Terms and Conditions
2021 Sesame Street Writer’s Room
PLEASE READ THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS CAREFULLY PRIOR TO SUBMISSION. OPEN ONLY TO INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE AGE 21 OR OVER, AND WHO ARE EITHER (1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS OR (2) A PERMANENT RESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
The Sesame Street Writer’s Room (the “Program“) is sponsored by Sesame Workshop, a not-for-profit educational corporation chartered by the Regents of the University of the State of New York and having offices at 1900 Broadway, New York, NY 10023 (“Sesame”). By submitting your “Application” (as further defined herein below) for the Program you agree that your participation will be governed by, and you shall abide by, all of the following terms and conditions (the “Terms and Conditions“) outlined herein below:
- Goal: Sesame is committed to our mission to help kids grow smarter, stronger, and kinder through exposure to diverse stories and ideas. The goal of the Program is to find fresh new writing talent from racially underrepresented backgrounds and Sesame will provide to this talent hands-on writing experience guided by Sesame Street veterans and other media industry leaders.
- Eligibility: The Program is open only to individuals who are 21 years of age or older as of the date of entry; and who are (a) citizens of the United States or (b) a permanent resident of the United States; who have not had extensive media writing experience such as having written more than six (6) episodes for a network or cable scripted/narrative series; and who identify with an underrepresented racial group (the “Candidate(s)” and or “you” or “yours”).
- Entry Period: The entry period for the Program begins at 12:00 a.m. on November 16, 2020 and ends at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (E.S.T.) on January 8, 2021 (the “Entry Period“).
- How to Enter: Each Application must be comprised of the following (a submission which meets these following criteria will be referred to as an “Application“):
(a) The Candidate’s basic information (including their name and age), up-to-date contact information (including an e-mail address and phone numbers), and demographical information, as required by Paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Application;
(b) A copy of the Candidate’s resume;
(c) A personal statement of 250 words or less describing why you want to write for children’s educational media, how your experiences influence the stories you tell, why you value diversity/representation in children’s educational media, etc;
(d) An original script sample and synopsis (of no more than 100 words) of your original script sample (the “Creative Submission”) labeled with the appropriate Application ID Number. Please note: the Creative Submission shall not include any characters, brands, or elements owned and controlled by Sesame or any third party;
(e) Applications must comply with the following technical specifications: The Creative Submission must be in pdf file form; the original script sample must be 12 pages (including the title page) in length; each page of the document should be submitted in 8 1/2 ” x 11″ page size (portrait orientation preferred), with margins set at a minimum of 1″ (top, bottom, left and right); and all text should be 12-point Times New Roman or Courier font; and
(f) Each Application should comply with all of the Entry Guidelines set forth herein.
- Application Deadline: All Applications must be uploaded through the Candidate’s profile located on the Program’s website located at http://www.sesamewritersroom.org no later than 5:00 p.m. E.S.T. on January 8, 2021 to be eligible. Proof of submission of your Application is not proof of receipt by Sesame of your Application.
- Entry Guidelines: You must retain a copy of your Application as Sesame will not return or retain any part of the Application. Sesame shall delete all Creative Submissions upon the conclusion of the selection process unless you are formally invited to join the Program. Sesame is not responsible for, and each Candidate specifically releases Sesame from, any claims or liability relating to, any loss or damage, in whole or in part, to the Candidate’s Application. You agree and understand that Sesame may, at any time and in its sole and unfettered discretion, alter any rules, processes, or procedures relating to the Program, and Sesame may at any time terminate, postpone, modify, or suspend the Program for any reason.
- Application Review: Sesame intends to review any and all Applications received in accordance with the following:
- First, all Applications will be screened to ensure that they are complete and all basic eligibility requirements have been met.
- Next, during the “First Phase,” intended to take place between January 11, 2021 and January 31, 2021, third-party readers will, in accordance with guidelines provided by Sesame, and under anonymized conditions (i.e., all personal information such as name, biography, and other application materials will be blocked from access by the third-party readers), review the Creative Submissions and select which Creative Submissions will proceed to the next phase.
- During the “Second Phase,” intended to take place between February 1, 2021 and February 14, 2021, readers from Sesame Workshop will review the selected Creative Submissions, also under anonymized conditions, to select up to 75 Creative Submissions to proceed to the next phase.
