Writers' Studio

See all talent development

TIFF Writers’ Studio offers a unique opportunity for Canadian screenwriters to develop their projects, and to build their understanding of the industry. Since 2012, TIFF Studio has annually provided up to 12 local practitioners with a programme of workshops on key topics and trends, guided by Canadian and international experts. In 2019, our programme shifts from monthly workshops to a five-day intensive lab focused on screenwriting and the creative process. We invite screenwriters and writer-directors to apply by January 4, 2019.

TIFF Writers’ Studio is an integration of public and private programming at TIFF Bell Lightbox, providing participants with a fulsome, curated experience. The programme offers a space for screenwriters to be inspired and consolidate skills, to exchange ideas and discuss challenges, all within a collaborative environment. Participants are supported to take their careers and projects to the next level via creative and business-skill development.

What’s Included

  • A five-day intensive lab, focused on screenwriting, the creative process, and the business of film, to take place in March 2019
  • An Industry/public event occurring in April 2019, involving a live read of scenes from participants’ projects to a select audience
  • Mentorship from TIFF programming teams and expert guests
  • Dedicated one-on-one discussions with script consultants/editors
  • Peer-to-peer mentorship with the selected participants
  • Complimentary access to the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival
  • Complimentary access to TIFF’s Industry Conference, Business Centre, and Delegate Resources
  • A complimentary one-year Industry Membership
  • Access to films and special events screened at TIFF Bell Lightbox during the programme
  • Access to TIFF’s renowned Film Reference Library and archival collection

IMPORTANT: During the Writers’ Studio Lab, TIFF will cover up to five nights’ accommodation at our partner hotel for participants who reside outside the Greater Toronto Area. Flights, train rides, ground transportation, etc. are the responsibility of the participants.


TIFF Writers’ Studio is designed for mid-level writer-directors across Canada who wish to extend their creative and business skills.

  1. Applications are open to Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. We welcome applicants from outside Ontario.
  2. Applicants must be credited as a writer on a minimum of either one feature film or one television series.
  3. TIFF Writers’ Studio is geared towards feature-length scripts. Writers working in broadcast, interactive, web series, and transmedia with an interest in feature-length production are welcome to apply (should they meet the criteria outlined in #2).
  4. Applicants must be in development (minimum first draft complete) on a feature-length project. Successful applicants will be required to submit a copy of their script to TIFF by February 18, 2019, so it can be workshopped during the programme.
  5. Applicants must commit to attending the full programme (see all session dates here) in order to be considered. All sessions take place at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, Ontario.

Key Dates

Applications Open
October 23
Applications Close
January 4
Participants Notified of Selection
January 17–19
Participants announced
January 26
Project’s first draft due
February 18
TIFF Writers’ Studio Lab
March 4–8
Live-read event
April 6

Submission Guidelines

  1. Candidates must fill out the application in full, attaching itemized supporting documents as per the guidelines below, in order to be considered.
  2. Applications must be completed by applicants themselves and not by third parties (e.g. assistants, co-workers).
  3. Successful candidates are required to include the words “Developed with support from TIFF Writers’ Studio” on subsequent drafts of the screenplay they workshop at the Writers’ Studio Lab.
  4. Successful candidates may be required to acknowledge TIFF Writers’ Studio on the credits of a completed feature film that has been workshopped at the Lab.


Applicants are required to submit the following supporting documents:

  • A copy of the applicant’s resume in PDF format (maximum one page)
  • One high-resolution headshot in colour (format: .jpg; orientation: portrait; minimum resolution: 300 dpi)
  • A long and short version of a professional biography (maximum 100 words for the long version and 50 words for the short version)
  • The following materials from the submitted project:
    • Logline (50 words)
    • Synopsis (250 words)
    • A one-page outline
    • A writing sample (Two to three pages)

IMPORTANT: TIFF Industry takes applicant confidentiality seriously and will ensure that submitted material (excluding headshots and bios) are not shared with any third parties without the owner's explicit consent. The material will be downloaded by the TIFF Writers’ Studio team and selection committee.

Contact us at 416-599-8433 ext 2407 or email us at

2018 Writers’ Studio Participants

Daniel Baracho, Yung Chang, Martin Edralin, Sarah Goodman, Carinne Leduc, Jennifer Liao, Frieda Luk, Kaveh Nabatian, Celeste Parr, Kazik Radwanski, Lina Rodriguez, Jorge Thielen-Armand.

Thank you all that applied, applications have now closed.

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