Category: General

Screenwriting Resources for Underrepresented Writers

Jonathan Hogan

Screenwriting, similar to professional creative writing, constitutes a small and highly competitive profession. Because of this, the internet is full of suggestions that come from highly privileged places. One website, for example, recommends quitting your job and writing 9 – 5 while also moving to L.A. (“How to Become a Screenwriter”). Such a focus on individual solutions to the restrictive nature of screenwriting obscures larger structures that make entry into the industry especially difficult for those with oppressed identities. The unhelpful nature of websites such as these is especially frustrating when one considers the most recent report on diversity in Screenwriting by the Writers Guild of West America.

According to the report, 56% of the industry identify as white men, 21% as white women, 13% as men of color, and 10% as women of color (Robb). When compared to demographics in the U.S. population, white male screenwriters are the only over-represented group, whereas representation of Native/Indigenous writers and Middle Eastern writers equates to “near-total erasure.” In light of the dual difficulties of a both restrictive and seemingly unaware industry, aspiring to become a screenwriter might seem an act in vain. Nonetheless, there are screenwriting programs that look to explicitly support underrepresented groups. I will explore three of these programs below, however, a full list of 10 programs is available here.

  1. Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment – New Writers Fellowship

The Coalition of Asian Pacifics (CAPE) is an organization seeking to “champion… diversity by educating, connecting, and empowering Asian American and Pacific Islander artists and leaders in entertainment and media” and dates back to 1991 (“CAPE’s Mission and History”). CAPE hosts multiple programs focusing on helping Asian Americans and Pacifica Islanders break through barriers in areas ranging from directing to screenwriting. Their New Writers Fellowship takes place in the Spring and sees accepted writers attend workshops while matching them with “a high-level industry mentor to help them revise their original script into professional-level writing samples” (“CAPE New Writers Fellowship — Developing Asian & Pacific Islander Screenwriters in TV and Film”).

2. The Black List WIF Feature Residency

The Black List Women in Film Feature Residency provides “six promising non-professional screenwriters who are of underrepresented genders (women, NB/GNC and/or trans, and others) to participate in a one year residency” (“2021 Black List / WIF Feature Residency | The Black List”). The residency’s focus is twofold. Namely, it focuses on improving residents’ writing skills, while also connecting residents with production companies (“2021 Black List / WIF Feature Residency | The Black List”). Although the program focuses on pursuing gender equality in screenwriting, it should be noted that “Women in Film,” the sponsoring organization, has a recently formed Black Member Forum and thus seems to at least be aware of the importance of an intersectional understanding of oppression.

3. Native American Media Alliance – Native American TV Writers Lab

Native American Media Alliance hosts a “5 week intensive scriptwriters program that prepares Native Americans for writing careers at major television networks” (“Native American Media Alliance | 6th Annual Native American TV Writers Lab Application”). During the program, writers will “complete an original plot… and receive feedback from peers and an experienced writing instructor” (“Native American Media Alliance | 6th Annual Native American TV Writers Lab Application”). At the end of the program, writers will then pitch their scripts to executives from various production companies. Although the program certainly focuses on getting Native American’s into the industry, a further goal of the program is “to improve media portrayals of Native Americans” (“Native American Media Alliance | Mission”).


“2021 Black List / WIF Feature Residency | The Black List.” The Black List, Accessed 19 Apr. 2022.

“CAPE New Writers Fellowship — Developing Asian & Pacific Islander Screenwriters in TV and Film.” CAPE, Accessed 19 Apr. 2022.

“CAPE’s Mission and History.” CAPE, Accessed 19 Apr. 2022.

“How to Become a Screenwriter: A Pro’s Ultimate Guide.” Script Reader Pro, 14 June 2018,

“Native American Media Alliance | 6th Annual Native American TV Writers Lab Application.” Native American Media Alliance, Accessed 19 Apr. 2022.

“Native American Media Alliance | Mission.” Native American Media Alliance, Accessed 19 Apr. 2022.

