Writing comedy & drama

Every writer's route into the profession is different, but the thing all writers have in common is a passion for words and storytelling. The trick is working out how to get paid for doing what you love.

Lots of drama writers get into writing for radio or TV through theatre. Places like the Royal Court are well known for championing new writers. There are also schemes like the BBC Drama Writers Academy or Channel 4's 4 Screenwriting course. Comedy writers can also try sending in sketches to Newsjack, the Radio 4 Extra programme which accepts work from uncommissioned writers.

"You shouldn't submit your script to an agent until you think it is as good as it can be." – Ed Hime

But the key to successful writing for TV and radio is learning to write to a specific brief, and to modify storylines, scenes and characters to work within budgetary and filming restrictions. Important skills are learning to accept feedback and collaborating with other members of the production team.

Joining Simon in the studio to talk about finding a way into writing comedy and drama for radio and television are Gareth Gwynn, script editor of Newsjack, Phillip Shelley from Channel 4’s 4 Talent Screenwriting programme and BAFTA nominated writer Ed Hime. And joining in down the line from Glossop is double BATFA nominated writer and producer Debbie Horsfield.