Channel 4 Northern Talent Network

Support and networking for TV writers in the North of England.

The Northern Talent Network is a three-year programme of support for new and emerging television writers in the North of England, produced by Channel 4 and New Writing North with independent production companies. Running from 2022-2024, the programme offers awards, script development, writers’ roadshows and workshops.

The programme will identify and support new television writers from the North of England, with a particular focus on supporting writers from backgrounds that are currently underrepresented in the television industry.

Channel 4 Writing for Television Awards

The Channel 4 Writing for Television Awards offer a placement with an independent production company, mentoring and writing development support, and a bursary to talented writers who have not yet had a script produced for television.

Writers can apply to develop original screenplays with independent production companies Bonafide, Rollem Productions and Red Production Company. The placement can take place in-person or virtually, or a combination of both, and we will discuss individual access requirements with the winning writers. The awards are free to enter and are open to writers based in the North of England. We especially welcome submissions from people of colour and those from LGBTQ+, disabled and lower socio-economic backgrounds, as well as areas of the North where access to similar opportunities is limited.

Three award winners will be offered:

  • A £3000 bursary to support them through the programme.
  • A long-term placement with a Northern-based production company, either Bonafide Films, Rollem Productions or Red Production Company.
  • A designated mentor to support them over nine months – this will consist of meetings, email contact and script feedback. The work of the mentors will deepen the experiences of the winning writers and provide additional support to the production companies.
  • Advice and professional development.
  • Further support at the end of the programme, including access to the Northern Talent Network and other activities provided by New Writing North.

The Channel 4 Writing for Television Awards are open for entry until 4 June 2024

Find out more about the Northern Writers’ Awards

Northern Talent Network

The Northern Talent Network offers open-access community events for people interested in taking their first steps into writing for television. The network also provides a series of specialist masterclasses for emerging TV writers in the region. Sessions are delivered both online and in-person, particularly taking place amongst communities across the North currently underrepresented in television writing. It will also create a resource for production companies, encouraging them to discover and hire talented writers from the North.

Events and masterclasses

Northern Talent Network: Script Development Group 2023–24

As part of our activities to support the region’s writers for television, we are working with a group of writers who were shortlisted for the Channel 4 Writing for Television Awards. The aim of the group is to recognise the talent of these writers as they continue to develop their projects and make professional connections.

The writers will receive group sessions; peer-support meetings; a group session with a producer; one-to-one feedback; and other opportunities. They have been awarded a £500 bursary to support them with their screenwriting.

This programme is made possible through New Writing North’s partnership with Channel 4.

  • Frank Berry

    Frank Berry is a screenwriter and director from Yorkshire. Winner of the 2023 Northern Film Prize for his latest BFI-funded short film, he is currently committed to developing a slate of original screenplays. Frank’s writing addresses universal human emotions in a specific and personal way; fuelled by the belief that storytelling is what makes us human, and that filmed drama is its highest form.

  • Connie Hughes

    Connie Hughes is a creative writing graduate from Manchester Metropolitan University. She was shortlisted in the Channel 4 Writing for Television Awards first in 2022 for her trans-led social thriller All the Dead Girls Look Like Us. She returned this year with another original pilot, this time of queer erasure in 1930’s Berlin with a comedic converging of queer spies, trans rebels and Nazi’s titled Once Upon a Time in Nazi Occupied Gay Bars. As a trans woman, she intends to tell the stories she wished existed when she was young. She is currently seeking representation to write for television drama.

  • Amy Lever

    Amy Lever (She/Her) is a writer and actor from Manchester and a Cambridge University graduate. Her work includes the award-winning, five-star reviewed Life Before the Line (Cambridge University Edinburgh Fringe Prize, BOLD Playwrights Shortlist, Masterclass Shortlist), 111 More Time at the Manchester International Festival/ HOME and Fifty Years Later (Contact). She was named runner up for the Alpine Fellowship Prize for Playwriting 2023, shortlisted for the Shelagh Delaney New Writing Prize 2023 and selected for a paid writer development scheme with Warner Bros Access Discovery, The Royal Exchange and Wall to Wall.

  • Sophie Marie

    Sophie Marie prefers her audience to squirm in their seats rather than a half-smile and a cup of tea. Hard-hitting themes are Sophie’s best friend and she’ll usually throw in a twist for good measure. Sophie dreamed of becoming a novelist for years before embarking on her Creative and Professional Writing degree, where she realised how dull pages and pages of prose was to write. Because she loves education and free Microsoft packages, Sophie took a Master’s in Creative Writing where she fell in love with scripts. Sophie’s radio play, Inside Me, was produced by Little Wonder Radio Plays in 2018 and in the past year, her stage play, Feud for Life, made its debut, followed by her involvement in A Play in a Day, where, for some reason, she volunteered to write a play overnight for it to be performed the next evening. When she’s writing, Sophie can usually be found in her office, staring out of the window, whilst her loveable but needy dog, Toffee, scratches at the door.

  • Sarah Murray

    Sarah Murray is quite new to writing, after a lifetime of making up stories for her own amusement. She has contributed a short story to a forthcoming anthology of work by new writers with Liverpool-based charity, Writing on the Wall. She is also developing a novel and number of television scripts individually and with her friend and writing partner, award-winning playwright, Kate Wilson

  • Ellie Silver

    Ellie Silver is a writer, actress, and comedian from Manchester. She was a finalist for the Funny Women Comedy Writing Award 2023 and the Channel 4 Writing for Television Award 2020. In March 2023, Ellie was commissioned to direct and perform a work-in-progress performance of her award-nominated comedy-drama ‘Beth’s Din’ at Manchester Jewish Museum. Most recently, she was one of four writers selected by the TV Foundation and Comedy 50:50 to attend Edinburgh TV Festival on a bursary, as well as receive industry mentoring.

  • Megan Watson

    Megan Watson is a Yorkshire-based writer who recently finished an MA in Writing for Stage and Broadcast Media at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. Her writing tries to encapsulate queer, working-class life, with a specific focus on romantic, familial and platonic relationships. Megan is currently developing two pilot episodes, and has just finished writing a short film – she hopes her writing will shed light on often-overlooked narratives, and create work which excites, inspires and allows people to feel seen.

  • Amber Hafren

    Amber Hafren is a writer and translator based in West Yorkshire. She is a graduate of the Royal Court Theatre’s Young Writers Programme and a member of the BAFTA Connect 2023 cohort.

    She is particularly interested in creating work that focuses on the relationship between Northern & Southern England, untold female stories, and nineties-noughties culture.

    When not writing she spends her time exploring the Yorkshire countryside, going to dance classes, and stopping to say hello to every cat and dog she passes.

Script Development Group 2022–23

  • Adam Barnes

  • Ash Gorsi

  • Connie Hughes

  • Dylanne Corcoran

  • Heather Buckby

  • Kate Maguire

  • Moona Naushahi

  • Nathan Rimmer

  • Ryan Lee Gregory

  • Sam Honour


Channel 4 and New Writing North have worked in partnership since 2014, offering aspiring television writers nine-month funded placements at independent production companies through the Channel 4 Writing for Television Awards, part of the Northern Writers’ Awards. The Northern Writers’ Awards are New Writing North’s flagship writer development programme.

The awards have already launched the television careers of several writers, including Sharma Walfall, who has gone on to work on productions including Noughts and Crosses and A Town Called Malice, and Jayshree Patel, now a core writer on the Hollyoaks team, as well as writers Taiba Amla, Adam Bennett-Lea and Joshua Halm.