- During the “Third Phase,” intended to take place between February 15, 2021 and February 28, 2021, two representatives from the Sesame development team will review the up to 75 selected Creative Submissions also under anonymized conditions to select up to 20 Creative Submissions to proceed to the next phase.
- During the “Fourth Phase,” intended to take place between March 1, 2021 and March 31, 2021, a selection committee comprised of Sesame employees and executives will review the up to 20 selected Creative Submissions and corresponding Application materials, and interview the Candidates to determine the final selection of up to 8 Candidates to participate in the Program.
- Notification of Invitation to Join Program: Sesame hopes to notify the final selected Candidates and invite them to join the Program, sometime during the week of April 19, 2021. Once Sesame has completed its review period, it will notify the selected Candidates by phone or e-mail, using the contact information contained in the Applications. Sesame may in its sole discretion announce the names (with or without your corresponding likeness) of the selected Candidates on its website or in other forms of communication. Sesame reserves the right to conduct a background check on any selected Candidate. Each selected Candidate consents to the same and shall provide whatever additional information, permission and/or documentation is required or requested by Sesame in connection with the same. Should Sesame be unable to reach any of the potential selected Candidate(s), then Sesame, in its sole discretion, may choose another Candidate as a replacement. For the avoidance of doubt, a Candidate whose Application has been selected by Sesame to join the Program may hereafter be alternately referred to as a “Participant(s)”.
- The Program: Participants will receive eight, three-hour sessions, which at Sesame’s discretion may be provided remotely through video or voice conference, on creating children’s media content (the “Sessions”). Participants will be mentored by industry professionals while completing at least one script during the Program. At the end of the Program, up to two Participants will potentially receive a creative development deal with Sesame and further mentorship through regular meetings and feedback from industry professionals at Sesame (the “Creative Development Deal”). All costs associated with Participant’s attendance at the Sessions will be the responsibility of each Participant. The Sessions themselves will be offered to the selected Candidates free of charge.
- Future Agreements:
- Candidate and Sesame have no agreement concerning the use of the Creative Submission and you acknowledge and agree that no obligation of any kind is assumed by, or may be implied against, Sesame unless and until a formal written contract has been entered into between you and Sesame, and then the obligation shall be only as is expressed in the formal written contract.
- In the event that Candidate is selected, based on Candidate’s Application and Creative Submission to join the Program, prior to the commencement of the Program and in consideration of and as a pre-condition to your participation in the Program, you shall be required to enter into a formal written agreement with Sesame, which among other things shall confer to Sesame certain rights of first negotiation and last refusal to acquire rights in and to any and all materials created by you as part of the Program such as but not limited to creative concepts, all associated scripts, stories, titles, drawings, formats, renderings, characters, pencil tests, designs, music, themes, contents and protectable elements, or such other iterations and all revisions, modifications, translations, adaptions, and other versions thereof, whether then existing or thereafter created (collective referred to as the “Property”) which may or may not creatively relate to the Creative Submission. Any such formal written agreement shall detail Sesame’s first rights of negotiation and last refusal interest in and to the Property.
- In the event that you are selected for a Creative Development Deal, you shall be required to enter into a formal written agreement with Sesame, which amongst other things will, for good and valuable consideration, grant to Sesame rights of ownership in and to the Property consistent with terms and conditions generally standard in the children’s educational media community and commensurate with your experience.
- Participant Personal Release: By becoming a Participant each Participant grants to Sesame and their designees the irrevocable, royalty-free right to use the Participant’s name, likeness and biographical information without further notice or consideration, in perpetuity, throughout the world, in all media and formats now known or hereafter invented, in connection with the promotion of the Program. You shall have no right of approval, no claim to compensation (unless specified herein), and no claim (including, without limitation, claims based upon invasion of privacy, defamation, or right of publicity) arising out of any use, alteration, distortion, or illusionary effect or use in any composite form or otherwise of my voice, picture, image or likeness. During the Program, Sesame may, in its sole discretion, choose to record the Sessions in any manner (the “Recordings”) and Sesame may use the Recordings in any manner in full reliance on this Paragraph 11.
