One Day Introduction to Screenwriting

Venue: Birkbeck College, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX

Cost: £95.00 

A one-day introduction to, and celebration of, the wonderful art of SCREENWRITING.

This one-day course is designed for entry-level screenwriters. You don’t need to have any screenwriting experience to take this course BUT it is ALSO suitable for more experienced screenwriters. It will be an inspiring and re-energizing refresher,  reminding you of everything that is exciting about screenwriting.

This will not be as interactive and participatory as my two-day courses – but there will be an opportunity to ask questions of the speaker at the end of every session.

The day (10.00 am to 5.00 pm) will be followed up by a relaxed, non-pressured networking event in a nearby pub (5.00 – 8.30 pm). Here  you can meet and share experiences with each other and other specially invited industry professionals in a more relaxed setting and ask any further questions that you have. These guests will be able to informally answer your questions and provide valuable insights into the craft and industry. I will send course delegates a list of the invited industry guetss before the day of the course. At the 2019 course, we had 4 very successful writers from the Channel 4 screenwriting course and about 15 industry guests from companies that included BBC Studios, Tiger Aspect, Shiny Button Productions, Neal Street Productions, Firebird Pictures etc. It will also be a great opportunity to meet and share experiences with the other writers on the course.

Schedule for the Day

10.00 – INTRODUCTION TO THE COURSE – and a celebration of the best screenwriting.

10.30 – WHAT IS SCREENWRITING? a nuts-and-bolts examination of how to write a screenplay – from outlines, treatments & pitches, formatting and laying out your script.

11.30 – BREAK

11.45 – 1.00 SCREENWRITING PRINCIPLES & TIPS – how story-telling works on screen – with a series of clips to illustrate the principles discussed. The elements of a screenplay – story, character, dialogue, structure, genre / tone, stylistic devices, format, etc.

1.00 – 2.00 LUNCH


Acclaimed Film & TV director TIM FYWELL (CRACKER, HAPPY VALLEY, CAMBRIDGE SPIES, GRANTCHESTER, WAKING THE DEAD, RIVER and most recently, THE ENGLISH GAME, a new series written by Julian Fellowes for Netflix) will undertake a SCRIPT-TO-SCREEN analysis of a favourite TV episode or feature film.

He will also answer questions about his own work as a director and about working with so many amazing screenwriters.

3.30 – BREAK


Screenwriter ARCHIE MADDOCKS will talk about – Peer support – Knowing the industry – Educational & Inspirational Opportunities — Showcasing your work – Networking. And his career to date (CHANNEL 4 SCREENWRITING COURSE, INTERGALACTIC (Sky/ Moonage Pictures), development projects with several UK indies) and how he progressed from beginner to working screenwriter.

4.45 – 5.00 Q & A SESSION – your chance to ask any screenwriting question – either following up on issues raised during the day or any questions on issues not covered.


Please e-mail me if you have any queries
Please e-mail me if you have any queries

Meet the Course Instructors...

Philip Shelley

I have run the C4 screenwriting course for the last 9 years and am currently running it again in 2020. I was one of the 10 ‘masters’ of the teaching of dramatic writing at the new MA Dramatic Writing at Central St Martins / University of the Arts London. I ran the BBC’s in-house script editing courses for 10 years. This year I have run several courses for BBC writers room (in London, Cardiff and Salford). Among many others, I have recently run courses for Warner Bros in London, BBC Studios, De Montfort University Leicester and Vice UK. I run regular script-editing courses for SCREENSKILLS.

On top of this I run one of the most successful script consultancies in the UK, working with many different writers and independent production companies (most recently Bryncoed Productions, Silver Reel and Conker Films).

I run an industry showcase for the pick of the writers from my script consultancy. The most recent event was 100% full, packed with potential employers from many of the best broadcasters, drama-producing indies and literary agents, and there have been some notable successes from the event.

