NEW SCREENWRITING COURSES FOR 2020
Just in time for Christmas I’m very happy to tell you about three courses I will be running in the first few months of the New Year.
ONE DAY INTRODUCTION TO SCREENWRITING London Saturday Feb 8th
This will be the 2nd time I have run this course and the first version in May of this year went very well (there are testimonials on the right-hand column of the course page).
This is designed for people looking to dip a toe into the world of screenwriting but it is also suitable for more experienced screenwriters for whom it will hopefully be refreshing, reenergising and re-inspiring.
We will analyse and celebrate the best screenwriting as well as looking at the nuts and bolts of how to write a screenplay – and how to tell a story most powerfully in this medium.
We will be screening and discussing a number of clips from films and TV shows.
We will have two guest speakers – eminent TV and film director TIM FYWELL will focus on a film / TV show of his choosing – analysing the screenplay and the process of translating script to screen, focusing on particular scenes and sequences.
He will also talk about some of the brilliant films and shows he has worked on and talk about working with writers. Tim is the ultimate writer’s director and has worked with some of the top screenwriting talent in the UK over the last 25 years. He will talk about the work and processes of some of these writers – to name a few – Sally Wainwright, Abi Morgan, Jimmy McGovern, Paul Abbott, and most recently Julian Fellowes.
The 2nd guest speaker is screenwriter, playwright and stand-up comedian ARCHIE MADDOCKS. Archie was one of the writers on the Channel 4 screenwriting course in 2018 and his screenwriting career has since gone from strength to strength. He has written an episode in the new, soon-to-be-released Sky Atlantic series, INTERGALACTIC; and has TV projects in development with Warp Film & TV, Wall To Wall, Working Title TV and Tiger Aspect among others. He is also a successful playwright – with a new play on at the Park Theatre in June 2020. Archie will talk about his working process as a screenwriter and give insights into storytelling on screen and how to build a career as a screenwriter.
Both the guests and myself will give the course delegates the chance to ask questions as part of each session.
The course will run from 10-5 and will be followed by a more informal NETWORKING EVENING in a nearby pub (where we will book a private room dedicated to the event). We will invite a number of industry guests to this event – experienced screenwriters and script editors / development executives from production companies – all of whom will be there to meet you and answer any questions you may have about screenwriting (whether it’s about craft or career).
At the May 2019 event we had 4 writers, all very successful 4screenwriting alumni and development executives from companies such as BBC Studios, Tiger Aspect, Firebird Pictures, Little Dot Studios, Bryncoed Productions, Shiny Button Productions, BBC Films, Neal Street Productions etc.
Once you’re booked on the course, we will send you a list of the industry people attending the drinks evening about a week in advance so that you can research them and plan who you’d like to talk to.
This informal networking event also gives you the invaluable opportunity to talk to your fellow writers (the other course delegates) and share information and experiences. Writers often find that this is the most valuable part of the course – building up your network of screenwriting allies. Writing is a solitary business – and we all need as much peer support as possible to help sustain a career.
The cost of this one-day two-part course is £95 – which is remarkably good value!
CREATIVITY FOR SCRIPT WRITERS 1 DAY COURSE Sunday March 8th 2019
A more interactive one day course focusing exclusively on the creative aspects of dramatic writing.
This is a course I have now run several times (I also run a version of it semi-regularly for SCREENSKILLS). I always have a really enjoyable time running it and the course has received some very nice feedback from the writers who’ve done it. (See the testimonials on the website course page).
This is a course designed for dramatic writers and story-tellers in any genre – TV, Film, Theatre, Radio – even novelists (and of any level of experience – from beginner to veteran).
The purpose of the course is to give your writing that spark of energy, inspiration and creativity that we all need to rediscover from time to time.
It’s a highly inter-active day, designed to be intensive but fun, getting you as writers to think on your feet, and to tap into your instincts more than your intellect.
Here are some of the elements the day will contain:-
• Story ideas – looking into the big
ideas that will form the basis of a really strong logline/central narrative
idea to your work.
• Character – exercises that will engender the creation of unique and memorable characters, characters who will drive your stories.
• Idea-generating techniques – we will explore in depth the sort of techniques you need to develop, the techniques that you need to be using endlessly as professional writers to kick-start new projects and to awaken your creative instincts.
• Other Media – we will be looking at how you can use other media and unlikely areas of everyday life to access and consider universal story ideas.
• Writing exercises – we will be doing instant writing exercises to unlock your creativity.
• Inspirational Guest speaker ANDERS LUSTGARTEN – will talk about how he generates his ideas, and where his dramatic inspiration comes from.
ANDERS is a brilliant playwright and screenwriter (I worked with him on the Channel 4 screenwriting course in 2012) who is also a committed political activist. Anders will talk about where his inspirations as a writer come from.
