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 41.

    Hi

    I was just wondering whether any writers have been tempted to bribe production companies with various ''offers'' to get their scripts published or commissioned?

    On the flip side, has anyone on the writers' room staff received any submissions with any ''extra'' services offered? If so,have any worked? (Just for my curiosity you understand?)

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    Comment number 42.

    Hiya,Just enquiring about any radio script format software to buy or Download as the ones featured by yourselves are mostly defunct. Cheers.

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    Comment number 43.

    GLAMorgan - develop the writer first and foremost is the driving principle - anrything else follows on from that - if you want to do a shadow scheme I woudn't just hold off til you have an agent - getting the right representation can be a slow, complex process and you shouldn't pass up any opportunity to get your work noticed

    Cholly - I'm pretty certain you will be able to submit as co-writers - check the specific t+cs that go up when the submission window opens next month

    Chav n dave - we get the ooccasional chocolate bar or strange homemade trinket - that's about the extent of it - sorry to disappoint - and no, they never work ...

    Reggie - I think CeltX has radio formatting? But you'd need to check that ...

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    Comment number 44.

    Thanks Paul....you know...there's always room for change..things change..people change..the TIMES change. You sound like a nice guy. Looking for love is hard but it needn't be so. Reading scripts can be such a dreary and lonely business....sometimes you need to take a break? Karate or kung fu are MY favourite little get-aways. Howe about you? Drudging through all those scripts,banging your head on the wall?..oh come on..wouldn't you rather live a little? Take me(please) wouldn't you rather be lording it up with the upper classes of society? Your work must be so lonely..unsociable hours..low pay....rsvp honey doll :-)

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    Comment number 45.

    Thats great, will check them for sure. Final question therefore, it says you can only submit one script. If I was to submit something co-written could I also submit a script with myself as the sole author to the same window?

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    Comment number 46.

    Thanks Paul. So, if I were to send a spec script that was regarded as being in the 'this person has potential' category, I might be contacted with a view to being developed and nurtured. Presumably, this could lead down any number of creative avenues,continuing drama included.

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    Comment number 47.

    ReggieBlade - CeltX has a radio script format.

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    Comment number 48.

    Cholly - no we don't allow any one writer to submit more than once - therefore you need to choose which script to send in ...

    GLAMorgan - basically, yes

    Fadein - thanls

    Chav n dave - nice try, but I've had my anti-bribery injection this week

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    Comment number 49.

    Thanks for the clarification.

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    Comment number 50.

    Just wondering - at which point in the process would the series synopsis be read? I'm guessing it would be after the initial ten page review and subject to the script progressing to at least the 'maybe' pile? Thanks.

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    Comment number 51.

    I wanted to just see if I could get a script done so sent it in on the October deadline . I did amend some of it but in hindsight I should have let it marinade for a little bit longer as there were some scenes I deleted later. Damn my impatience!
    Never mind the next one's the clincher (cough)

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    Comment number 52.

    I recently submitted a short story to Opening Lines, via email. I didn't received an email conformation, but a comment above has made me wonder whether or not I should have done. If something has gone wrong with the submission, is there anything I can do to resubmit? If this isn't the right forum to ask this, where else can I find out?
    Thank you in advance for taking the time to answer this when you have such a large workload, wading through all those submissions!
    Best wishes...

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    Comment number 53.

    Sophie - it might be that a synopsis would only be read at the full script read stage - we always focus first and foremost on the script

    ChristmasRobin - we didn't run the Opening Lines competition so sadly are unable to help with this ...

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    Comment number 54.

    Hi

    I assumed that the BBC only contacted the successful entrants to the Writer's Prize but I note an early comment mentions that a 'thanks but no thanks' email had been received. Will the BBC be contacting all entrants and do they have a timescale for this process yet?

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    Comment number 55.

    SB - we did email all entrants to the writer's prize - if there'sa nothing in your junk or spam then you can email us at writersroom@bbc.co.uk. But we have certainly been in contact now with the shortlisted writers so unfortunately that seems to mean you didn't reach the final stage ...

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    Comment number 56.

    Ah, I'm in the same position as SB. I was working on the 'no news is good news' policy, but it would appear that my 'no thanks' email has just gone astray too!

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    Comment number 57.

    hey guys,
    this might be a really stupid question, but here goes:
    where can i find the download for the coversheet for submissions? I can't find it anywhere! DOH!

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    Comment number 58.

    Drewjames - the Script Room cover sheet will be available when the window opens on Feb 14th

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    Comment number 59.

    ChristmasRobin re Opening Lines - there are further details on Opening Lines' own website here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007tmq5. Hope that helps.

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    Comment number 60.

    Paul,

    I plan to submit the first episode of a six part series. Can you advise on the format that I should submit the subsequent five episode summaries. Is a few paras on each enough or is there a particular way you prefer to read them? I cannot seem to see any formatting advice on this.
    Much appreciated
    Olly

 

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