This week’s newsletter is a somewhat brief affair – it’s a holiday! But I just thought I’d share with you some of the writing that has inspired me over the last few months:-

Tim Dowling – maybe it’s his age, gender and general outlook – but I love this guy’s writing. Every Saturday in the Guardian magazine. And I’ve just finished his novel The Giles Wareing Haters Club – very, very funny and well-observed.

Black Mirror – the best new drama series on TV in the last year. Courtesy of Charlie Brooker & Jesse Armstrong.

AND incidentally – if you like police \ crime novels then Jesse’s father DAVID ARMSTRONG has written a cracking series of books featuring the same police characters – the best of which is the excellent SMALL VICES – a book I’ve been trying to persuade TV execs for years to commission so far without success! (Ridiculously this book is now out of print – but still available via the internet!)

Breaking Bad – working my way through the box-set, now up to series 2, ep.5. This is wonderful. Imaginative, compelling and completely original.

Moneyball – another cracking Aaron Sorkin script – this guy can really write. Very interesting and, in my opinion, not entirely successful ending to this film. For me the real ending happens 10 minutes before the actual ending!

This is England ’88 – that this has found a successful home on mainstream UK TV should give us all optimism!

Michael – harrowing but absolutely gripping Austrian feature film about a child abductor – cinematic story-telling at its best.

The Kid With A Bike – wonderful Belgian film. Could have been mawkish in the extreme but the honesty of the story-telling and performances shine through.

Friday Night Dinner \ Rev – two of the best ‘sitcoms’ of recent years (although neither are trad sitcoms, in that they’re not shot in front of a studio audience). If I’m ever in need of a laugh, then it’s straight onto 4OD for the umpteenth viewing of series one of FND. Can’t wait for series two. And ‘Rev’ is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. In its understated way, this is utterly original.

Goldfish Girl by Peter Souter – a wonderful radio play.

NB I would love to know what you have been watching \ reading and would recommend! There’s so much good stuff out there that it’s impossible to keep up with it all…Please share with us via the website!

 To finish –

I have a couple of excellent writer interviews up my sleeve to share with you in the next few weeks – with TV writer Adrian Mead, who shares his insights about carving out a career for yourself as a screenwriter; and Australian writer Melissa Bubnic, who was on the 2011 Channel 4 screenwriting course, and talks about her fascinating experiences starting out as a screen and theatre writer in the UK.

Finally a quick reminder that my Cardiff screenwriting course with Phil Gladwin is now only two weeks away – this is the last week of the ‘early bird’ rate and we do still have a few places available.

Happy Writing and have a great Easter Weekend!



April 6th 2012