Workshop Testimonials

These are all testimonials for my 1 day CREATIVITY FOR SCRIPTWRITERS course

‘Phil’s writing course is incredible, I only wish it were a bit longer. I was having a bit of writers block before the course started and I’ve barely stopped writing since. I learnt so many ways and means to approach either a new piece of writing or help with something you’re already struggling with, that no matter the task, I feel equipped and ready to take it on. Phil is so engaging and encouraging of your ideas, he makes you feel at ease and that you can ask anything. The guest speaker Q and A’s were so insightful and inspiring, but at the same didn’t sugar coat how hard it can be. It was great to hear their journey, and how far they’ve come in such a short space of time. I can now move forward in my writing with not only a greater understanding of techniques, but also with countless new knowledge of the industry as a whole.’

Antonia Castilla, May 2018

Phil’s two-day screenwriting course is brilliant – the perfect chance to road-test new ideas in a smart, supportive environment and fascinating to meet a mix of writers with such different approaches. He covers a huge amount in two days (like structure, character and how to pitch, with specific examples to illustrate) and I really enjoyed the chance to hear writers Vinay Patel and Regina Moriarty discuss their experiences in the industry. Phil himself is an exceptionally warm, astute, enthusiastic teacher with loads of experience and I’ve already signed up for another of his courses later in the year.’

Ed Cripps, May 2018

‘I was concerned it would be a waste of time because I had lost faith in my ideas and voice but it has given me an unbelievable energy and enthusiasm for writing. I have come out with clarity on old ideas and loads of new ones. I have met amazing people who I am definitely going to keep in touch with and hopefully share work with / build writing groups with. I have learnt about communities within writing that would tackle the isolation. I loved the sharing of thoughts, the interaction, hearing everyone’s ideas…extraordinarily empowering.’

Lotte Rice, May 2018

‘The opportunity to tap into Phil’s extensive knowledge of the craft and the business was outstanding and cannot be overstated. More importantly it was delivered in a wonderfully warm and genuine environment. All participants were at different stages of their career and as someone in the lower echelons of the writing world, I was made to feel like an equal and enthusiastically encouraged. The guest speakers were of a high quality and offered incredible insight into the craft and the business. Extremely beneficial and enjoyable course, I cannot recommend enough!’

Noel McCann, May 2018

‘A fantastic weekend packed with creative inspiration, practical career advice and interesting conversation.  Philip was really encouraging and enthusiastic and I have come away feeling motivated and prepared to get down to some serious screenwriting.  It was also a great opportunity to meet other aspiring and exciting writers.  Thank you. I really enjoyed myself.’

Richard Crawley, May 2018

‘Philip’s weekend course offers great value for money. He covers a lot of important ground with intelligence, humour and humanity, and offers invaluable insights into both the craft and career aspects of screenwriting. The writers and agent who came in to talk to the group were also generous in sharing their experience, and added to the quality of the weekend. Highly recommended.’

Jonathan Young, May 2018

‘The best job I had growing up was in a cinema, where a group of people came together all with different ages and experiences but shared hopes and dreams. We’d do a bit of work showing people how to find their way around in the dark then watch and chat about films. It was a magical time.

Philip Shelley’s screenwriting course recreated this magic only with a purpose.

I came across the course through a chance recommendation from a long-lost friend and had little idea about quite how esteemed, professional and fascinating it would be. With Phil and his guest speakers, you’re among screenwriting royalty but these royals are generous with their knowledge and not just their smiles – though there are plenty of those too.

It’s a fun weekend. Busy but hugely enjoyable and I learned everything I thought I wanted to plus a lifetime’s worth of knowledge shared about a craft and a business I’ve obsessed about but never fully understood.

If you are serious about screenwriting as a career or you just want to learn to write screenplays for fun while being encouraged by the best in the business and goaded by a pile of a billion biscuits, this is the course for you.  Fruit, water and biscuits are included.’

Rich Browning, May 2018

‘I thoroughly enjoyed the Screenwriting Course, I loved the fluidity that we had within the topics. The guest speakers really add value and allow you to gain perspective on how committed to the cause you need to be for success. It was great to have such a varied group of individuals at all levels of experience to share ideas with.’

