Screenwriters Emergency Financial Assistance Fund


The Screenwriters Emergency Financial Assistance Fund has reached capacity for the first round of available funding. We are not currently accepting new applications. Please check back regularly for updates. If you have any questions, please write to [email protected].


PEN America recognizes the financial hardship that many screenwriters are experiencing due to the work stoppage in the industry. To demonstrate our support for film and television writers and their families, we have launched the Screenwriters Emergency Financial Assistance Fund, a new, short-term program of PEN America’s U.S. Writers Aid Initiative. This emergency fund will serve emerging and early career screenwriters with one-time, rapid-response grants to help writers meet essential financial needs, such as housing, food, utilities, and health care. Grants in amounts of $500 or $1000 will be distributed on a first-come-first serve basis to eligible screenwriters.

Screenwriters Emergency Financial Assistance Fund is a program of the PEN America Writers Emergency Fund. Questions may be addressed to [email protected].



Eligible applicants must be early career and recently employed as a screenwriter. Applicants are also required to demonstrate financial need according to PEN America’s application assessment.

The Fund defines “early career screenwriters” as:

  • A screenwriter who has been a member of the WGA for less than 7 years.
  • A screenwriter who, regardless of age, has had between 1 and 7 years of demonstrated income as an employed screenwriter.

The Fund defines “employed screenwriter” as:

  • A screenwriter who has an active contract for writing services and/or the development of literary material.

Writers based outside of the U.S. are not eligible. Writers currently enrolled in degree-granting programs are not eligible. Applicants may only receive one grant in the initial six-month period of the Fund. 

Writers do not have to be Members of PEN America to receive a grant, but all recipients of emergency funding will be offered a complimentary one-year PEN America membership.