The Athena Film Festival Writers Lab is a three-day creative development workshop for emerging writers which provides storytellers with creative guidance, training, industry access, and a valuable, supportive network. Applicants must submit a project that features a woman or women characters in a leadership role or position at the center of the story.

The Spring 2024 Athena Film Festival Writers Lab will be held from February 28 to March 1, 2024.

The Athena Film Festival Writers lab features one-on-one mentoring sessions with experienced writers and industry experts, peer-to-peer sessions with fellow lab participants, pitch training, a mock writers' room, and industry day events, including panels and conversations.

The Athena Film Festival is pleased to offer the following Fellowships.

The Alfred P. Sloan Writing Fellowship for screen and episodic writers. This Fellowship supports selected writers with STEM scripts with ongoing mentorship following participation in the Athena Film Festival Writing Lab. This fellowship is in partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

The Loreen Arbus Fellowship. This Fellowship is designed to support writers with disabilities working on women-centric projects and provides selected writers with 6 months of ongoing mentorship following participation in the Athena Writers Lab. The fellowship is in partnership with The Loreen Arbus Foundation.

Projects must have a woman (girl) or women character(s) in leadership role(s) or position(s). Projects from all genres are accepted, we look for stories about women from all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural groups;

Episodic writers cannot have had a pilot that was aired within the past 10 years - Projects must have been completed before January 1, 2014;

Feature writers cannot have had a feature film released within the past 10 years - Projects must have been released before January 1, 2014;

Projects (features) must be written in English and between 80 and 120 pages;

Projects (pilots) must be written in English and no more than 60 pages;

If you have been on the Athena List, you can submit a project, but it CAN NOT be a script that was on the Athena List;

If you have previously attended the lab, you cannot reapply for five years, but if you have been a part of the episodic lab, you can submit a project to the Screenwriters lab and vice-versa;

Scripts based on existing material will be considered as long as the writer(s) have secured the underlying rights to the source material;

The Athena Film Festival encourages applications from people of all races, religions, national origins, sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions, and ages, as well as veterans and individuals with disabilities. We strongly encourage you to apply if you are from a marginalized or underrepresented group, particularly in the film industry.

Overall Rating
  • lisa Cole

    Terrific writer's lab with engaged supportive expert mentors, facilitators & guest speakers. The time spent was very helpful for my project and myself professionally. Highly recommend!

    March 2023
  • Anu Sukhdial

    The Lab was an amazing experience the whole way through - from the first day sessions with peers and mentors to the second day when we got advice/guidance on how to break into the industry. It is clear the Athena organizers put in tremendous work to make the Lab a wonderful experience for the writers. Will recommend/have already recommended the Lab highly to fellow writers and colleagues!

    September 2021
  • The most amazing, supportive, creative experience - I HIGHLY recommend it to any screenwriter, new or experienced. Very well organized and executed, very helpful in all aspects of your craft - and FUN!

    June 2019
  • Jane Therese

    This was an amazing experience.

    June 2019
  • 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