New Year Script Room

Wednesday 9 January 2013, 12:11

Paul Ashton Paul Ashton

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You may have already noticed that while still submerged under the most recent Script Room intake, we've already announced when the next window will be in 2013. We’ve just updated the dates again – so we will be open for submissions on 14 February and will close the window on 28 March 2013 - from Valentines through to Easter. There are a few reasons for this:

First, we promised to have three windows in the first calendar year of Script Room so that's what we're going to do (despite receiving more scripts through this new system than we did under the old).

Second, we want to give you as much notice as possible about the next window, because we want to give you as much time as possible to develop and hone and polish your work – hence putting back the opening of the window until Valentine’s Day. We think some of you are desperately trying to fling submissions in before the deadline each time - which is understandable, but doesn't necessarily (perhaps necessarily doesn't) make for great scripts in the end. Which is another way of saying - there's no point sending in something you know isn't ready or you know isn't as good as you can make it - because we'll probably feel the same way, and then the chance for that idea with us has gone ...

Third, we're going to take stock of Script Room after the next (3rd) window has been processed. In part, because we want to see in what ways it has helped and worked (or not). But also because we have a new esubmissions system in the pipeline - yes, you read me right, we are planning to go paperfree. This will hopefully be ready by autumn 2013. (This doesn't mean anyone without access to the internet therefore won't be allowed to send a paper copy - but we'll be encouraging electronic submissions where possible.)

Fourth - as a direct consequence of the third reason - we won't run another Script Room after Spring 2013 until the new esubmissions system is in place and ready to go – which probably won’t be until at least the Autumn. This doesn't mean there won't be other specific talent searches and opportunities to submit scripts in between. But it will allow us to take stock, do some other things we really want and need to do, continue doing all the other things we already do, and better serve the writers we have already found.

Also, although we said we wouldn’t be accepting radio scripts into this next Script Room window (since we’d just received so many in the Writer’s Prize), we’ve revised this in light of the proposed break between the forthcoming Script Room and the one after. This means you will now be able to send radio scripts. But it can’t be anything already submitted to the Writer’s Prize - or indeed submitted to us previously in any shape or form. And if you do want to send radio, then look out for a forthcoming blog about the recurring problems in the scripts we received through the Writer’s Prize – so that you can hopefully try to avoid them.

So watch this space (and our opportunities page) for what's coming up - and if and when you do send something in, do all you can to make sure it's really honestly truly as good as you can possibly make it. We know that having a break between windows will feel frustrating for some of you. But patience is a precious commodity. And the important thing is you'll have enforced access to that most precious of commodities for writers: TIME. Time to revisit, rewrite, redraft, rethink. To write a wild draft and start again. To dig and delve deeper into your characters. To keep writing and keep improving and keep making it as engaging and effective and unique - and you - as possible.

The Script Room New Year 2013 window is open for script submissions from February 14th 2013 until 5pm on March 28th 2013.  Find out more in our Send a Script section.

Read our medium and format guidelines and explore our step-by-step script writing essentials.

Comments

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    Comment number 1.

    So if I haven't heard anything re my script from the last round of submissions, I need not abandon all hope? Or have you contacted everyone you're going to contact? This was the first time I'd submitted anything so not sure...

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    Comment number 2.

    Phew, I have to say I'm glad to hear that! When will we hear about the Writers Prize? I recall reading something that said people who are successful will hear by the end of January but if you're unsuccessful you won't hear anything, is that correct or am I getting muddled up with something else?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 3.

    Yes, me too! I thought all entrants would hear by early Jan about whether they'd got through to the next stage or not, but perhaps this is not the case? An update/reminder on the Writer's Prize process would be really great.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 4.

    I was hoping to get my play sent off before it gets rewritten into something else.

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    Comment number 5.

    princeseagoat - we have emailed re the last script room and are working our way through bouncebacks and queries - so if you've heard nothing at all and checked your spam/junk, then email us with your name and script title and we'll investigate

    jhurrell & asunnyday - we're still deciding the writer's prize shortlist but we're expecting writers will hear something within a couple of weeks time ...

  • rate this
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    Comment number 6.

