Caroline Aherne Bursary

I dreamt of being a comedy writer/performer, and seeing the super talents of northern women I related to like Caroline and Victoria Wood made me feel like this could be a very real and attainable achievement for a girl like me.Sophie Willan

Designed to find, develop and support great new comedy talent, the bursary was named in honour of the late award-winning comedy writer and performer Caroline Aherne, who created The Royle Family and Mrs Merton.

BBC Comedy Commissioning, in partnership with BBC Writersroom and BBC North, launched the bursary scheme at the Salford Sitcom Showcase in July 2017, calling applicants to submit filmed content of comedy characters.

From hundreds of entries Bolton comedian Sophie Willan was named as the first winner of the Caroline Aherne Bursary. Sophie received £5,000 to support development of her work. She received mentorship from Kate Daughton, BBC Comedy Commissioning Editor, to develop a comedy script. 

The winner of the second Caroline Aherne Bursary was announced on The One Show on 20th December 2018 as Amy Gledhill.

Entries for the 3rd Caroline Aherne Bursary were open until Friday 15th November 2019.

Latest opportunities

  • The University of Southampton - Green Stories

    The University of Southampton - Green Stories

    Deadline: Various deadlines. Green Stories Writing Competitions are a free set of competitions with prizes, open to all. 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. Upcoming deadlines include Interactive Fiction (3rd Feb), Flash Fiction (21st March), Screenplay (18th April), QuiBi-style short episodes (23rd May), Adult Novel (2nd June), Children's stories (14th September).

  • *Wales Writer in Residence*

    *Wales Writer in Residence*

    Deadline: Monday 11th May 2020. The Wales Writer in Residence offers two placements over a year - at National Theatre Wales and BBC Cymru Wales - and a guaranteed broadcast credit on BBC Radio 4. There is a bursary of £12,000.

  • Nick Darke Award - Falmouth University

    Nick Darke Award - Falmouth University

    Deadline: 5pm on Monday 4th May 2020. The Nick Darke Writers' Award 2020 is now open for submissions of stage plays from UK and European writers aged 16 and over. The winner will receive a £6000 award.

View all opportunities

Latest scripts

  • Gold Digger

    Gold Digger

    Read these scripts from the BBC TV Drama archive.

  • Giri/Haji


    Read these scripts from the BBC TV Drama archive.

View all scripts

Follow @BBCWritersroom on Twitter