PEN America, the 101-year-old organization dedicated to “the freedom to write,” is offering grants to help early-career screenwriters during the Writers Guild strike, which is now in its 122nd day. Its new Screenwriters Emergency Assistance Fund is offering short-term grants ranging from $500 to $1,000 to eligible screenwriters on a first come-first served basis.
“During these difficult days, we are honored as a writers organization to do as much as we can to relieve the financial stress members of the WGA, East and West, are facing,” said PEN America President Ayad Akhtar. “PEN America has a long history of coming together to assist writers in need, as well as those at risk round the world, and we are honored to be able to do so again during this emergency. We hope our effort will send a powerful message of hope at this time.”
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“PEN America recognizes the financial hardship that many screenwriters are experiencing due to the work stoppage in the industry,” said Allison Lee, managing director of PEN America’s Los Angeles office. “We know that early career writers are especially hard hit by financial need and we want to do whatever we are able to relieve the acute stress they face. We hope even a small grant in the amount of $500 or $1,000 will help screenwriters who are having to make difficult decisions about how to cover their rent, or pay for an unexpected health care bill, or buy school supplies for their children.”
The new grants program is open to screenwriters who have fewer than seven years of membership in the WGA or have fewer than seven years of demonstrated income as an employed screenwriter.
Applications can be filed here.
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