Two Day Screenwriting Course
Dates: 24th & 25th September, 2022
Venue: Old Diorama Arts Centre, 201 Drummond Street, London NW1 3FE
Cost: £195.00 UPDATE July 5th – the Sept 24-25 course is now SOLD OUT.
I’m delighted to announce that I will be running my 2 day SCREENWRITING COURSE in London over the weekend of September 24th & 25th 2022. This course concentrates on CRAFT on day 1 and THE BUSINESS OF GETTING WORK on day 2. NOW SOLD OUT
Running these courses and the CHANNEL 4 SCREENWRITING COURSE for the last few years, and working with so many talented writers, I’ve learnt that it’s not enough to be a talented, technically-gifted screenwriter. You also have to be adept at treating your work like a business and running your career smartly, sensibly and with ambition and determination.
One of the positives to come out of the courses I have run over the years has been the ongoing creative relationships with writers I’ve met on my courses – which I hope can be mutually beneficial. This is the reason I keep numbers to a max of 20 – and to make the course truly inter-active. It also enables all the writers to get to know and learn from each other over the course of the weekend.
I have kept in touch with so many of the screenwriters who have been on my screenwriting courses and 1 day CREATIVITY course – and the writers getting to know each other is one of the most valuable parts of the course.
Several writers from these independent SCREENWRITING and CREATIVITY courses have gone onto the C4 screenwriting course – and the success stories from writers who have done one of these 2 courses and have gone onto prestigious, paid TV or film work are numerous.
Overview of the Course
Telling your Story - Craft & Career
The course will be like a mini-writers festival as we will have FOUR different GUEST SPEAKER sessions over the two days.
Introduction to the Course & What it can do for you.
Creative Exercises – a series of creative exercises that will help you in creating and generating new story and character ideas
CAT JONES – Screenwriter CAT JONES (HARLOTS, YOUNGERS, WATERLOO ROAD, EASTENDERS & many other credits)
Cat will talk about both the craft and business of screenwriting – shows she has worked on, the successes she has had and the lessons you can learn from her experiences as a highly successful screenwriter.
SEPTEMBER 24 – Screenwriter ANNA SSEMUYABA (see credits in her biog below)
Supplementing this session, I will also do my own sessions on – STORY – the craft elements that go into creating effective, exciting, dynamic story-telling on screen.
CHARACTER – the key elements in writing memorable, resonant characters. Including an interactive exercise in creating CHARACTERS and genuinely character-driven stories.
DIALOGUE – what are the elements that make for effective screen dialogue?
TV SERIES. The keys to developing what every single drama-producing indie is looking for – an original, compelling returnable one hour series.
PITCHING – with an interactive pitching exercise.
TREATMENTS, OUTLINES, WRITTEN PITCHES – looking at all these important pre-script documents – when you need them and how to write them.
Top literary agent, JULIA TYRRELL, of Julia Tyrrell Management – talking about how you get an agent, what you should expect of an agent, and how to forge a career as a screenwriter.
SEPTEMBER 25 – STEVIE GRACE JACKSON, INDEPENDENT TALENT. (see biog below)
DRIVING YOUR OWN SCREENWRITING CAREER + NETWORKING.
Lessons to be learnt from successful screenwriters’ careers.
CHANNEL 4 SCREENWRITING COURSE
Lessons I’ve learnt from my experience of running the C4 course for the last 8 years – and what this means for you as professional writers.
Screenwriters SONYA DESAI and SARAH HEHIR – who met on one of these courses several years ago – will discuss their careers – the writing work they have done across TV, theatre, radio, etc. They will discuss both the craft of dramatic writing, and give you tips on how to run your career.
SEPTEMBER 25 – screenwriter ADAM USDEN (see biog & credits below)
CONCLUSION – Final session about what to take away from the course, and discuss where you go from here.
Places are strictly limited at 20!
I have a strict limit on the number of delegates, because I want to make sure these are personal, in-depth seminars where you can get your questions answered and find out what you need to know without the sense of getting lost in the crowd.
That does mean that the early bird catches the workshop! If you want to come I strongly recommend you book your place now to make sure you don’t miss out.
