Channel 4 Screenwriting Course Testimonials

Not to be dramatic but being accepted onto the Channel 4 Screenwriting programme literally changed my life. Before being accepted onto the course I’d been writing for theatre, with admittedly limited success. Philip and his gifted bunch of readers identified something in my voice and style that I didn’t even know I had. Each guest speaker imparted invaluable and often inspiring wisdom and the guidance from my amazing script editors helped me achieve the impossible; a full-length spec screen alongside a full-time job in less than 6 months. I’m barely two months out of the course and I have several productions companies looking to develop my spec before I’ve even found representation. This stuff really works. Apply, apply, apply.
EMILIE ROBSON
4 Screenwriting 2021
To say 4Screenwriting has monumentally changed my career is no understatement. I had applied in the past due to its incredible reputation and writer alumni. When I applied last year, I was extremely adrift in my career, and hadn't written anything new in a long time. I was absolutely floored when I found out I had been chosen. Being part of the course not only gave me back the confidence to write but also to write what I am most passionate about regardless of what sometimes can feel like an industry 'trend' or what the industry 'wants from us' as new voices. My script editors Izzy and Mike, wholly wonderful human beings, went above and beyond to help me make complete what I believe is one of most succinct, personal, and feel-good scripts I've written (and all this from our living rooms over Zoom!). Besides the resources and intimate talks with industry professionals, Phil's mentorship to me and all the writers was inspirational, and he is unwavering in continuing to give his support and advice, even after the course.
JINGAN YOUNG
4 Screenwriting 2021
Believe the hype. Believe that 4Screenwriting can take your screenwriting career to the next level. Believe the support from Philip and the script editors is absolutely out of this world. Believe this scheme can empower you to create the best script of your life, secure an agent at one of the biggest talent agencies in the world and open countless industry doors. Believe it because it’s not just hype, it’s real. It happened to me and it can happen to you. So stop reading this and start applying.
JEFFREY AIDOO
4 Screenwriting 2021
4screenwriting has been a huge help to my development as a screenwriter. In particular, I now find myself interrogating my characters more thoroughly and questioning the best way to dramatize events when developing projects. Although it is only a couple of months since we finished, I’m already seeing the benefit to my career. I’m being asked for general meetings and am getting interest from production companies that I’d previously tried to approach without success. I am also now a finalist in the Triforce UKTV Writerslam, so have an original 30 minute sitcom pilot in development for Dave (4 out of these 6 pilots will be greenlit). I also used my 4screenwriting spec script to successfully apply to EastEnders and will be joining their writing team in October.
LAURENCE CLARK
4 Screenwriting 2021
4Screenwriting has been a life-changing opportunity. We’ve been introduced to some of the industry’s leading figures. We’ve been championed to production companies and agents. And most of all, we’ve been encouraged to write our passion projects. I thought my background and lack of connections made a career in TV almost impossible. Philip, Izzy and Mike have given me the guidance and confidence to make it happen. What an amazing experience to share with some of the most talented upcoming writers in the country.
OWEN LLOYD RICHARDS
4 Screenwriting 2021
The 4Screenwriting Course is the most incredible experience. Not only does it teach you to write an industry-ready spec script for TV, but it also prepares you really well to be a working writer. Having only ever written for theatre before, I was really starting from scratch in the TV world. I was teamed up with a brilliant editorial team that gave insightful notes, providing endless support and encouragement throughout the process of turning my idea into an hour-long pilot script. Philip and an amazing host of guest speakers from across the industry gave excellent advice on how to have a general meeting, and invaluable insight into the development process. This has made the process of meeting with production companies after the course far less daunting. Philip was also incredibly helpful in finding an agent, and I'm so thrilled to have gained representation since finishing the course. 4Screenwriting was a total joy from start to finish, and it's really given me so much confidence in my voice and my ideas. I'm so thankful to have been part of the 2021 cohort, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to write for screen!