- Confidential Information: Any non-public information provided by Sesame to you is confidential to Sesame (“Confidential Information”). Confidential Information shall include, but shall not be limited to, any documents provided by Sesame; any information about the intended use of the Creative Submission, the Property, and any and all materials created in connection thereof; and any other information concerning your Property or other concepts in connection with the Program, even if the concept is developed by someone other than you. You agree not to disclose any Confidential Information to others (including but not limited to posting on any web sites or posting to any social media platforms, regardless of the method of access to such sites or platforms), use for your own benefit or otherwise appropriate such Confidential Information in any way, without Sesame’s prior written consent. You further agree that you will use the Confidential Information solely in connection with its purpose, and will take all reasonable measures to maintain the confidentiality of the Confidential Information.
- Representations and Warranties: Each Candidate represents and warrants that:
(a) the information contained in the Application is true and that the Candidate’s Creative Submission, and all components thereof, including all ideas, creative elements and any other materials and information contained in the Creative Submission are wholly original with the Candidate and does not include any intellectual property owned by Sesame or infringe upon or violate the rights of any third party, under any country’s law, including without limitation any trademark, copyright, right of publicity, trade secret, patent and/or other intellectual property right;
(b) no person or entity has collaborated with Candidate in creating the Creative Submission, provided any material or information for inclusion in the Creative Submission, or has any ownership rights in and to the Creative Submission or any component thereof that is not specifically disclosed or acknowledged; and
(c) the Candidate has the exclusive, unconditional right and authority to submit the Application to Sesame for its consideration.
- Disputes: These Terms and Conditions shall be governed by and interpreted under the laws of the State of New York without regard to conflicts of laws provisions. The Participant hereby agrees that any and all disputes claims, causes of action or controversies arising out of or in connection with the Program or these Terms and Conditions shall be resolved exclusively by a state or federal court located in New York, New York. By entering, each Candidate irrevocably waives any right to seek and/or obtain rescission and/or equitable and/or injunctive relief.
- Release of Claims against Sesame: By submitting an Application each Candidate hereby releases Sesame from and against the full amount of all claims, liabilities, actions, suits, proceedings, assessments, judgements, decrees, losses, fees, damages, settlement funds, and associated costs and expenses including attorney’s fees arising from or in connection with the Candidate’s participation in the Application process and/or the Program, if applicable, any use by Sesame of the Candidate’s Application and/or Creative Submission and/or the exercise by Sesame of any rights granted to it herein, including without limitation claims based on the rights of privacy, false light, defamation, copyright, patent and/or trademark infringement relating to the Candidate’s Application and/or Creative Submission and claims for injury, loss or damage of any kind resulting from the Candidate’s participation in the Application process or participation in the Program, if possible.
- Indemnity: By making an Application, each Candidate agrees to indemnify, hold harmless and defend Sesame and their parent company, affiliates, subsidiaries, successors and assigns, and each of their trustees, officers, employees and agents from and against the full amount of all claims, liabilities, actions, suits, proceedings, assessments, judgments, decrees, losses, fees, damages, settlement funds, and associated costs and expenses including attorney’s fees arising from or in connection with the submission of Candidate’s Application and/or Candidate’s participation in the Program, and/or the exercise by Sesame of any rights granted to it herein, including without limitation claims based on rights of privacy, rights of publicity, false light, plagiarism, defamation, copyright, patent and/or trademark infringement relating to the Participant’s Submission. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, in the event of any claim by a third party affecting or relating to the Submission, Sesame shall have, in addition to any other rights available to it, at law or in equity, the right to immediately revoke an invitation to participate in the Program.
