Friday, September 14, 2007

The Writersroom at the Guild

There was a good turnout last night for the latest Guild event - inside the BBC Writersroom with the BBC's Creative Director of New Writing, Kate Rowland.

Kate explained how the Writersroom has developed over recent years to be the central entry point for new writing across the BBC. Anyone can submit a script and it will be read. Or, at least, the first ten pages will be read and, if they think there is some merit in the writing, the whole script will be considered. It's very rare for unsolicited scripts to be made into programmes, but, Kate, said, from the 10,000 submissions made each year, contact will be made with several hundred writers.

The idea is that a relationship is built up with a new writer so that they can be steered towards an area of the BBC that would suit them best. In some ways, Kate explained, Writersroom operates as an internal talent agency for the BBC, suggesting new writers to departments or producers who are looking for them.

The Writersroom also helps run numerous competitions - another good chance to get your script read and, perhaps, to try a format that you've not previously considered.

The key thing, Kate stressed, is for a new writer to submit an original script that really demonstrates their talent. "In the end," she said, "whatever the platform, it is character and story that matter."

The other speaker was Guild member Darren Rapier, providing an insight into what it's like to write for BBC daytime series, Doctors, one of the shows that has been most open to new writers. His main advice was to be persistent. The process can be lengthy and sometimes frustrating, he explained, but, if you can get commissioned, it's a great opportunity to write what is, essentially, an original TV play that will be seen by several million people. As with other BBC shows, if you want to write for Doctors but don't have any previous credits, the best approach is to submit an original script to the BBC Writersroom.

Information about submitting scripts, as well as lots of other information and advice, is available on the BBC Writersroom website.

1 comment:

  1. Great event, thanks and I've blogged about it in more detail in




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