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Sky Writes: Blackpool

Sky Writes is a pioneering writing for television programme created by New Writing North and Sky Studios. The programme is looking to find new television writers from under-represented backgrounds and encourage them to develop their creative and professional skills.

About Sky Writes: Blackpool

Sky Writes is led by experienced Writers in Residence and a team of specialist Programme Producers, overseen by New Writing North.

Our focus is on three specific areas in the North, including Blackpool. If you’re based in one of these locations, we’re looking forward to meeting you, hearing your stories and supporting you as you take your first steps into TV scriptwriting.

We created Sky Writes to contribute to diversifying the pool of television writers in the UK. The programme is looking for people whose stories are not being widely told on our TV screens and whose backgrounds are under-represented in broadcasting.

This includes but is not confined to people of colour and those from LGBTQ+, disabled, lower socio-economic and working-class backgrounds.

The programme begins in April 2021 with a selection of Starting to Write for TV sessions. No writing experience is needed for these.

Following these sessions, some writers will be invited to apply for the workshop phase of the programme which will take place during the summer and autumn. The workshops will take a deeper approach and be supplemented by masterclasses featuring specialist guest speakers.

At the end of the programme, our hope is that participants will have developed their craft in TV writing, gained valuable professional awareness of the industry and feel confident about seeking out further opportunities in screenwriting.

All aspects of Sky Writes are free to participants, but you must live in or around Blackpool to take part. Sky Writes will be running digitally until it’s safe to meet face-to-face again and will be delivered via Zoom.

Writer in Residence: Caroline Mitchell

Caroline Mitchell has an MA in Screenwriting from the Northern Film School and has written over 200 episodes of the BAFTA and National Television award winning soap opera, Emmerdale, since 2002. She has also contributed to other drama series and is currently writing her first novel, alongside developing a feature-length screenplay and a comedy series both set in Yorkshire. She lives in Hebden Bridge with her two schnauzers, Sybil and Mavis.

Caroline Mitchell

Programme Producer: Chandan Shergill

Chandan Shergill hails from Wigan, she studied French and German at the University of Bristol and enjoyed time working abroad in Vienna, Paris, and Guadeloupe in the Caribbean. She is currently the Coordinator of the Young Audiences Content Fund at the British Film Institute, which supports the creation of distinctive public service TV content for audiences up to the age of 18. She also works with BFI Network in the reader pool for the Short Film Fund, is on the steering group for a More in Common project at the People’s History Museum in Salford, and is a trustee at Manchester City of Literature. She spent several years in a talent agency representing television presenters in London, and more recently she has worked in the charity and public sector, with roles at Refugee Action and Manchester City Council. She lives in Manchester and enjoys reading (of course!) cooking, and yoga. Chandan is delighted to be working with New Writing North and Sky Studios on this vital project.

Chandan Shergill

The Writers

Michelle Crane

Michelle Crane

Growing up surrounded by Blackpool’s exciting entertainment industry and history lead Michelle into acting. Most recently appearing in DC’s Pennyworth. She loves to write positive, inspiring stories of northern and working class achievements, that are often left untold.
Chloe Ireland

Chloe Ireland

Chloe wanted to be a writer ever since she could read and she has been making up fantasy stories even longer! She grew up in Blackpool and often uses her hometown as the setting of her scripts. She loves exploring LGBTQA+ themes in her work, especially through comedy.
Anna Hodge

Anna Hodge

Anna (she/they) is a twenty-year-old, openly queer and autistic psychology graduate, writer, and mental health advocate. She loves creating things with words, collecting an obsessive number of house plants, and rereading Jane Austen's books for the ten-thousandth time. Anna lives with her family, her dog, Henry, and her tortoise, Sheldon.

Helen Dooley

Helen Dooley has always loved reading and watching film and plays and has wanted to write for a long time. Over the years, she has tried various forms such as poetry and writing for children. However, once she discovered screenwriting, she realised that this was the type of writing she really wanted to do.
Ash Gorsi

Ashfaq Gorsi

Ash enjoys staying fit and watching sport, loves hiking and drinking coffee. Ash spent two months in LA and developed a love of acting and writing. In his spare time he likes to read and write short films.
Michelle Dawn Hayward

Michelle Dawn Hayward

Michelle Hayward is an English teacher living and working in the Blackpool area. She is the mother of two men-children and a little black pug, Florence. As well as being an avid writer, she is a keen gardener and allotment holder. Michelle has also spent time as an environmental campaigner.
Neil Patel

Neil Patel

Neil has been writing for the past 6 months. He is interested in telling stories and has a few ideas he would like to turn in to scripts. His aim is to create binge worthy content & character driven stories with originality.
Ryan Gregory

Ryan Gregory

Ryan Lee Gregory is a 28 year old documentary filmmaker from Leigh in Lancashire. He graduated in Film and TV Studies from Royal Holloway before being accepted onto the Grierson DocLab in 2016. Since then Ryan has worked on several documentaries - including making his own for BBC3 called The Voices In My Head.
Lynsey Fishwick

Lynsey Fishwick

Lynsey Fishwick grew up in Blackpool and studied English Language, Literature and Writing. Following her degree, she has spent several years writing instructions for a public sector organisation. She enjoys city breaks, and watching cycling, television series and films. She's looking forward to developing her screenwriting skills through Sky Writes.

Aimee Maylett

Aimee is a media and communication graduate. During her time at university, she took part in charity work, journalism and travel. Growing up, Aimee spent the majority of her time in Germany, moving every 2 years with her father’s military post. At 11 she moved to Earby in Lancashire, the place she now considers her home.
L Watson

L Watson

L Watson works in the Equality and Diversity sector and writes stories in the Liverpool Noir genre. L Watson is a proud Scouser, is addicted to wine gums and is learning to play the ukulele.
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