CHANNEL 4 SCREENWRITING COURSE 2022
Entries for the 2022 C4 screenwriting course opened on Tuesday Sept 14th and the entry period closes on Friday Oct 1st at 5pm.
Here are a few notes about the entry process and other aspects of the course that may be helpful to you.
Unlike last year, we are only accepting scripts that have not been submitted before. This includes rewritten versions of the same script even if the rewrite is substantial. I have an extensive and well-organised database of all previous entries and it’s easy to check, so please pay attention to this – we won’t read scripts that have been previously submitted (even if they’re re-titled or rewritten versions of the same script).
We have tried to cover all possible questions you may have in the FAQs on the course page on my website https://script-consultant.co.uk/channel-4-screenwriting-course/
Please read all the information on this page before you submit your entry.
But inevitably there are occasional issues that we haven’t addressed. Please only contact me with a query if it’s not covered on the web page. If it is covered, I won’t respond to your email (or Twitter message). I get quite a few emails that are answered by the FAQs – and I’d rather spend my time reading your scripts than answering emails.
The box on the entry form for your message – it’s good to include a very brief introduction to either yourself or your script – but please do keep it brief. Again, we would rather be reading your script than long explanations of what your script is about.
The writer testimonials on the web page reveal the identities of many of the writers we have had on the course in the last few years. It may be worth reading their testimonials and researching these writers, to give you a better idea of the sort of writers we are looking for and what you can expect from the course.
Exactly what sort of writers we are looking for is very hard to define – but we are looking for writers who are unique, have something important or unexpected to say and who say it in a way that feels fresh, exciting, entertaining and challenging. All the previous course writers meet these criteria. We are looking for both dramatic and comic sensibilities.
We are also looking for as diverse a mix of 12 writers as possible – in every aspect – ie where they’re from, what they write about, writers from ethnic minority backgrounds, writers with a disability, etc etc. We want to have a group that is as varied as possible – writers with stories to tell that feel urgent, unexpected, distinctive and contemporary (the use of the word ‘contemporary’ doesn’t necessarily discount period stories – as long as they have a contemporary resonance). Writers who tell stories that are surprising.
MONEY – There is no entry fee and we pay the 12 writers a fee for coming on the course. We also pay travel and accommodation expenses for writers coming from outside London to the interviews, the 2 weekends of the course and the drinks evening.
It is worth reapplying if you have applied in the past and not been short-listed. There are countless examples of writers who have entered for several years without success and have then got onto the course – there is nothing more persuasive than a writer who has submitted different but equally excellent scripts for several years in a row.
The scripts that stand out are always the ones that feel personal – that feel like they could only have been written by you and, even if written in a familiar genre, feel like they’re doing exciting and unexpected things within the parameters of that genre.
When I look back at the successful entry scripts from the 12 writers on the 2021 course they are all utterly distinctive to that particular writer – in tone, subject matter, setting, attitude, etc.
More of the successful entry scripts for the 2021 course were stage plays than screenplays. This isn’t usually the case – but you certainly don’t stand a lesser chance of getting onto the course if you’re submitting a stage play or radio play rather than a screenplay.
Pay attention to the nuts and bolts of writing. There is nothing more off-putting for the script readers than a poorly presented script.
If at all possible, please can I ask you to do yourself a favour and NOT leave submitting your script until the last entry day, particularly not on the last afternoon. This way you will avoid the stress of doing everything last-minute; and the possibility that my website will crash because of the weight of last-minute entries (this happens most years even though we try to anticipate this and increase capacity). We will NOT be accepting any entries after 5pm on Friday Oct 1st.
I would recommend looking back at some of the excellent feedback in my blog archive from 4screenwriting readers from previous years. Here are a couple of links –
Finally, thank you very much for submitting your script. For myself and the team of readers, the process of reading, analysing and discussing the scripts is very enjoyable and hugely instructive. The intense two month period of reading the course entry scripts is an education in dramatic writing for us who have the privilege of reading the scripts.
My next newsletter will be on Friday October 1st.
All the best
September 17th 2021