UCLA Extension


Several outstanding opportunities exist for UCLA Extension Writers’ Program students in fiction writing, memoir writing, feature film writing, and television writing to gain recognition for the excellence of their work.

From Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl written by former Writers' Program student Stuart Beattie

From Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, written by Stuart Beattie

UCLA Extension Feature Film and Television Writing Competitions
Stuart Beattie (Australia, Collateral, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl), Randi Mayem Singer (Mrs. Doubtfire), and Gavin Hood (Tsotsi) gained their first industry exposure through a Writers’ Program screenwriting contest, and our goal with these competitions is to help the next generation of student talent move from amateur to professional. Winners receive a one-on-one script consultation with a professional screenwriter prior to the final judging and their script is read by industry executives.  The winners’ loglines and contact information are sent to over 1,000 literary agencies, management companies, and production companies.

james kirkwood

James Kirkwood

James Kirkwood Literary Prize
Established in honor of Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning author James Kirkwood (A Chorus Line, There Must Be a Pony!), one of the Writers’ Program’s most illustrious students, this prize recognizes and encourages talented student fiction writers.  Writers’ Program students at the intermediate and advanced levels are nominated by their instructors, and the top three winners receive a cash prize and gift, presented by Kirkwood benefactor Andrew Morse, at a luncheon in Los Angeles.


Allegra Johnson

The Allegra Johnson Prize in Memoir and Novel Writing
The Allegra Johnson Prize in Memoir and Novel Writing was inaugurated on March 20, 2014 by Roberta J.M. Olson and Alexander B.V. Johnson to honor their daughter, Allegra Johnson (1983–2013), a prolific and talented young writer who was enrolled as an undergraduate at UCLA and was working on a memoir and a novel through the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program when her life was tragically cut short. Through this award, her parents hope to make a difference in the lives of promising Writers’ Program memoir and novel writing students by providing both formal recognition of their talent and financial resources to support them as they complete their manuscripts. The award is merit-based and will be given to one memoirist and one novelist in alternating years, beginning with a memoirist in June 2015.

Additionally, the Writers’ Program offers two annual scholarship programs for students who would otherwise not have the opportunity to study their craft in a supportive educational environment:  the Claire Carmichael Scholarship Program in Novel Writing and the Phyllis Gebauer Scholarship in Writing.

For more information about Writers’ Program’s literary prizes, screenwriting competitions, or scholarships, click on the links or call (310) 825-9415.