MARTHA REED
4 Screenwriting 2021
The Channel 4 screenwriting course this year has truly been a ray of light. As we were in lockdown for much of the course, it was a gift to be working with an enthusiastic, supportive team, who continually inspired me, despite the trying context. Thanks to the insightful notes, and much-needed cheerleading, of my script editor, Philip, and script assistant, Tamar, I've written a script I am immensely proud of. The best thing about the course, for me, has been that we were encouraged to write something we were excited by and which captured our voice, rather than trying to second guess what broadcasters might see on TV. As a result, I was able to write a script which feels authentic and honest, and which I believe in, which so far is proving a brilliant calling card. For the first time, this year the whole course took place on zoom. This included talks from expert producers and writers, script feedback sessions during the drafting process, and readings of excerpts on the final weekend. I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the chance to ask questions and hear insights from the industry's best. I had applied for the Channel 4 Screenwriting course many times before, and I am so glad I persevered. I would encourage everyone considering applying, or who has applied before, to try and try again. Having started out as a playwright, I had long wanted to write a TV drama script, but felt daunted by the idea. On this course, you are given support and equipped with the tools to think and write big. This course has been a game-changer for me, and I'm incredibly grateful to Philip and Channel 4 for the opportunity.
LISA CARROLL
4 Screenwriting 2021
I feel so lucky to have been a part of the 4Screenwriting Course – it’s absolutely flown by, and I would do it all again in a heartbeat! It has boosted my confidence and made my writing process healthier and happier. The main thing I took away from the course was how to work with a script editor and how to discuss notes and script development in a way that really moves a project along whilst still investigating all the possibilities the story has to offer. The script I've ended up with is far richer for it and I’m really proud of what I've created alongside our wonderful script editors; I've felt supported and encouraged throughout. The speakers we had were informative, honest and inspiring. To be frank: the experience was invaluable, and I would encourage anyone and everyone to apply!
AMY TRIGG
4 Screenwriting 2021
I know all of the testimonials say this, but I have to say it again, this course is LIFE CHANGING !! It’s completely changed the trajectory of my career and as a result of the course I signed with an agent, booked my first writers room and will be writing an episode of one of my favourite shows. I genuinely don’t think this would have happened for me at this stage if I hadn’t been part of this course. As someone who sort of fell into TV writing I was always looking for some sort of structured route into the industry. 4 Screenwriting has been just this as it provides you with so much knowledge and insight about the industry (I now know ‘meeting for a coffee’ is code for a general meeting!). Being a fairly new writer, I can’t emphasise how invaluable working with my script editors was. Having someone to bounce around your ideas with and also interrogate them by asking the right questions has definitely helped me grow as a writer and it’s been the perfect springboard to prepare me for what it’s like working as a TV writer. And having Philip in your corner is definitely a key ingredients for successfully navigating this industry. All in all I really encourage everyone to apply apply apply !! And if you’re a newbie like me who might be doubting their ability, feel the fear and apply anyway. You never know this time next year it could be you writing about just how life changing this course is.
THARA POPOOLA
4 Screenwriting 2021
As a Drama Development Producer, I knew how well-regarded the 4Screenwriting course was in the TV industry. I also knew how tirelessly generous Philip was in championing his students - but to experience this generosity and insight first-hand was one of the great privileges of my life. It’s no overstatement to say that getting onto the 4Screenwriting course, and being able to share the past 9 months with such an inspiring cohort of fantastic writers, has changed my life in ways I never thought possible. Ok, Philip would probably give me some suggestions for cuts here — probably indicate that I was being a bit too florid, or I was telling rather than showing, but you know what? I’m writing this remotely so he can’t reach me now. The truth of it is, I can’t emphasise more how much I would recommend applying for this course. When I applied, it was at a point in my life when I had decided that the window of opportunity for becoming a writer, and for sharing my work with a world beyond a close circle of friends, was basically over. I sent in the application and sample with very little expectation, and indeed, forgot about it until Phil reached out. Nevertheless, ever since then, it’s been everything I might have wanted, and more. Apply, apply, apply. You won’t regret it.
