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Channel 4 New Writers Scheme

Channel 4 New Writers Scheme

Channel 4 New Writers Scheme

Channel 4’s New Writers Scheme is a one-stop-shop for unrepresented writers without an agent, looking for their first writing credit.

Channel 4's New Writers Scheme

Channel 4’s New Writers Scheme is a one-stop-shop for new writers with a burning desire to write TV drama. It is open to unrepresented new writers looking for their first writing credit. This scheme is aimed at those currently underrepresented in the TV industry. We are particularly keen to hear from Deaf and/or disabled people, ethnically diverse people and people from lower socioeconomic groups.

This is a unique opportunity to gain the skills needed to forge a successful writing career, and tell stories which reflect the diversity and creativity of the place where you live. Over 8 months, you will benefit from expert industry training and insights, mentoring and introductions to scripted drama production companies. You must be available to attend in person training days in Bristol, Glasgow or Leeds around every two months. At the end of the scheme, you will submit a spec script for feedback from Channel 4. 

This development programme is targeted at emerging writers from the Nations & Regions, with three regional cohorts based in Bristol, Glasgow and Leeds. With up to 8 writers in each regional cohort, you will build your skills, knowledge and networks to develop and write scripts reflecting your regional identity with a particular focus on diverse perspectives.

Channel 4’s New Writers Scheme ran as a pilot in the West & South West of England in 2022. It was developed by Channel 4’s Bristol hub in partnership with Bristol UNESCO City of Film, BFI NETWORK (delivered regionally in the South West by Watershed), UWE Bristol and The Bottle Yard Studios. Its purpose was to support partner ambitions to develop TV drama talent and increase representation of regional stories on screen. Following on from the successes of this pilot and working again with our partners at the BFI Network, we are now expanding the scheme to continue to support more writers across the Nations & Regions.

 

APPLY NOW:

* Please apply via the correct link below for your chosen regional location. Please note that applicants must only apply once, and this should be to the regional hub closest to where you are based. Additional applications will not be accepted.

BRISTOL: Apply Here

GLASGOW: Apply Here 

LEEDS: Apply Here

 

ELIGIBILITY/CRITERIA

  • The scheme is open to all new writers who are not represented by an agent. Please note that we cannot accept applications from writers with representation or a writing credit for television.
  • You will be able to demonstrate a burning desire to write television drama. 
  • You may have had experience in writing for theatre, radio or made short films though this is not essential.
  • Submissions will be your original work.
  • Submissions will be assessed on the strength of the writing and the originality of the pitch.
  • You must be able to commit to attending in-person training days (around every 6-8 weeks) at your chosen regional location, alongside regular virtual masterclass sessions and meetings with your mentor and script editor.

FAQ's

Q) Can I apply for the scheme if I don't live in the Nations and Regions?

A) All applicants to the scheme must be based in the Nations and Regions. Applicants must only apply to one vacancy and this should the regional hub which is closest to where you live. (Glasgow, Bristol and Leeds). 

Q) Will training/masterclasses be delivered virtually?

A) We will offer a mix of face to face and virtual delivery, however we expect the majority of our training to be delivered face to face.

Q) I can't attend the Q&A webinar, will a recording be provided?

A) Yes, there is a recording and captions are available. Please access the Q&A webinar recording here and insert the passcode: V.Y6SfSx

*If you would like to view the recording with BSL interpretation, please click this link here and insert the passcode: V.Y6SfSx

Q) Can I submit a script from a sub-genre of drama? 

A) Yes, we also welcome scripts from sub-genres of drama, e.g comedy drama. 

Q) Can I apply if I have an agent? 

A) This scheme is for writers without literary representation, so we are unable to accept applications from writers with an agent or professional writing credit.

Q) Do I need to upload 2 pitch documents?

A) No, please only upload one pitch document (1 side of A4), this should be for a different original idea to your 8 page script submission.

Q) Where do I submit my documents?

A) Please submit your application documents within the online application (links can be found above). The portal is designed for job applications and will ask for your 'CV' and 'Application Questions'. Please upload your CV and or merged script, pitch and application questions in either of these upload boxes. The order in which you upload your documents doesn't matter- as long as they are all uploaded.

Q) When do applications close?

A) Applications close at midnight on Friday 1st March (23:59pm). We highly recommend leaving sufficient time to submit your application in time, in case of any technical issues with uploading your documents. The 4Skills inbox is monitored 9am-5pm Monday-Friday, and any late queries will be answered on Monday 4th March.