Sam Stretton, May 2018

‘I thoroughly recommend Philip’s two day screenwriting course. I learned more in a weekend than I ever thought possible. Beyond this, I met some fanatically inspiring people, had enormous fun and left on the Sunday with a head full of ideas and the confidence to see them through. The course manages to be both theoretical and practical, also giving a realistic overview of the business of screenwriting in a rapidly changing landscape. Frankly, I’d like to do the course all over again!’

Holly Seddon, May 2018


‘An excellent two-day course, both for complete beginners and those with more experience. The sessions on the business side of screenwriting were particularly good as this is so often overlooked. I had so many light-bulb moments! And hearing from the guest speakers was a real highlight!’

Stevie Cooke, May 2018

‘Philip’s screenwriting course is great whether you’re considering becoming a writer or are already in the industry and looking to continue to grow your skills and industry knowledge. It was great to meet other writers, and Philip is definitely the person you want to be getting screenwriting advice from. The weekend was very interactive and fun and I could definitely do it all over again!’

Alannah Olivia, May 2018

‘Still high and buzzing from Philip Shelley’s Screenwriting Course. It cleverly bridged creativity, craft and practical, current advice to kick start a screenwriting career. Phil and the fantastic speakers, Anna Symon, Cat Jones and Jonathan Kinnersley, were generous and open with their experiences, advice and feedback. I defy anyone not to leave bursting with ideas, motivation and optimism.’

Julia Wurz, March 2018

‘I really recommend Phil’s course for a few things – for offering invaluable time to pitch your ideas (and improve them) in a positive, helpful environment – for the time spent with highly successful agents and writers (often course alumni), who were more than happy to share their insights into the industry – and for the course’s sense of practicality. We were there to talk about work, which I liked!’

Olivia Gagan, March 2018

‘I found Philip’s two day screenwriting course to be a fantastic mix of inspirational and useful. Sessions on craft and theory but also tonnes of practical, useful advice on how to get work and build a career in writing. It gave us useful tools in how to keep finding new ideas and to see if these were the sort of ideas that were industry focused. The small class size really helped keep things focused and friendly. Sometimes in a huge class a short pitching exercise ends up taking up half the day. Phil packs so much into these two days and gives everyone honest feedback and advice. The three guest speakers were fantastically generous with their personal stories, funny and entertaining but also shared real insider industry knowledge. The course is really good value for money and I would wholeheartedly recommend it.’

Fiona Kellett, March 2018

‘I couldn’t recommend this course enough. As a writer (early on in their screenwriting endeavour) I found this experience truly invaluable. Over the course of a weekend I learnt a number of crucial fundamentals on the screenwriting craft, along with some indispensable advice on how to break into the industry. This course inspired me to really examine the process of storytelling, considering vital questions I hadn’t yet considered – and overall to approach my writing in a new and exciting way.

Thanks to the skilful structure of the course, the ground we covered in just two days was really impressive – my only wish was that it was longer! I found it incredibly galvanising to be around other writers, collaborating on ideas with them in group workshops, and listening to a varied and brilliant mix of guest speakers (an agent and two script writers). It’s a really inclusive atmosphere – in which you are encouraged to ask as many questions as possible – and the small intake ensures that everyone has a chance to contribute.

Writing can be a solitary business, so it’s such a joy to meet a handful of wonderful and interesting new writers with whom I hope to stay in contact with. Starting out can be intimidating but Philip’s course gave me both the confidence and clarity of how to take the next steps.’

Daisy Stenham, March 2018

‘I enjoyed the variety of the weekend course, and found the topics covered relevant and up-to-date. The attitude and advice towards building a career in scriptwriting was very realistic and practical, but Phil is always encouraging. Having the guest speakers was brilliant, and they were all generous and supportive in sharing their experiences and answering questions. All in all, it is the perfect way to re- focus, refresh your understanding of craft, meet other writers and also pitch and develop new ideas to each other. I would definitely recommend it.’

Leah Dike, March 2018

‘Philip’s 2-day screenwriting course is an informative and entertaining bootcamp for aspiring writers. Filled with knowledge and experience with some great guest speakers, I finished the weekend having learned some important lessons on how to improve my writing, and how to make a career out of it. Couldn’t recommend highly enough!’

