BBC seeks next generation of tv writers for prestigious academy
The next generation of TV writers are being sought by the BBC for its prestigious Drama Writers Academy, a unique course that equips writers with the skills to work on BBC flagship continuing drama programmes.
The Academy is the only course in the world that guarantees writers the opportunity to work on prime time television.
Established by BBC Controller of Drama Production John Yorke, its aim is to create a pool of writing talent to work on some of BBC One's best-loved and most popular shows - EastEnders, Casualty, Holby City and Doctors.
Students that secure a place will enjoy masterclasses from the best in the business: writers such as Tony Jordan (EastEnders, Life On Mars), Jimmy McGovern (The Street), Dominic Minghella (Robin Hood), Jed Mercurio (Bodies, Frankenstein), Tony McHale (Holby City, Silent Witness), Ashley Pharoah (Life On Mars, Ashes To Ashes), as well as leading directors such as Bharat Nalluri (Spooks, Life On Mars, Tsunami) and Dearbhla Walsh (Shameless, The Tudors, Little Dorrit).
Alongside training on all aspects of drama production from editing to scheduling, students will receive direct writing experience on continuing dramas, with the aim of transmitting their finished scripts on BBC One.
Since its inauguration three years ago, 22 out of 24 graduates have gone on to gain full-time work in writing for TV, with nine of the graduates now established as core writers on continuing drama shows.
These include Mark Catley, graduate of the 2005 course who is now Head Writer on Casualty; Abi Bown, 2006 graduate who is a regular writer on Holby City and EastEnders; and Rachel Flowerday, currently writing Casualty and EastEnders.
In addition many writers have graduated onto other shows: Daisy Coulam and Sasha Hails are currently writing for series two of BBC Drama Lark Rise To Candleford and Ian Kershaw for Shameless.
Creativity, talent and a passion for telling stories are essential criteria for those applying.
Applicants must have had at least one professional commission in either television, theatre, radio or film.
John Yorke, BBC Controller of Drama Production and Course Tutor, says: "Whilst you can't teach writing, you can create a framework for new and emerging talent to find its voice.
"Over the last three years, with the help of some of the best people in the industry, we've been able to give new writers the space, time and tools to allow them to develop strong, individual work.
"It's fantastic that in the current climate the BBC is still able to make such a major investment in new talent."
Applications are open from Monday 14 April until Monday 12 May 2008.
Details on how to apply can be found at bbc.co.uk/jobs.