WILL TRUEFITT
4 Screenwriting 2021
Before 4 Screenwriting, a career as a writer in general seemed like an intangible and impractical dream - I had written two plays while studying for my undergraduate degree, but did not think I had the level of experience required to participate in the course. If this sounds like you, I cannot more highly recommend applying for this course. Through lectures, with producers, like Sian Robins-Grace, and experienced writers, like Russel T Davies, I now have a sense of the practical steps required to build a career as a screenwriter. The process of working directly with an excellent script editor and assistant script editor has been infinitely useful for developing my craft as a writer and, even since the course has ended, Philip Shelley has been hugely supportive answering any of my question and guiding me as I take my next steps as a writer. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to participate in this course simultaneous to completing my masters degree - and, for fresh graduates interested in writing like myself, I say apply apply apply!!
HANNAH SHURY-SMITH
4 Screenwriting 2021
Having worked on the development side of the industry for a few years I knew first hand the calibre of writing produced on the 4Screenwriting course. Now having had the opportunity to participate on the course I fully understand why 4Screenwriting has the excellent reputation it does in our industry. While working with Philip Shelley and Danny Moran I felt completely supported in telling the exact story I wanted to tell, but I was also pushed out of my comfort zone and challenged to take my script to brilliant new places. This is a course that champions writers, champions story and nurtures real growth. I am so incredibly grateful to have been able to participate on the course this year. If I could do it all over again, I would!
LAURA JAYNE TUNBRIDGE
4 Screenwriting 2020
4Screenwriting is an absolute gem of an experience and I’m thrilled to be part of the alumni of incredible writers. The support is just brilliant and warm and lovely. I worried that I’d bitten off more than I could chew, with my project, but this worked out to be the perfect environment to do that. My script editor was so encouraging and had my back every step of the way. Confidence has always been a huge issue for me, but after doing this, I’m like, “Yes, man! Off I toddle.” The access to the industry is also something you just don’t get, in this way, very often (if ever). I’m finishing even more excited than when I started, which I didn’t think was possible. So grateful to Philip and Channel 4 for this opportunity. I definitely recommend applying.
CELIA MORGAN
4 Screenwriting 2020
If you want a career as a Screenwriter then you must apply to this course. It has been inspiring but also challenging. It will raise your ability and skill as a writer to new levels. I was partnered with one of the best script editors in the business who pushed my idea to be the best it could be. During its development, Philip scrutinized and encouraged me to find the core of my story and depth in my characters. I also loved having a supportive bunch of writers to bounce off each other. The response from the industry, so far, has been great. The entire experience has been a joy.
AMARJIT BASSAN
4 Screenwriting 2020
I loved being part of 4Screenwriting 2020 and still feel extremely chuffed about the whole thing. I was paired with a brilliant editorial team and could not have asked for a happier, more fulfilling creative experience. I was encouraged to experiment and take risks. I even strayed into an entirely new genre. I met some generous, talented writers with whom I know I will remain friends and I learned a lot about structure, plot-wrangling and my own voice along the way. In terms of industry contacts, being a 4Screenwriting alumni is like being given a magic password. It opens A LOT of doors. I strongly recommend applying. I’m so glad I did.
ANNALISA DINNELLA
4 Screenwriting 2020
C4 Screenwriting was absolutely life changing for me. I had a lot of experience writing for theatre but very little for screen but from the beginning the atmosphere was so supportive and encouraging. I learnt so much about structure, stamina, storytelling, character, TV form, and the practicalities of the industry, and all of it in such a warm, fun, and encouraging atmosphere. I learnt so much and was pushed further than I thought I could go, while making friendships with my fellow writers and my script editors that I’m sure will continue beyond the course. It was a huge privilege to take part, it’s made me a better writer and given me so much more confidence in myself and my voice.
