Reciprocity Fellowship for Bar & Restaurant Workers: Take 10 Minutes to Apply by Friday, January 21st.
Three winners will receive $2500 awards to participate in the January 29th, 12-Week Basic Training conducted by Writers Boot Camp founder Jeffrey Gordon. Our first category at the start of the pandemic was Reciprocity due to bar and restaurant workers being essential and at risk. Basic Training imparts comprehensive fundamentals while you complete three drafts of your feature film script or TV pilot–or the foundation of your book or novel. One of the first winners, Michael Cecchi-Azzolina, landed a publishing deal for his Basic Training project, Your Table is Ready: Tales of a New York Maitre D’ (St. Martin’s Press) by the end of 2020.
Experienced writers will find that Basic Training is more than basic. The terms and tools we impart will be intuitive and confirming without being formulaic, and empower any writer and industry collaborator. Writers who have written before may have an advantage on the application by making the case for their ability to execute their story on the page, yet we find that even veterans of the creative process tend to share the problems of Premise Lines that are missing 2nd-Act Adventures, missing key characters and wind up to be disappointingly more like vague loglines that barely set up the story, versus more complete structural expressions of how the story will work. A Premise Line is more than a logline.
Fellowship Application Overview
Since the start of the pandemic, Writers Boot Camp has provided more than $180,000 in fellowship and scholarship awards, highlighting opportunities to writers of diverse voices, including women and women of color. Through our 32-year history, a high percentage of our successful alumni are diverse. We encourage all candidates to apply based on the availability to commit 10 hour per week for creative exercises and writing for the duration of the 12-week Basic Training process.
Selection of winners will be based on excellence of prior writing and storytelling experience, along with the distinctions of your point of view. As is true with most Fellowship categories and parameters, Writers Boot Camp’s focus is to expand areas of creative material and to support new and distinctive artistic voices. As always, projects will ideally focus on audience engagement and fresh entertainment.
The Reciprocity topic does not require that project ideas and stories directly involve the restaurant or bar scene, though any project idea can derive from the writer’s own experience and point of view. The primary requirement is that candidates work or have worked at a bar or restaurant. Please think through and articulate distinctions that will separate your story from the rest that have come before. Ultimately, that kind of distinction in your work will connect your passion to the challenges and tenets of the profession of writing in the entertainment industry. Your email reply will ideally abide the suggested guidelines and comprise of only single-sentence answers, except for combining the four single sentences that are requested into a single paragraph as instructed.
Feel free to forward this Reciprocity Application Page to aspiring and accomplished writers, artists, actors, producers and filmmakers. The notes we provide afterwards to each candidate are very helpful to writers who truly aspire to the professional entertainment industry.
The application process is designed with a short window because we find too many candidates will wait until the last 48 hours anyway. While there is no prejudice of the timestamp in the determination of winners, we encourage you NOT to wait until the last minute. As always, we believe at Writers Boot Camp that the best idea is the one you’re actually working on–and that is usually the project that you can sustain passion for the many stages of work necessary to fully develop it. The stories that create a relationship adventure beyond the physical adventure of the plot have the best chance to be seen and succeed.
Candidates will ideally consider this application as a streamlined form of job interview, and the Basic Training as an opportunity to learn and to develop a stronger writing sample. While the script may not lead to an immediate sale, the process can refine your unique voice and the writing experience may further qualify your ability to support a writers’ room, adjust your professional understanding and attract industry experiences.
The emphasis on single sentence answers can be deceiving–we’re not looking for brevity as much as economy, which will allow you to include compelling and evocative necessities of story. Consider how your answers will convey distinctions as an artist and, conversely, how vague answers or generic comments may fail to do justice to your voice. One trick is to make sure the second half of each sentence is explicit.
See Instructions Below and Look for the Copy & Paste Note to Start Your Application
Only one application per person, please!
