Television Writing Summer Institute


TV Writing (Session A): June 21 - July 30, 2021
TV Writing (Session C): Cancelled
Six Week Online Program



Due to the rapidly developing COVID-19 situation, students will participate in courses remotely via Zoom in order to protect the health and safety of our community and visiting students.

The UCLA Film and Television TV Writing Summer Institute introduces students to writing for television in Hollywood. This track mirrors the practice of professional writers in the world of episodic television and digital media by teaching students how to develop original series concepts and how to navigate the contemporary marketplace in a classroom environment that imitates the practices of a writers' room. Under the guidance of a professional TV

writer, students learn how to identify and capture the tone, characters, dialogue, and themes that make their story unique.

Participants will select one of two specializations:

  • Introduction to TV Writing; OR

  • Intermediate TV Writing for One-Hour Drama/Dramedy

Students at the introductory level write a series outline and the first act of the pilot script. Intermediate Drama/Dramedy level students write a series outline and the first draft of an original pilot. Students in the Drama/Dramedy track should not expect this to be a polished first draft, but will leave with the feedback and tools to further revise this into a fully-realized pilot for their portfolios and careers.

In small workshops, students at all levels meet via Zoom twice a week to discuss ideas, break stories, and give feedback and notes on each other’s work. All tracks offer eight units of UCLA credit. Please note that students of all specializations are expected to spend a minimum of 25 hours-per-week writing outside of class meetings.

At the conclusion of the program, Introduction and Intermediate Drama/Dramedy TV Writing students pitch their TV show ideas to television professionals in the industry for feedback and notes.



Program Eligibility

To participate in any of the Film and Television Summer Institute - TV Writing specializations, you must meet the following requirement.

  • Student and/or aspiring filmmaker 18 years of age or older as of the first day of the program
  • Short personal statement
  • Three log lines for three original story ideas.

Requirements for Introductory Track

The Introductory track is designed for students with little to no previous experience in writing for television. As part of their application, students must submit a short personal statement and three log lines (1-2 sentences each) for three original story ideas.

Requirements for Intermediate Specializations

The intermediate tracks are open to aspiring writers (18+) that have already completed a college level introductory screenwriting course. In addition to the short personal statement and log lines, intermediate applicants are also required to submit a 2-3 page original scene, as well as draft a 2-5 page scene based on a writing prompt that demonstrate creativity and a strong original voice. Both intermediate level writing samples must be submitted in screenplay format.

How to Apply

Registration can be done conveniently online using the steps below.

  1. Access the Summer Institute Online Registration Form. Read all terms and conditions, then scroll to the bottom and “Continue to Registration”.
  2. Complete the online registration form by answering all mandatory questions, including the essay questions.
  3. Submit your registration form.
  4. Once your form is submitted, you will be directed to the Retrieve Registration page.

Allow up to two weeks for the program instructor(s) to review your application. An email will be sent to you with the official decision. If accepted to the program, follow the steps in your acceptance email to make payment of the non-refundable registration fee ($150 for UCLA and UC students, $350 for non-UC students) and reserve your space in the program.

A space in the program is not reserved for you until valid payment of the non-refundable registration fee* is completed. Those who are not prepared to pay after program acceptance can submit their registration form and retrieve registration at another time to make a payment, however, you risk losing a space in the program if the program reaches capacity prior to the ability to pay.

This fee is not refundable under any circumstances including, but not limited to, drop for non-payment and withdrawal, even if you withdraw from the program before it begins.

If the program is full, you will not be prompted to make payment. When your application is accepted from the waitlist, you will be notified by email with instructions for methods of payment.

If registering after May 1, full payment of all fees including the non-refundable registration fee but excluding any applicable document and IEI fees is required to reserve your space in the program.

How to Make Registration Changes

Already submitted the online registration form but need to make a change or finish your registration? You can easily do so by retrieving your registration. To retrieve registration, please complete the steps below:

  1. Access the Summer Institute Retrieve Registration Form here.
  2. You will need your five-digit registration number that was sent to your email address. Fill out the form, then “Submit”.

Many changes and additions can be made using retrieve registration including: Payment submission of the non-refundable deposit

  • Uploading required documents
  • Dropping a current program
  • Adding a second program
  • Switching to a new program



Student Quote

"To put it simply, the best decision of my life. I was challenged, I had the opportunity to learn things I never would have learned if it was not for this program. I gained invaluable knowledge of screenwriting, networking, and friendships that will last a lifetime for me...I was able to learn first hand from successful writers and people who have had years of experience in their fields. They took their time to give 1 on 1 feedback, they taught us methods of pitching to industry leaders, they pushed us to create content that would exceed our own expectations."
-Jonathan Gonzales, TV Writing Summer Institute 2019







Program Dates

JUNE 21 - JULY 30, 2021

Important Dates

FEBRUARY 15: Registration Opens

APRIL 1: Financial Aid Application for Current UCLA Students Becomes Available

MAY 1: Payment due in full

JUNE 15: Refund Deadline - Refund Deadline for Summer Institutes

JUNE 21 - JULY 30: Television Writing Summer Institute (Session A)

UCLA Summer Sessions 2021 will be remote. Learn More.