Once you register I’ll send you full details of the course, membership of a special private Screenwriters Studio Facebook group that will continue indefinitely and a bumper pack of invaluable HANDOUTS for delegates on the course.
For the two days of the course, the cost is a very reasonable £195. Based on some of the successes and feedback of previous attendees of my courses, I’m happy to say I think this is excellent value for money, and I know this course can act as a powerful weapon in your aims to fulfil your potential as a professional screenwriter.
NB The last few courses I’ve run have sold out quickly. If you’re interested in doing this course, early booking is recommended!
When & Where
Saturday and Sunday September 24th & 25th – Old Diorama Arts Centre, 201 Drummond Street, London NW1 3FE
*And I’ll be available on both days in a nearby pub afterwards to carry on the conversation! An invaluable part of the course – affording you the chance to share experiences with each other (and me) in a relaxed setting for a couple of hours after the course each day.
July 22 - 2 Day Screenwriting Course Participants
Meet the Course Instructors...
I have run the C4 screenwriting course for the last 9 years and am currently running it again in 2020. I was one of the 10 ‘masters’ of the teaching of dramatic writing at the new MA Dramatic Writing at Central St Martins / University of the Arts London. I ran the BBC’s in-house script editing courses for 10 years. This year I have run several courses for BBC writers room (in London, Cardiff and Salford). Among many others, I have recently run courses for Warner Bros in London, BBC Studios, De Montfort University Leicester and Vice UK. I run regular script-editing courses for SCREENSKILLS.
On top of this I run one of the most successful script consultancies in the UK, working with many different writers and independent production companies (most recently Bryncoed Productions, Silver Reel and Conker Films).
I run an industry showcase for the pick of the writers from my script consultancy. The most recent event was 100% full, packed with potential employers from many of the best broadcasters, drama-producing indies and literary agents, and there have been some notable successes from the event.
I have always hugely enjoyed working with screenwriters and helping them find their place in the industry. Last year I produced and launched the podcasts series, tributepodcasts.co.uk which has acted as a great showcase for several new, exciting dramatic writers. And I will be producing series 2 in 2020.
CAT JONES is a writer, producer, director and composer.
Cat started her writing career on the Royal Court’s Young Writers Programme and Channel 4’s 4Screenwriting. Her television writing credits include: Harlots (Hulu/BBC/Monumental), Youngers (C4/Big Talk), Eastenders (BBC), Will (TNT), Waterloo Road (BBC/Shed) and Wolfe (Sky/Abbotvision). She wrote the original BBC iPlayer short Flea and wrote and created the short form series Five by Five (BBC) co-created with Idris Elba, for which she led the writers’ room. Cat’s original television projects include: Futuristic returning series, Elizabeth III (Sky/The Lighthouse), prison drama, JailTown (Sky/BBC Studios/The Lighthouse), drag king comedy, Kings (ITV/Monumental), four-part thriller, The Jetty (BBC/Firebird) and, My Wild Valley (AMC).
Cat has written and directed a number of short films including the Creative England/BFI funded Little Big House and Cushy, which won the Yorkshire Short Film Award at the Leeds International Film Festival.
Cat’s theatre work includes Glory Dazed, which won the BBC’s Alfred Bradley Bursary Award before picking up further awards at the Edinburgh and Adelaide Fringe festivals and completing a sell-out run at Soho Theatre. Cat wrote the book and co-wrote the music for musical The Natives (Old Vic New Voices) and she also spent a year as Writer in Residence at The Manchester Royal Exchange.
Cat’s plays Hangdog, The Fix and Bound have been broadcast on Radio 4 and she has written music for television shows Dixi (Kindle/BBC), Youngers (C4/Big Talk), and Harlots (Hulu/BBC/Monumental).
SONYA DESAI is currently in the writers room on Smilla’s Sense of Snow, a six part adaptation of the Peter Høeg novel for Constantin Films, and she has just written an episode of the new Disney+ live action series Nautilus. She also has various projects in development. Her first script for TV, Boomerangs, won her a place on the prestigious Channel 4 Screenwriting course and was optioned by Hat Trick.
Sonya wrote her ambitious sci-fi thriller on the course, and since then has worked in various writers rooms including Delicious Series 4, and The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters. Half-Indian and half-Irish, she was previously a journalist at BBC World, The Today Programme, and Bloomberg TV.