Robb, David. “WGA West Screenwriting Inclusion Report: Women & People Of Color Continue To Make Progress In Hiring But ‘Remain Significantly Underrepresented.’” Deadline, 5 Nov. 2021,

Jonathan is a Third Year German and Government major. He works as a Peer Educator to assist students in the CJW and GLI career communities. In addition to professional development, Jonathan is interested in the cultural construction of the modern nation-state, normative constraints on rational behavior, and all things German. You can schedule an appointment with him here to improve your resume, learn more about the CJW and GLI career opportunities, and work on anything else professional development-related.

Government Gap Years

By Jonathan Hogan

If you are interested in working in government but you’re not quite ready to commit to a career, or if you are simply looking for something to do between Lawrence and a career and have a background in government, you might want to consider a government gap year. In the following paragraphs, then, I will outline the most prominent programs and what they broadly entail.

Pathways Recent Graduate Program

The broadest program for government gap years is the Pathways Recent Graduate Program. Most broadly, the Pathways program is designed to “provide students [and recent graduates]… with a wide variety of educational institutions, from high school to graduate level, with opportunities to work in agencies and explore Federal careers while still in school and while getting paid for the work performed” (“Students & Recent Graduates”). The Recent Graduates Program, as the name implies, is generally open to students who have graduated in the last two years. An important caveat, as with many government programs, is U.S. citizenship. Interns must have U.S. citizenship by the end of their one-year program. What sets the Pathways program apart is the fact that it is administered by nearly every federal agency. This means that students with interests as differentiated as agricultural and diplomacy could both find Pathways internships working with the State Department and the USDA respectively. Such a variety of programs, nonetheless, makes it difficult to talk about specifics. Most broadly, recent graduate interns are expected to work full-time for a year, for pay, while learning the ins and outs of their agency. Excitingly, one of the benefits of the program includes the possibility of being offered a full-time position at the end of the internship, thus making Pathways an interesting program even for those more certain about a career path with the federal government. To learn more about Pathways programs, it’s best to go to the website of an agency of interest to learn more about their specific practices.

Peace Corps

One of the most prominent gap year programs is the Peace Corps. Broadly, Peace Corps members are deployed to countries around the world where they learn the local language, typically live with a host family, and volunteer their time working on projects ranging from education to community economic development. While experience in the Peace Corps is not an internship with a government agency per se, its challenges of working abroad, fostering cultural and linguistic competencies, and working to support development overlap significantly with many positions in the State Department and USAID. The benefits of the Peace Corps include a stipend of $10,000 upon completion of the 2.5-year program, tuition assistance to a broad list of graduate school programs under Paul D. Coverdell Fellowship, and a higher likelihood of getting a job within the federal government. To learn more, check out the Peace Corps website and get in touch with a local representative. 

State Government Gap-Years

State governments generally have fewer gap year opportunities than the federal government for recent grads, that being said, many states do offer some form of an internship. In Wisconsin, there appears to be only one opportunity for recent grads, namely the Department of Transportation Internship Program. This program can see interns working in a wide variety of areas while “networking with other interns, state government employees, and management” (“Division of Personnel Management Student Internships”). State internships are likely to vary greatly, so it is wise to investigate the programs offered in your state when considering gap years.


AmeriCorps, much like the Peace Corps, is a service-based experience in which recent grads can gain experience working to help communities in areas ranging from disaster recovery to education. As the name implies, however, this program sees volunteers help communities in America. It is important to note that AmeriCorps workers work through an NGO partnered with AmeriCorps rather than AmeriCorps itself, thus, volunteering doesn’t constitute government work. Nonetheless, volunteers, who dedicate between a summer and a year of their time to the program are granted not only a reasonable living stipend and student loan repayment assistance but also professional development resources that can help kickstart careers in non-profit and governmental industries. Additionally, dedicating a year of your life/resume to government-sponsored service certainly helps one stand out to potential government employers. To learn more about AmeriCorps, visit their website!

Works Cited

“Division of Personnel Management Student Internships.” Wisconsin.Gov, Accessed 18 May 2022.

