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Why We Don’t Care About Accolades in Your Moonshot Pilot Accelerator Application

Don’t worry about how impressive your bio is; focus on your TV pilot script and the answers to your application questions!


applause - it doesn't matter what accolades you have as a TV writer

Recently, we held a virtual panel featuring the fellows from last year’s Moonshot Pilot Accelerator. Our 2023 fellows are a talented bunch — and that came through as we introduced the fellows with their impressive bios.


After hearing about the fellows’ accomplishments, one of the panel attendees asked, “Should I even bother applying?”


The answer is yes, absolutely! We only care about two things when we assess your application:

  1. Your TV pilot script, including the originality of the story, the quality of the writing and character development, and its alignment with our mission of telling the stories of women and non-binary people on screen.

  2. Your answers to your application questions (learn how best to answer them here!)


Strong writing and the ability to talk passionately about your idea are the factors that help our selected fellows succeed in our program. That’s why we don’t care about anything else!


If you’re worried about submitting because you don’t have any accolades from other competitions, any representation, or any experience in the writers’ room, we want to assure you that these outside stamps of approval do not factor into our decision-making as we review our submissions.


We know that our past fellows have impressive resumes. Yes, in large part, it’s because they’ve received well-deserved recognition for their fantastic work. But we want you to keep a few things in mind:


  • One of the reasons that several of our fellows have placed in multiple competitions is because they submit to a ton of labs, fellowships, and contests. During the panel, GG Hawkins shared that while we selected her as a fellow in 2023, she had submitted a different script to our inaugural accelerator and did not receive any placement. So don’t let a “no” from any one competition slow you down. And if you’ve begun receiving quarter-finalist, semi-finalist, or finalist placements in any contests, take that as a sign that you should absolutely keep going! Our 2021 fellow Spade Robinson told us that she had almost given up after getting so close for so many fellowships without being selected. She was glad she kept going and submitted to our program, because that was ultimately the one that worked out.

  • Many of our fellows’ accomplishments are things they created without the approval of a gatekeeper. For example, many of their bios highlighted podcasts they host, short films they self-produced, and web series they created. It can be really empowering to produce something yourself, even if it’s low budget, and it will be something you can add to your own bio.

  • Their careers have continued to progress since they were selected for the Moonshot Pilot Accelerator. Remember that they submitted their scripts between October 2022 and January 2023 — so it’s been a year and a half! They’ve accomplished a lot since our Pitch Week, partially because of the connections they made through this program, and in part because of other projects they had in the works. Their bios were likely not quite as impressive when they submitted than they are now.


We hope we’ve convinced you to get out of your own way and submit your script!


And if not, we wanted to share what 2023 fellow Erin Kathleen said during our live virtual panel in response to the attendee who wondered if it was worth applying without an impressive bio:


“My answer to you is yes, because you can’t win and you can’t lose if you don’t try, and I think the reality is, in this industry, you have to keep putting yourself out there. You have to keep finding the joy in what you’re doing.”


She shared that unlike with writing novels, where you can create a finished product all on your own, TV writers are "relying on other people to give us opportunities that we can’t create for ourselves always. So for me what helps is to focus on what I can control, and there’s a lot more that you can control than you think you can. The first is just your story and your writing.”


In short, her answer to this attendee was “yes.”


“When there’s an opportunity, grab it,” she concluded. “That’s the way I stay motivated is to keep trying, basically.”


How to apply to the Moonshot Pilot Accelerator


Apply to the Moonshot Pilot Accelerator by the final deadline of April 14, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. You can submit via Coverfly or FilmFreeway.


All of our semi-finalists will have their scripts read by two industry judges: showrunners, TV series creators, high-level producers, and working TV writers. Read their bios here.


Our 6-8 selected fellows will participate in three weeks of virtual workshops, where they’ll get pitch feedback from a development exec, a showrunner, and a speech coach; experience a mock writers’ room; and meet with an agent and an entertainment lawyer. Read about our expert guests here.


Then, during Pitch Week, they’ll have the opportunity to pitch one-on-one to companies including HBO, Netflix, Starz, Amazon Studios/Prime Video, Gersh, Berlanti Productions, Broadway Video, Level Forward, Element Pictures, Irish Cowboy, Freevee, BFD, and more!

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