Roadmap Writers/Artists First LGBTQ+ Fellowship

Submission Deadline

June 30th @ 11:59pm PT

Grand Prize (6)

  • Sessions with a variety of mentors to help develop one of your scripts and pitches.
  • Ongoing guidance from the Roadmap staff for those 3 weeks
  • A pitch to Artists First for representation consideration

Why Should I Enter?

Roadmap Writers is a trusted name in the writer community and we practice what we preach. We bring the same level of industry access from our virtual classrooms to our competitions. That's how we've helped more than 170 writers land representation. Roadmap has been running diversity initiatives for over four years, helping dozens of those initiative winners get signed. 

We place a premium on creating meaningful opportunities and industry relationships so that you can jump start your writing career!

Over the past 5 years, Roadmap Writers has prided itself on running initiatives to help spotlight writers from underrepresented communities. Our initiatives have helped dozens of writers get signed. 

As we approach Pride Month in June, and continue to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community around the world, Roadmap is excited to announce our first LGBTQ+ fellowship in partnership with industry-leading management company, Artists First!

The fellowship, which is free to apply to, will help writers develop one of their scripts and their pitch over 3 weeks. Each writer will have private sessions with industry mentors to receive personalized feedback. 

And we assembled an incredible group of LGBT mentors for our 6 winners (check them out below!).

To apply, writers must submit a one-page essay discussing how your LGBTQ+ identity influences your writing perspective and their script. Writers must have a completed script for a 1/2 hour pilot, 1-hour pilot, or feature to qualify. Roadmap will select 6 writers to attend this virtual 3-week virtual fellowship.

At the conclusion, each writer will pitch their polished script to Artists First and a panel of other industry professionals via Zoom for representation consideration.

Submissions open May 10th and runs through June 30th. The selected fellows will work with their mentors on July 11th, July 18th, and July 25th from 11am - 1pm PT. The pitch to Artists First will be on August 1st at 11am PT. 

Roadmap Writers and Artists First are excited to continue to lift up LGBTQ+ voices! 

Apply now

2021 Mentors

Mario Correa - Writer

Mario came to the U.S. from his native Chile at age 6. While in high school, he volunteered on a long-shot Congressional campaign that ended up landing him a job as a Capitol Hill staffer at age 17. He then spent over a decade working in and around politics, and much of his writing springs from these formative experiences. Mario was a finalist for the USC Libraries Scripter Award, The Humanitas Prize, and a Satellite Award nominee for his script (with Matthew Michael Carnahan) of Dark Waters, the acclaimed motion picture directed by Todd Haynes and starring Mark Ruffalo.  The film, which also stars Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins, Bill Pullman, Victor Garber and Mare Winningham, tells the story of Rob Bilott, a whistleblower who fought a decades-long legal battle to expose DuPont Chemical’s pollution of public water systems. Mario’s first screenplay, Let Her Speak, was the #2 script on the 2017 Black List.  The film is being produced by Todd Black (Ma Rainey’s Black BottomFences, The Magnificent Seven) and Jonathan Shukat. Let Her Speak tells the story of Texas State Senator Wendy Davis’ historic filibuster of a bill aimed at shuttering the state’s reproductive health clinics.

Nicholas Pepper - Executive

Nicholas Pepper is currently an executive at Amazon Studios. Prior he was the President of Legendary Television and Digital Studios, where he oversaw all aspects of television and digital content, including development, business and legal affairs, production, post, finance, marketing, and international. Prior to joining Legendary in 2018, Pepper was Head of Television for eight years at Mark Gordon Company Studios, where he successfully revitalized television for the noted feature producer. Pepper’s first four years were spent running the producing pod, serving as executive producer as well as running the company. With over 50 projects set up in those years, including multiple ordered pilots and series, Pepper helped transition the company from a producing pod to a fully functional independent studio. The second half of Pepper’s tenure at Mark Gordon Company Studios generated even more successful series which resulted in the full acquisition of the company by Entertainment One. All in all, over eight years, Pepper grew the television company from eight to 19 full-time employees and executive produced numerous series, including The Rookie, Designated Survivor, Quantico, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, Conviction, and Youth & Consequences.

Pepper began his television programming career at ABC Network, where he rose to Vice President while overseeing all aspects of the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning series Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty, Lost, and brothers&sisters, as well as many other series. Pepper holds an M.F.A. from Yale School of Drama and a B.A. from Lewis & Clark College.

John Lowe - Writer

John Lowe is a comedic writer but considers himself more of a word stylist. He graduated with honors from The University of Notre Dame in May of 2007 with double majors in TV Writing and English Literature.  He began his career as an agency assistant in the TV Department at ICM. After the agency he worked as a PA on Bones (FOX) and then as a Writer's Assistant on Detroit 187 (ABC). He's staffed on the Disney+ series called Beauty that is being Executive Produced by Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz and Josh Gad. He's repped by Epicenter and Buchwald.

John dabbles in the world of unscripted and has worked as a producer on shows like Project Runway and Top Chef.  His ultimate goal is to follow in the footsteps of Michaela Coel, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Donald Glover and Shonda Rhimes with their smart, blunt and inventive sensibilities. As a black and queer man, the characters and worlds he creates will always be diverse, inclusive and captivating. 