TATTY HENNESSY
4 Screenwriting 2020
Entering 4Screenwriting, I was under no illusion of how great a programme it was – I’ve applied practically every year since its inception in 2011! Every single part of the course has been great, from the first weekend (where actually, I felt uncharacteristically nervous and under prepared – a testament to the brilliant minds and ideas I was surrounded by) to the actual writing process. Above all, I feel so eternally grateful to my script editors. To have dedicated support like that to getting the best out of you is invaluable and I’ll forever appreciate them convincing me to write the script I wrote – a massive, ambitious story and world which I’ve dreamt of writing for nine years. 4Screenwriting was the perfect place to write it because you can throw the bulging bag of ideas around the room, with your script editors guiding you in how to make it the very best story that you are trying to tell. The level of support I received throughout the programme was everything I had hoped for and more, something that meant all the world to me in a period where I suffered a bereavement very early on (followed by the global pandemic that we all experienced). I’m so proud of the script I wrote, and the confidence I have in it would not have been possible without the support from 4Screenwriting.
ABRAHAM ADEYEMI
4 Screenwriting 2020
4screenwriting is simply the best thing you can do as a writer. Beyond the incredible connections you’ll make, industry attention you’ll receive, and all the insider tips you’ll glean from the speakers, the most gratifying thing is the work you get to make during the 6 month course. Collaborating with an experienced, clever and passionate script editor, like Philip, was the most creatively satisfying experience I’ve had – before or since. I would apply for this year’s course if I wasn’t ineligible! (quickly checks the small print to triple- check I’m not eligible)
TOM MAIR
4 Screenwriting 2020
4Screenwriting has been such an unbelievable experience and an absolute dream come true. The industry had always felt so far away but the course really does open up so many doors and opportunities. I was given the freedom to write what I wanted with the generous help of a fantastic script editor and assistant script editor. They really pushed me to write something I am immensely proud of and I couldn’t be more grateful to both them and Philip. My life really has flipped upside down since starting the course and my dream is finally becoming a reality. I couldn’t recommend it enough.
MOLLY MCGUINNESS
4 Screenwriting 2020
It is not an exaggeration to say that the 4Screenwriting Course is positively life-changing. The whole experience from start to finish has been incredible. Philip and his team of script editors have been so supportive throughout. I feel like an infinitely better writer as a result, and for the first time in my life like a professional one! On a practical level, Philip arranged some amazing workshops and speakers from the industry, we were each assigned a script editor and shadow script editor who took on the task of guiding us through the writing of our pilot script and it has opened so many doors within the industry. I began the course as an unrepresented writer and have ended the course with a wonderful agent. For this reason alone, it has been invaluable. In conclusion, I have come away from this course with a brilliant pilot script that I am unashamedly proud of, an agent, a load of new contacts and some amazing friends. I mean, it’s a no brainer! Apply, apply, apply!
CHLOE EWART
4 Screenwriting 2020
I’m incredibly grateful to have been chosen for the 2019 4Screenwriting course. Despite having worked as a script editor and in development for some years, writing for television (instead of the stage) was a new challenge. The course created a safe space to develop a brand-new calling card script, connected me to a fantastic community of fellow writers, excellent script editors and has opened up a wealth of new opportunities. I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to the industry as a screenwriter.
TOLULA DADA
4 Screenwriting 2019
4Screenwriting is utterly brilliant. It’s an invaluable opportunity to ask script editors, writers, producers, agents and commissioners any and all questions you might have. It’s a chance to meet, network and build friendships with eleven other writers who are in exactly the same stage in their career as you. And more than anything, it gives you the time and framework to write that script you really want to write, to have it shaped and supported by a script editor, without having to worry about those minor inconveniences like production issues and budget. There are also excellent snacks.
ADAM USDEN
4 Screenwriting 2019
Having a recent background in comedy, 4screenwriting has been amazing for giving me the space and guidance to write a brilliant and ambitious drama script. It’s a course respected throughout the industry and it has not only helped me express myself as a drama writer, it has made the industry sit up and start taking me seriously as a writer who is comfortable writing across two genres. It was a pleasure being paired up with script editors who were (and hopefully still are) fans of my work and receiving their invaluable input. The course included inspirational talks from industry folks of the highest calibre and the course has really given me the confidence that I can make a real living out of writing and can use my unique voice to my advantage.
