Thursday, October 29, 2009

Screenwriters Festival: Day Four

By Piers Beckley

And to finish with, some thoughts on the fourth day of this year's screenwriters festival. (Or conference, if you prefer.)

While there are always going to be talks which aren't aimed at your skill level - there's no real point in someone with a few pieces of work behind them going to the sessions aimed at first-time writers - there are four concurrent streams throughout the day, so there should always be something interesting going on for you to check out.

It can be a little intimidating for first-timers, especially if you don't know anyone else here. But the writers are a friendly bunch, and it's easy to get chatting to someone in the tea queue. After all, you already know that you have a lot in common.

Over lunch, many of the guests volunteer to sit in the canteen for something called a scriptbites session, where anyone can gather round the table with them for an open and informal Q&A - no stuffy lecture halls, no waiting-for-the-mike-to-get-to-you, just honest answers to questions about the business.

Over the last few days I've listened to Ben Stephenson, Phil Collinson, Bob Baker, and others give their time and advice generously to help new and emerging screenwriters during these sessions - and there were many more people who I would have liked to listen to that I just didn't have time to see.

The Screenwriters' Festival plays a vital role in finding out what's going on in the UK writing community - and in helping you to reconnect with friends and colleagues both old and new.

See you here next year.

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