The BBC Writersroom regular window for unsolicited comedy scripts is open from 10am on Monday 1st April 2019. Writers have a deadline of 5pm on Monday 29th April 2019 for scripts (TV, film, radio, stage or online).
What to submit to BBC Writersroom
1. One comedy script of at least 30 full pages in length for TV, Film, Radio, Stage or Online* with your personal details removed. (If you are submitting a sample script for Children’s TV or Online, you are welcome to submit 2 x 15 minute episodes as a single PDF document.) Your script should be saved as a single PDF document of no more than 10MB in size, with your name removed from the document.
If you are writing your script using a piece of software called Final Draft and do not know how to remove your name and contact details from your script, please refer to Final Draft’s own trouble shooter. If you are using Microsoft word processing and do not know how to save your file as a PDF, please refer to Office Support. (All software will come with its own user guidelines if the above links do not cover your queries. We cannot offer technical support for third party software).
2. A brief biography of your writing to date. Up to 1 paragraph to be included on your E-submission profile.
3. If you are submitting an episode script for a series/serial, you may also attach a brief outline, 1-3 pages, of further episodes. (This is not a requirement and would only ever be read if you made it onto our Comedy Room writer development scheme). This should be attached as a separate PDF document to your script. Please note, the outline is not a requirement and would only ever be read if you made it onto the Comedy Room Scheme.
Please remember to remove your name and contact details from every page of your script. All scripts will be read “blind” i.e. without a name attached, until after the full-read stage.
What BBC Writersroom is looking for
BBC Writersroom looks for what the script tells us about the writer. We see all scripts as a calling card to showcase a writer’s talent, ability and sense of humour.
Also, we are especially looking for distinctive voices – and scripts that express those voices. We do not look for more of the same – we look for the writer’s ability to pull an audience into a world and hold them in it. It’s not necessarily about finding precincts or situations that have ‘never been done before’. But it means having an original take on stories that have the potential to have wide breadth of appeal. Characters who are well rounded and consistent and who drive the comedy rather than serve it. A sense of storytelling ability – handling of pace, climax, mood.
We want to see the best possible draft you can achieve. We are not looking for early/first/rough drafts of scripts. Only submit to the Script Room when your script is ready. This might mean waiting for a later Script Room submission window. We are not just looking for competent, well-structured pieces. Instead, we are looking to unearth the treasures, the page-turners, the new perspectives, the engaging dialogue, the surprising character creations. We want to find that special, funny something that makes us want to read more.
Outcome of the Script Room
Finally, a group of writers will be selected to join the BBC Comedy Room writer development group for 2019/20. Script Room is not a competition but a means by which the BBC seeks out the best writing talent. We look for writers with the strongest potential to be developed and produced for BBC broadcast. You could be new to writing or new to the BBC but equally, you may be a playwright looking to write for TV, or you’ve written for radio and would like to try your hand at writing for CBBC. We know carving a career as a writer takes time, and each writer’s development needs will be different.
We will also consider whether scripts have real potential to be developed further towards production. If we believe a script could be developed further by a BBC department, we will send it to them with the writer’s knowledge. Original scripts written on spec’ are produced extremely rarely, and writers should not send them in with the expectation that they will be produced. However, original spec’ scripts are the means by which writers get noticed, so you should always write your script with the same level of commitment as if it were for production.
BBC Writersroom will not accept late submissions under any circumstances.
To contact BBC Writersroom, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8743 8000.
For more industry opportunities, visit our news page.