Writers' Neighborhood

Program Overview:

The FRP Writers’ Neighborhood for emerging BIPOC writers will focus on how to build and sustain a career as a freelance writer of a children’s series. Program participants will learn from the current writers, story editors, head writers, and producers working on the children’s series FRP currently produces for PBS KIDS, including Donkey Hodie, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and Alma’s Way, as well as other top industry talent who work on shows for commercial networks.

Six participants will be selected to attend six sessions, including a two-day in-person kickoff, four 90 to 120-minute virtual sessions, and a two-day in-person closing session. The program will cover participants’ travel costs and accommodations as well as offer an additional stipend so that we may welcome candidates from all economic backgrounds to take advantage of the opportunity.

Participants will have the opportunity to grow their professional networks by getting to know the producers, writers, and executives who speak at the in-person and virtual sessions. We look forward to bringing in a diverse group of talent because building one’s career is not just about “who you know” but also “who knows you.”

In addition, the program will feature specific deep dives into how to write for FRP’s current series. All writers who complete the program will be invited to pitch stories to all FRP series.

APPLY HERE (I will provide a link to the Google form application)

Eligibility and Submission Materials:

Eligibility: The Program is open only to individuals who are 21 years of age or older as of the date of entry; and who are (a) citizens of the United States or (b) a permanent resident of the United States; who have not had extensive media writing experience such as having written more than four (4) episodes for a network or cable scripted/narrative series; and who identify with an underrepresented racial group.

How to Enter: Each Application must be comprised of the following (a submission that meets these following criteria will be referred to as an “Application”):

(a) The Candidate’s basic information (including their name and age), up-to-date contact information (including an e-mail address and phone numbers), and demographical information, as required by Paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Application;

(b) A copy of the Candidate’s resume; NO PHOTOS PLEASE.

(c) A reply of 250 words or less answering the following questions:

  • “What did you like or what stood out to you about an episode of a Fred Rogers Productions show you watched?”
  • “What was your favorite tv show when you were a kid – and why did you love it?”

(d) A script sample (the “Creative Submission”) of an 11-minute (13-15 pages) or 22-minute episode of a show that is animation or live-action (maximum 30 pages).  The script should be either wholly original or based upon an existing series that is NOT produced by FRP. Please include a logline.

(e) Applications must comply with the following technical specifications: The Creative Submission must be in pdf file form; the original script sample must be 12 pages (including the title page) in length; each page of the document should be submitted in 8 1/2 ” x 11″ page size (portrait orientation preferred), with margins set at a minimum of 1″ (top, bottom, left and right); and all text should be 12-point Times New Roman or Courier font; and

(f) Each Application should comply with all of the Entry Guidelines set forth herein.

For additional questions about any of the requirements, please visit our FAQ page (insert link) or contact us at writersneighborhood@fredrogers.org.

Eligibility Check List

  • Participants must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Participants must be 21+ years old
  • Must have a diverse racial, ethnic, or cultural identity.
  • No extensive media writing experience, such as having written more than four episodes for a network or cable scripted/narrative series
  • Participants must be able to attend in person and virtually, and complete reading and writing assignments for all six sessions, which will be held virtually from September through November 2022


How do I apply?

Applications for the 2022 program will open on August 22, 2022. Once the application is available, you will see an option to APPLY HERE on the page.

When is the application due?

Applications will be accepted until August 31, 2022 11:59 pm ET.

What are the script sample and resume requirements?

Do NOT include ANY contact info (such as name, email, website, etc.) on your script. Your script sample should be no more than 13-15 pages for an 11-minute episode or a maximum of 30-pages for a 22-minute episode of a show that is animation or live-action (13 - 30 pages in total with the title page – please follow application instructions for the title page and DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME or any personal information on your script document, as scripts will be reviewed anonymously). All scripts must be submitted in PDF format. Your script should be in 12-point Times New Roman or Courier font, and it must feature kid-friendly original content for children (ages 12 and under). “Original” means that the stories and characters should be your own, and NOT Fred Rogers Productions’ characters. We’re looking for original characters and stories with an enthusiasm for learning to engage kids and families.

What makes a good children's script?

The same elements that make any good script or story—clear structure (a beginning, middle, and end), character development, and a little bit of kid-friendly conflict. Humor is also a huge plus. Just make sure it’s all age-appropriate material.

What types of files do you accept?

All documents should be saved and uploaded as PDF files.

Can a writing pair apply?

No, we can only accept individual writers to the program. If you are in a writing pair, you must submit a script that you wrote by yourself.

Can I submit a short story or manuscript?

No, for this fellowship we can only accept writing that is in a script format. That said, it can be a script for a play, television, film, etc.

Can I submit multiple applications, featuring different scripts?

No — only one application will be accepted per person.

What are diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural identities?

The FRP Writers’ Neighborhood Program is an effort to identify and increase the presence of writers with diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural identities in children’s media writing. For this specific purpose, writers are those who identify as any of the following: Asian, Pacific Islander, Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American/Indigenous, Middle Eastern/North African, or multiracial.

Should applicants have writing experience?

What is most important is that applicants show a passion for writing. Our goal is to identify and nurture new writers from underrepresented racial backgrounds for children’s educational media. Therefore applicants cannot have extensive media writing experience, such as having written more than 4 episodes for a network or cable series.

I am not 21 now, but what if I turn 21 by the time the fellowship begins?

Feel free to apply if you are over 21 by the time the program starts in August 2022.

I am not a US citizen or permanent resident - can I apply?

No, we can only accept applications from those with US citizenship or permanent residency.

Do participants have to pay for the fellowship?

The fellowship is free of charge to apply and to participate.

Will there be interviews? If so, when will the interviews be held?

Yes, select applicants will be invited to take part in an interview with the selection committee in August 2022.

What days/times will the sessions take place?

The exact details have not been confirmed, but the 2-day kickoff and closing sessions will be held in person and 4 virtual sessions and will likely take place over, 90 to 120-minute sessions, from late September until mid-November 2022.

What are the Terms and Conditions?

Click here to read full Terms and Conditions (Matt will provide this info).

What if I have additional questions?