Channel 4 launches TV Drama New Writers Scheme to develop south west writing talent

The new scheme is designed to identify and support new television drama writers in the west and south west of England.

BFI NETWORK South West is pleased to partner on this unique scheme with Channel 4 and in collaboration with UNESCO City of Film, UWE Bristol, and The Bottle Yard Studios. 

A group of up to 13 writers will be selected to take part in this six-month scheme, and they will be supported to tell stories that reflect the south west’s creativity. Additionally, they will receive industry training, mentoring and introductions to production companies.  

Image c/o Channel 4: It's A Sin
  • How To Apply

South west-based writers with a desire to write TV Drama are invited to submit the first 10 pages of their original work, plus a CV, pitch document and statement, before midnight on Sun 12 Jun 2022. 

The scheme is open to underrepresented writers looking for their first writing credit, and writers who are working on developing their own original series. 

Find out more here

  • Supporting writing talent 

Creative writers are at the centre of this scheme, and their ideas drive development in the south west. Alice Cabanas, Head of BFI NETWORK (previously BFI NETWORK South West Talent Executive), commented on the new scheme:

The scheme feeds into BFI NETWORK’s ambitions to upskill and support local writers, as well as encourage growth of the scripted TV Drama and film sector in the south west. Watershed and our regional BFI NETWORK Talent Executives will be working with the other partners to ensure this scheme benefits the local writing community and platforms new perspectives.

Gwawr Lloyd, Channel 4’s Drama Commissioning Editor has said: “Launching this TV Drama New Writers scheme is a fantastic opportunity for the channel to identify talent from the region and to work with them to help us get authentic, original stories on screen – reflecting audiences back on themselves.”

  • New creative partnerships in the city  

Speaking highly of the scheme, Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees said: “This exciting opportunity shows what can be achieved having brought Channel 4 to Bristol, working closely with our UNESCO City of Film partners, [the scheme] will strengthen the region’s writing talent-base, hopefully leading to new stories that represent the diversity of our city and the wider region.”

Gwawr Lloyd, Channel 4’s Drama Commissioning Editor, agrees: “[the scheme] is the perfect opportunity for the Channel 4 Bristol Hub to collaborate with our local partners to give stories that matter the platform they deserve.”

“Great writing underpins the success of the screen industry”, added Lynn Barlow, Assistant Vice-Chancellor Creative and Cultural Industries Engagement at UWE Bristol. “Finding new stories and developing the skills of new writers are the first important steps in that success.”

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