Sam Ferguson, March 2018

‘This course ticked all my boxes. Philip and his guest speakers offered warm, generous yet extremely practical advice. I left ready to engage with the industry as a professional.’

Helen Black, March 2018

‘Considering the course was only for two days, the information that I was given, I found not only hugely useful but also sunk in and made a real difference to my mindset over the next few days.

Having studied Screenwriting at university for three years, I was well prepared and used to how lectures are run and organised, but I felt there was so much genuine passion and knowledge in the room between us twenty writers, Phil and the guest speakers, that I took more from those two days in London, than I did in three years at university.

I wasn’t expecting a miracle cure to my writing or some hidden industry secret handshake, but I was expecting to leave the two days with at least three new points that I could use to my advantage…but to my delight, I left with more than just three.

The group were a delight to mix with not only in the room but in the pub afterwards and I think the main thing I learnt which I was very sceptical about doing, (especially after experiences at university) was working and talking with others, but the two day course has changed my mindset and it was very refreshing to be surrounded by like-minded people. Cheers once again Phil and I can’t wait for you to read my script.’

James Brennan, March 2018

‘The weekend course has helped me re-set & re-focus, an impressive amount was covered in just two days, it was fun & inspiring and I always enjoy the opportunity to connect with other writers. I left feeling re-energised & ready to embrace to next challenge. Thank you!’

Jennifer Smith, March 2018

‘I found Phil Shelley’s 2 day writing course to be an engaging and interactive foray into the world of screenwriting. Packed with useful tips for writers and supported by the experiences of industry guest speakers; If you are or have ever wanted to be a screenwriter then you are likely to come away from this course with some valuable insights.’

Stephen Ridley, October 2017

‘What was clear from the outset and throughout the course, was that Philip genuinely cared about the people in the room and made every attempt to provide helpful and constructive feedback to any and every question.

The exercises were a valuable creative process and the feedback personalised and sincere. The guest speakers provided valuable insight into often closed areas of the business, and like Philip, they made every effort to engage and help the students. Overall, an extremely worthwhile course for someone with an existing understanding of scriptwriting (however limited) looking for more guidance or inspiration down their path.’

Massimo Marioni, October 2017

‘Phil is a great course leader – enthusiastic, candid, supportive and with a great sense of humour – who really puts you through your paces, and manages to make everyone feel part of the weekend. Excellent guest speakers give real colour to the weekend, providing a range and depth of experience that will answer questions you didn’t know you had. Can’t recommend enough for anyone who is developing their screenwriting career.’

Peter Cragg, October 2017

‘A mentally invigorating and intense two days with lots packed in by Phil and the (brilliantly chosen!) guest contributors, who were really generous with their advice and knowledge-sharing. It’s a really inclusive course that’s both challenging and encouraging – I came away exhausted but very much re-enthused and am looking forward to applying some of the basic tenets to my next project. There was a lot of practical advice given, relating to the industry and trying to work within it that was pragmatic, very sound advice, which is invaluable. A course like this is a real investment – and the by-product of that investment is, you get to meet some lovely people !’

Liz Taylor, October 2017

‘This course has an impressive balance of interesting creative exercises to help improve the quality of your writing ideas, mixed with inspiring, humorous and informative talks from working screenwriters and an agent. I found it a really enjoyable weekend spent with a great group of fellow writers. I would strongly recommend taking this course to anyone who wants to learn more about screenwriting and the industry in general.’

Victoria Perkins, October 2017

‘If your writing mojo has upped and left for no good reason and you really miss it – DO THIS COURSE. It will return with flowers and apologies and a ton of great ideas.’

Penny Nichols, October 2017

‘A lot of screenwriting courses can be a bit candyfloss – they seem fun but the substance soon dissolves. Phil’s course is different: it gets to the meat and bones of what you need to do to become a working screenwriter. I left inspired, focused and determined. If you want to be a screenwriter, without hesitation, this is the course I recommend you take!’

