It is now a week since deadline day, and the intensity of submissions arriving at a rate of one every two minutes has been replaced by a period of reflection.

There have been some queries to the college mailbox and on writing forums, largely to do with process, communication and the genre of submissions, so I will try to answer them all here.

I and a colleague read all the entries, and have produced a long-list of forty. Two colleagues are now reading the forty to come up with a shorter long-list (a top 20), which will be read by senior colleagues in the comedy department. All being well, they will get their reading pile by the end of the week. Guided by them - and optimistically hoping for consensus - we will then have a list of people to invite for interview.

All of the 40 have something special to offer.

I will write to the top20 to let them know they have got this far, and to the second 20 to let them know that they nearly made it. Obviously those are messages which are going to be difficult to write, and difficult to read for those who got close. I will also write to people whose work impressed but which failed to make the cut, as well as to the few whose lengthier CVs suggested they were prospering already in the industry.

That equates to a chunky number of emails, but I intend to get them out as quickly as possible, beginning with the 20 who have made the long-list, which should be by next Monday.

Some people have been wondering if submitting material not written for television has ruled them out. We received television and radio writing, film scripts, stage plays and animation scripts. Submissions of any genre were assessed in the same way, so no one needs to be concerned that a particular form counted against them.

Meanwhile, more writers have agreed to be involved with the college. They include Kwame Kwei-Armah, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Jan Etherington, Graham Linehan and Steven Moffatt.

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  • Comment number 28. Posted by MichealJacob

    on 25 Apr 2008 17:32

    @Sniper28

    Not yet. It depends on what's being produced when and the kind of show that people will be suited to. I'll be doing progress reports on the blog.

  • Comment number 27. Posted by Sniper28

    on 25 Apr 2008 17:27

    Hi Micheal,

    Is it possible to tell us which sitcoms and sketch shows the successful cadidates will be working on? I'm dying to know.
    Thank you.

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  • Comment number 26. Posted by Kroggy

    on 25 Apr 2008 16:05

    Anthrax,

    Thank you for the in-depth knowledge of spamming - perhaps it is you I have to blame for an inbox full of e-mails offering me a way to sexual fulfilment and endless sensual paradise . That said, at least, I got an e-mail from you.

    Yes, potatohead - it means we( including YOU) have not been selected; We are, regrettably, one of the 1380 who just didn't cut the funny mustard; all those common facets of humanity such as flat sharing, having sex, getting drunk, women wanting sex are just passe - it is a shame this revelation has not got through to most of the present writers of BBC sitcoms. Bitter? Moi? How you can judge someone's comic writing potential and comic stamina from a 10 page sample is beyond me.

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  • Comment number 25. Posted by MichealJacob

    on 25 Apr 2008 16:02

    Everyone who is going to be contacted has been contacted. The process is actually on the schedule we envisaged, but in case it wasn't, we built in short grace periods.

  • Comment number 24. Posted by TattySconeHead

    on 25 Apr 2008 15:41

    Sorry, I'm confused with regards the long lists, long long lists, etc. Have the short list (i.e the final 20) been informed? Or is the short list something else? It says in the blog they will be contacted by monday, but I take it the selection process is ahead of schedule now?

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  • Comment number 23. Posted by Antrax

    on 25 Apr 2008 15:25

    Kroggy, the difference with Spammers is that they use randomising programmes to generate random names and email addresses. No-one goes through and manually types out 1200 names.

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  • Comment number 22. Posted by juggles

    on 25 Apr 2008 15:16

    I think it's really good that you even 'talk' to us, I can't think of any other producer that does, not at the mo anyway

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  • Comment number 21. Posted by MichealJacob

    on 25 Apr 2008 14:06

    Sadly, Kroggy, I don't have spamming skills, and I don't know how to do a mass email which would be selective at the same time. Most if not all similar schemes undertake to let people know by a certain date whether or not they have been successful, on the basis that if you haven't heard you haven't gone through. As it is, I wrote individually to the long list, the long long list, and the over-qualified. I'll see what can be done should the scheme continue next year.

  • Comment number 20. Posted by Kroggy

    on 25 Apr 2008 13:24

    Sorry Anthrax, disagree. It is easy to e-mail 1200 at once - spammers do it all the time. Nothing wrong with a personalised 'Thank you, but no thank you'.

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  • Comment number 19. Posted by Antrax

    on 25 Apr 2008 13:18

    Far be it for me to answer for Micheal but, whilst that would have been lovely, no doubt, it would have meant emailing 1200 people, and I can't see that that's plausible.

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