Sammy Nickalls
April 20, 2015 7:50 am

Meryl’s done it again, guys. As if being a strong, amazing, powerful lady who can act, sing, and melt our hearts with the flutter of her perfect eyelashes wasn’t enough, she’s now supporting women in an entirely new way: by funding a lab for female screenwriters over 40. Be still, my heart.

Announced Sunday at the Tribeca Film Festival, the lab will be called Writers Lab. We don’t know how much Meryl donated to the cause, but the number has been described with words such as “significant” and “generous.”

According to Variety, the lab will be run by New York Women in Film and Television (aka NYWIFT, which Meryl has long been a supporter of), as well as Iris, a collective of women filmmakers.

So what exactly IS this lab, anyway? According to NYWIFT, “The only program of its kind, The Writers Lab evolved in recognition of the absence of the female voice in narrative film, along with the dearth of support for script development. The lab offers 8 promising films by women over 40 a springboard to production.”

Over 40 and interested in becoming a part of the Writers Lab? According to NYWIFT, it’s pretty darn selective: eight female screenwriters over 40 will be chosen. Pretty small number, but the payoff is major: if selected, you’ll get to attend a retreat in upstate New York in September. The workshop will take place at Wiawaka Center for Women, which, according to Deadline, is “the oldest and longest continuously operating retreat for women in the United States.”

But here’s the best part: you’ll be mentored by successful female filmmakers. Mentors include Gina Prince-Bythewood (“Beyond the Lights”), Caroline Kaplan (“Boyhood”), Kirsten Smith (“Legally Blonde”), and Jessica Bendinger (“Bring It On”). Mentoring will involve one-on-one meetings with these powerful, talented writers, as well as “additional group events designed to inspire artists to hone their creative vision,” according to NYWIFT.

Thanks for this amazing addition to the writing world, Meryl. For more information on how to apply for Meryl’s fabulous Writers Lab, check out the official NYWIFT page. . . and keep on writing, ladies!

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