Home | AmeriCorps. Accessed 18 May 2022.

“Meet the Moment.” Peace Corps, Accessed 18 May 2022.

“Students & Recent Graduates.” U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Accessed 18 May 2022.

Jonathan is a Third Year German and Government major. He works as a Peer Educator to assist students in the CJW and GLI career communities. In addition to professional development, Jonathan is interested in the cultural construction of the modern nation-state, normative constraints on rational behavior, and all things German. You can schedule an appointment with him here to improve your resume, learn more about the CJW and GLI career opportunities, and work on anything else professional development-related.

Step-by-Step Guide For An Impactful Summer

Step 1: Find out your goal

For those of you who have jobs or internships for the summer, it may be your goal to excel in those positions. However, what if you don’t have one of those opportunities and still want a high-impact summer? Here is our list of goals you can have:

  • Learn a new skill
  • Volunteer
  • Create your own “resident” experience
  • Prepare for graduate school applications or job search

There are so many other goals you can have for your summer as well! But this was our list of suggestions to just get you thinking. 

Step 2: Figure out the steps to achieve that goal

We suggest writing out your plan for the summer. Whether it is easier to break it up by day, week or month is up to you! If you are learning a new skill or expanding your knowledge on a subject, you may take some free online courses or even courses at a community college nearby. If you are volunteering, research where you would like to spend your time and reach out to find times that fit in your schedule. If you want to create your own resident experience, research where you would like to stay for the summer, the funding that Lawrence or the community can provide, who you would like to study with, or where you would like to work. If you’re looking to prepare for graduate school or a job search, figure out which schools or which fields you are interested in a form a plan for creating your application materials. 

Step 3: Execute! 

Stick to your plan! If you end up falling behind that is totally okay, just be sure you have a chance to recharge and get back in there. Always keep in mind that even the tiniest amount of progress can make a huge impact on your career and your goals and ensure you have a high-impact summer.

Step 4: Keep track of your progress

Be sure to take note of all of the progress you are making. You can do this by journaling, keeping a calendar, or just reviewing all of the materials you’ve gathered throughout the summer. If you’re volunteering be sure to log your hours. Also, if you are working with other people, you can even ask them how you have progressed throughout the summer. 

Step 5: Enjoy the benefits!

If you have an internship, there is a really good chance you have earned college credit for completing your position! Not having to take one extra class during your time at Lawrence is a really great benefit. Those of you who learned new skills, be ready to excel in your classes relating to those skills or apply them all throughout the school year. The same goes for those of you who created your own residency! If you got a head start on job or graduate school applications, be ready to send those in and enjoy the downtime after getting such a good head start. 

Timeline for Applying to Graduate School

Adapted from and  

While the application process for graduate school can be overwhelming, it becomes easier to manage if you split the process into smaller steps over the course of several months (or even years). Here is a timeline for the application process to help you prepare over time!

TIMELINE (if applying for admission immediately following graduation from Lawrence)

Junior (Year 3) 

If you plan to apply to graduate school during senior year, it’s a good idea to: 

  • Solidify which area of study you would like to pursue. 
  • Speak with advisers, professors, and career advisors about your interest in graduate school to get advice and suggestions for beginning the program search process. 
  • Create a CV. Here is a sample to help you get started. This resource can give more advice and examples. Our career advisor can help with this as well. 
  • Start research on graduate programs of interest. Things to consider include placement, curriculum, location and size, and more. Pay attention to details about required standardized exams, application processes and deadlines, faculty research, and financial aid/scholarship information. If necessary, contact schools for more information. 
  • Start gathering information about financial aid: scholarships, fellowships, and graduate and teaching assistantships. This list of resources for funding can help you.
  • Start preparing for any necessary graduate admissions tests, such as the GRE 
  • Get involved in a research project if you have not already gained research experience – click here to explore research opportunities and watch our information session on how to apply to the Lawrence University Research Fellowship for the summer 
  •  If possible, attend conferences in your discipline, especially if they include sessions for prospective graduate students or graduate school fairs 
  • If needed, prepare for taking the GRE exam 
  • Look into extramural fellowships in your relevant fields 