I have always hugely enjoyed working with screenwriters and helping them find their place in the industry. Last year I produced and launched the podcasts series, which has acted as a great showcase for several new, exciting dramatic writers. And I will be producing series 2 in 2020.

Archie Maddocks

Archie is an emerging screenwriter and playwright. His work has been produced at the Bush Theatre, Lyric Hammersmith, Orange Tree Theatre, Royal Court, and in New York at the New Light Theatre.

He has been commissioned by the Bush for a full-length play and is also currently writing a new play for Northern Stage as one of two playwrights commissioned under the Revolution Mix scheme: an initiative to increase the presence of BAME stories on the stage.

Archie’s most recent play A PLACE FOR WE was shortlisted for the Bruntwood Prize from a submission pile of 1900 and was also shortlisted for the Alfred Fagon Award. It will have a production at the Park Theatre in 2020.

In 2017 Archie was a part of the BBC Writers Room “London Voices” and in 2018 he was selected as part of the prestigious 4Screenwriting course. He was also named as the writer in Residence at BBC Radio Drama London Production.

2018 saw Archie gain a commission from Vertigo Films to develop a feature about moped gangs, as well as a commission from Moonage Pictures to write an episode of their new show INTERGALACTIC for Sky.

Archie is currently in formal development with several production companies, including Tiger Aspect, Wall To Wall and Working Title TV.

As well as a writer Archie is also a stand-up comedian and was runner up in Amused Moose Laugh Off 2014, Winner of the Bath Festival New Comedian 2014, and NATYs 2014 finalist.

His debut show, Shirts Vs Skins got several 4 star reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe 2016 and was long listed for the Amused Moose Comedy Award.

Tim Fywell

Tim Fywell is one of the most accomplished directors of drama working in UK television today. The range of his work extends from GRANTCHESTER (2014, 2016 & 2017) to HAPPY VALLEY (2014); from MASTERS OF SEX (2013) to DRACULA (2014); from CRACKER (1994, To Be a Somebody, with Robert Carlyle) to MADAME BOVARY (2000, adapted by Heidi Thomas); from Sarah Waters’ AFFINITY (2008, adapted by Andrew Davies) to THE TURN OF THE SCREW (2009, adapted by Sandy Welch); plus SILENT WITNESS, WAKING THE DEAD, THE NO. 1 LADIES DETECTIVE AGENCY, DCI BANKS, LEWIS and WODEHOUSE IN EXILE (TV Movie, 2013) and BBC1 drama series RIVER (2015), created and written by Abi Morgan, starring Stellan Skarsgård.

Tim’s most recent TV project is THE ENGLISH GAME written by Julian Fellowes for Netflix.

Tim’s feature credits include I CAPTURE THE CASTLE (2003) with Romola Garai, Bill Nighy, Rose Byrne and Tara Fitzgerald, and THE ICE PRINCESS (2005) with Michelle Trachtenberg, Joan Cusack and Kim Cattrall. Tim studied English at Cambridge University and began his professional career directing in fringe theatre before moving on to the West End.

Some of his theatrical credits include: LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES (Playhouse Theatre); SKIRMISHES (Hampstead Theatre); RED SATURDAY (Royal Court); THE MOTHER COUNTRY (Riverside Studios); HITTINGTOWN (Bush Theatre); NO HAND SIGNALS (National Theatre), which he wrote and directed; I MADE IT MA TOP OF THE WORLD which he devised and directed at the Royal Court, and SPRING AWAKENING (Royal Court). 


