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Sky Writes: Gateshead

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: Gateshead

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 Gateshead. 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 Gateshead 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: Richard Stockwell

Richard’s first writing success was in the 1998 when his play Killing Time toured the country starring Dennis Waterman. The play has been produced somewhere in the world every year since.  After that he wrote for Eastenders for two years for the BBC.  A number of other plays followed, in particular Bad Blood  which had a national tour and international success.

In 2005 he started working for Northumbria University where he established the Drama and Scriptwriting programme.  Richard taught at Northumbria until 2018.  During that period he also wrote a number of plays, in particular: Future Shock (Winner of the 2011 Best one act play, Drama Association of Wales) produced at the 24:7 festival Manchester and The Lowry in Salford;  The Prize (co-written with Steve Gilroy) produced at The Underbelly, Edinburgh Festival and Live Theatre. He also wrote Continuum under commission for Live Theatre performed 2016 at Alphabetti Theatre.

Programme Producer: Becci Sharrock

Becci is a writer, theatre maker and creative producer based in Gateshead.  She has worked with and for a variety of North East cultural organisations including Live Theatre, The Word, Northern Stage, ARC, Stockton, Beamish Museum, Sunderland Culture and Hexham Book Festival.  She has also produced and mentored a wide range of writers, artists and companies, specialising in new writing.

Recent writing credits include: Christmas With The Hobs (animated film, co-commissioned by Queen’s Hall, Hexham, Alnwick Playhouse and The Maltings, Berwick); Northern Pulse (Film Poem, Great Exhibition of the North, N18 Programme); Living Legends: Hidden Histories (Published book & exhibition, commissioned by Made In Corby); and Letters to Myself (UK tour).  She is currently under commission to write a stage adaption of The Secret Garden and is working on her debut novel.

 

The Writers

Cheryl Blake

Cheryl Blake

A single Geordie mam of three teenagers, a survivor of domestic abuse and fibro warrior, Cheryl Blake brings to her writing the trials and tribulations of a life tuned upside down by her circumstances, yet she conquers it all with humour, wit, daisy chains, tea and the odd flouncy word or two.
Charlotte Chapel

Charlotte Chappel

Charlotte loves being from the North East and tries to showcase the area in her writing. Her focus is on telling positive queer stories that people can relate to. She is excited to be able to learn about this industry and find out what makes great writing for TV.
Nicola Davison

Nicola Davison

Nicola is thrilled to be taking part and is particularly looking forward to meeting and working alongside others who share her passion for screenwriting. When not writing, she spends her spare time with two lively children, a curly dog and a small herd of rescued guinea pigs.
Daneka Etchells

Daneka Etchells

Daneka is a writer and actor from Cumbria, living in the North East. They’ve worked with Box of Tricks, Paines Plough, Theatre by the Lake, Emmerson and Ward, Rusty Studios as a playwright. Daneka is delighted to be taking their first steps into writing for TV and is excited to be part of this scheme.
Suzanne Hydes

Suzanne Hydes

Suzanne feels privileged to be a participant of the new Sky Writes Development programme and looks forward to exploring the craft of screen-writing, flexing her creative muscles and developing some compelling storylines and characters in the process. She is deeply passionate about poetry and the freedom of self-expression writing can provide.
KB Jacobs

KB Jacobs

KB Jacobs trained as an Actress. She began writing as a way to channel her creativity, when out of work and soon discovered it was something she really enjoyed. She's thrilled to have won a place on the course and is excited to meet the other writers, share stories and get creative in a safe and supported environment.
Joseph Lancaster

Joseph Lancaster

As someone who wants to expand their screenwriting ability, Joseph is excited to take part in the programme. They hope to learn as much as they can from as many new places as possible in order to deliver an exceptional storytelling experience.
Ellen Mellor

Ellen Mellor

Ellen Mellor is a trans woman living in Newcastle and working for Gateshead NHS. She has written four books and is currently working on her memoir, her second short story collection and trying to keep on top of a Kickstarter for a trans children's book.
Paul Rigby

Paul Rigby

Paul is 34 and from Hartlepool. Writing for TV is something he has always thought about but never felt confident enough to pursue. He is really looking forward to the workshops making him think about his characters and story in new ways and helping him focus his story into a coherent script.
Kim Spence

Kim Spence

Kim is a teacher, writer and novice 'yardener'. Most recently, she wrote an ACE funded theatre play about food banks. She is interested in bringing hope to challenging circumstances. She's looking forward to developing diverse and interesting LGBTQ+ characters for the screen and having a regular time slot to write with like-minded individuals.
Sarah Weldon

Sarah Weldon

Sarah Jane Weldon is a British crime novelist creating happy whodunnits more commonly known as 'cozy mysteries'. She's most looking forward to writing her first 'dark and twisty' script, which addresses the challenges and prejudices often faced by victims of crime.
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