Founded in the year 2000, the Nickelodeon Writing Program is a full-time, paid, yearlong development Program for television comedy writers with unique voices and from underrepresented communities. Join us at the studio in Burbank for classes and workshops to sharpen your skills, executive mentorship and networking to build your professional relationships, and the opportunity to work in the iconic live-action and animation writers’ rooms at Nick. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dedicate yourself to the craft of writing and build your career from the ground up. The Nick Writing Program is not a writing contest – It’s a launching pad for diverse and emerging creatives. If you bring the unique voice and innovative ideas for kids’ and family content, we’ll help you launch a career with all the tools you’ll need to succeed in the industry for years to come.
Please note: We’re expecting a facelift!
Please note: notification dates are subject to change.
Submission period closes at 11:59pm (PST) on August 1st
Semi-finalists will be notified by the end of October
Finalists will be notified by mid-November
Chosen writers will be notified by the beginning of December
Our submission period runs July 1st to August 1st. All submissions must be completed by 11:59pm PST on August 1st. No late submissions will be considered. You must be 18 years or older, and eligible to work in the United States to participate. To apply, follow the link under the “Apply Online” section, fill out the application through our submission portal, and submit two scripts: One spec from our Accepted Shows List which gets updated every year (watch our social media channels for announcements), and one half-hour original comedy pilot. If you have previously applied to the Program and were not selected, you are welcome and encouraged to apply again with a new spec script for each submission period.
When you pick a focus, it helps us curate your experience in the Program to better help you reach your goals as a television writer. Picking a focus does not mean your time in the Program will be spent exclusively working on content for this audience, but simply helps us gauge your interests and set you on a course for success. Your spec and pilot submissions do not need to adhere to these audience age groups in any way.
Kids’ Content (Audience Age 6-11)
This age group is Nickelodeon’s bread and butter. Most of Nickelodeon’s most iconic live-action and animated shows are developed for this demographic including SpongeBob SquarePants, Danger Force, and The Loud House.
Preschool Content (Audience Age 2-6)
The Preschool age group (including “bridge” content for tots moving into early elementary school age) loves to laugh and play along with their content. They’re smart, engaged, and always ready for new shows to watch like Paw Patrol, Ryan’s Mystery Playdate, and Baby Shark’s Big Show.
Preteen/Young Adult (Audience Age 11-17)
Nickelodeon shares its home in the ViacomCBS Kids & Family Group with our partners at Awesomeness who cater to a tween and teen audience. We’ll partner with ATV and the creators of Nick’s shows for a slightly older audience like Side Hustle, Drama Club, and iCarly to make this experience the right one for you.
All applicants must submit a SPEC SCRIPT and ORIGINAL COMEDY PILOT that adhere to the following guidelines:
The following information should be included in the header/footer of your spec script on the first or all pages:
Please note: Submissions that do not adhere to these guidelines will not be considered.
You must be 18 years or older to be considered for the Program.
Yes, the Program is a full-time position for up to 1 year; however, employment is on an “at-will” basis. Due to the intensive nature of the Program, you may not hold other employment or be enrolled in school on a full-time basis during the Program period, if it will interfere with any aspect of your time commitment to the Program.
Although professional writing experience is not necessary (i.e. having worked as a writer), a strong writing background is encouraged.
Yes, all Viacom employees are eligible to apply for the Program.
The submission period will open on July 1st and runs through midnight (PST) on August 1st.
You should submit your application through Nickelodeon’s online submission portal which you can link to in the "Apply Online" section. Once inside the portal, you will need to create a Coverfly log-in and password to set-up your own user account.
Once your online application has been completed and all of the requirements on the checklist have been uploaded, you will receive an email confirming that your application was successfully submitted for review.
No. Spec scripts can only be for half-hour comedic television series (please see "How o Apply" for the Accepted Shows List). Feature length specs will not be accepted.
No, all spec scripts must be based on half-hour comedies that are on air and currently being produced for primetime network, cable, Netflix, Hulu, or some other digital provider. Please refer to our Accepted Shows List in the "How To Apply" section of the website.
No – an applicant may NOT submit more than one spec.
No, your spec script is not required to be of a Nickelodeon show, nor does it need to be kid-friendly. As the Submission Guidelines state, your spec script should be based on any half hour comedy that is on our Accepted Shows List.
Yes. Scripts MUST BE TYPED and presented in the standard, industry-accepted format for sitcoms. Handwritten submissions will not be reviewed. Should you have questions about which formats are acceptable, there are publications as well as many additional online resources available. The computer program “Final Draft” is also a great aid in assisting in formatting your script. <br /> Please do not include a cover page. Make sure to number each page, and have the show name in the center of the header, and the title of the episode in the center of the footer. Scripts must be uploaded in pdf format.
The standard length for a half hour live action single camera comedy is, on average, 35 pages. The standard length for a half hour live action multi-camera comedy is 45 pages.
Unfortunately, for legal reasons, we are unable to provide you with any network materials.
The Nick Writing Program is completely based on writing in both animation and live-action. There are no drawing requirements as part of the submission process as writing is the focus of our Program. You will not be able to upload your resume reel nor should you include any storyboards.
No, we are a writing-focused program. We do not need headshots or an acting resume. If any such materials are uploaded in any part of your application your submission will be disqualified.
Yes. As a part of the review process, all applicants must submit a professional resume and an autobiographical summary. Applications that do not include both of these items will not be considered complete and you will not be able to submit online.
Due to the high volume of submissions to our Program, we are unable to provide you with such feedback.
It varies, but we can accept up to four per year for General Track. The Preschool track will only accept up to one writer.
Writers begin the Program in January.
The Program takes place at Nickelodeon Studios in Burbank, CA. Yes, writers who are accepted will need to relocate to the LA area. Roundtrip airfare and one month’s furnished accommodations are provided. However, all transportation (once in LA) and any moving costs (of personal effects) are the individual writer’s responsibility.
No. The Preschool Track only accepts submissions from individual writers at this time.
Not at this time. The Preschool Track is only open to applicants who are currently authorized to work in the U.S.
No early education training is needed. All successful shows start with great characters and tell a good story. Once a strong foundation is built, the "educational" portion is then layered in.
Yes, you can apply to both tracks, but you must create and complete two separate applications in Coverfly. (Please note that only domestic applicants are currently eligible to apply to the Preschool Track. Writing teams may not apply to the Preschool Track.)
Why, Yes we do! We recommend the following books to help you prepare yourself for the Nick Writing Program: 1. Writing for Episodic Television: From Freelance to Showrunner by John Wirth and Jeff Melvoin 2. Small Screen, Big Picture by Chad Gervitch 3. Story by Robert McKee 4. Making a Good Script Great by Linda Seger 5. Created By...Inside the Minds of TV's Top Show Creators by Steven Priggé 6. Inside the Room by Linda Venus 7. Change Your Story Change Your Life by Jennifer Grisanti 8. Creating Unforgettable Characters by Linda Seger 9. Successful Sitcom Writing by Jurgen Wolff 10. Crafty TV Writing: Thinking Inside the Box by Alex Epstein
Your original comedy pilot can be for any audience, live-action or animated, and must be half-hour in length. It should demonstrate your unique voice as a writer, and your laugh out loud comedy writing skills. The rest is up to you.
No. The original pilot will be submitted for use as a writing sample only. Nickelodeon will not own the work, and it will not be optioned for development, purchased, or produced. It might, however, be workshopped during the program as an exercise. You will need to fill out a standard release form which will allow us to read the sample, and If you’re concerned about the intricacies/legalities, be sure to read the form carefully.