I would like say that this Introduction to Screenwriting course was well delivered in an eloquent, professional and relaxed manner. The topics covered were relevant, timely, and objective to the course critique, they were open and engaging to the student throughout for questioning and discussion. I have no doubt that I would like to attend another course in the near future (yet to be decided). Philip is a credit not only to himself, but the profession that he serves, as well as his fellow colleagues who were able to present themselves on the day. Thank you.
Howard Thomas
Despite my ‘stage fright’ I’m a great believer in getting out there and meeting other Writers on all rungs of the ladder. Developing spec scripts entirely under my own steam I like to use courses as prescribed writing deadlines. Philip has a magic way of bringing everyone together with his approachable, personable demeanour and focussed on-point seminars. His courses often include stellar industry insiders who willingly share their experiences without limits – all the makings of a thrilling and rewarding day for any Screenwriter whatever the level.
Jane Lake
If you are considering doing this course, then please go for it! I would wholeheartedly recommend it – a hugely stimulating and enjoyable day that’s jam packed with really helpful information from Philip, examinations of scripts from writers – what works and why – as well as analysis of successful TV series including a guest speaker session from its director… and lots more! The day is a really open, inclusive one with the ability to meet other new writers as well as really helpful industry contacts. Would have no hesitation in recommending to others!
Alana Baily
Philip and his guests are incredibly generous in their sharing of knowledge and experience. Full of practical advice, the course is packed with really useful information – even if you’ve been reading books on scriptwriting all your life! I felt so privileged to be part of that group and came home feeling inspired and full of ideas. If you’re thinking about a career in scriptwriting, this is just the kickstart you need. Highly recommended.
Marcelo Spinelli
If you wish to develop your skills as a screenwriter I highly recommend that you attend one of Philip Shelley’s courses. I found his honesty, humour and ability to explain the whole process enlightening and inspiring.
Melissa Stockdale
An amazing one-day course that gave me so much insight on how to write a screenplay to industry standard. I was not short-changed so much was packed within so few hours on how to develop ideas, story and narrative. The handouts contained treatments one of my weakest areas that was so good to see! It was also great meeting guests from the TV industry and learning from them on how I could move my screenwriting career forward. I would recommend this course for anyone who really wants to become an amazing screenwriter
Maxine Igbinedion
For aspirant screenwriters Philip’s course is a must-attend event. Not only will you benefit from Philip’s years of experience, delivered with honesty and humility in a friendly and open setting, but you also get access to Philip’s contacts; guest speakers and then later with industry players in the pub for informal chat. I came away with new perspectives and ideas but also solid and specific advice which is otherwise very difficult for outsiders to access.
Steve Mallinson
As a beginner to screenwriting this course gave me great insight into the world of screenwriting, the difficulties you will face, my own strengths and weakness and direction in which to focus upon. I would highly recommend Philip Shelley, his Introduction to Screenwriting course and would like to thank him for an exceptional day and a great evening where I was given great advice from professional screenwriters.
Jeff Bates
As one of those people whose aim is to (and here comes a cliché) realise the long -held dream of writing a screenplay, this course ticked so many boxes that I ran out of boxes! Insightful, stimulating, pragmatic, varied and brutally honest, each exercise was designed to understand, question and confront the dream into a reality. Looking round at the group, a diverse gathering of age, gender and experience, it is obvious that we can learn so much from others. I don’t know if there is a collective noun for screenwriters, but I think it should be “an inspiration”! Thank you Philip and your team.
Fran Morris
The best introduction to the screenwriting industry I could have hoped for. Philip and his guests were full of practical knowledge not only on the basics of formatting and storytelling, but in how the industry works. Would fully recommend!
Nicki Hill
Even for writers with experience like myself, this was a great reminder that when it comes to writing, less is more and that the emphasis should be on visual storytelling, as opposed to talking heads. I got five or six email addresses from development executives at the networking drinks afterwards – which was worth the price alone!
Rossa McPhillips
