This week a look ahead to the –
CHANNEL 4 SCREENWRITING COURSE 2024
We will be accepting entries for 2 weeks from Monday Sept 18th to Monday Oct 2nd.
The entry criteria are the same as last year. We will not accept scripts that you have previously submitted ie you have to submit a new, different script. The only exception to this is for writers who identify as disabled or neuro diverse.
This is Channel Four’s Equal Opportunities statement –
‘Channel 4’s purpose is to create change through entertainment; by representing unheard voices, challenging with purpose and delivering content which reflects the diversity of different communities across the UK.
We are only able to deliver on this remit by having a workforce rich in diversity of thought, background and lived experience. As an employer we encourage applications from candidates from all backgrounds and do not discriminate based on disability, age, gender reassignment, gender expression, criminal history, length of time spent unemployed, marriage or civil partnership status, national origin, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.’
This philosophy very much applies to the C4 screenwriting course. We are looking for as broad and diverse a group of writers as possible – diverse in all meanings of the word.
It’s important that you understand the criteria and purpose of the course before entering. We are looking for new, talented writers who have a particular interest in and suitability to Channel 4 Drama. You need to know the work of the Channel 4 Drama department over the last few years and genuinely believe that your profile as a writer, your passions, align with those of the Channel.
This page should be very helpful in reminding you what Channel 4 Drama is all about –
At this stage you don’t have to worry that the script you submit absolutely fits into the categories of drama that Channel 4 Drama are looking for. Rather, what we are looking for in your script is some hint that your tastes and passions as a writer have some connection to Channel 4 Drama.
We are looking for writers who have a passion for television drama.
As in previous years, we are also asking you to provide a logline for your submitted script. It’s enormously helpful if this is not only clear but articulates the idea behind your project effectively and engagingly.
NB If you make it onto the course as one of the 12 chosen writers, the script you write on the course will be a new, different project to the one you submit for entry.
Looking back at the submitted scripts that got the writers onto the course for 2023, there are several observations to make –
The successful scripts were a mix of screenplays, stage plays and audio drama. We are just as happy to receive theatre and audio scripts as TV and film scripts.
The mix of subject matter and genre in the successful script was so wide – comedy, drama, factual drama, coming of age feature film script, ensemble drama series pilot, stage monologue.
What I think the 12 scripts had in common was just how distinctive, original and personal they all felt. All the successful scripts felt completely particular to the writer, scripts that could only have been written by that writer.
We are looking for writers who tell dramatic (and comic) stories with flair and passion, writers who have some understanding and instinct for narrative drama – but we are not looking for the finished article, for polished scripts necessarily. We are looking for writers who have something bold and imaginative to say and who are willing to take risks and push boundaries in their writing.
A lot of writing experience isn’t necessarily important. Sometimes writers have got onto the course with the first script they have ever written. But more often we choose writers who have already applied several times – there is nothing more persuasive than a writer who has, say, entered three equally excellent, different scripts for three years in a row.
We are looking for writers who are ambitious and who take their writing work seriously and are prepared to make the major commitment that this course requires. On the course we ask you to go from brand new idea to at least 2nd draft script over a 4 month period. You have a script editor to help and guide you through this process – but the more work you are able to put in, the stronger your script will be. Because the time-frame is so short, the work will be intense (although we have designed the course so that you should be able to do a full-time job alongside it) So, when applying, you need to be aware of the work involved in coming on the course.
Please be careful and take your time when completing and submitting the entry form. Every year we receive a small proportion of incomplete or invalid entries. Don’t leave your entry to the last minute or even the last day. Make sure every part of your application is clear and thought-through – script, logline, CV. The application takes time to complete.
I’m afraid we don’t have time to enter into dialogue via email with writers about any aspect of their applications (although we can make an exception for writers who identify as disabled or neuro diverse) – all of the information should be on the entry page –
Good luck. And, in advance, thank you for entering. As ever, I am very excited and greatly looking forward to reading the submitted scripts,
Twitter / X: @PhilipShelley1
Friday September 8th 2023