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Channel 4 and New Writing North Talent Development Partnership

Support and networking for TV writers in the North of England

The Talent Development Partnership is 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 will offer awards, script development, writers’ roadshows and workshops, and the formation of the Northern Talent Network.

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 are now invited to submit for the awards until 17 March 2022.

Writers can apply to work with Lime Pictures on the serial drama, Hollyoaks, and/or to develop original screenplays with Bonafide and Rollem Productions. 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, Lime Pictures, or Rollem Productions.
  • 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.

New Writing North/ Channel 4 Script Development Programme

In addition to the three writers who win Channel 4 Writing for Television Awards, shortlisted applicants to the awards will be offered a place on a newly created Script Development Programme.

These writers will have demonstrated through their awards that they have a script that has the potential for development through the programme. Entry is now open until 17 March 2022.

The group will be offered:

  • Bursaries of £500 each to support their participation in the programme.
  • Access to the Northern Talent Network Masterclasses and other programme aspects.
  • One feedback session each with a producer or television writer.
  • Writing group: The group will meet five times and be led by a producer or writer. The focus will be on the participants developing writing and craft skills and working towards a longer piece of work.
  • Showcasing to industry as shortlisted writers on the programme.

Northern Talent Network

The newly formed Northern Talent Network will offer open-access community events for people interested in taking their first steps into writing for television. The network will also provide a series of specialist masterclasses for emerging TV writers in the region. Sessions will be 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.

Background

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.

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