This is a fantastic course and will be invaluable to anyone interested in screenwriting – whether just starting out or having completed some scripts. There’s so much packed into the day from script presentation to the working life of a screenwriter. Philip is thorough, approachable and explains everything clearly. I came away excited, enthused and ready to work on my projects. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough – book it, you definitely won’t be disappointed!
Victoria Clarke
Philip’s one-day screenwriting course was a fantastic experience which has given me the confidence to put pen to paper and write my first script. Not only was it very practical in terms of teaching us about the craft of screenwriting, but we also received entertaining and informative talks from Bafta-nominated screenwriters and the networking event in the evening was a great opportunity to speak to people in the industry, and I left with a lot of tips – and email addresses! I would definitely recommend this course to anyone who has an idea for a script and wants to know where to begin.
Ellie Harrison
As a relative beginner, I would highly recommend Philip’s One-Day course to anybody that is taking their first steps into screenwriting. I went in with many questions, from basic formatting queries to story-telling principles, and all were addressed without even needing to ask. Philip himself explained the basic principles of story-telling perfectly in a relatively short amount of time and whetted my appetite to learn more about applying these principles to my own work. As well as Philip, Vinay and Anna provided valuable insights into having a career in the industry and how they view story-telling and were both very approachable at the networking session afterward, as were the many people that also attended from various areas of the television world. I’m now very much looking forward to the two-day course.
Ryan Lowe
I attended the Introduction to Screenwriting course in May 2019 and would highly recommend it for anyone just starting out on their screenwriting journey. Having studied for an MA in Creative Writing where tutor guidance on screenwriting was very minimal, I was looking for a back-to-basics approach on the principles of formatting and crafting screenplays with additional advice on ways to break into the industry. I was not disappointed! The course delivered on both fronts as well as offering the opportunity to meet with like-minded writers from a variety of backgrounds and the chance to chat with industry professionals at an organised networking event at a local pub afterwards. I came away feeling informed, inspired and motivated to carry on with my screenwriting!
Linda Butler
I loved the course and honestly I’m excited to start my script writing journey wherever that takes me. I found that what we covered really helped me do that and demystify the process. I loved the practical advice, the breakdown of the day and the guest speakers who I could have listened to for much longer. In many ways it focused on the ‘business’ of script writing, which was both inspiring but a reality check against the more sentimental motivations for writing.
Polly Hills
‘Philip’s one-day screenwriting course was a fantastic experience which has given me the confidence to put pen to paper and write my first script. Not only was it very practical in terms of teaching us about the craft of screenwriting, but we also received entertaining and informative talks from Bafta-nominated screenwriters and the networking event in the evening was a great opportunity to speak to people in the industry, and I left with a lot of tips – and email addresses! I would definitely recommend this course to anyone who has an idea for a script and wants to know where to begin.
Kate Fitzroy
A really well thought out day that covers all the bases anyone new to the world of screenwriting needs to know. Great introduction from Phil, supported by comprehensive notes, followed by really generous industry professionals sharing useful information and answering questions, which meant by the end of the day I had a clear understanding of how to move forward into the screenwriting world. Thanks Phil ☺
Jarek Adams
Loved Phillip Shelley’s one day screenwriting course. It gave me an insight into what it’s like to be a screenwriter that’s been missing from other courses I’ve done. With their input and enthusiasm Philip and the speakers (Anna Symon and Vinay Patel) made me think that crafting a script, getting it out there and actually becoming a screenwriter could become reality (though obviously with a lot of hard work along the way!). Their enthusiasm made me go and off and talk to others about how I was going to do my best to make this happen for me.
Eleanor Thompson
I would highly recommend this course as an insight to the screenwriting process and introduction to how to break into the business. It offers invaluable guidance and clarity to individuals who are still learning the craft.
Tom Howard
Thoroughly enjoyed this one day ‘Introduction to Screenwriting’ with Phillip Shelley. He is the real deal and came highly recommended – and I wasn’t disappointed. Very engaging and informative, so much information to disseminate in one day but as a seasoned pro he delivered and gave lots of useful handouts for us to read and research in our own time. His generosity extended to the quality of the guest speakers, two successful TV writers who had both been tutored by Phil, and they in turn were generous with their time and answering our questions as fledgling ‘wannabe’ screenwriters.
