Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from the writersroom!

Friday 20 December 2013, 16:18

Kate Rowland Kate Rowland BBC Creative Director of New Writing

christmas-tree.jpg Merry Christmas from BBC writersroom


Thank you to everyone who submitted to the latest Script Room window. We received an amazing 2865 scripts online and we’re still logging a few posted submissions.  When you think about that in terms of the individual effort, blood, sweat, tears, imagination (and the odd bit of exposition) and the sheer determination that you’ve all put in, it’s pretty mind-blowing.

So I salute the work you've done and look forward to challenge of the big read. Script Room has been an ongoing conversation within the Writersroom team. Like you we question if we doing this the right way; will we find the best? What is the best? Why one script and not the other? To those who think this is a cynical, worthy exercise, let me reassure you it is not, but we do constantly discuss how to best invest BBC money, your money and mine, to make each submission process a really productive talent search.

So… drum roll, big announcement - here are our new plans for 2014:

Rather than the open Script Room of the past, where we considered every medium & genre of script in each round, this year we are going to try something new and be more strategic about the process, with specific windows for each genre.

This way you can plan ahead and work in a way that allows you to concentrate your talents on those areas that most interest you, while we focus our time and energy on giving you the most inspiring, informative content on the website to stimulate your thinking. We’ll also be able to work more closely with the relevant BBC departments for each submission window.

So here's how it goes:

Script room 1       March 2014                   Drama - TV & Film

Scriptroom 2        April/May 2014              Comedy - Radio/TV/Film

Scriptroom 3        June 2014                    Children's – TV (comedy & drama)

Scriptroom 4        Sept/Oct 2014               Stage and Radio Drama


Lots more will follow in the New Year but this is a heads up about the new system. Dates, details of what we will and will not read will all be online before we open the next window.

And finally we are saying goodbye to our wonderful Web producer Fiona who is going off to more musical parts. A big thank you to her and Season's Best Wishes to everyone.

Happy Christmas and get writing!



- Kate Rowland is the Creative Director of New Writing at the BBC, and Head of BBC writersroom.

Related links:

- Find out more about submitting your script to BBC writersroom.

- Get top tips on script writing in our Write a Script section.

- Explore opportunities and events for new writers.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 101.

    Cheers Mikey! :)

  • rate this

    Comment number 102.

    You're welcome. :)

  • rate this

    Comment number 103.

    Does anyone know when the latest WR Script Room sift and consideration of submissions will be finished?

  • rate this

    Comment number 104.

    It depends on how fast it takes the readers to get through almost 3000 script excerpts. They'll let us know when they're done.

  • rate this

    Comment number 105.

    News just in: All writers will be notified next week.

  • rate this

    Comment number 106.

    Hello Writers Room
    Are you able to say yet when the March 14 submission window will be (exact dates)? Also, not sure if you've covered this already, but for any scripts that get through the reading process and manage to get the 'green light', all the way to production, does the writer retain the copyright? Or does that go to the BBC?
    All the best

  • rate this

    Comment number 107.

    I have been trying to obtain a cover sheet in order to submit a TV drama script to the Writers Room.
    I need to send my script 'the old-fashioned' way, by post.
    Sorry to be such a dinosaur, but I am 64 and that's the way I work. I am not technically relaxed, confident or au fait enough to send it via a computer
    Thankyou for messaging me -even that confused me!
    I do want to submit my script in March, and hope you can assist me with a cover sheet.
    Thankyou very much.
    Regards, Caroline Hibbert

  • rate this

    Comment number 108.

    I’m from the “French Quarter.”
    Ten minutes walk, to the north, the Jewish ghetto.
    Gangsta's stole our food.
    If you had, say, five cows, Gangsta's took four.
    Kid Blink, Crutch Man, Racetrack Billy, we ate pigeons and rabbits.
    Pigeon soup was good.
    Fat Belgian pigeons; big and fat, like chickens.
    That’s what we ate.

  • rate this

    Comment number 109.

    Hello. I attended the lecture a few years ago, in Liverpool. I did put together a script called "Mr And The Playthings".
    Stupidly, I didn't include my notes on what I wanted the show to be about!
    So basically, each week four human beings, different cast each week, get kidnapped from Earth and psychologically tortured by this sentient alien spacecraft. I have other story ideas for this format.
    Now,,, you might be reading that and saying "Just let me stop you right there..."
    I agree, I never sold it well enough. And I never was one for Factoids!
    But if you see it stored on a shelf, give it a read and get back to me about talking it through.
    So... am I allowed to repost the script electronically or does it have to be a new piece?
    The people (Non-BBC) who I've talked about it did say maybe it had too big a body count.

    Basically, is Doctor Who is the closest on TV to Jesus Christ, then "Mr And The Playthings" is the Anti-Who. Lexx toned down meets Silent Hill for Ripper Street slot!

  • rate this

    Comment number 110.

    Aw lads, take down the Christmas tree already.... :-)

  • rate this

    Comment number 111.

    With regard to genre submissions I have a black comedy drama for TV - does that mean I can submit it in either the March or April cateogry ie. March/Drama or April/Comedy? My line of thinking is that if i miss the March deadline, perhaps I can submit it in the the April under Comedy however, I don't want it to go in the wrong category but it could possibly fit in to either category?

  • rate this

    Comment number 112.

    @ Ann Katz
    WR aren't looking for scripts to green light to produce, they're looking for writers to work with.
    Copyright will always belong to the writer, but the BBC will have the copyright to their production, as per their contractual terms.

    @ Aaron.
    If you sent it into the old Writersroom, it won't be stored on a shelf. If the BBC didn't invite you in to talk about your script, then it would have been sent back to you with a no.

    @ Bigeng
    The BBC said once on a blog somewhere, if it's half an hour long, it's a comedy, if it's an hour long, then it's classed as a drama. But look at your script. If it's more funny than dramatic, then send it to the comedy window.

    @ Caroline
    The cover sheet will only be downloadable when the script room window is open.

  • rate this

    Comment number 113.

    I have a question to ask and it's specifically related to a script I submitted, I'd be so thankful to anyone who can answer it for me:

    I was painfully reading over what I've submitted, feeling slightly worried that my work is absolutely awful, and in order to make myself feel better I skipped over to the pieces of the script that I felt most proud of, the scenes I took pride in writing. Now I wish I hadn't since I was horrified to learn that there are three clear mistakes in one particular scene: one is a wrong word; and the other two are mistakes in character names. While I don't think it (i) has any effect on the outcome of the story or (ii) is particularly ruinous to the rest of the script, I am genuinely curious as to whether this will determine the outcome of my success. Suffice to say I'm a perfectionist and am genuinely heartbroken at the fact I've been so neglectful. My question is what's the potential damage of such lack of professionalism?


  • Comment number 114.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 115.

    Just received feedback from the Writers Room on the submission made for the first window- Drama. It's a thanks, but no thanks response, that didn't get passed the first 10 page read. The drama script submitted was based on an Award long listed and short listed manuscript. A manuscript that has also just been entered in and successfully won a place at a New Writers' Festival.

    I think on the basis of that evidence- I will now part ways with the Writers Room. I'm not sure what kinds of drama they are looking for, but judging from the pictures of the bloggers, I think the face of my characters and drama just doesn't fit.

    Farewell, Writers Room. After many decades of trying and having faith in your processes. It's Thanks from me- But No Thanks. Good-bye and Best of Luck with your future endeavours.


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