Sunday, 21 June 2009

Forthcoming Event: William Akers

A head's up about a screenwriting event at the Met Film School on 2nd July. William Akers is doing a workshop on 'Fatal Errors New (and experienced!) Writers Make!' See here for details. Looks like it could be a very good evening.

Danny Stack has a competition to win a ticket at his blog; but I think the closing date that Danny's advertising (at the time of writing) should read 23rd June rather than July. Good luck if you're entering.

William's website is, and his blog is

Friday, 5 June 2009

Isn't it about time for another blog post, Stuart?

I should say so. Well, all the things on the 'Stuff to Do' pile mentioned in the last post are still there. I'm still researching the BBC Continuing Dramas despite not being in the running any more, but I'm concentrating now mainly on Doctors and building up a portfolio of episode ideas to develop into two page outlines, rather than going straight into writing a spec episode.

But mostly, all those things are taking a back seat to my writing a 30-minute pilot script for a CBBC series. It was something of a surprise to see the scheme advertised, as I don't remember the Beeb ever running something like this before; but, it's an obvious fit when you consider how many great writers started out in children's TV (including some of my personal TV writer faves: Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, Matthew Graham, etc, etc.).

The turn-around time was also shorter than usual for schemes advertised on the Writers' Room website: only about a month between it being advertised and the deadline to get (postal only) entries in. No time to think too much about whether to do it, or how to do it, or what exactly to do. Good. Last year, I hadn't written any TV scripts at all; before starting this latest venture, I had never written anything for a children's audience. Best not to have time to think too much about the challenge.

It's invigorating, like any creative restriction. And at the end of this I'll have another type of script for my portfolio. So everyone's a winner. But, it's hard too - how on Earth to be sure your work will appeal to the target audience, if you don't have an 8-12 year old handy to ask. For now I'm writing it for me and my inner child. Time will tell if my inner child and I know anything about anything.

I can't make it to the Q&A event next Monday, but there may still be places available. And there's a good FAQ available here. Good luck if you're entering.