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Fred Rogers: Writers Neighborhood

2023 Writers’ Neighborhood

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Program Overview

The Fred Rogers Productions Writers' Neighborhood for emerging writers focuses on how to build and sustain a career as a freelance writer in children's media. 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 creatives.

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."

FRP values the enrichment that results from working with partners having diverse experiences and backgrounds. Accordingly, BIPOC writers and writers who are members of other traditionally underrepresented communities in the children’s media industry are encouraged to apply.

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  • 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 United States-based network or cable scripted/narrative series.
Submission Materials:
  • The candidate's basic information (including their name and age), up-to-date contact information (including an email address and phone numbers), and demographical information, as required by the application;
  • A copy of the candidate's resumé; NO PHOTOS PLEASE
  • A reply of 400 words or less for each of the following prompts:
    • “Review a children's show not associated with Fred Rogers Productions for preschool (ages 2-6) or bridge (ages 4-8) from among the following screenwriting categories: dialog, character differentiation, arc, and theme, and describe what works and what does not.”
    • “What are some things you want to learn about building your career or honing your craft as a writer in children’s media? Note: Please provide specific examples but do not include biographical information.”
  • A script sample
    • Submit a writing sample script (the Creative Submission) for one, 11-minute* (11-15 pages) or one, 22-minute (maximum 30 pages) episode of an existing show* that is animation or live-action and include a logline. Please note original samples, if intended for children two to eight (2-8) years old, are also acceptable. However, spec scripts based on existing shows are strongly recommended. The Creative Submission shall not include any characters, brands, or elements owned and controlled by Fred Rogers Productions.

      *See “What are the script sample and résumé requirements?” in the FAQs.

Application opens on Monday, April 1, 2024 at 12:00 am ET and closes on Friday, May 3, 2024 at 11:59 pm PT.

Add to your email contacts to avoid missed messages about your application.

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Meet Our Fellows

Meet Our Alumni

Meet Our Team

Guest Speakers and Mentors

Dana Chan

Dana Chan×

Writer, Story Editor, Producer, and Network Executive (Alma's Way, Dora the Explorer, Go, Diego, Go!, Paw Patrol)

Rosemary Contreras

Rosemary Contreras×

Writer and Story Editor (Primos, The Casagrandes, Alma's Way, Polly Pocket, Go, Diego, Go!, Dora the Explorer, Dora and Friends into the City)

Jill Cozza-Turner

Jill Cozza-Turner×

Head Writer (Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Super Why’s Comic Book Adventures, Blue’s Clues & You!, Get Rolling with Otis)

Natascha Crandall, Ph.D.

Natascha Crandall, Ph.D.×

Educational Consultant

Elaine Del Valle

Elaine Del Valle×

Casting Director

Kim Diaz

Kim Diaz×

VP Creative Development, Sesame Workshop

Mariana Díaz-Wionczek, Ph.D.

Mariana Díaz-Wionczek, Ph.D.×

Educational Advisor (Alma's Way) and Executive Producer (Rosie's Rules)

Maria Escobedo

Maria Escobedo×

Writer and Story Editor (Rosie's Rules, Ariel (The Little Mermaid), Madagascar: A Little Wild, Nina's World, Alma's Way)

Eddie Gamarra

Eddie Gamarra×

Previously VP, Literary Affairs - Paramount Global Kids & Family

Tommy Gillespie

Tommy Gillespie×

Senior Director, Content Production, PBS KIDS

Michael J. Beall

Michael J. Beall×

Previously Head Writer on the Eggventurers

Susan Kim

Susan Kim×

Writer (Creative Galaxy, Thomas & Friends, Bea's Block, Dew Drop Fairies, Bubble Guppies)

Amy Kraft

Amy Kraft×

Content Creator and Strategist

Jerry L. Brice

Jerry L. Brice×

Creative Director in Animation

Melinda LaRose

Melinda LaRose×

Writer (Alma's Way, Alice's Wonderland Bakery, The Creature Cases)

Sonia Manzano

Sonia Manzano×

Creator of Alma's Way, Executive Producer

Tim McKeon

Tim McKeon×

Writer and Executive Producer (Odd Squad, Helpsters, Tiny Time Travel)

Chris Nee

Chris Nee×

Creator and Executive Producer (Doc McStuffins, Vampirina, Ada Twist, Scientist)

Allan Neuwirth

Allan Neuwirth×

Writer and Producer (The Bug Diaries, Space Racers, Bubble Guppies, Rugrats (2021), Donkey Hodie, The Octonauts)

Adam Peltzman

Adam Peltzman×

Writer and Executive Producer (Wallykazam, Odd Squad, Go, Dog. Go!, Helpsters)

Maria Perez-Brown

Maria Perez-Brown×

Leader in Children's Media and Education

Patrick Rieger

Patrick Rieger×

Story Editor (Frog and Toad)

Adam Rudman

Adam Rudman×

Co-Founder, Spiffy Pictures and Co-Creator/Executive Producer, Donkey Hodie

David Rudman

David Rudman×

Co-Founder, Spiffy Pictures and Co-Creator/Executive Producer, Donkey Hodie

Emily Schmidt

Emily Schmidt×

Speech Coach and Journalist

Linda Simensky

Linda Simensky×

Head of Animation and Scripted Content, Duolingo

Brittany Sommer Katzin

Brittany Sommer Katzin×

Educational and Curriculum Consultant

Charise Sowells

Charise Sowells×

Writer (CoComelon, Vida the Vet)

Rodney Stringfellow

Rodney Stringfellow×

Screenwriter and Educator

Leslie Valdes

Leslie Valdes×

Writer and Executive Producer (Santiago of the Seas, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Dora the Explorer)

Ligiah Villalobos Rojas

Ligiah Villalobos Rojas×

Writer, Producer, and Educator (Spirit & Friends, Rosie's Rules)

Kris Wimberly

Kris Wimberly×

Co-Founder and Head of Creative for Studio Smokescreen

2022 Writers’ Neighborhood

©2024 The Fred Rogers Company
Supported by:
The Heinz Endowments
Heinz Family Foundation