SARAH HEHIR was selected for the 2016 BBC TV Drama Writers’ Programme, where she wrote a pilot episode of her original series ‘Quarry’. Her play ‘Zero Down’ about care assistants on zero-hour contracts had a successful run at the Pleasance Courtyard as part of the Edinburgh Festival and was also performed at the 503 Theatre. Her full length play ‘Child Z’, about child sexual exploitation, was performed at Southwark Theatre.
Sarah won the 2013 BBC Writer’s Prize sponsored by the Writersroom with her radio play ‘Bang Up’ which was broadcast on Radio Four. Most recently she has written The Facility – a play to be published in September this year through The English and Media Centre and The Classical Society. She also writes poetry – and audio drama Wild Garlic and the film Snapcatch were commissions she got through being known as a poet.
NB Sonya and Sarah became friends after meeting on a previous Phil Shelley 2 day screenwriting course.
ADAM USDEN is an award-winning writer from Manchester, now based in London.
Adam is currently writing on LUPIN IV for Gaumont / Netflix, having recently completed 2 episodes on LUPIN III and is working on a new script commission for ITV Studios. He has recently written the finale of Wolfe II for Abbott Vision/Sky and original pilot script After the End for Moonage, as part of the BBC Drama Writer’s Programme 2021. He was Lead Writer on teen drama series Zero Chill for Lime/Netflix and has two original television pilots in development with Lime. Adam’s pilot script Milk & Meat, an adaptation of James Lubbock’s memoir Breaking Dad, was commissioned by West Road Pictures, his original script, Masked, is with Film Nation and pilot The Shapeshifter, adapted from the Ali Sparkes books, was commissioned by CBBC. Adam’s credits also include an episode of Ackley Bridge Series 3 for The Forge/C4.
Adam has written several Afternoon Dramas for BBC Radio 4. His debut play, The Book of Yehudit, received the Imison Award for ‘Best Script by a Writer New to Radio’, and his second, Sophie’s Lights, was shortlisted for ‘Best Drama’ at the BBC Radio News and Drama Awards.
Adam is a graduate of 4Screenwriting, the Royal Court Studio Group and Traverse 50, and his theatre work has previously been shortlisted for the Papatango Prize, the Theatre 503 Playwriting Award, the Yale Drama Prize and the Channel 4/Òran Mór Comedy Drama Award.
Adam graduated from Durham University with a 1st in English Literature, where he also wrote and performed (badly) with the Durham Revue, and was part of the troupe that won the National Student Best University Sketch Group and Underbelly Sketch-Off.
ANNA SSEMUYABA began her career as a researcher at Dangerous Films and BBC Drama, where she worked on Peter Moffat’s UNDERCOVER.
She studied English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford, after which she was accepted onto the prestigious BBC Production Trainee programme. Subsequently she joined Fifty Fathoms, where she graduated to a script editing role on dramas including John Ridley’s GUERRILLA and Lucy Kirkwood’s ADULT MATERIAL.
Anna’s original series pilot, ON THE VERGE, was selected for a SKY Table Read in 2018, and featured on The Brit List in 2019. Anna was also selected for the 2018 Channel 4 Screenwriting Course, where she developed Westminster-set drama, THE POLITICIAN.
In 2020, Anna wrote I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT THIS, a single film starring Adelayo Adedayo and Joe Cole, for Greenacre Films and ITV’s anthology series, UNSAID STORIES. She was also wrote an episode of Greg Daniels’ UPLOAD for Amazon.
Anna is currently writing a feature for DNA and BBC Films, and developing new TV projects with Firebird, Lookout Point and ITV Studios. She was recently listed as one of Deadline’s ‘10 Rising British Scribes to Watch Out For.’
Stevie Grace Jackson
I’ve worked in the literary department at Independent Talent Group for the last four years, having started as the runner and worked my way up to representing a mix of top level showrunners and exciting emerging talent.
I work with both screenwriters and directors, as well as helping some authors and podcasters get their work on screen. I love the creative side of the job – giving notes and making great connections for clients with people they end up working with for years to come.