The organisation was of a high standard and we had access to a very useful networking event in the evening. We met many past graduates of Phil’s longer course and industry professionals; again testimony to Phil’s reputation that so many attended and gave their time and spoke with us so generously. Left me hungry for more. Now to sign up for the two-day course – Yes, it was that good and worth every penny or pound…!
Bleue Granada
I found Philip’s one-day Introduction to Screenwriting course hugely enlightening. Philip was the perfect host, and the guest speakers were inspirational and generous with their advice. The informal, convivial atmosphere at the post-course networking event ensured there were plenty of opportunities to speak with other like-minded writers, as well as experienced industry professionals. I met some wonderful people and I would recommend this course to anyone considering screenwriting as a potential vocation.
Marie Belsten
Philip’s 1-day programme is really well-balanced. It’s helped me understand how to put a script together, so I’m confident to submit one knowing it’s layout conforms. Hearing from Anna Symon what it’s like to work in the industry and her journey into becoming a successful in-demand television screenwriter was insightful. And speaking one-to-one with a couple of tv script-editors, who kindly answered all my questions, helped reframe an idea I was struggling with. I got some valuable take-away’s and overall the day sped by and left me wanting more. Highly recommend.
Jane Unsworth
Philip Shelley’s writing course blew my mind. Having completed several online scriptwriting courses, I wanted to attend a course where I had interaction with others. It was great to meet with other writers, who are also struggling where to go from writing their scripts. Also, I now have an understanding of how a script is structured (correctly)!
My head was buzzing when I left and I hardly slept (which is a good thing) as I was thinking about all the idea’s I have. I would recommend this course to anyone who is looking to gain some direction and help with their scriptwriting. I cannot wait until the next two-day course.
The networking afterwards was very insightful. The writers and producers that were there, gave me some great tips and hints on what to do next with my scripts.
Thank you, Philip, and everyone else who attended to make this course a fantastic day.
Kathleen Kirkland
A must for anyone wanting to be writer! It gave me inside knowledge of the industry, which demystified what a winning spec script looks like. This made me realise that I’m a better writer than I thought and gave me a much-needed boost of confidence to keep persevering.
Chris Parker
I learnt more in one day on this course than I did in years reading books on screenwriting. An absolute must for all aspiring screenwriters.
Shaida Chaudhury
I would highly recommend Phil’s one-day course. For those who are unable to commit to his two-day course, this is an intense but satisfying and inspiring day of talks and lessons which were useful for the broad spectrum of experience levels in attendance – from beginners, to those with more familiarity with screenwriting. Each session had a different format to keep the day engaging and the guest speakers were humorous and insightful. The evening networking session Phil organised was a great idea. Writing can be an isolated experience, so it was wonderful to socialise with fellow course attendees, and the industry professionals Phil invited went out of their way to be welcoming and helpful. The whole day was buzzing with warmth and enthusiasm, which sent me home inspired to get back to writing.
Jack Kendall
I don’t believe that this course is necessary for beginners. It can accommodate and provide interest at all levels of writing. I have completed an MA and done some script work in TV, but after a lapse in the business, I used Introduction to Screenwriting as a boost to get me back on track. I was not disappointed.
Bobby Stevenson
I’m surprised how in one day I have been filled with the inspiration to go out there and write more and know where to go!
Adam Savva
‘I loved this course. I struggle to create a bank of ideas without self-doubt and criticism creeping in. It was great to work quickly on ideas and see how far they could be developed in one day. And it was fun to collaborate with a wide range of writers of varied experience across different media.
Caroline Dean
‘I came away from Philip’s course feeling so much more informed about the industry – with the addition of special guests, we were shown the inside track to the development world. Via Philip’s candid and experienced teachings, I began to look at story in a different way too; inspiration is never as far away as you think. Thank you again, I really enjoyed the weekend.
Beth Warin
‘I found your course incredibly useful and highly enjoyable. It has really given me a lot to think about in the way that I approach stories and develop characters. It was very inspiring and I’m looking forward to putting what I’ve learned into practice.
Sylvia-Ann Parker
Please e-mail me if you have any queries