Channel 4 Screenwriting Course
The purpose of the course is to offer 12 writers new to television drama an insight into how the industry works and to provide a “dry-run” of what it can be like to write under a television drama commission, specifically for one hour series and serial drama, and to work with them as they write an original drama script.
Writers will be expected to write an original C4 / E4 one-hour drama series or serial pilot episode, and 2-3 page outline / pitch for the series / serial as a whole.
Each writer will be assigned a script editor, who is currently working in the industry, to guide them through this process. Writers will meet at least twice with their script editor and should complete a 2nd draft script before the 2nd weekend of the course. Completed, 2nd draft scripts will be sent to the script editor and two other writers on the course, for workshop discussions at the second weekend.
22nd & 23rd January 2022 and 11th & 12th June 2022.
Writers must ensure before entering that they are available to attend both these weekends (in London) and are free to write at least two drafts of an original one-hour television drama between 24th January and 1st June 2022.
Writers, directors, producers and script editors in the industry will speak to the participants on a variety of subjects relating to writing for television, especially writing for series and serial drama. There will also be time set aside for writers to discuss their ideas for one hour scripts with their assigned script editor.
This will be split between a reading of a section of each script by actors on the first day, and discussion and analysis of each of the twelve finished scripts in small groups on the second day, finishing with a screening / workshop and an overview of the course and of the specific requirements of Channel 4 series and serial television drama.
It is essential to the success of the second weekend that writers submit their scripts on time and make time to read the (2) other writers’ scripts.
There will be a drinks evening at Channel 4 in London on the evening of Tuesday July 6th 2022 (TBC) for the course writers to meet industry producers, script editors, literary agents etc.
Only writers who do not have a broadcast credit as a television writer or theatrical release as a feature film writer may apply (although produced short films – 20 minutes or less – are exempt).
Tuesday 14th September 2021 at 9.00 am.
Friday 1st October 2021 at 5.00 pm.
How to Apply
Entry is only possible via the form on this page.
NOTE: THE ENTRY FORM WILL BE AVAILABLE ON THIS PAGE BETWEEN 9.00 AM ON SEPTEMBER 14TH AND 5.00 PM ON OCTOBER 1ST (early or late entries will not be accepted).
Via this form only applicants should submit a CV, together with one writing sample (saved as a PDF). This can be a screenplay (film or TV), stage play or radio play, minimum length 20 pages (novels, treatments, short stories, unfinished screenplays and “shorts” are not acceptable), maximum length 130 pages.
NOTE: YOU CANNOT SUBMIT THE SAME SCRIPT YOU HAVE SUBMITTED IN PREVIOUS YEARS.
The scripts should be original, not episodes of existing drama series.
- Entry is free of charge.
- Applicants must be 18 or over on Jan 1st 2022.
- Applicants must be resident in UK or Ireland.
- Channel 4 are committed to promoting equal opportunities and diversity in the media industry.
- As well as individual writers, writing partnerships of two (max) may enter. Scripts submitted must be written by the partnership.
- Only one script per applicant can be submitted. Anyone submitting more than one script will not be considered.
- No feedback can be given on the scripts.
- No correspondence (email or otherwise) can be entered into with applicants.
- We will be holding interviews for short-listed writers at Channel 4 in London on Nov 25 + 26, 2021.
- We will inform the successful 12 writers by mid-Dec 2021.
- We will post a notice on the 4talent website once we have chosen the 12 successful writers. If you haven’t heard by Dec 20th, your application wasn’t successful. We don’t have the resources to be able to let each applicant know individually if their application has been successful.
- Scripts entered must be 20 – 130 pages in length. They can be screenplays, TV scripts, stage plays or radio plays. Scripts shorter than 20 pages or longer than 130 pages will not be considered.
- Your submission must be your own original work, and may not be based wholly or in part, on the work of any other person, whether known, published, produced, or not (ie no adaptations). You may submit a script based on your own work which has been published or written in another form.
- Your submission is final. Under no circumstances will rewrites, corrections, replacement pages, or additional drafts of a submission be accepted.
- Submitted scripts must be formatted clearly and legibly and emailed as PDF attachments.
- We only accept email entries. All entries must be submitted through the online submission process.
- Writers should include a CV with their scripts. (Writing work and other work / life experience can be included on the CV).
- It is essential that applicants have an interest in and enthusiasm for Channel 4 / E4 drama. Scripts will be assessed on the strength of the writing and the writer’s suitability to Channel 4 / E4 drama. Scripts entered can reflect the range of the Channel 4 drama output (eg comic scripts, like Fresh Meat, as well as drama scripts will be considered).
- You CANNOT enter a script if you previously entered it for the Channel 4 screenwriting course.
- You will be automatically notified by email immediately after submitting your script that your entry has been received.
- The interviews for short-listed writers (Nov 2021) and the two weekends in January and June (2022) will be held at the Channel4 building in London.
- If successful, the idea you work on during the course will be a new idea, i.e. different to the script that you submit with your entry.