Stephens College and SeriesFest Announce New Jan Marino Scholarship to Help Women over 55 Pursue Careers in Television and Screenwriting

DENVER, Colo. – (March 28, 2018) – Stephens College and SeriesFest are pleased to announce a new scholarship to support women over age 55 enrolled in Stephens College M.F.A. in Television and Screenwriting program. Named to honor author Jan Marino, the mother of M.F.A. student Betsy Marino Leighton, the scholarship nurtures the power of strong, independent female storytelling in television and film and will open doors to a future that may have seemed permanently closed for these emerging writers.

“The Jan Marino Scholarship is important because it is engaging a whole new set of voices,” said Betsy Marino Leighton. “It’s holding up a giant billboard saying ‘55 and over - here’s your shot! Not only are you able to do it, we’re inviting you to do it.’ For SeriesFest and an institution like Stephens to take that on, I think that sends a huge message of inclusion and diversity in the future of television and film.”

The Stephens College Low-Residency M.F.A. in Television and Screenwriting is the first low-residency M.F.A. program to focus solely on television and screenwriting, and it carries a mission: to increase the voices and impact of women in television and film. It is mentor based, and the faculty is made up entirely of working writers, including some of the most successful television and screenwriters in Hollywood. Students gather for ten days of intensive workshops twice a year and work one-on-one with mentors online throughout the remainder of the semester. This flexibility makes the program appealing to those who are mid-career and have families -- which defines many women over 55.

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About Stephens College

Stephens College is proud to be the second-oldest women’s college in the country. Founded in 1833, Stephens provides an undergraduate residential women’s college as well as a range of co-educational graduate, continuing education and online programs for adult learners. The mission of the college is Learn. Grow. Lead. Focused on the creative arts and health sciences, Stephens continues to prepare all students for lives of distinction, integrity and service.

About SeriesFest

SeriesFest is an award-winning annual festival based in Denver, Colorado dedicated to showcasing the best and boldest in episodic storytelling from around the world. At a time when television entertainment is expanding and evolving across multiple platforms, the need for a diverse range of programming is greater than ever. As trailblazers in independent content development, SeriesFest is a global marketplace and community for creators, industry professionals, and audiences to come together.

SeriesFest: Season 4 (June 22-27) is presented in partnership with the Denver Film Society and receives generous support from Stephens College, Parallel Entertainment and Elysium Bandini Studios.

For more information, visit and follow @seriesfest on Twitter.


Media Contact:

Stephanie Baumoel/Lauren Fein

FerenComm for SeriesFest