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Women Outnumber Men in Academy’s Nicholl Fellowship Winners for Screenwriting

Winners will receive a $35,000 prize and must write a feature screenplay within their fellowship year

The Academy awarded five screenwriters, three individuals and one screenwriting duo, with the 2018 Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting competition. And in a welcome change in the year of #TimesUp, three of the five are women.

The fellows will each receive a $35,000 prize, and for the sixth consecutive year, an ensemble of actors will read selected scenes from the winning scripts in a presentation on November 8 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Here’s the list of 2018 winners:

  • Allison Buckmelter and Nicolas Buckmelter, “American Refugee”
  • Joey Clarke, Jr., “Miles”
  • Grace Sherman, “Numbers and Words”
  • Wenonah Wilms, “Horsehead Girls”

This year, a total of 6,895 scripts were submitted for the competition. A committee then narrowed down those entries to a list of finalists and ultimately voted on the winners. Here are the remaining finalists and their scripts:

  • Avi Glick, “A Yacht in the Apache Junction”
  • Ernestina Juárez, “Labyrinth of Destiny”
  • Neal McLaughlin, “The Sunshine Ward”
  • Daniel Miska, “The Soldier That Wagged Her Tail”
  • Gabriel Mizrahi, “Beside Ourselves”
  • Jordan Trippeer, “Air”

Fellowships are awarded with the understanding that the recipients will each complete a feature-length screenplay during their fellowship year. The Academy acquires no rights to the works of Nicholl fellows and does not involve itself commercially in any way with their completed scripts.

The Academy Nicholl Fellowships Committee is chaired by Academy Writers Branch Governor Robin Swicord.  The members of the committee are Eva Marie Saint (Actors Branch); Steven Poster (Cinematographers Branch); Marcus Hu and William Mechanic (Executives Branch); James Plannette and Stephen Ujlaki (Members-at-Large); Stephanie Allain, Albert Berger, Julia Chasman, Julie Lynn, Peter Samuelson and Robert W. Shapiro (Producers Branch); Jennifer Yuh Nelson (Short Films and Feature Animation Branch); Bobbi Banks (Sound Branch); and Tina Gordon Chism, Eric Heisserer, Larry Karaszewski, Dan Petrie Jr., Misan Sagay, Kirsten Smith, Dana Stevens and Tyger Williams (Writers Branch).

The global competition, which aims to identify and encourage talented new screenwriters, has awarded 156 fellowships since it began in 1986.

Past fellows have included writer-director Allison Anders, Pulitzer-winning novelist Jeff Eugenides and Oscar winner Susannah Grant (“Erin Brockovich”).