunity to share diverse ideas through visual media and create groundbreaking television. The winner will have the opportunity to develop the winning project with Wondaland.

STORYTELLERS WRITING COMPETITION: CHEROKEE NATION FILM OFFICE AND GREEN PASTURES STUDIOS

At the core of good stories is good writing. Presented in partnership with the Cherokee Nation Film Office and Green Pastures Studios, our Storytellers Initiative is a scriptwriting competition designed to discover and celebrate exciting new series through exceptional scripts that present a strong point of view and bold characters. Writers are invited to submit their pilot script for a chance to participate in a writers’ workshop, a live read of their script with professional actors, and a chance for their pilot to be developed, financed, & produced by Green Pastures Studios.

PITCH-A-THON! ROADSHOW

The program provides independent content creators with an opportunity to participate in an exclusive live pitch session with top television, new media, and digital executives in hopes of moving their unproduced projects forward and winning a cash prize of $2,500!

BREAKING IN: A SERIESFEST PODCAST

Designed to enlighten emerging voices as they get their foot in the door, and inspire those already there. Our founders and hosts Randi Kleiner and Kaily Smith Westbrook are joined by guests at the forefront of episodic storytelling to give you the inside scoop. 


Need more information? Questions?