Beverly Neufeld - Writer

Beverly Neufeld teaches Screenwriting and Coverage classes at USC Film school. She received her MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA where and won first place in the Samuel Goldwyn competition for her feature, Brown Widow. She also won Slamdance’s TV pilot competition judged by Norman Lear’s Act III Productions for her original one-hour pilot, The Claytons. Other TV pilots and specs have won or placed in the Nicholls, the Warner Brother’s competition and more.  Beverly has written for the children’s web show The Gummy Bear Show, and has been hired to rewrite over six features, including the independent film, Wajdja, by the first Saudi Arabian female filmmaker, Haifaa al Mansour.

Beverly has also worked in development and as a reader and screenplay consultant for over 5,000 scripts. She was the Director of Development for Juntobox Films under Nina Yang and Forest Whittaker, and worked for such companies as Slamdance Films, CAA, FOX, Gersh, Coverage Ink, The Page Competition, and Roadmap Writers, etc. Beverly loves writing and also helping others find, hone and express their vision and voice -all  in an empowering and fun way.

John Shepherd - Producer

John Hilary Shepherd is a Co-Executive Producer of the Academy Award-winning film 1917, which was nominated for ten Oscars and won three, and grossed more than $360 million worldwide. He is also a WGA Award-nominated writer for his work on the Emmy Award-winning Showtime television series Nurse Jackie. At New Republic Pictures and Cross Creek Pictures, John ran development for Academy Award-nominated producer Brian Oliver, overseeing development on a slate of films that grossed more than $2 billion worldwide, and received 27 Oscar nominations, 36 BAFTA nominations and 20 Golden Globe nominations, including Best Picture nominees Black Swan, Hacksaw Ridge, and 1917. John previously worked in development for Spelling Films, Polygram, and as a story analyst for the William Morris Agency. John has an MFA in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute. John will also produce DUSTED by Guy Douall for NRP, a small town thriller with a supernatural twist in the vein of Stephen King. New Republic optioned the spec screenplay following its win in the Roadmap Writers & New Republic Pictures feature film script contest in 2019.

Devon Byers - Manager

Devon Byers is a literary manager and producer based out of Los Angeles. He and his partner, Krista Sipp, founded First Friday Entertainment in 2017. First Friday is a management and production company representing writers, directors, and producers in the film, TV, and digital space. It is the first management company focused on diversity and inclusion. Devon went to the American Film Institute Conservatory where he graduated with an MFA in Producing. Devon continued his freelance career before making the switch to development at production company Ideate Media (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency) and working there for nearly four years. After rising in the ranks, Devon left Ideate to launch his own company.

Currently, Devon is focused on representing clients with a unique worldview and fresh voices who have something to say in all genres. He is also interested in cultivating IP that speaks to new audiences.  

E Napoletano - Writer

E. Napoletano (she/they) is an award-winning screenwriter and non-award-winning standup comedian with an unapologetic (and totally not creepy) obsession with death and dying. They tell stories that explore how death creates a delicious cocktail of humor, hope, and grace that gives folx permission to be who they’ve always wanted to be if they’re brave enough to take a swig — kinda like E. did after their mother died and they came out as nonbinary and pansexual in their 40s. As far as accolades go, E. won the inaugural Population Media Center Fellowship at the 2019 Cinestory TV Retreat, top prize at The Breakk Screenwriting Retreat that same year (an event created by Karen Kirkland), and was a 2019 Sundance Episodic Lab Second Rounder. Whew. 2019 was a big year. In this magical year of 2021, E. now has two shows in active development, two dogs who love to steal E.’s panties, and one spouse that does not share E.’s obsession with death but who remains fabulous, despite trouncing E. at Galaga. Every. F***ing. Time.

Charlie Peppers - Writer

Charlie Peppers is repped at The Gersh Agency. He was recently staffed on a Seth Rogen-produced series and just sold an original pilot to MGM/Orion. He also shot a comedy web series of his original pilot based off the tribulations of dating in LA as a gay man. Charlie also works with homeless organizations to help support those in need. 

Michael Poisson - Writer
MICHAEL POISSON is an LGBTQ writer and two-time Emmy Award nominee for his work on Adult Swim’s ROBOT CHICKEN. He also worked on the writing staffs of the Sony/Hulu stop-motion series CROSSING SWORDS, as well as the Macro/Netflix superhero series RAISING DION. Michael is the creator of a sci-fi comedy pilot in development at digital platform Eko. He is also the creator of the graphic novel THE ARCS published by Fanbase Press. Previously, he developed with Red Hour and Full Fathom Five on his dark comedy, UNRAVELING: A Sadistic Musical. Before writing full time, Michael was the Director of Development for Krysten Ritter’s production company Silent Machine Entertainment, based at Universal. Outside of the industry, Michael has worked as a crisis counselor at The Trevor Project – a suicide lifeline for LGBTQ youth.

Justin Ross - Executive

Justin Ross was born and raised in the Midwest. He began his film career as a screenwriter. In 2008, he joined Intrinsic Value Films first as Creative Executive. During his tenure at Intrinsic, he secured relationships with top talent, including Scott Free Productions and the estates of authors Ray Bradbury and Philip K. Dick. Mr. Ross joined Bohemia Group Originals as Director of Production in 2015 and was promoted to Executive Vice President of Development and Production in 2016 where he championed the company’s first feature, A DARK PLACE (distributed by Gravitas Ventures). Further credits include Associate Producer on the Spike Lee Executive Produced SON OF THE SOUTH, Producer on the forthcoming MORE THAN RIVALS by the writer of HOOSIERS; RUDY as well as Producer on UNTRAINED, shepherded by Oscar nominee, Taylor Sheridan. He currently lives in Los Angeles and continues to write, connecting his two passions: good people and great stories.

Check out our new and improved site! Click the button above to start exploring.