Steve Coats-Dennis, October 2017

‘This course catapults the theory of screenwriting into the practical sphere of pitching and promoting your work. Whilst the essentials of writing a great script are covered, more time is spent on practising the skills required to help get your work made, from idea-generation to industry networking. We also received three separate visits from industry professionals who didn’t waste a second in sharing the passion for their profession, as well as answering any questions we had (and we had plenty). All in all, I most definitely came away feeling a sense of invigoration and a renewed desire to roll up my sleeves and get down to the business of writing.’

Nigel Pilkington, October 2017

‘I signed-up for Philip’s course because it looked like a great value for money option in terms of meeting other writers and guests who were already established in the industry. What I got out of it was so much more. Philip is a charming, patient and thoroughly engaging tutor who is obviously an expert in his field. Not just this – he really loves what he does and this enthusiasm is truly infectious. Besides introducing me to new creative strategies to improve my writing, he opened my eyes to a range of development opportunities which I had never really considered before. Philip made me realise that networking is a positive thing and I now have much more confidence to explore collaborative projects and funding opportunities. He also gave me some great tips on how to approach industry professionals in a way that makes me look more like a professional myself! Our guest speakers were entertaining and inspirational. It was great to hear from successful writers and to be reminded that they were once in the same place I am now. The other attendees on the course were an amazing bunch of people and it was great to meet them and share ideas with them. I hope to keep in touch with many of them for a long time. I would thoroughly recommend Philip’s screenwriting course to anyone wanting to take the next step in their career and I have such confidence in Philip that I will certainly be engaging his services as a script consultant in the near future.’

Simon Wilkinson, October 2017

‘Thank you, Philip Shelley, for an amazing two days of learning to craft and managing my writing in the most useful “Screenwriting: Telling your story” course. It was inspirational and full of tips. Will truly recommend any writers to help their projects to some very high standards.’

Kooi Gelndinning, Scientist by day and writer by night. October 2017

‘I came away from Philip’s course feeling so much more informed about the industry – with the addition of special guests, we were shown the inside track to the development world. Via Philip’s candid and experienced teachings, I began to look at story in a different way too; inspiration is never as far away as you think. Thank you again, I really enjoyed the weekend.’

Beth Warin, October 2017

‘Phil’s reputation as a sound proponent of the screenwriting art attracts wide, varied and enthusiastic people to the course. Not only are the days valuable, they are also great fun.’

Jan Caston, Feb 2015

‘I loved this course. I struggle to create a bank of ideas without self-doubt and criticism creeping in. It was great to work quickly on ideas and see how far they could be developed in one day. And it was fun to collaborate with a wide range of writers of varied experience across different media.’

Caroline Dean, Feb 2015

‘As screenwriters we spend a huge amount of time generating ideas – they are the lifeblood of what we do. The Creativity for Screenwriters Course is a whole day dedicated to thinking about how we generate ideas, and practising a variety of idea generating techniques in a fun, supportive environment. I would recommend this course to both novice and established writers. Even if you have used some of the techniques before, the opportunity to look objectively at the creative process and refine your skills can only be beneficial. Phil is a great teacher, and he always runs his courses in a warm, humorous manner. I can’t recommend this course enough.’

Anita Gallo, Feb 2015

‘A quick note to say many thanks for an excellent course. I found the dreaded rewrites a lot easier to grapple with after such an inspiring day. I hope to come to another of your courses someday but I’m confident I won’t need another shot in the arm any time soon!’

Lucy Flannery, Feb 2015

‘I found your course incredibly useful and highly enjoyable. It has really given me a lot to think about in the way that I approach stories and develop characters. It was very inspiring and I’m looking forward to putting what I’ve learned into practice.’

Sylvia-Ann Parker, Feb 2015

‘An excellent, inspiring course for anybody with a desire to see their words and ideas come alive as a screenplay. It certainly worked for me and got parts of the creative brain working again for the first time in years. It was a beautifully structured course that built on a series of exercises through the day while teaching the importance of collaboration. It was a lot of fun and very useful.’

Steve Langley, Feb 2015

‘I wanted to be re-motivated to carry on writing – and Phil has done that – Thank you.’