 

COURSE CONTENT

The scheme will cover fundamental elements of writing drama for TV including masterclasses from some of the best producers, directors and writers in the industry on subjects such as:

  • TV Format and genre.
  • Story and structure: Essential elements that go into creating a dynamic and compelling story.
  • Character and dialogue: How to create memorable and original characters.
  • Pitching.
  • How to write outlines and treatments.
  • Navigating the industry and finding & working with an agent.

 

TIMETABLE

  • Applications for the scheme will be open from Tuesday 6th February 2024 to midnight on Friday 1st March 2024.
  • We will be hosting a one hour online Q&A webinar for applicants on Monday 12th February at 1pm. To register for this event please click here.
  • The interviews will be held virtually in late May/June 2024. The scheme will begin late June/July 2024.
  • If you are selected you must be able to travel to a series of training days and events between July 2024 and February 2025. In-person sessions will take place every 6 to 8 weeks and will rotate around our 3 regional hubs (Bristol, Glasgow and Leeds), alongside virtual events.

 

*C4 can provide financial support for travel if your circumstances would otherwise exclude you from being able to attend the in-person sessions. As the course is part-time and sessions are scheduled to ensure most people can attend them around a full-time job, the scheme is unpaid, and we therefore would not cover wider costs/expenses other than travel to/from these sessions for those who need it.

 

 

Application Process:

PART ONE: Please submit the following documents as one merged PDF file*:

  • A CV, highlighting any credits or relevant experience if applicable.
  • The first eight pages of an original script idea for a new Channel 4 TV drama series.
  • A separate drama series pitch document for a different idea for a series no longer than one side of A4. 

For guidance on the current commissioning priorities please follow this link: https://www.channel4.com/commissioning/4producers/drama

*For information on how to merge files into one document please visit this link: https://www.adobe.com/acrobat/online/merge-pdf.html

 

PART TWO: Please also answer the following questions and upload as a PDF file:

  1. Please tell us why you would like a place on this scheme and how would you benefit from participating?  (150-200 words max)
  2. This scheme is aimed at amplifying underrepresented voices in TV drama. Please tell us about your background and how you hope to bring your unique writing perspective to the industry? (150-200 words max)
  3. What steps have you taken to advance your writing and experience so far? For example this may be training, voluntary work or theatre experience. (250-300 words max)

 

* Please apply via the correct link below for your chosen regional location.

BRISTOL: Apply Here

GLASGOW: Apply Here 

LEEDS: Apply Here

 

 

Submission format:

  • At the top of your question answers, please state your name(s) and the location where you live clearly. 
  • Create front pages for your original script and your pitch document with the following information:
    • Title: give your original script and pitch working titles even if you think you may want to change them later.
    • Written by: your name(s). 
    • Contact details
    • Format: e.g. 6 x 60 serialised drama, 6 x 30 romantic comedy.
    • Genre: e.g. supernatural horror.
    • Logline: a very short (approx 50 words) summary of the concept which conveys the essence of your show.             
  • One-page pitch: this should be able to stand alone to pitch your show. Think of it as an extended logline, like a flyer for your show. It summarises, in four or five paragraphs, all the key elements that will make your show compelling. (This one page pitch should be for another original idea, separate to your 8 page original script)
  • Please use a clear, readable font, such as Courier, Verdana, Calibri or Arial and use the same font throughout.

If you have any questions regarding the application process or require any adjustments please email us at 4Skills@channel4.co.uk.

 

Important additional information

  • Adaptations will not be accepted. Submissions must be your own original work and may not be based wholly or in part, on the work of another person, whether known, published, produced or not.
  • Adaptation of third-party materials, novels, short stories, poems and short films (under 30 minutes in duration) are ineligible unless it is your original work.
  • Submissions should not be, or ever have been, in development with any third party. 
  • Applicants must be unrepresented, and we cannot accept applications from writers with agent representation.
  • No feedback can be given on unsuccessful submissions. 
  • This scheme is an unpaid opportunity, but financial assistance with travel and expenses may be available for those who need support.
  • Applicants must only apply once, and this should be to the regional hub closest to where you are based. Additional applications will not be accepted.
  • The deadline to apply is Friday 1st March. Please note we are unable to accept any applications after this date.
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