Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Climate Storytelling Fellowship 2022 (up to $20,000)

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Climate Storytelling Fellowship 2022 (up to $20,000)

Deadline: November 30, 2022

Applications are open for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Climate Storytelling Fellowship 2022. The Black List is pleased to partner with the Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. Rewrite the Future program to offer a Fellowship to each of three screenwriters working on scripts that offer new perspectives on climate change.

The Fellowship will grant $20,000 each to three writers to support revision of a feature screenplay or pilot that engages with climate change in a meaningful way through events, actions, character, emotions, plot, and/or setting.

NRDC will connect each Fellowship recipient with the following professionals for feedback and guidance on their scripts:

  • A credited professional screenwriter with an interest in climate storytelling approaches to climate storytelling that are entertaining and impactful
  • As applicable, an NRDC expert to advise on climate issues highlighted in the script.
  • After receiving these consultations, Fellows have three (3) months to complete a revision of their script. Revised scripts will be assessed for development potential by at least one studio executive and may include a studio meeting.
  • At the end of the Fellowship, each recipient will provide a designated representative of the NRDC with a revised version of their script along with a short reflection on how the grant has been used to advance their work and/or impacted their career.


In order to apply for the fellowship, the script must include climate in the story in a meaningful way that involves major character(s), events and plot or subplot(s). The climate angle should be more than just a backdrop or setting.

  • The script can be any genre but climate change and solutions must be a main driver of the action and affect important choices made by characters.
  • The climate crisis intersects with a wide variety of topics so a successful climate script could incorporate impacts and/or solutions in many areas:
    • Stories that personalize climate issues like environmental racism and climate injustice, climate disruption of food, water, public health, war/national security, natural disasters, corporate malfeasance, immigration, political scandal, conspicuous consumption, deforestation, wildlife and wilderness, pollution, sea-level rise, and other regional effects.
    • Stories that show the impacts of the climate crisis on people and communities, disproportionate effects on BIPOC frontline communities; personal impacts on relationships, emotions/psychology, romance, family planning, jobs, and career choices; facing the ethical dilemmas of a fossil fuel economy; becoming part of the solution through personal/community/political action, education, politics and journalism, activism, etc.
    • Stories that feature people discovering and engaging in climate solutions, including “green” innovations in farming and food, public health, law and policy, energy, transportation, science and high-tech, business and finance, building and product design, waste management, circular economy, community-based innovation like greening neighborhoods, food justice, urban farms, etc.
    • Stories about thought and action leaders meeting the immense challenge of solving the crisis and transitioning to a just, equitable, decarbonized economy.
    • Stories that show alternative futures, beyond the cliches of climate disaster/dystopia.
    • Scripts that highlight a new perspective on the human relationship with the planet that:
      • Engenders hope and illustrates solutions
      • Addresses human agency
      • Revises the relationship of “taking from” or carelessly destroying ecosystems to “caretaking”, or sustaining ecosystems.


Click here to register

For more information, visit NRDC Fellowship.