BBC Northern Ireland search for new television writers
The Tony Doyle Bursary for New Writing opens its doors once more to a new generation of writers.
The bursary is open to writers who have a different story to tell and who are passionate about starting a writing career in television. This is the fifth time the bursary scheme run by BBC Northern Ireland has been offered to new writing talent.
Patrick Spence, BBC Northern Ireland's Head of Drama, said: "The television landscape is changing by the second. We need to find the next generation of writers who are bold, pioneering, and determined to help us make better drama.
"We are so very eager to hear from writers with a voice, with passion, and with a clear understanding that screenwriting is a craft that demands hard work, and conviction."
The Tony Doyle Bursary For New Writing provides a fantastic opportunity for writers new to television.
Previous winners of the prestigious £2,000 award are Bill Murphy, Brian Dungan, Dominque Maloney and Danny Stack.
The aim of the bursary is to encourage Irish writing for television – the medium in which Tony excelled – and to forge creative links between broadcasters and writers in Ireland.
The judging panel for entries will include Sally Doyle, Robert Cooper, Alan Maloney, Peter Norris, Lorcan Cranitch and Tina Kellegher.
The bursary's core aim is to assist the development of new writers. To achieve this, the four chosen finalists will take part in a residential seminar where they will undergo intensive, structured, script sessions with members of BBC Northern Ireland Drama's development team and with top script writers and producers.
Previous tutors have included:
- John Yorke – Controller, Drama Production Studios, BBC
- Ashley Pharoah (Life On Mars, Wild At Heart)
- Barbara Machin (Waking The Dead, Casualty, The Bill)
- Kieran Prendiville (Ballykissangel, Care, Roughnecks, Vicious Circle)
- Lizzie Mickery (The State Within, Messiah, Sinners, Burnside)
- Adrian Hodges (Primeval, Charles II Amongst Women)
- Ali White (Any Time Now)
- Peter Norris (Between The Lines, Ultimate Force, Uncle Silas)
- Kate Triggs (Messiah, Sinners, Any Time Now, Eureka Street, Amongst Women)
- Robert Cooper – former Head of Drama, BBC Northern Ireland (Messiah, Sinners, Amongst Women, Truly Madly Deeply, As The Beast Sleeps, Ballykissangel)
BBC Northern Ireland Drama has a reputation for offering the first opportunity to write for television to Northern Irish and Irish writers such as:
- Terry Cafolla (Holy Cross, Messiah)
- Colin Bateman (Divorcing Jack)
- John Forte (Henri)
- Gary Mitchell (As The Beast Sleeps)
- Pearse Elliott (A Rap At The Door)
- Barry Devlin (Runway One)
- Ronan Bennett (Love Lies Bleeding)
- Anne Devlin (The Long March)
- Graham Reid (The Billy Plays)
- Ali White (Any Time Now)
- Stewart Parker (Catchpenny Twist)
All submissions should be received by 31 January 2007.
The Tony Doyle Bursary for New Writing 2007
BBC NI Drama Department
Tel: 028 9033 8845
Notes to Editors
The aim of the Tony Doyle Bursary for New Writing
The aim of the bursary is to encourage television drama about Ireland by writers new to the medium. This may include writers experienced in other forms of fiction as well as new writers.
The winner will receive a cash prize of £2,000. The winner along with three finalists will be invited to a residential seminar run by the BBC Northern Ireland Drama Department. The aim of the seminar is to introduce the writers to the world of television drama through a series of intensive sessions with the BBC Northern Ireland development team and experienced practitioners – producers, directors, actors and fellow writers. We intend to announce the winner and runners–up in May or early June 2007 and to hold the seminar in late June 2007.
- We are inviting submissions from writers with an Irish background.
- The submission should be either a 60 or 90-minute script for an original television drama. This can be a single drama or the first episode of a two-parter, serial or series. For series etc, you must attach a synopsis (maximum 2 pages) outlining the remainder of the story.
- Please submit two typed copies of the script.
- Only one entry will be accepted per person.
- Entries must be in the English language.
- Entries must be the original work of the writer (ie entries must not be based on the work of any other writer).
- The writer must not have had either a drama in the English language previously produced for television or a feature film produced (this does not include short films subsequently broadcast on television).
- If the submitted script has been through a development process with a production company, agent, training scheme etc then this must be declared on the submission.
- If the rights for any part of the work submitted have been licensed, assigned or disposed of to any third party then this must be declared on the submission.
- No previous finalists will be considered.
- All submissions should be received by 31 January 2007. Submissions received after this deadline will not be considered.
The Bursary was established six years ago in memory of Tony Doyle. Tony was one of Ireland's foremost television actors who starred in many BBC, ITV and RTE dramas including Ballykissangel, Amongst Women and Between The Lines. A shortlist of submissions will be judged by a panel of former associates of Tony's, including Liam Cunningham, Alan Moloney, Peter Norris, Lorcan Cranitch, Tina Kellegher and Robert Cooper, together with Tony's widow Sally Doyle.
In choosing a winner, the panel will be considering the originality of the television idea and the writer's ability.
BBC Northern Ireland Press Office