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Hollywood, Health & Society Announces Contest Call for Script Entries That Envision a Better Future

Five Fellowships of $7,500 Each and One Grand Prize of $20,000 Will Be Awarded
Blue Sky Scriptwriting Contest

Hollywood, Health & Society’s first Blue Sky Scriptwriting Contest is accepting entries for TV stories that take place in a future in which we would actually aspire to live and thrive. Instead of the standard dystopian landscape, think environmental sustainability, a fair and equitable society, and a world without war.

After entries are judged, HH&S will award five fellowships of $7,500 each and announce those finalists at the Sentinel Awards in October. In addition to the cash award, the finalists will also receive mentorships and expert consultations for script revisions. One grand prize of $20,000 will be awarded in early 2023. The contest is in partnership with the Future of Life Institute, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Writers Guild of America East. There’s no entry fee. The deadline is Aug. 1, 2022.

“We’re excited to be offering these fellowships to encourage and help incubate stories that take place in a future we’d all hope to realize some day,” said HH&S Director Kate Folb. “Envisioning the possibilities is the first step in making it happen. We hope to celebrate the imaginations of the participating writers as well as draw attention to stories that offer a new version of the future.”

The television script storylines should focus on a world set between the years 2045 and 2100, and though it may be hard to visualize a future like the one described here, the research, innovations, policies and grassroot efforts already exist to accomplish these goals. This is not an unrealistic utopia, and since humans are involved, there will still be plenty of drama and comedy to go around. Writers submitting scripts can tell whatever story they want in this Blue Sky future, but along the way we should learn how we got there.

Requirements for entries are as follows:

· Scripts can be 30 or 60 minutes—comedy or drama.

· Include a logline (one sentence description of story and premise)

· Include a brief treatment (with key characters and how the premise unfolds over a few episodes)

· The writing must reflect themes of racial equity, climate change mitigation or adaptation, advancements toward peace, and incorporating the beneficial use of artificial intelligence (A.I.).

For additional rules, terms and more information, and to submit an entry, visit the Blue Sky Scriptwriting Fellowship website. For inspiration, writers are encouraged to visit the Future of Life Institute website to learn about the recent finalists in the World Building Competition.

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Hollywood, Health & Society is a program of the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center that provides entertainment industry professionals with accurate and timely information for storylines on health, safety and security. Our free resources include expert briefings, panel discussions, screenings, a quarterly newsletter, social media and more. The program’s funding, past and present, has included generous support from the CDC, The SCAN Foundation, the California Health Care Foundation, the John Pritzker Family Fund, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and N Square, among others.

Founded more than 20 years ago, The Norman Lear Center is a multidisciplinary research and public policy center studying and shaping the impact of entertainment and media on society. From its base in the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, the Lear Center builds bridges among faculty who study aspects of entertainment, media and culture. Beyond campus, it bridges the gap between the entertainment industry and academia, and between them and the public. For more information, visit www.learcenter.org.

Located in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California, the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is among the nation's leading institutions devoted to the study of journalism and communication, and their impact on politics, culture and society. USC Annenberg offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in journalism, communication, public diplomacy and public relations. For more information, visit www.annenberg.usc.edu.