ARCHIE MADDOCKS, screenwriter, alumnus of the Channel 4 screenwriting course 2018, and stand-up comedian.
Archie is an emerging screenwriter and playwright with his work already having been produced at the Bush Theatre, Lyric Hammersmith, Orange Tree Theatre, Royal Court, and in New York at the New Light Theatre. He was commissioned by the Bush for a full length play and is also currently writing a new play for Northern Stage as one of two playwrights commissioned under the Revolution Mix scheme: an initiative to increase the presence of BAME stories on the stage.
Archie’s most recent play A PLACE FOR WE was shortlisted for the Bruntwood Prize from a submission pile of 1900 and was also shortlisted for the Alfred Fagon Award.
In 2017 he was a part of the BBC Writers Room “London Voices” and in 2018 he was selected as part of the prestigious 4Screenwriting course. He was also named as Writer in Residence at BBC Radio Drama London Production.
2018 saw Archie get commissioned by Vertigo Films to develop a feature about moped gangs as well as get commissioned for a TV episode by Moonage and Tiger Aspect on their new show INTERGALACTIC for Sky.
He’s currently in formal development with several production companies, including Tiger Aspect, Wall To Wall and Working Title TV.
NATHANIEL PRICE – alumnus of the Channel 4 Screenwriting course 2017, and graduate of the NFTS screenwriting course.
Nathaniel has written episodes for Noughts & Crosses (Mammoth Screen/BBC) and Tin Star II (Kudos/Sky). His script Hound, written as part of the Channel 4 Screenwriting Course, is optioned to Balloon Ent. And Nathaniel’s script Companion, written for the BBC’s Drama Writer’s Course is with BBC Studios. Nathaniel has delivered an original full length play, First Touch, commissioned by Nottingham Playhouse, and his second radio play Walter T Flint to producer Sally Avens/BBC. Nathaniel also has a number of original dramas in early development including, Skin Deep (STV), Hooked (Wall to Wall), The Good Barber (Kudos), Laurie Cunningham (New Pictures) and is one of the co-creators of Heist, a collaborative development with Tony Jordan/Red Planet Pictures. Nathaniel’s credits include Baller, an original R4 Afternoon Play, monologue ‘Special Delivery’ for BBC3’s The Break II, and a short script for BBC3 series Five by Five for BBC Studios/Green Door. He was also selected for the 2017 BBC New Talent Hotlist.
CHANDNI LAKHANI – screenwriter and playwright with an established background in television script development.
Chandni’s writing career began as a script editor on the Emmy-winning Netflix series Black Mirror, where she helped develop episodes such as San Junipero and USS Callister, alongside writing her own spec scripts. She is currently writing on Riz Ahmed’s epic drama Englistan for BBC Two, as well as having written an episode of the upcoming Dublin Murders by Sarah Phelps for Euston Films/BBC One, based on the acclaimed Tana French crime-thriller novels.
Chandni completed the Channel 4Screenwriting course in 2018 and was also listed on the BBC New Talent Hotlist in 2017 after being attached to BBC Writersroom’s Drama Room scheme. Her first play Hema Anjali won Red Dragonfly’s Taking Flight New Writing Competition in 2017 and was performed at the New Diorama Theatre in London.
Anna’s first original series MRS WILSON aired November 2018, starring Ruth Wilson playing her own grandmother. It has a BAFTA nomination for best mini-series.
Anna’s returning series DEEP WATER (ITV/ Kudos), developed from the Windermere novels by Paula Daly, will transmit on ITV later this year.
Anna wrote episodes in both series of INDIAN SUMMERS (C4/New Pictures).
Anna has many other projects in active development. She graduated from the prestigious 4Screenwriting in 2013. Prior to her writing career, she worked as a producer/ director in current affairs and documentaries.
JULIA TYRRELL – Literary Agent (Julia Tyrrell Management)
Julia will talk about how you get an agent, what an agent can do for you as a writer, what agents look for in screenwriters, and more generally about the TV and film industries, and where the work is for both new and more experienced writers.
JESSICA STEWART – Literary Agent (Independent Talent).
Jessica Stewart is a literary agent at Independent Talent Group, working with a list of established and emerging writers, directors, and producers in film, television and theatre.