Emmy-winning writer Cord Jefferson launches screenwriting fellowship for journalists

The Susan M. Haas Fellowship is named for the 'Watchmen' writer's late mother.

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It looks like a couple of lucky creatives are in for a game-changing leg up thanks to Emmy-winning writer, Cord Jefferson. 

He has partnered with the Writer’s Guild of America Foundation to launch the 2021 Susan M. Haas Fellowship, which will provide two journalists interested in TV writing with financial and creative support as they develop original pilots.

Read More: Unpacking the brilliance of ‘Watchmen’ … the most important show of the year

The man behind the incredible HBO series, Watchmen was a journalist before he made the transition to screenwriting, giving him a unique lens into the entertainment industry. The WGA and NAACP award-winning writer has worked on Succession, The Good Place, and Survivor’s Remorse among other projects, and now Jefferson wants to help those who want to follow in his footsteps. 

Cord Jefferson writers fellowship watchmen thegrio.com
Cord Jefferson (Photo: Matt Sayles)

After regularly offering advice and behind-the-scenes counsel to journalists interested in pursuing careers in film and television, Jefferson decided to offer support in a more formal way with the Haas Fellowship.

Two writers with backgrounds in journalism will receive $25K each to assist with living expenses for a six-month period, during which recipients will develop their original teleplays. Each writer will also be paired with a mentor who will provide notes and guidance throughout the writing process. 

Read More: Sanaa Lathan to join season three of HBO’s ‘Succession’

At the end of the six months, fellows will have the opportunity to meet with at least two industry professionals – agents, managers, and/or executives – to aid in the process of representation, staffing, and/or further project development.

The Susan M. Haas Fellowship was named in honor of Jefferson’s late mother, who dedicated her life to education. 

The fellowship is open to journalists without a full-time job or steady source of income, including those who are part-time, freelance, unemployed, or laid-off. To be considered, applicants must not have earned any credits or financial compensation for any prior television or film work.

Applications are due on Feb. 21 and writers will be notified on April 2.

For more information on how to apply, click here. 

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