scriptwriting

TV writers give a masterclass in scriptwriting for RTS Scotland

April Chamberlain, Lorna Martin and Stuart Hepburn (Credit: Ben Gallacher)

Lorna Martin, who won the inaugural Writers Award at the RTS Scotland Awards in June, encouraged would-be writers in the audience to put pen to paper: “People want your story. There’s so many production companies and they want content.”

Martin – who adapted her best-selling book, Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, for UKTV channel W and RTÉ2 (Women on the Verge) – continued: “Look for the type of production company whose shows resonate with you or [make] shows you like – I think that’s crucial.”

She added: “And send them a nice email.”

BBC Studios launches Writers' Academy

Participants will write for shows including EastEnders (Credit: BBC / Kieron McCarron)

Led by former BBC and Channel 4 Head of Drama John Yorke, the Writers’ Academy will offer writers in the early stage of their careers the chance to develop their skills on some of the BBC’s long-running drama series.

The paid scheme will see successful applicants complete an intensive 13-week classroom period, followed by three months scripting episodes of Casualty, Holby City and EastEnders.

Participants will graduate with up to four scripts to their name, and will have their services optioned by BBC Studios for the next two years.

Writers of Flack discuss the need for more complex on-screen female characters

Anna Paquin in Flack (Credit: UKTV/W)

GQ magazine described the new Anna Paquin drama, Flack, as “so ­terrible it might just be unmissable”. The verdict of the Daily Telegraph’s TV critic was “sharp and whizzy”, while the Observer hailed it as a “terrific and bittersweet comedy”, “in turns woefully tender and snort-funny”. Whatever you think of the female-skewing Flack, one thing is clear: it’s not a show to ignore.

Top scriptwriters offer advice on writing for TV drama

The panel (l-r) Sophie Petzal, Rachel Flowerday, John Jackson, Daisy Goodwin, David Hancock and Rachelle Constant (Credit: RTS/Paul Hampartsoumian)

“It’s important for me to have something to say. We’ve all written stuff that’s competent and empty,” said Sophie Petzal, whose television breakthrough came on CBBC dramas such as Wolfblood and Dangermouse. More recently she has written episodes for Sky Atlantic’s Riviera and BBC Two’s The Last Kingdom, and has original scripts in development with Company Pictures.

Watch: Expert tips on entertainment, journalism, documentaries and drama

Speakers included Sally Wainwright, creator and writer of Happy Valley; Rohit Kachroo, ITV News Security Editor; documentary filmmaker Rowan Deacon and Suzy Lamb, Head of Entertainment at Thames TV.

We've rounded up the very best of the day's tips in the video below.