JOHNNY WRIGHT
4 Screenwriting 2019
4Screenwriting has been one of the best experiences of my life. Before the course I had only written plays and I really felt like I was starting from scratch in TV. Every part of the process was nurturing, inspiring and empowering and I’ve come out the other side feeling so much more confident, knowledgeable and excited to work in television. The entire first weekend, full of visiting industry guests, was the most helpful and insightful thing I could have wished for; I kept pinching myself. The structure, deadlines, feedback and support during the writing process was also phenomenal. I feel incredibly lucky to have met some awe-inspiring writers, to have worked with the most brilliant script editor, and to have got a foot in the door in the industry in a way I really couldn’t have imagined a year ago. Apply, apply apply – it’s a unique and unrivalled opportunity and you won’t regret it.
EMMA PRITCHARD
4 Screenwriting 2019
It took me 4 tries to get on to 4Screenwriting, and as a writer who has a primarily theatrical background, it was invaluable in terms of learning what differed in the television and film world. You are partnered with a script editor which I found a total luxury – having someone completely on yours and your stories side through out making you and it the best it can be. It was the most fantastic crash course in Screenwriting – I feel so much more prepared and knowledgable about the industry and writing for screen. The first weekend has the most fantastic, insightful speakers and you learn so much. This course’s reputation industry wide is pretty life changing for writers too – I signed with an agent off of the back of 4Screenwriting – and that’s thanks to the incomparable Philip Shelley, who’s dedication to each writer’s experience and professional growth is unparalleled. Keep applying, and then apply again. I couldn’t recommend it enough.
SARAH MILTON
4 Screenwriting 2019
4Screenwriting has been an intense joy. It is the single most galvansing thing I have done as a screenwriter. I finished the scheme last week and my spec script has led me into jobs I couldn’t have dreamed of last year. I had a wonderful agent at the beginning but my unsigned colleagues are finding excellent representation, fast. The beginnings of real relationships were built with production companies but above all we were welcomed into a community of writers and script editors and commissioners I will always know and learn from. Writing can be solitary, obviously and this scheme is the opposite. It is tough work and no joke but I wouldn’t change a bit of it. I miss it already.
KAREN COGAN
4 Screenwriting 2019
4Screenwriting has been an intense joy. It is the single most galvansing thing I have done as a screenwriter. I finished the scheme last week and my spec script has led me into jobs I couldn’t have dreamed of last year. I had a wonderful agent at the beginning but my unsigned colleagues are finding excellent representation, fast. The beginnings of real relationships were built with production companies but above all we were welcomed into a community of writers and script editors and commissioners I will always know and learn from. Writing can be solitary, obviously and this scheme is the opposite. It is tough work and no joke but I wouldn’t change a bit of it. I miss it already.
SINITTA MONERO
4 Screenwriting 2019
4Screenwriting was the best introduction to screenwriting I could have hoped for. I found so much freedom in being able to write about a subject and idea of my own choosing, knowing it was a safe environment, full of support. The advice from people working in the industry over the two weekends was incredibly helpful and valuable, not just for writing but for learning about how the industry works. This was my first experience of working with a script editor, and I cannot say enough about how helpful it is. I loved being able to discuss and go through the drafts, to work out the best ways to solve problems and to have someone who was just as passionate about the work as I was. For me, having never worked professionally as a writer before, being on this course gave me a huge sense of achievement, and feeling that I was becoming a ‘proper’ writer! It has opened so many doors – I went from trying to google production companies (all of whom do not accept unsolicited scripts) to being invited into some of the best in the industry to talk about projects. All because I was a member of this course. I honestly don’t know where I’d be at with writing if it wasn’t for 4screenwriting, and simply cannot praise it enough. Thank you to Philip Shelley and Channel 4!