Anne Barford, Nov 2014

‘I was given Philip Shelley for my birthday: a generous and inspired gift! ‘Creativity for Scriptwriters’ was richer than chocolate and more useful than clothes. We stalked strangers through the streets, generated fistfuls of ideas, were happy for/jealous of/ enthused by Cat Jones, wrote loads and ended up in the pub getting vaguely drunk. It was great. Brilliant! On the train home, a pissed up fella from Inverness – fresh from watching a cage fight – sat down next to me. He shook my hand. ‘My names Ian. Two vowels and a consonant,’ he said. Thanks to the course, I didn’t think to myself, oh fuck. I just got out my pen and wrote down what happens next…’

Sarah Hehir, Nov 2014

‘Phil’s relaxed manner and encouraging approach set the tone for the day while the brisk pace, practical exercises and regular interaction with other participants ensured that our appreciation of ‘character’ and ‘relationship’ was repeatedly challenged and stimulated. Guest speaker Cat Jones provided a highly entertaining and informative take on her career and work, as well as plenty of useful tips, while the end of day trip to a nearby pub provided a great opportunity to share experiences and ideas with both novice and more experienced writers. I came away exhilarated and itching to get to grips with my latest project. My thanks for a great day that has already had an impact on my writing’

Anthony Etherington, Nov 2014

‘A fantastic tool for silencing the destructive ‘inner critic’’.

Sonya Desai, Nov 2014

‘Excellent course from a clearly very experienced writer. Philip listened carefully to everyone in the room & provided very useful feedback.’

Melissa Miners, Nov 2014

‘I was in a bit of a writing rut, story and character-wise. Phil’s course was very encouraging and engaging, making me feel more receptive to new characters and scenarios. I left with a reinvigorated creative writing approach and there’s a certain spring to my typing now! Highly recommended!’

Ros Philp, Nov 2014

‘Most writers are solitary creatures and it can be quite scary to consider breaking out of that comfort zone and sometimes it shows with the words and stories we create. The creativity for screenwriters course is like the first cup of tea of the day, totally comfortable and guaranteed to shake you up. Phil is a wonderful teacher, giving great ways to shake up your ideas and characters, with a listening ear and a nurturing method. No idea is shot down, and all ideas are liquid gold. Guaranteed to generate laughter and ideas, and a must for all!’

Kerry Mcintosh, Nov 2014

‘Hi Phil I got so much out of your one day Creativity for Scriptwriters course. I loved the pace of it (no time to self censor), and that it was so practical. You created a very positive and supportive environment that meant we all felt confident to take risks. I really enjoyed collaborating with others, and hearing their ideas. Your exercises helped to generate some great instant and original stories that would have taken weeks and weeks of slaving over a hot computer to come up with on our own, if at all! As a result I have some ideas bubbling away that I’ll continue to work on.’

Rachel Smith, Nov 2014

‘Most enjoyable and fun day. Really enjoyed working and sharing ideas with great people. Hope we can do it again. Got my brain and confidence going again. Thanks Phil.’

Steve Ridlington, Nov 2014

Dear Phil, I would like to say that when looking back at the course, what stands out is the amazing fact that we were able to create life stories for imaginary people from nothing but our imagination over the course of only a couple of hours. That fact has boosted my confidence, but mostly it has offered me an approach I can enjoy and indulge in when the writing becomes too hard. Anyway, I have learned a lot and had a really good time.

Meike Kooistra, Nov 2014

Hi Phil – Thanks so much for yesterday at the Actor’s Centre. It was a really rewarding day and gave me the tools and confidence needed to generate more and more ideas for my emerging work. Its simplicity was its strength. I may be in touch at some point in the future to use your script reading services, and I very much look forward to working with you again. The Creativity For Screenwriting Course was brilliant. A day spent with simple exercises that made one realise that huge story-idea potentials are all around us – if only we’d pay attention! It was fun, enlightening and overseen by a man who delivers his wisdom without ego and in a very caring set-up. Recommended!”

Finlay Robertson, Nov 2014

Hi Philip Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed yesterday’s workshop at the Actors Centre. It was most useful and has given me the confidence to have work read at their monthly writers’ drop-in night on Feb 28th.

Jamie Christian, Nov 2014

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