- No Limitation on Exploitation of Materials: Each Candidate acknowledges that Sesame engages and have engaged and will in the future engage in the development, preparation, production, acquisition and dissemination of creative content (the “Content“), including without limitation Content that is similar or identical to a Creative Submission comprising any Application made hereunder. Each Candidate also acknowledges that other persons, including both third parties and employees of Sesame Workshop, may previously have originated and/or submitted Content that is similar or identical to a Candidate’s Creative Submission. Each Candidate agrees that it will not be entitled to any compensation because of the use by Sesame of any such similar or identical material and/or Content. Without limitation of the foregoing, Sesame may use, without any payment or other obligation whatsoever to any Candidate, any part of the Creative Submission, and any idea or concept contained therein, that (a) is similar or identical to, or contains significant elements encompassed in, a concept that is under consideration or in development by Sesame before or at the time of the Candidate’s entry, (b) is not unique, novel, original, and concrete so as to be entitled to protection under applicable laws, (c) has been made public by anyone at the time of its submission to Sesame or otherwise is in the public domain, (d) would be freely usable by a third person if it had not been accepted as a Creative Submission or the subject of any agreement, (e) is not protected by United States copyright law, or (f) is similar or identical to, or contains significant elements encompassed in, an idea, concept or material that is independently created by Sesame or any third party. By submitting an Application, each Candidate agrees that Sesame’s development, preparation, production, acquisition, dissemination and/or exploitation of Content and related materials similar or identical to the Candidate’s Creative Submission or containing features, ideas, material and/or elements similar to or identical with those contained in the Candidate’s Creative Submission shall not entitle the Candidate to any compensation or other right or remedy whatsoever. As an inducement to Sesame to accept the Candidate’s Creative Submission in connection with the Program, each Candidate hereby waives any claim or right of action against Sesame or its successor in connection with Sesame’s use of any Content (or any portions thereof) whether or not such Content is similar or identical to a Candidate’s Creative Submission or contains any features, ideas, material and/or elements that are similar or identical to those contained in a Candidate’s Creative Submission. Acceptance by Sesame of an Application is not an admission by Sesame of the novelty or originality of the Creative Submission.
- General Terms: All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. Sesame reserve the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any individual who violates these Terms and Conditions, tampers with the entry process and/or acts in any way that would, in any way, discredit or harry the reputation of Sesame, and/or to cancel, modify or suspend this Program should fraud or misconduct or other causes beyond the control of Sesame corrupt the administration, integrity, security or proper operation of the Program. Without limitation of the foregoing, Sesame reserves the right to terminate, modify or suspend this Program due to any of the following reasons: act of God; unavoidable accident; epidemic; fire; blackout; act of public enemy; war, riot or civil commotion; enactment, rule, order or act of government or governmental instrumentality or tribunal; strike, lockout or other labor dispute; inclement weather; failure of technical facilities; failure of essential production, or technical personnel to appear or be available; or other cause beyond its control. Sesame is not responsible for lost, late, illegible, incomplete, damaged, mutilated, misdirected, misdelivered, or delayed entries, or for technical or human errors or failures of any kind in connection with the submission, transmission, processing or judging of entries, including without limitation any malfunctions or failures of computer hardware, computer software, networks or telephone equipment or any technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website or any combination thereof. Caution: Any attempt by a Candidate to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Program is in violation of criminal and civil laws and should such an attempt be made; Sesame reserves the right to seek damages from any such Candidate to the fullest extent of the law. Sesame is not responsible for any typographical or other error in the printing of the offer, administration of the Program, or in any related announcement.
- Entire Agreement: These Terms and Conditions set forth the entire agreement and understanding between Sesame and Candidate concerning the subject matter hereof and merges and supersedes all prior discussions, agreements and understandings of any kind between Candidate and Sesame and clicking “I agree to these terms and conditions” under this Step 3 of the Application herein below shall constitute your understanding, acceptance of and agreement with the Terms and Conditions set forth above. Notwithstanding anything contained herein to the contrary, Sesame reserve the right, in its sole discretion, at any future time to terminate, modify or suspend the Program for any reason, in Sesame’s sole discretion. Candidate shall be deemed an independent contractor and nothing contained herein shall constitute this arrangement to be employment, a joint venture, or a partnership. Sesame’s failure to enforce any terms of these Terms and Conditions shall not constitute a waiver of any provision contained herein. The titles of Paragraphs of these Terms and Conditions are for convenience only and shall not be given any legal effect. The word “including” is used in these Terms and Conditions to mean “including but not limited to.” The invalidity of any provision herein shall not affect the validity of the remainder. You acknowledge that these Terms and Conditions, in particular, Paragraphs 10-17 shall survive termination or expiration of these Terms and Conditions and shall be binding upon you and your heirs and/or successors.
If the foregoing is in accordance with your understanding regarding the Application, please click “I agree to these terms and conditions” under this Step 3 of the Application and proceed to the next Step in order to attach and upload your submission and complete the Application.