    So glad I'm not the only person not to have heard about the last scriptroom competition. Fingers still crossed I get beyond the last hundred this time.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 7.

    PS - Esubmissions will be great. I'm starting to think printer ink is made out of unicorn blood.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 8.

    Thanks Paul for clarifying re Writers Prize.

    Can you say a bit more about 'better serve the writers we have already found'. Thanks.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 9.

    Hey Paul I haven't received anything at all - what's the best email to get you at? I've checked junk mail to no avail...

    Many thanks

  • rate this
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    Comment number 10.

    This is my first Writer's Prize submission. It would be nice to get some kind of update soon on how many entered, how many shortlisted etc. I realise there'll be a lot of work reading all the submissions. Still keeping fingers crossed......Not sure if I'll ever try again if my radio play fails to make it. Spent hundreds of hours on it and invested a huge amount of energy and emotion.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 11.

    I've written a script for the Transgender comp. I've just downloaded the application form and it says that I must be a resident of Scotland. In the comp rules it says anyone in the UK could enter.

    Please confirm. Thanks

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    Comment number 12.

    beerfagjoy - an unfortunate glitch in the copy - you DON'T need to be resident in Scotland to enter Transcomedy. Thanks for spotting it and letting us know

    matthoadrobson - writersroom@bbc.co.uk - but please, people, generally speaking only ever use this when you absolutely need to as we drown in unnecessary queries on a daily basis ...

    Daltontrumbo - it is of course standard BBC environmental policy to reduce carbon emissions and daily consumption of unicorn blood

    Asunnyday - well, it's all well and good running lots of opportunities but the most important thing is doing the best/right thing as a follow-up for the writers we find through them. We are a very very small team (5 in London, 2 in Salford) and we are always very very busy and it's very easy for script submissions to take over your time and your head-space if you're not careful ...

  • rate this
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    Comment number 13.

    "but the most important thing is doing the best/right thing as a follow-up for the writers we find through them. " Thanks Paul, it's really heartening to hear.

    Lilian - don't ever give up! As writers, we can never control the outcome, only how much of ourselves we put into our scripts.

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    Comment number 14.

    Is beerfagjoy from the future? The Trans Comedy Award hasn't opened for submissions yet, and application forms aren't available until this coming Monday.
    My guess, as he's mentioned Scottish residents only, is he's downloaded a form for the Frank Deasey Award instead.

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    Comment number 15.

    Wow. People from the future and proof of the existence of unicorns. Knew it.

    Best thing about esubmissions is that there will be an automated reply confirming receipt.

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    Comment number 16.

    asunnyday - many thanks for your support. Really appreciated. I was just speaking in the heat of emotion. Ideas for all kinds of writing get into my head and won't leave me alone until I've written them down and worked with them to the best of my ability so I guess I'll probably always be putting pen to paper.

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    Comment number 17.

    Mikey - no this isn't a twist in a mind-bending chris nolan/charlie kaufman film - we took down the transcom cover sheet so it can be tweaked ...

  • rate this
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    Comment number 18.

    Hi Paul can I ask a question-

    I have heard about a BBC scriptwriter's program where you write for the 4 big soaps - Eastenders, Holby, Casualty & Doctors. Is it possible to gain a place on that via the submissions process or would you need to be a graduate?

    Also has the window moved? Last week I boxed out Jan 21st - 14 Feb?
    Thanks

  • rate this
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    Comment number 19.

    Hi Paul,

    Quick question that I know you've answered before (but I can't remember or find the answer- sorry!)
    How do you define resubmitting the same idea?

    So if for example I have a sitcom idea about a man who decides he's a chicken (please don't steal it!) and I write a TV script about him living with three dwarfs, could I re-write that as a radio sitcom about a man who decide he's a chicken (seriously don't steal it!) and goes to work at the Marmite factory?

    I imagine the answer will be that it needs to be significantly different, which I get, but I have a particular narrative device that I want to use again without fear of rejection....

  • rate this
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    Comment number 20.

    Are you able yet to reveal the number of submissions you received for the writers prize, and the subdivision of entrants into comedy , drama etc etc

 

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