Thursday, April 08, 2010

BBC Writers Academy open for applicants

From the BBC:
The next generation of TV writers are being sought by the BBC for its prestigious Drama Writers Academy, a unique course that equips writers with the skills to work on BBC flagship continuing drama programmes.

Now in its sixth year, the Academy is the only course in the world that guarantees writers the opportunity to work on prime time television. Established by BBC Controller of Drama Production John Yorke, its aim is to create a pool of writing talent to work on some of BBC One’s best-loved and most popular shows – EastEnders, Casualty, Holby City and Doctors.

John Yorke, BBC Controller of Drama Production and Course Tutor says: ““Over the last five years, with the help of some of the best people in the industry; Richard Curtis, Jimmy McGovern, Russell T Davies, to name a few, we’ve been able to give new writers the space, time and tools to allow them to develop strong, individual work. The success of Academy graduates such as Mark Catley, Daisy Coulam and Justin Young proves what an incredible and unique opportunity this is.”

Alongside training on all aspects of drama production from casting to scheduling, students will also receive direct writing experience on continuing dramas, with commissions on the shows once they successfully complete the course. Master classes will be led by the best writers in the business including: Richard Curtis (Notting Hill), Russell T Davies (Doctors Who), Tony Jordan (EastEnders, Life on Mars), Jimmy McGovern (The Street), Barbara Machin (Casualty, Waking The Dead), Peter Bowker (Occupation) and leading directors such Dearbhla Walsh (Shameless, The Tudors, Little Dorrit)

Since its inauguration, 34 out of 40 graduates have gone on to gain full time work writing for TV - with 14 now established as core writers on continuing dramas. These include Mark Catley, graduate of the 2005 course who is now Consultant Producer/Lead Writer on Casualty, and Justin Young who was made Consultant Producer on Holby City this year. In addition many writers have graduated onto other shows - Daisy Coulam has just had a comedy pilot green lit and Ian Kershaw is a core writer for Shameless.

Creativity, talent and a passion for telling stories are essential criteria for those applying. Applicants must have had at least one professional commission in television, theatre, radio or film.

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 5th May.

Click here for online application form:


  1. Anonymous9:20 am

    Good to hear of the success of some of the Writers Academy graduates. Any chance of learning what the success rate is for ALL graduates since the scheme has been running?

  2. Heather9:33 am

    What would be the point of running such a course for professional writers? Surely such an opportunity should be directed at writers who are not already (monetarily) recognised for their work and who possess a talent, flair for the imagination (of which our British TV seriously lacks) and are able to transfer it to the paper and then the audience. Should we not be nurturing them?


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