TV Writing Certificate Program

Sonny Lee (Silicon Valley), Anthony King (Broad City), Megan Ganz (Last Man on Earth)

Enroll

Comedy Track 
Program Fee: $200

Drama Track 
Program Fee: $200

Our Certificate Program vs. Others

TV Writing ProgramAll Teachers Are Working On Top Shows
and/or have recently sold pilots
Application RequiredExclusive Networking EventsEstimated CostPay As You GoSnacks IncludedScript ConsultsExpected Time To Complete Program
Writing PadYesNoYes$4,539YesYes46-12 Months
USC MFA ScreenwritingNoYesYes$85,536NoNoN/A2 Years
UCLA Professional ProgramNoYesYes$5,500NoNoN/A9 Months
UCLA ExtensionNoYesNo$4,306YesNo11 Year
Screenwriter’s BootcampNoN/A$8,000YesNoYesN/A
NYU MFA ScreenwritingNoYesYes$138,000NoNoN/A2 Years
AFI MFA ScreenwritingNoYesYes$130,000NoNoN/A2 Years
MT. St. Mary’s MFANoNoNo$53,368NoNoN/A2 Years
UCLA MFANoNoNo$55,871NoNoN/A2 Years

FAQs

How is our program different than other programs?

Writing Pad is the country’s leading creative writing school with locations in Westwood and the Arts District in Los Angeles, San Francisco and online. The school was founded in 2005 by writers and offers in-person and live-conferenced online writing classes in all genres taught by award-winning working writers & literary networking events/panels. Our program differs from others in that are classes taught in a space that mimics the experience of the writers’ room. We only hire working writers that have written on the top shows, managers who represent show runners, and execs at the top networks who are in a position to buy projects from or hire our students. We don’t hire people who haven’t worked in the industry in 10 years. Writing Pad prides itself on keeping class sizes small, so that each student gets individualized attention. We offer 4 script readings / private script feedback sessions, something many other school won’t do. And our instructors are pulled straight from today’s top shows.

Unless you have a will of steel, it can be difficult to keep yourself on schedule to meet your goals. Maybe you have discovered you need solid professional relationships, insider knowledge not accessible to the wider public, and a robust skill set that includes writing, pitching, stellar personal branding, top-notch interviewing skills, top-tier representation and the ability to hit the ground running in the writer’s room. Don’t put off your dream of becoming a working professional TV Writer for another day.

TV Drama (Staffing Track) – Sample Schedule

DatesDurationClassTeacherCertificate Program PriceNon-Certificate Program Price
JanRegistration FeeNetworking events with huge TV writers and agents$200 –
Jan – Feb5 WksTV Drama IRob Fresco (Co-EP Ray Donovan)$465$525
Feb – April10 WksTV Drama IIPat Charles (Co-EP Black Lightning, 5 pilots sold)$985$1,045
May –Script Consult 1 –$346N/A
June –Script Consult 2 –$520N/A
June – July5 WksTV Drama ISam Ernst (Co-EP Daredevil, 6 pilots sold)$465$525
Sept – Nov10 WksTV Drama IISam Ernst (Co-EP Daredevil, 6 pilots sold)$985$1,045
Nov –Script Consult 1 –$346N/A
Dec –Script Consult 2 –$520N/A
Dec2 WksTV Drama PitchRob Luchow (CBS VP Drama Development)$195$225

TV Comedy (Staffing Track) – Sample Schedule

DatesDurationClassTeacherCertificate Program PriceNon-Certificate Program Price
JanRegistration FeeNetworking events with huge TV writers and agents$200 –
Jan – Feb5 WksTV Comedy IEric Ziobrowski  (Fresh Off The Boat)$465$525
Feb – April10 WksTV Comedy IIPhil Stark (South Park, 6 pilots sold)$985$1,045
May –Script Consult 1 –$346N/A
June –Script Consult 2 –$346N/A
June – July5 WksTV Comedy IJack Moore (Dear White People)$465$525
Sept – Nov10 WksTV Comedy IIEmmy Diaz (Jane The Virgin)$985$1,045
Nov –Script Consult 1 –$346N/A
Dec –Script Consult 2 –$346N/A
Dec3 WksTV Comedy PitchTara Schuster (VP of Dev, Comedy Central)$285$315

TV Comedy (Fellowship Track) – Sample Schedule

DatesDurationClassTeacherCertificate Program PriceNon-Certificate Program Price
JanRegistration FeeNetworking events with huge TV writers and agents$200 –
Jan – Feb5 WksTV Comedy IEric Ziobrowski  (Fresh Off The Boat)$465$525
Feb – April10 WksTV Comedy IIPhil Stark (South Park, 6 pilots sold)$985$1,045
Feb – Mar 5 WksTV Spec IEmmy Diaz (Jane The Virgin)$465$525
Mar – April 10 WksTV Spec IIEmmy Diaz (Jane The Virgin)$675$735
MayScript Consult 1$346N/A
MayScript Consult 2$346N/A
May –Script Consult 1 –$346N/A
May –Script Consult 2 –$346N/A
June3 WksTV Comedy PitchTara Schuster (VP of Dev, Comedy Central)$285$315

