Hartbeat Announces Return of Women Write Now

Hartbeat, the global entertainment company founded by Kevin Hart, announced the return of Women Write Now, the comedic screenwriting fellowship designed to champion the next generation of black women in comedy through mentorship, advocacy, production, and exhibition. Submissions for the 2023 Women Write Now Fellowship are currently open at https://www.hartbeat.com/womenwritenow/

Similar to past years, the immersive fellowship developed in partnership with Sundance Institute, will support three talented writers in developing short comedic scripts under the guidance of some of the most influential Black women in comedy. Just as in previous years, Hartbeat will offer the fellows a 12-month first-look deal to submit original projects for production consideration, and they will premiere each film in celebration at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.

Last year’s fellows included Kiana Butler Jabangwe (Night Off), Danielle Solomon (Hey Boo), and Mayanna Berrin (Power Dynamics) selected. All three of their short films debuted during the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and are available on Peacock. While 2021 fellow, Dani Nicolet also inked a development deal with Hartbeat to adapt her original short Black Karen into a feature film.


Women Write Now is a partnership between Hartbeat and the Sundance Institute designed to champion and elevate the voices of historically underrepresented Black female comedy writers through a fellowship that provides: mentorship, advocacy, production, and exhibition.

Currently entering its 3rd year, this immersive script-to-screen fellowship will support three (3) talented writers — selected by a panel of award-winning filmmakers, industry leaders, Hartbeat executives, and partners from the Sundance Institute — in developing short comedic scripts while being advised and mentored by some of the most influential Black women in comedy.

The resulting scripts will be produced by Hartbeat and directed by celebrity Black female directors. The three (3) short films, which will be staffed above and below-the-line by traditionally underrepresented talent, will premiere at a special screening during the 2024 Sundance Film Festival and may be distributed by Hartbeat and partner(s). Travel to the 2024 Sundance Film Festival will be provided. Following the fellowship, the selected writers will also receive a twelve (12) month first look deal with Hartbeat to submit original projects for consideration for production and distribution with Hartbeat.


Participation in the fellowship with individualized mentorship and creative and professional development opportunities

A stipend for the duration of the fellowship which shall include:

US$5,000 upon acceptance into the fellowship

US$5,000 upon delivery of final approved script

Writing and Creative Producing credit in the writer’s respective short film

Virtual or in-person set visit (as determined by Hartbeat) and a four-night trip to the 2024 Sundance Film Festival (provided that such festival is in-person) including flight, per diem, accommodations for writers only, and festival tickets.

A First Look Deal with Hartbeat


Applicants must fill out the online application and submit a short screenplay between 5–10 pages (page count does not include the title page). When produced, each short film will be approximately 10 minutes in length.

Women Write Now is looking for applicants who meet the following criteria:

Identify as Black or African American

Identify as female

Be 18 years or older at the time of application

Be an emerging non-union writer

Be based in the United States and legally authorized to work in the United States

Applicants will be evaluated on the strength of the submitted material, which will include a statement of interest and an original short comedic screenplay.

Approximately ten (10) finalists will be interviewed by Hartbeat staff, with final decisions made by the panel of award-winning filmmakers, industry leaders, Hartbeat executives, and partners from the Sundance Institute. Three (3) finalists will be selected to take part in the fellowship. All applicants will receive notification of their application status via e-mail by approximately July 21, 2023.


Learn more by visiting https://www.hartbeat.com/womenwritenow/

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