For the second year, the Athena Film Festival at Barnard College, in partnership with the Stephens College Master of Fine Arts in Television and Screenwriting and WIST, (Women in the Script Trade, formerly IRIS) will host a television and screenwriting lab in Los Angeles, Monday, June 3rd to Wednesday, June 5th, 2019.

The three-day program targets emerging self-identified women writers in both television and film. One day will focus on the features, one will be an industry day, and one will focus on TV. The program will include mentoring sessions, in which the participants are paired with established writers; a mock television writers room; opportunities for peer-to-peer feedback; meetings with executives; and networking events with Athena Film Festival community members

The three-day lab will take place on June 3-5, 2019, in Los Angeles.


Emerging writers who identify as women.

Writers cannot yet have a feature-length narrative film or TV pilot or teleplay produced or in pre-production.

Projects with more than one writer may be considered upon assessment (both have to identify as women).

Scripts with a strong female character in a leadership role at the center of the story.

Feature narrative scripts in English in the 80-to-120-page range.

Projects from all genres from and about women from all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic and cultural groups.


Writers can submit to both labs, but two separate applications and fees will need to be submitted.

If chosen as a finalist, you will be asked to submit a one-page personal statement.


There will be 8 to 10 writers accepted per lab.

Up to 20 finalists from each lab will be chosen and notified by April 15.

8 to 10 total participants for each lab will be chosen by April 29.

This year Athena has partnered with the Sloan Foundation, which promotes the development, production, and distribution of science-themed films. We are offering a fellowship to one writer who submit STEM-themed scripts.

Overall Rating
  • Heather Upton

    An amazing lab experience! Thoughtful, well organized, nurturing, engaging and effective. It was a fantastic experience and I came away both inspired and with tons of practical advice. I can't say enough good things about the Athena Lab, and Nitza and Elizabeth, who run it. Definitely apply!

    March 2019
  • Bridget Bell McMahon

    This lab was a profound experience. The fiercely creative women at its helm (Melissa, Kitty, Nitza, Elizabeth and Kristin) should run the world. Thank you to all involved. This supportive, encouraging, inspiring program was a gift.

    July 2018