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Pre-College Writing for TV

Session A (June 23, 2024 – July 13, 2024)
Session B (July 14, 2024 – August 3, 2024)

Program Overview

The Pre-College Writing for TV Summer Institute introduces motivated high school students enrolled in 9th – 12th grade in Spring 2024 to writing for television in Hollywood. This track mirrors the practice of professional writers in the world of episodic television and digital media by teaching students how to develop original series concepts and how to navigate the contemporary marketplace. In the process, students learn how to identify and capture the tone, characters, dialogue, and themes that make their story unique while collaborating in a workshop environment with their peers. Previous experience in screenwriting is not required, just a passion for storytelling!

Students will write a beat sheet and outline for the first act of their original pilot episode, a series treatment, and the teaser of the pilot script over the course of the class, while getting the feedback and tools they will need to further write their pilot episodes and develop future TV show ideas after the program. The program culminates in a table reading of a section of their script by professional actors.

In small workshops, students meet three times a week to discuss ideas, break stories, and give feedback and notes on each other’s work. This program carries four units of UCLA credit. Please note that this is an intensive course and students are expected to spend a minimum of 25 hours-per-week writing outside of class meetings.

Interested in a virtual TV Writing option for pre-college students? Check out our Emerging Filmmakers – TV Writing (Virtual) page


Participants of the UCLA Film and Television Pre-College Writing for TV Summer Institute will be enrolled in the following course:

  • FTV 37 — Introduction to Writing for Television: Big Ideas for the Small Screen (4 Units)

Due to the intensive nature of the program, a maximum of two program absences are permitted.

Professional Development

Students will explore the career of the screenwriter in the professional development workshop Writer as Entrepreneur. This workshop prepares students for a future in the industry by bringing in working screenwriters/TV writers to talk about their career paths and the experiences of being a writer in Hollywood. Students will also tour a major Hollywood Studio and have opportunities to connect with other pre-college Summer Institute students.

Table Reading

The program concludes with a table reading of a section from students’ scripts by professional actors, a closing ceremony, and a networking mixer for students. Friends and family are welcome!


This track is open to high school students enrolled in 9th – 12th grade in Spring 2024.

Online Registration

Registration opens February 15, 2024.

Please visit the Summer Sessions website for more information.

Eligible applicants who successfully submit all requirements will be reviewed and notified via email of an admission decision within two weeks. Early application is strongly encouraged.

International students must also submit:

  • Proof of TOEFL Results with score of 100 or above

Supply List


Access to a laptop/computer with:

  • Final Draft 12 or 13 Educational Screenwriting Software

Students can choose to bring their own laptop with Final Draft software (recommended) or use UCLA campus resources to access computers/laptops and use a web-based program like Celtx for assignments needed in screenplay format.

If choosing to use campus resources, the student is responsible for finding the correct resources in a timely manner for assignments. Be mindful of the summer hours for campus libraries and give ample time for any laptop lending requests.

Campus Libraries and Computers information

UCLA library laptop lending program information

Lending Information on Student Technology Center in UCLA housing

Program Details


Writing for TV Session A (June 23-July 13, 2024)
Writing for TV Session B (July 14-August 3, 2024)

Students are engaged in activities and classes along with breaks throughout the day from 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. There will be evening classes / workshops that occur where students will be required to be present.

NOTE: All course meeting times are in Pacific Daylight Time (PDT). The program schedule is subject to change.

On-Campus (Mandatory Housing)

Due to the rigorous and intense nature of the program, the residential plan, which includes a meal plan, is mandatory for all on-campus participants. Participants will be housed in one of the UCLA residence halls, comfortably furnished and conveniently located within easy walking distance of classrooms, libraries, and recreational facilities.

Financial Aid

Qualified students attending grades 8th – 11th in Spring 2024 in the state of California may be eligible for Summer Scholars Support, a need- and merit-based scholarship offered by the UCLA Summer Sessions Office. A limited number of full and partial scholarships are available to support enrollment in SCIP/eSCIP, one Summer Course, or a Precollege Summer Institute. Summer 2024 deadline to apply: March 15.

Contact Summer Sessions

UCLA Summer Institutes
1332 Murphy Hall
Box 951418
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1418
Tel: (310) 825-4101
Fax: (310) 825-1528