Anders has talked on this course before, and there is so much to learn from him in terms of how to energise, and put the necessary passion into, your writing.
This is a one-day course in Central London at what I think (again) is an extremely reasonable £95. AND places are limited to the FIRST 20 APPLICANTS.
The course is designed to give everyone on it a real chance to explore their creativity, so I have to limit numbers to 20.
You can find all the details at
WRITING A SHORT FILM SCRIPT
A brand-new course that I have created in response to some of the delegates from my recent two-day screenwriting courses who have asked for a course that specifically focuses on the writing of a script. This is a course that will run over three consecutive Monday evenings in February and March 2020 (Feb 24, March 2, March 9) from 6-9pm.
I will ask delegates to come to the course with three ideas for a short film and you will come away from the course 2+ weeks later with a completed short film script.
The course will be fairly demanding in terms of writing work – so if you’re interested, I suggest you go into the course fully committed to finding the time not only to attend but to put in a fair few writing hours in between the sessions. There will also be some reading work involved. I will ask each writer to read two of the other course writers’ outline and script – and come to the sessions prepared to give constructive feedback to the two other writers in their mini-group within the larger group of 12 writers. I will oversee all of the feedback sessions and give my own feedback on every stage of every project.
Over the last few years I think short film scripts have become an ever-more valuable part of a screenwriter’s portfolio. The best short film scripts can have real impact and alert producers to writing talent – and whet industry appetites so that potential employers want to then read further work by you.
For instance, with the recent 4screenwriting interview shortlist, a few of the writers had also written short films – and as a complement to their longer scripts, these added significantly to their credibility as screenwriters.
An obvious thing to say – but they’re also easier to make – and a produced short film is often a great addition to your writing portfolio. Short films are relatively easy to distribute / circulate online and the word-of-mouth a good short film can generate can have a powerful, positive impact on your standing as a screenwriter – this is something I have seen specific examples of and can talk about on the course.
The course is limited to a maximum of 12 delegates and costs £350 – for which you get not only the three x three hour sessions with me and the other 11 writers – but also the full benefit of my script-editing experience and ongoing feedback on your short film outline and script.
NB Full details and booking of all these courses are now on my website. If you have any questions about them, please email me on Philip.firstname.lastname@example.org
In the last few years ALL of my independent courses have sold out – sometimes within a few days. SO if you’re interested, I suggest early booking. I hope these courses may also make for good Christmas presents for the writer in your life!
EDINBURGH TV FESTIVAL – NEW VOICE AWARDS 2020
The New Voice Awards celebrate new and emerging screenwriters, directors and presenters.
The List of
Awards are as follows:
Victor Adebodun Debut Director Award
The Debut Director Award is named in honour of the late Victor Adebodun. Victor was an alumnus of the Festival’s Ones to Watch Scheme and presented the 2018 Debut Director Award. Victor was a talented director, creative leader and managing director of Purple Geko, an award-winning production company. This award is for directors who have received their first professional TV credit in 2019. Episodes must have been first transmitted in 2019 on broadcast TV or made available on a major streaming service or web broadcaster available in the UK. Entrants must be credited as the director.
Debut Writer Award
For writers who have received their first professional TV credit in 2019. Episodes must have been first transmitted in 2019 on broadcast TV or made available on a major streaming service or web broadcaster available in the UK. Entrants must be credited as the writer.
Debut Presenter Award
For presenters who have received their first professional TV credit in 2019. Episodes/ segments must have been first transmitted in 2019 on broadcast TV or made available on a major streaming service or web broadcaster available in the UK.
Test Card Pilot Award
Awarded to an individual or team for an un-commissioned, non-TX pilot completed in 2019. Submissions can be scripted or unscripted.
All3Media New Drama Script Award
Awarded to a TV drama script by an unproduced, unrepresented writer.
All3Media New Comedy Script Award
Awarded to a TV comedy script by an unproduced, unrepresented writer.
Stage to Screen Award
Awarded to a stage production with rich potential for TV adaptation.
Submissions must have been performed in the UK on more than four occasions in 2019.
Future Presenter Award
Awarded to an aspiring presenter with strong potential. Entrants should already have some presenting experience e.g a YouTube channel, student or community TV hosting.
Deadline – January 18th 2020
More Details here:
This is a very prestigious industry-recognised scheme – and definitely worth entering.
I will be giving myself a Christmas break from the newsletter – the next newsletter will be on Friday January 10th. I wish you a very happy Christmas and New Year and thank you so much for all the kind feedback you have given me over the last year; and the replies to some of my questions and opinions – I wouldn’t keep writing this newsletter if I didn’t receive so many brilliant responses from you the readers / writers – so thank you very much!
All the best
December 13th 2019