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.