BBC Writersroom Script Room COMEDY 2019
BBC Writersroom Script Room COMEDY 2019 | Opens: Monday 1st April 2019 at 10am | Deadline: Monday 29th April 2019 at 5pm
BBC Writersroom's regular window for unsolicited scripts is open between 10am on Monday 1st April 2019 and 5pm on Monday 29th April 2019 for Comedy scripts (TV, film, radio, stage or online).
Before considering making a submission, you will need to read the following information carefully. Submissions that do not meet the criteria or are in breach of the terms and conditions will be subject to disqualification without discussion.
WHAT TO SUBMIT
1. One comedy script of at least 30 full pages in length for TV, Film, Radio, Stage or Online* with your personal details removed.
Your script should be saved as a single PDF document of no more than 10MB in size, with your name removed from the document.
If you are writing your script using a piece of software called Final Draft and do not know how to remove your name and contact details from your script, please refer to Final Draft's own trouble shooter
If you are using Microsoft word processing and do not know how to save your file as a PDF, please refer to Office Support
(All software will come with its own user guidelines if the above links do not cover your queries. We cannot offer technical support for third party software).
2. A brief biography of your writing to date
Up to 1 paragraph to be included on your E-submission profile.
3. If you are submitting an episode script for a series/serial, you may also attach a brief outline, 1-3 pages, of further episodes. (This is not a requirement and would only ever be read if you made it onto our Comedy Room writer development scheme).
This should be attached as a separate PDF document to your script. Please note, the outline is not a requirement and would only ever be read if you made it onto the Comedy Room Scheme.
Please remember to remove your name and contact details from every page of your script. All scripts will be read “blind” i.e. without a name attached, until after the full-read stage.
*If you are submitting a sample script for Children’s TV or Online, you are welcome to submit 2 x 15 minute episodes as a single PDF document.
WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR
We look for what the script tells us about the writer. We see all scripts as a calling card to showcase a writer’s talent, ability and sense of humour.
We are especially looking for distinctive voices - and scripts that express those voices. We do not look for more of the same – we look for the writer’s ability to pull an audience into a world and hold them in it. It’s not necessarily about finding precincts or situations that have ‘never been done before’ but having an original take on stories that have the potential to have wide breadth of appeal. Characters who are well rounded and consistent and who drive the comedy rather than serve it. A sense of storytelling ability - handling of pace, climax, mood.
We want to see the best possible draft you can achieve. We are not looking for early/first/rough drafts of scripts. Only submit to the Script Room when your script is ready, even if it means waiting for a later Script Room submission window.
We are not just looking for competent, well-structured pieces. We are looking to unearth the treasures, the page-turners, the new perspectives, the engaging dialogue, the surprising character creations.
We want to find that special, funny something that makes us want to read more.
OUTCOME OF THE SCRIPT ROOM
At the end of the process, a group of writers (usually between 10 and 15) will be selected to join the BBC Comedy Room writer development group for 2019/20.
Script Room is not a competition but a means by which the BBC seeks out the best writing talent. We look for writers with the strongest potential to be developed and produced for BBC broadcast. You could be new to writing or new to the BBC but equally, you may be a playwright looking to write for TV, or you’ve written for radio and would like to try your hand at writing for CBBC. We understand that carving a career as a writer takes time and that each writer’s development needs will be different.
We will also consider whether scripts have real potential to be developed further towards production. If we believe a script could be developed further by a BBC department, we will send it to them with the writer's knowledge. Original scripts written on spec' are produced extremely rarely, and writers should not send them in with the expectation that they will be produced. However, original spec' scripts are the means by which writers get noticed, so you should always write your script with the same level of commitment as if it were for production.
Get help and advice on our blog:
Getting Your Comedy Script Ready - by writer and script reader Robin Taylor
10 Reasons Why You Should Enter Your Script - by Lynda Kennedy (who was part of the 2018 Comedy Room group)
PLEASE TAKE CAREFUL NOTE OF THE FOLLOWING
We will not accept late submissions under any circumstances. Writers have four full weeks to submit scripts giving you plenty of time to figure out the system and meet the deadline.
Do not leave it until the day of deadline to submit your script as you will leave yourself no time for troubleshooting. The BBC Writersroom team are on hand to help you through the process while the window is open - Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm - but we cannot guarantee that we’ll be able to help you on deadline day, as the line is often busy.
Once you have submitted your script, please do not log back in and upload a newer version, as we cannot guarantee that the updated script will be read.
Scripts must be at least 30 pages in length. It's extremely hard to judge a writer's abilities with a view to BBC broadcast slots if their work is shorter than this. Increasing the font size of a short script will not make your script eligible. Font sizes should generally be 11.5 or 12.
We no longer accept printed submissions via post. If you have no access to the internet, you will need to contact us to discuss other options.
The safest way to get your script to us, and ensure that it gets read, is to use the E-Submissions system. It is simple to use and will reach us instantly. All you need is an email address and access to the internet in order to use it.
The BBC Your Account at the top left of the web page is not the same as a BBC Writersroom E-submissions account. It is totally unrelated, so having a BBC Account (for BBC iPlayer etc) does not automatically sign you up to E-submissions.
If you need to contact us email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8743 8000.
SUBMIT YOUR SCRIPT
The following link to submit your script via our E-submissions system will activate at 10am on Monday 1st April 2019 and deactivate at 5pm on Monday 29th April 2019. You will only be able to submit your script during the time the window is open.
FIRST TIME USING OUR E-SUBMISSIONS SYSTEM?
If this is the first time you have used our E-submissions system then please follow these guidelines.
Step One: If this is your first time submitting online, click on the link above to submit your script and then create an account when prompted.
Step Two: Once your new account is created, come back to this page and restart your submission by clicking the link above again – this time logging in with your newly created account details.
Step Three: Continue on with the process of submitting your script!
INFORMATION AND ADVICE
- Full details of our Script Room system, including what we look for.
- Advice on Writing Loglines
- Script Room Terms and Conditions including what we accept and what we do not accept and FAQs
- View and download example Script Formats
- Advice on getting your script ready - on our blog
- Visit our Script library to read scripts
Deadline: Various deadlines. Green Stories Writing Competitions are a free set of competitions with prizes, open to all, looking for radio plays (deadline 12/7/2019), film screenplay (deadline Sept 2019) and TV series/drama (deadline Nov 2019). Writers are asked to write stories that present positive visions of what a sustainable society might look like, or integrate green characters, policies, solutions etc. in the backdrop of an otherwise mainstream story.
Deadline: 31st October 2019. Powerplay is the theme for the next evening of short plays at The Questors Theatre, Ealing, London. They are looking for 15 minute plays that explore the theme and can be easily staged.
Deadline: 31st October 2019. Submissions are open for The Delta Collective's festive new writing night which will take place in early December in London. The night is in aid of charity and food bank collections. They are looking for under 10 minute pieces with a maximum of 4 characters on the theme 'December'. Also open to songs, poetry, stand-up, spoken-word and for actors.
Read these scripts from the BBC TV Drama archive.
Read these scripts from the BBC TV Drama archive.