The Frank Deasy Award: Winners Announced

BBC Creative Director of New Writing

Frank Deasy award

What an exceptional array of writers, what great judges in fact what a brilliant partnership all round. So two wonderful winners: Katie Douglas and Kirstie Swain will be our 2013 Frank Deasy award winners (and apologies too many superlatives). But to be fair Chris Aird and I who interviewed the shortlisted writers were genuinely excited by all of them, their work and their ideas. From the start The Frank Deasy award has been special- one it recognises one of the greatest of television dramatists,  and we all felt that we wanted to make sure that the writers who secured this attachment had the strength of feeling about storytelling, Scotland and creating characters that matter  for a broad audience with a distinct and original voice. Well we have found that. As you can imagine I have read 1000s of scripts, sat in many judges meetings but you never weary of talent, when a writer makes you turn that page, compels you to read on, listen to what they have to say then you know it is working.  Kirstie and Katie spoke to us, not just Chris and I but Douglas Henshall, Zinnia Harris and Laura… different ways but the combination of their talents, the ideas they want to pursue and the way they want to engage with the Development Team at TV Drama BBC Scotland made them the right candidates on the day. But I know that the team will continue the conversation with the others and we all look forward to some exciting developments in the future and new relationships being forged.

Here’s what the winners had to say:

Katie Douglas: "Entering The Frank Deasy Award was a leap of faith as I'm well aware of the depth of talent amongst my fellow Scottish writers. To be selected is a thrill and an honour and I hope to justify the judges choice by working hard to develop myself and my ideas in an effort to make Scottish drama even stronger."

Kirstie Swain: "Where I come from is really important to me as a writer. Scotland is in everything I write and to be recognised by an award that celebrates that makes me really proud. I’m honoured even to be mentioned in the same sentence as a writer like Frank Deasy. I don’t know if I share anything with him in terms of writing skill, but I know I definitely share his affection for Glasgow and Scotland and I can’t wait to explore that with BBC Scotland. Plus, it means that the £18.76 I spent on Royal Mail Special Delivery charges was worth it!"

Read blogs by Katie Douglas and Kirstie Swain about their experiences of entering and going on to win The Frank Deasy Award.

The Frank Deasy Award 2012-13, was an initiative to develop television writing talent in Scotland in conjunction with BBC Scotland, BBC Writersroom and Creative Scotland.

The award judges included Zinnie Harris (Writer), Douglas Henshall (Actor), Kate Rowland (Creative Director, writersroom), Christopher Aird (Head of Drama, BBC Scotland), and Laura Mackenzie-Stuart (Portfolio Manager, Creative Scotland).

Katie and Kirstie will take up the positions of Writers in Residence at BBC Scotland for a period of six months from this summer, with a remit to develop original ideas for BBC One. The aim is to have one of their drama pieces commissioned as a script on the BBC Scotland Drama development slate.


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