Step 1: Copy the questions and certification paragraphs below into an email with the subject line: Fellowship
Step 2: Make sure that all answers are no longer than a single sentence and that all questions and answers are aligned on the left side of the email. Please keep the answer on the same line as the question/field. Make sure that there is just one return (blank line) between each response. Please do not overdo additional spacing. Use 12 pt. or 14pt. Calibri font.
Please Note: Answers to the Topical Questions below (#1 thru #4) are to be written as one paragraph of only four sentences that flow together.
Step 3: Email to email@example.com. Please DO NOT add notes or personal disclaimers or explanations in the email.
———-Copy & Paste Starting Here———-
Contact & Background
City, State & Zip Code:
How you first heard about Writers Boot Camp:
Name of Personal Reference:
Their Relationship to You:
Reference Contact (Phone & Email):
Your Entertainment Industry Background and Experience:
Prior Writing and Filmmaking Experience:
Are you currently working?
If you are not working, has it been due to the pandemic?
Restaurant and city last worked or currently working:
Term of Employment:
Additional Venues (optional):
Can you estimate how many Covid tests you’ve taken (optional):
Would you like to share any info on awards or honors in your field? (Sales or management achievements, Sommelier awards, Michelin stars)
In this section, from questions 1-4, please submit without the questions, without the numbers and combine them into a four-sentence paragraph with the answers flowing together. Please, no more than four sentences.
1.What’s the most inspired encounter you’ve experienced that you associate with working in a restaurant? (This may or may not have to do directly with food, though it may be helpful if it involves the theme of service.)
2.Share with us–in only one sentence–a bonding experience with a fellow restaurant worker(s).
3.Beyond the clichés that readily come to mind about quarantine, do you have any insight or any personal breakthrough to share from your stay-at-home experience, or the risk you may have taken by working in a restaurant and not staying at home?
4.In only one sentence within the paragraph submitted, do you have a unique or fresh perspective on the restaurant business, about serving patrons or dining out, or about employment and labor issues in the bar and restaurant field?
If you win a Writers Boot Camp Fellowship (Basic Training Award), please describe the project you will write in the three fields below.
–Format (Movie, TV Pilot, Book, etc.):
–Premise Line: One sentence only, this can be up to 50 words without being considered too long; if the project is a TV pilot, focus on the characters in the A-Story of Episode 1 instead of a general explanation of the series.
–Single-Sentence Bio: One sentence only, write an accurate description of your background, current day job, including one or two highlights of your prior employment and artistic accomplishment. This may be used in part for the description of winners announced within a few days of the deadline.
Applicant Notification & Certification (Please include these paragraphs at the end of your application)
My email submission of the above application and its contents certifies that all my answers above are true. I understand that winners will be contacted by email or phone. All email submissions will be kept confidential and not shared with anyone outside Writers Boot Camp’s staff without my permission. I understand that if I win an award it is not transferable and if I cannot fully utilize it, then the next ranked person will be offered it. I understand that any failure to fully participate following the start of Basic Training is in effect the equivalent of having prevented another deserving writer from experiencing the opportunity for educational and career advancement. I understand that due to the short time constraint of the fellowship application process that only the winners will be notified of their standing by telephone. Each applicant will be notified by email with guidelines for additional benefits, if applicable.
My submission by email certifies my acknowledgement of Writers Boot Camp’s pledge of confidentiality regarding my application and creative answers. I understand that all internal staff discussion of my project idea is in the interest of determining winners of The Fellowship, that I am sharing my ideas and answers to be eligible for a fellowship award and that submission of this application does not guarantee me receipt of conceptual notes or story services.
I understand that I can protect my material by registering and/or copyrighting my written materials prior to submitting them. I give permission to Writers Boot Camp to verify my information and answers with the above reference and understand that this verification, if necessary, is only for a group of finalists and only to determine award eligibility.
–End of Application–
We look forward to supporting three dynamic artists and their writing process with us. We appreciate the efforts and applications of all the candidates, and the staff will follow up with brief notes about their personal expressions and the potential of their project ideas!
For information, call 310 998 1199.