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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  • rate this
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    Comment number 21.

    Regarding the information on the BBC website. Is it the case that any new unsolicited script must be entered via the ScriptRoom New Year window starting 14th Feb? Elsewhere indications refer to sending scripts to a producer. My script is for radio only. Thanks.

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    Comment number 22.

    newman - you're referring to the BBC Writer's Academy - it's a separate process and there will be news on this year (it would normally advertise in April...). and yes we've shifted the Script Room dates back so you have longer ...

    amarsandhu - i'd distinguish between a narrative device and an idea populated by a particular set of characters/stories. the latter is the level of substantive difference that will/won't make it a new idea. does that help?

    mhepton - not yet - bear with ...

    JaneSaunte - not sure which other bits you're referring to re sending to a producer? the only other opportunities to send work outside script room will all be advertised on our Opportunities so get into the habit of checking it regularly ...

  • rate this
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    Comment number 23.

    Hi guys, I sent in a script in January hingers, Just wondering if there is any news! Alan

  • rate this
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    Comment number 24.

    alan - which opportunity did you send it in for exactly?

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    Comment number 25.

    is this opportunity available for writers outside UK?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 26.

    Paul it was the Franck-deasy-award, I posted it in, Thanks Alan.

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    Comment number 27.

    Opportunities are only available outside the UK if we specifically say so in the terms + conditions - otherwise you should always presume that they are for UK based writers only

    Alan - we won't be checking or acknowledging Frank Deasy submissions 'til after the deadline so you'll have to be patient ...

  • rate this
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    Comment number 28.

    "amarsandhu - i'd distinguish between a narrative device and an idea populated by a particular set of characters/stories. the latter is the level of substantive difference that will/won't make it a new idea. does that help?"


    Thank you Paul, yes that does answer my question.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 29.

    Is there a competition for comedy scripts through the BBC apart from the transgendered format, Alan.

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    Comment number 30.

    just received my "thanks but no thanks " email ref writer prize, amazing number of 1200 entrants compared to normal competition where (from memory) they had 29 radio comedy scripts sent last time...........be interesting to hear review of what factors influenced the scripts which were sent onward and upward

  • rate this
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    Comment number 31.

    Alan - no other comedy opportunities just now I'm afraid ...

    Mhepton - we'll be doing writer debrief blogs on writer's prize and script room before too long ...

  • rate this
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    Comment number 32.

    Thanks guys for taking the time to answer, Alan.

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    Comment number 33.

    Hi Paul, if someone is shortlisted in a competition (rather than being picked up through a general script room window) would they still be able to access the same sort of development opportunities and support from Writers Room? Or would they still need to try submitting to a general script room window? Thank you.

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    Comment number 34.

    JHurrell - it depends a little on the talent search, as some have a more direct and specified route forward than others - but essentially, everything we do is run by a very small team of staff in London and Salford, so whichever way any given writer might come to our collective attention, they will all show up on the same radar - if you see what I mean ...

  • rate this
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    Comment number 35.

    Thank you Paul, that's great. I wasn't sure how it all worked outside of the general script window so that's really helpful.

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    Comment number 36.

    Question, how do you get a job as a reader or admin person for writers room? Are these all seasoned BBC writers?

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    Comment number 37.

    Cholly - inhouse team jobs are advertised when they come along, which is infrequent as we're a very very small team - and at times we can't go external if it's possible to recruit internally. Readers come from a range of places but essentially we can only really bring in readers who have a body of experience working with scripts/writers - whether that's as a writer, script editor, director, producer etc etc. We never use work experience/intern staff to assess scripts ...

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    Comment number 38.

    I'm a little unclear about a couple of things. Vis-à-vis submitting for the Feb - March window first.. Work regarded as being of a high enough standard could lead where exactly? It's unlikely to be developed itself but the writer's talent might be developed. Is that right? Whereas the shadowing scheme only accepts work from writers who have agents. If what one is aiming for is the shadowing scheme but you don't have an agent, which is the best route. Getting the agent or going for the Feb/March submissions window?

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    Comment number 39.

    Paul, I am writing with a writing partner at the moment (both of use are British), can we submit a script which has been co-written? or is the purpose of the script room just to receive scripts with one author so as to talent search? Can't find anything on the FAQ's or terms and conditions about co-writing. Thanks!

  • rate this
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    Comment number 40.

    Ps thank you for your answer about readers, really reassuring!

 

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