Are you a writer? Do you know someone who writes? You have until December 18th to submit your application for the Global Access Writers Program. “We want people in the industry who want to level up in any way, in a storytelling capacity, to apply,” says Melanie Hadley, Program Director of WarnerMedia’s Global Access Programs. “When I look at all the content being made in Canada by Canadian voices, I’d say it’s a giant picture and we’re only looking at one tiny pixel of that picture.”
WarnerMedia has committed to several initiatives that strive to provide game-changing career opportunities for artists in the industry from underrepresented communities. For the Global Access Writers Program, they’ve partnered with The Canadian Academy, and as Executive Director Deanna Cadette explains, it made sense to start with writing, “When we connect experienced writers with WarnerMedia executives, and opportunities, we know that when they get into the driver’s seat their shows are going to be more representative.”
What makes the Global Access Writers Program stand out from other initiatives is that it’s about levelling up the careers of those with experience in the industry. “One of things around diversity and inclusion initiatives is that there’s this narrative about ‘emerging’, that this is a next generation thing, and what we say all the time is that the creators have always been here,” says Cadette, who spent many years at the Writer’s Guild of Canada before joining Warner in August.
Like Cadette, Hadley also knows just how much talent is out there, having spent an extensive amount of time in the programming departments at both CBC and APTN. “There are people who have been working in this industry in those lower levels, or potentially lower levels in the hierarchy of production and they’ve been working there for years, maybe even decades,” she says. Hadley uses an analogy to explain her feelings of both frustration and excitement when it comes to just how many individuals of tremendous calibre haven’t yet been offered the spotlight they deserve. “It’s like those amazing restaurants in your neighbourhood that not everyone knows about, and you’re really excited to tell people about [them].”
If you’re reading this and wondering if you should apply, both Cadette and Hadley want to assure you that yes, you should. “Just apply! Maybe they don’t think they’re right for it, or think they are overqualified, or beyond this – Deanna and I are saying ‘just apply’ because we want to know how we can service the industry here,” says Hadley. “Tell us what you want to do!”
For more information on how to apply, go here. Or attend the information session on December 11th. Following the closure of submissions on Friday, December 18, 2020, WarnerMedia and the Canadian Academy will conduct internal, peer, and juried reviews to determine the eight to twelve participants of the program. The inaugural class of the WarnerMedia x Canadian Academy Global Access Writers Program will begin in June 2021.