Continuing Drama Series is the department that produces EastEnders, Casualty, Holby City and Doctors. The BBC produces a huge volume of Continuing Drama – nearly 400 hours per year made up of four episodes of EastEnders per week, 52 episodes of Holby per year, 48 of Casualty, and 236 of Doctors.
A central system has been established for writer recruitment across all four shows.
They will only accept scripts that have been submitted via agents. They cannot accept unsolicited scripts not sent by an agent – these will be forwarded to the BBC Writersroom.
BBC Continuing Drama works closely with BBC Writersroom who read all unsolicited scripts sent to the BBC and recommend promising writers.
There is one writers' Shadow Scheme for each show – EastEnders, Doctors, Casualty and Holby City - over the course of the year.
The Shadow Schemes are a way to mirror the show’s writing process by producing an episode from which the writer will be assessed for a commission. Writers learn the necessary skills on how to write for the shows. The training includes writers’ workshops, lectures and exercises on storytelling and the show format. Lead writers from the shows are invited to talk about their experience of writing for the show and pass on any useful and valuable tips. The writers also have a formal induction on the show, including a set tour, and then they’re taken through the script development process.
The Continuing Drama team will let agents know the submission windows and details to apply for each shadow scheme. If you are an agented writer who would like to write for one of the shows then please make sure your agent knows that you are interested.
The team will consider writers who know the show, are passionate about it and are keen to show that they can write for it. Each call has a deadline following which the scripts and pitches are assessed by the Continuing Drama team and a shortlist of writers drawn up. There are normally 8 places on each scheme.
All scripts submitted are read with a view to recommending them on to one or more of the shows for further development. The team ensures that all the shows are talking to each other about writers, and that names of interest are passed around.
Deadline: 28th February 2016. The Theatre503 Playwriting Award is back, open to all with a prize of £6000 and guaranteed production. Also 503Five eighteen month Resident Writer Training Programme for five writers.