TV Drama (Fellowship Track) – Sample Schedule

DatesDurationClassTeacherCertificate Program PriceNon-Certificate Program Price
JanRegistration FeeNetworking events with huge TV writers and agents$200 –
Jan – Feb5 WksTV Drama IRob Fresco (Co-EP Ray Donovan)$465$525
Feb – April10 WksTV Drama IIPat Charles (Co-EP Black Lightning, 5 pilots sold)$985$1,045
Feb – Mar 5 WksTV Spec IEmmy Diaz (Jane The Virgin)$465$525
Mar – April 10 WksTV Spec IIEmmy Diaz (Jane The Virgin)$675$735
MayScript Consult 1$346N/A
MayScript Consult 2$520N/A
May –Script Consult 1 –$346N/A
May –Script Consult 2 –$520N/A
Dec2 WksTV Drama PitchRob Luchow (CBS VP Drama Development)$195$225

All the networks have a fellowship program which is a great way to break into the TV business, although it is very competitive to get accepted into these programs. Most fellowship applications are due by May so we only offer Spec classes for the Fellowship track in January-April.

Fellowship programs require you to submit 1 pilot and 1 spec script (an episode of an existing TV show). For those of you who do not want to apply to fellowships, pilot scripts are required for a staffing packet as showrunners do not read spec scripts anymore as a writing sample. Without consults and pitching class, here is how the two tracks compare:

Fellowship Track (1 round of Spec classes and 1 round of Pilot classes):

  • TV Spec 1
  • TV Spec 2
  • TV 1
  • TV 2

End goal: Finish 1 Spec script and 1 Pilot Script

 

Staffing Track (2 rounds of Pilot classes):

  • TV 1
  • TV 2
  • TV 1
  • TV 2

End goal: Finish 2 Pilot Scripts

Do you want to apply for the fellowships or just learn TV writing in a more comprehensive way (spec scripts are a great way to deconstruct the craft of TV writing)? Then you should pick Fellowship. Feel comfortable with the craft of TV writing and just want to get staffed or sell pilots? Then you should pick Staffing.

Yes, you can. Just pick one of the tracks and do one round of your classes on each type of script. TV Comedy 1 and 2 classes are for ½ hour scripts but can be used on ½ hour Dramedy. TV Drama 1 and 2 classes are for 1 hour scripts but can be used on 1 hour Dramedy. TV 1 and 2 classes are for either ½ hour or 1 hour scripts of Comedy, Drama, or Dramedy.

Writing Pad has three locations in Los Angeles. We also offer conferenced live online classes. Classes may be offered at any of these locations.

-1 on 1 sessions where writers review your pilots and give personalized feedback (only available through our Certificate Program).

-Exclusive pitching and agent workshops.

-Our deepest discounts on Certificate Program classes, $60 off long classes and $30 off short classes.

-Invites to Writing Certificate Program mixers and events.

-A certificate upon completion of the program.

-Advanced notice of upcoming Program courses and enroll before the general public.

-Preferential placement on wait lists.

-Work with and get notes from the people who’re going to hire you for the next 20 years!

-Get access to Writing Pad’s professional network of working TV writers, show runners, agents, and managers.

After the initial $200 program fee, classes are purchased individually. You do not need to pay for your classes all at once. The estimated total cost for tuition for the Comedy Fellowship Track is $4539, Comedy Staffing Track is $4939, and the estimated total cost of the Drama Fellowship Track is $4765 and Drama Staffing Track is $5187. Payment plans are available for each class as well, for those who wish to pay for classes on a weekly basis. For additional questions or information about payment plans or pay-as-you-go options email info@writingpad.com.

We ask that our students complete the required classes within a year of signing up for the program. If you need to extend that timeframe for another year, there will be an additional $50 fee.

If you are working on a half-hour comedy or dramedy you should take the comedy track. If you are working on a one-hour drama or dramedy, you should take the drama track.

Everyone starts the program at the same level. Students wishing to apply for the TV Writing Fellowships should take the spec class while students who wish to have two samples for staffing interviews should take the pilot class. Email info@writingpad.com with questions or for more detail.

Maybe. If you have taken a TV Writing Pilot Class in the last six months and completed the deliverables from that class (mini show bible and pilot beat sheet) were completed to the satisfaction of your advisor.

Writing Pad does not offer grades, but we do expect students in the TV Writing Certificate program to attend all classes and complete all assigned work (reasonable exceptions will be granted). If you don’t regularly attend class, or don’t complete the required work, you may be asked to retake that class. That said, our goal is to make sure all students go through the program without needing to retake any classes.