LILY LOVELESS
4 Screenwriting 2018
I come from an acting background which has mainly been in theatre and so I gravitated easily into playwriting but really had no idea how the world of television worked. That has all changed. The first weekend was packed with insightful and inspiring talks by experts working across the UK television industry: producers, editors, writers and directors. We then went on to pitch a few ideas to our assigned script editors who then steered us through the process of writing the DREADED OUTLINE and several drafts of our original pilot. My editors were fantastic and I found this collaborative element of the course really helped me develop and improve my idea and my writing. I have had a lot of meetings with exciting production companies off the back of the script as well as meetings with some brilliant agents that I now have to choose between. I cannot recommend the 4Screenwriting course enough. I’ve learned loads, met some super-talented lovely people, made industry connections, grown in confidence and thoroughly enjoyed the whole process. Apply! It’s a game changer.
EMILY WHITE
4 Screenwriting 2018
The Channel 4 screenwriters course has given me the confidence to approach industry leaders at every level. From emerging web-series, half-hour comedies to full-hour continuing dramas, the course and the consistent work with script editors gives you a sound understanding of how a script is built and the differences between screenwriting and any other genre. With a ratio of two script editors working on every writer’s script, this opportunity is unmatched by any other in the industry.
ATHENA STEVENS
4 Screenwriting 2018
4Screenwriting is an absolutely invaluable experience. The support from Channel 4 is incredible, and one of the most exciting things is having a group of peers who are on their way up with you. To have people to lean on for support and advice makes the industry much easier to navigate. Philip knows exactly how to support writers and he’s been such a beacon of guidance throughout the course, getting such brilliant industry guests to come and chat to us. Off the back of the course I’ve had heaps of general meetings and have come out with a script which I’m very proud of, thanks to the support of the team at Channel 4, and this course.
MATTHEW JACOBS MORGAN
4 Screenwriting 2018
The 4Screenwriting course is literally a life changing experience. Not only did I get to hear from and talk with some of the best and most innovative voices in the industry, but I also got time and space to grow and explore my writing with great encouragement. Having the chance to meet up and chat/discuss/argue with other writers also proved an invaluable experience. For me, Philip was a great script editor, encouraging me to search for greater depth in my writing and challenging me to develop the right story, whilst also providing a strong opposition to anything that wouldn’t have worked! It’s certainly added a confidence and maturity to my writing, which has given me an excellent boost up the ladder. I’d recommend to anyone thinking about pursuing a career in screenwriting. There’s something about the depth of those weekends that provided me with a wealth of inspiration.
ARCHIE MADDOCKS
4 Screenwriting 2018
The 4Screenwriting Course has been totally transformative for my writing career. It was the best introduction I could have hoped for to the world of screenwriting: focused, practical, and empowering. I learned so much about the craft, the process and the TV industry, and at the end of the course I signed with a brilliant agent and started having meetings with production companies. It has already opened so many doors, and having the ongoing support of the wonderful course mentors continues to be invaluable.
ABBI HYNES
4 Screenwriting 2018
I work full time in an admin job. Before applying I had never considered writing for TV and had never tried to come up with an idea for a show. I had only ever written one story and it ended up being an autobiographical play, a monologue. So I didn’t even have any dialogue writing experience or making up new stories experience. It is bonkers that knowing all that 4Screenwriting still wanted to take me on. It was brilliant. I learnt so much, and I didn’t have to do any reading of boring ‘how to write telly’ books, it was all through trying and doing. The biggest surprise for me was how important, dramaturgically, the script editors are to the story I was trying to tell. Legit, if you get stuck it is their job to help move you on creatively. Genius! If the following things resonate with you don’t be put off as this was me on day one; - I only owned word and excel on my computer. - I owned a computer not a mac. - I had never made up a pitch for a story before. - I had no idea how to type a script in a telly looking way. By the end of the six months I had worked out my writing process, written an episode of something that I felt really proud of (in a proper screenwriting programme) and had created a script that made people who actually work in telly want to talk to me about writing telly. Mental!
ANOUSHKA WARDEN
4 Screenwriting 2018
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