Summer before senior year (June to August) 

This is about 6 months away from most application deadlines. While it is important to use the summer to recharge or do other things like research or internships, it is important to have a strong start to your application process. It is important to: 

  • Narrow down the list of programs you intend to apply to (investigate potential faculty mentors, requirements, etc.) and record application requirements and deadlines. This school comparison worksheet can help you do so – you can also use Excel to recreate this worksheet.  
  • Prepare for and/or take the GRE or other required standardized exams 
  • Draft a personal statement or statement of purpose and any other required application essays or materials.  

Early Fall (September to October) 

By early fall, the application process speeds up. It is important to: 

  • Actively seek and apply for application fee waivers 
  • Contact faculty members to seek their advice and ask if they are willing to write you a strong recommendation letter 
  • If your discipline requires you to reach out to prospective faculty for your graduate program, start reaching out to them – you can find their contact information either on their website or on the department website 
  • Solicit feedback on your personal statement and any other essays from professors you know, campus writing centers, and/or your career advisor 
  • Register to take the GRE no later than October (if you haven’t already done so) 

Late Fall (October to November) 

By late fall, you should be nearing completion of your application materials. 

  • Complete application forms 
  • Revise and finalize your statement of purpose, CV, and any other essays 

Application Deadlines (November to December – deadlines vary by program) 

As year’s end approaches, send your applications by the due date 

  • Submit all applications 
  • Order/send transcripts  
  • Ask your letter writers to submit their recommendation letters, providing all the forms, information, and deadlines 
  • Verify that letters of recommendation, test scores, transcripts, and any other supporting documents were received by the graduate programs  

Reach out for help!

The graduate school application process is daunting, but you do not have to go through it alone! Your professors, academic advisors and our career advisors will be happy to support you throughout this process. Feel free to reach out and make an appointment with Jacklyn Fischer, our PHN advisor, for help! 

Teamwork Online – Start your career in Sports Management

Professional sports leagues such as the NFL, MLB, and NHL are massive organizations that require a large number of people to operate and succeed. The Major League Baseball, for example, employs nearly 12,000 employees across the United States in marketing, finance, analytics, and event management. Is there, however, a location where you may look for employment openings in the world of professional sports? Keep reading to find out! is a job search engine that screens all job vacancies from the NFL, NHL, MLB, MLS, and even college sports. This website allows you to see which teams are recruiting, what positions they are offering, and even apply directly on the site.

I was able to find many exciting opportunities for both entry-level jobs and internships after browsing this website:

  • Intern, Marketing – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Finance Intern – Green Bay Packers
  • Information Technology Intern – Green Bay Packers
  • Guest Relations Game Day Intern – Minnesota Vikings
  • CRM Data Manager – Milwaukee Bucks
  • Director, Accommodations NFL Events – NFL
  • Finance Manager – NHL
  • SQL Developer and Stats Analyst – NHL

If you are interested in working in sports management, this website could help you get started. Link to the website:

If you would like to have more information, please don’t hesitate to email me at or schedule an appointment on Handshake.

Oliver De Croock ’24, Student-Athlete at Lawrence University majoring in Economics and Career Peer Educator. Connect with me on LinkedIn.

Screenwriting Basics


By Jonathan Hogan

If you are someone who is inspired by amazing movie scenes and imagines your creative writing not within the reams of a book, but rather on flickering lights dancing across white vinyl, it might be worth considering a career in screenwriting.

Screenwriting most basically entails writing scripts for movies or television shows. There is, of course, a lot that goes into this simple definition. For one, aspiring screenwriters need to be intimately aware of how they format a script. This very specific form of writing, which allows ideas to translate clearly from a computer screen—to a set—to a film ready for release, requires a concerted effort to learn. There are many courses, books, etc. available on the internet that can help a writer learn how to format their scripts, however, as an enrolled Lawrentian, one can also take FIST345: Screenwriting, which culminates in the writing of “one or more short screenplays” (“Film Studies Course Description | Lawrence University”).

