STOP PRESS! Writersroom script system

Thursday 9 February 2012, 16:17

Paul Ashton Paul Ashton

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stopsign.jpg Image of a stop sign.

Writersroom will soon be launching a fantastic new, improved, more efficient, more effective script system. Full details will be announced when our website is relaunched in early March 2012.

So all writers who are planning to send a script, please do this one thing for us: HOLD ON TO YOUR SCRIPT and WAIT until all the details are announced in March. If your script is eligible to send in now, then it will still be eligible to send in then. Please don't rush your script in before 1 March - if you do then it will simply go into the current system. But it would be better off in the new system.

We want to reassure all of you that the new system will continue to accept TV, radio, film and theatre scripts from writers in the UK, whether or not you not have experience, agents or contacts - just as it does now.


- Please don't ask us for further details - everything will be published early March.

- Please don't send us a script for the new system until full details go live in March.

- We will continue to process scripts currently in the system - if you wish to hold yours over for the new system, please email your request ASAP stating your script reference, name and script title with the subject header 'RESERVE MY SCRIPT' to: (Please note we can only do this if your script has not already been looked at by a reader.)

- Eligible scripts received as of 1 March will automatically be considered for the new system only.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Will this new process involve stapling £20 notes to the pages of the script we send in? 'Cos that could be a problem. I can offer a £10 Rumbelows gift voucher and a coupon for free fries with a Big Mac....

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    This is the result of perpetual revolution.

    Story ideas and plots will still be rejected and will be at risk of mysteriously reappearing in a subtly modified way a while later from a more established and inside source. Nothing of course will be provable and there will be no smoking gun.

    A bit like the music arrangement rights system where the more prestigious arranger or original author gets the biggest share of the rights. That is to put it simply: if I had a good idea and it was edited by Bill Shakespeare of Stratford on Avon he would get the dosh and I would get the crust - if I was lucky!

    There really is no possible way the BBC can possibly modify its unsolicited ideas and scripts system that will change this situation. The only possibility would be if the BBC would start buying complete programmes from third part sources as completed projects - where the producers and writers were not previously on the BBC staff!

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    Comment number 3.

    John, I genuinely believe Writersroom exists to find writers. Story idea and plots are ten a penny. The BBC wants writers. So why would they steal a story idea and reject a great writer? That's like finding a diamond ring in its case and throwing the ring away but keeping the case. If they find someone who can come up with a great plot, great characters and great dialogue then they want them. Tony Jordan sent his spec into the BBC, they never made the script but hired him, and he's done pretty well since.

    I have had great ideas have written appearing almost exactly the same in produced TV and movies, but it has happened to me lots of times where I know I have never sent my script out to anyone yet. It isn't stealing. It just happens. If you can think of an idea then so can hundreds of other writers. Chances are something inspired it, a newspaper article, another TV show, whatever. Any other writer could be inspired by the same thing.
    I'm a writer. I write more stuff just as good.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    what the heck do I do. Didnt know the system had changed.
    posted (1st class) on Feb 1st so naturally havent got a reference no
    given to go along the 'Reserve My Script' line of action.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    zz9 - I don't think Rumbelows vouchers are still valid ...

    john_from _hendon - not entirely sure of the point you are making, but theft of material is something which does not happen here - if you think it has, then contact us direct (rather than anonymously in a blog...)

    dorafromthedump - if you've just posted it and have no reference number, then email us anyway and say as much in the email and we'll deal with it

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    Paul, now that I look at it the Rumbelows voucher is actually for nine pounds ninteen shillings and ninepence. I guess it's been in my wallet longer than I thought....

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for the update. Has introduction of the new process delayed the old one? I sent a script in early October 2011 and I've not heard anything yet, which I saw as a positive thing as it meant that someone was reading it. But I'm just worried it's been delayed. Best wishes

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    I sent a script, The Whitechapel Murders, to the BBC in September. did not get the usual postcard with ref number by Dec, so I sent a little letter, did not get a reply to that so I sent a message via this site, still nothing.
    Would just like to know if my script got there. Don't think I'm in the new system, yet.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    i have request for u i want to given some story please help me please

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    how can sent u story now tell me

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    hey mr. paul
    i want given u some rules and regulation for my conutry anybody people dont obey these rules

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.


    I have a script that I would like to send to the BBC and I'll wait for the new system to be launched, but there's one detail I would like to sort out right now because it might be an impediment for me as a potential script sender: I read that the new system "will continue to accept TV, radio, film and theatre scripts from writers in the UK..." the thing is I live in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I grew up watching all sorts of BBC productions and given the quality of the viewing material, I would love to have an opportunity myself to submit my own creation.

    Looking forward to an answer.

    Cecilia - Argentina

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    Cecilia - and anyone else overseas - we haven't accepted scripts from overseas for some time, and this will continue ...

    Rbpop - we'll try to find out ...

    Laura - no the new system isn't delaying the old one, the old system has just been very very busy...

    Everyone - we are moving offices this week so please bear with us ... But don't worry, all post will be redirected

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    What a pity! :( thanks for answering anyway...

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    Just finished my first ever script but seeing the negative comments on this blog is putting me off submitting it to the BBC (not that my script will be any good by professional standards!) . Any positive experiences or advice before sending it in from anyone?

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    I wrote my first sitcom script, in August 2009, and sent it to the Writers Room. I was lucky enough to get the whole script read and I received a page of feedback from the reader. I have recently sent a second script off to the Writers Room (I don't know why I left it two years!) and i'm waiting to hear back from them.

    I also got involved in the last series of Newsjack via the Writers Room opportunities page and again, was lucky enough to get a one line joke read out on the show.

    I would definitely recommend sending it through. I think it's fantastic that we have a system available that allows wannabe writers such as myself (and yourself Nevster81) to have something to aim for. The feedback I received back in 2009 made me realise that this was something I definitely wanted to pursue and hopefully you will have the same inspiration.

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    I am citizen of the USA. May I send my scripts?

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    Jacob - afraid we don't accept scripts from outside the UK ...

    Nevster81 - the question you need to ask is: where else can I get it considered? Don't let any comments put you off sending your script in - BUT do wait 'til the new guidelines are published ...

    Amarsandhu - always good to see comments like this - well done on the newsjack gig - onwards and upwards

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    Nevster 81. It is really worthwhile sending your work in. Usual universal problem is folk tend to be far mare forthcoming with negative experiences rather than positive ones. I entered last year's Laughing Stock and got longlisted. Not a big result but spurned me on to write more. Then I got to go to the Get A Squiggle Masterclass last year and it was really inspiring. I didn't get to the residential but got spot on feedback that the readers had put a lot of thought into. The Writersroom is a great service for new writers. It can help you build confidence and the blogs and feedback are invaluable. Jack Thorne's one, I'd particularly recommend.
    I have sent in a radio drama Anich and am not sure if it has gone into the system anywhere and sent a couple of e mails to try to find out. But I am guessing with an office move and the launch of your new Laugh Track you are up to your eyes in it. Any chance of finding out if it has gone into the system please? Much appreciated.

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    There's always the fear of ideas being 'stolen' if that's the correct word. I've seen lots of films that I'm convinced I've seen before. I suppose stories are out there for the taking - s'all part of life. And that's the biggest story of all isn't it. Same coat different size.


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