After learning the basics of how to write screenplays, things become a little less clear. In 2020, the Writer’s Guild of America, the union that represents screenwriters, reported that 6,108 writers received earnings from screenwriting (Annual Finance Report). That’s it. Because of this, discussing career paths for getting into screenwriting is a little like discussing career paths for professional athletes—at its core, it’s about having the resources to become really really good, and then making one’s skills known to the industry. Nonetheless, there are some things that nearly all screenwriters do on their way into the industry.

The first thing that nearly all screenwriters do is write “spec scripts.” A spec script is essentially a script written at the screenwriter’s initiative. For new screenwriters, spec scripts exist not so much to be sold, but rather to demonstrate to potential employers that the writer is skilled enough to take on a preconceived creative assignment such as working with a team to write an episode for a series. It is typically said that three spec scripts constitute a good portfolio (“How to Become a Screenwriter”). If a writer becomes well established in the industry, they may return to spec writing, as they can rely on their reputation to get the attention of producers.  

After writing three spec scripts, writers are often told that they need to get representation through an agent, who manages contracts and closes deals, and managers, who work to establish relationships that lead to deals and more broadly to guide the career of a screenwriter (HOORAE Media, An Issa Rae Company). Amy Anoibi,, an executive producer for Emmy-nominated Insecure and a head writer for season 1 of 2 Dope Queens, puts a different spin on agents and managers, stating that “representation isn’t something that you should be running after,” arguing instead that screenwriters should “do the work”  until representatives start calling them. According to Anoibi, this approach ensures that screenwriters get the right representation—agents and managers that share the goals and ambitions of the writer (HOORAE Media, An Issa Rae Company).

Aside from multiple spec scrips and considering representation, there is not much more that can be said for typical screenwriter career paths. In general, screenwriting is not for the faint of heart. As said before, it’s about having the resources to become really good. One of these “resources” is an undying love for the process of screenwriting. This keeps writers going even without the structure and certainty of a 9-5 job. Yet despite the romanticism of a passionate writer forging their path in a difficult industry, there are underlying structural barriers that prevent even the most passionate writers from getting ahead. Money, for example, more than passion, is a critical resource for screenwriters. Money allows a screenwriter to dedicate significant time to their craft without worrying about food, rent, childcare etc. Money allows screenwriters to pay for an MFA in screenwriting which, in addition to honing skills, ideally creates connections in Hollywood. Money allows one to move to L.A., where it is easier to establish connections to the industry. As a result of the significant amount of privilege that one needs to make it in the industry, those with marginalized identities can find it to be disproportionately difficult to get into the industry (something reflected by the demographics of the industry (Robb)). The next article in the CJW newsletter focuses on a list of writing fellowships that seek to elevate various marginalized identities with the hope of mitigating some of the effects of structural oppression. Keep your eye out in the coming weeks.

Jonathan is a Third Year German and Government major. He works as a Peer Educator to assist students in the CJW and GLI career communities. In addition to professional development, Jonathan is interested in the cultural construction of the modern nation-state, normative constraints on rational behavior, and all things German. You can schedule an appointment with him here to improve your resume, learn more about the CJW and GLI career opportunities, and work on anything else professional development-related.

Works Cited

Annual Finance Report. Writers Guild of America, West, Inc., 29 June 2021.

“Film Studies Course Description | Lawrence University.” Lawrence University, Accessed 29 Apr. 2022.

HOORAE Media, An Issa Rae Company. 5 Tips on How To Become A Screenwriter w/ Emmy-Nominated Screenwriter Amy Aniobi. 2020. YouTube,

“How to Become a Screenwriter: A Pro’s Ultimate Guide.” Script Reader Pro, 14 June 2018,

Robb, David. “WGA West Screenwriting Inclusion Report: Women & People Of Color Continue To Make Progress In Hiring But ‘Remain Significantly Underrepresented.’” Deadline, 5 Nov. 2021,