If you're an up-and-coming writer, this is an opportunity not to be missed!
With a focus on building a more inclusive film and television industry, Left Bank Pictures and the NFTS are looking for six up-and-coming screenwriters with applications particularly encouraged from under-represented backgrounds with diverse and varied perspectives to join a paid writers’ development programme.
“This is an important scheme, supporting new diverse talent and allowing their story telling to be heard and shared. We are thrilled to be part of this new initiative.”
The ten week Diverse Writers’ Development Programme engages writers in writing exercises in order to generate television drama concepts that are commercially viable. Concepts may be considered for further development by the studio but this is not guaranteed.
As well as the opportunity to work alongside other writers on professional briefs, the selected writers will also benefit from a curriculum designed to strengthen their creative and professional development, as well as overall knowledge of the Studio production process from script to screen. The Programme will provide access to production executives from Left Bank Pictures and potentially other production companies, as well as other industry professionals.
The six participants will work in a room together on four series ideas from a set brief. Each writer will lead the room for a single week with an experienced writer who will support the participants and help guide/lead the room. The teams will rotate across the course, with two rooms of six writers and two rooms of three.
Before each three week block the team will be given a brief, for example, ‘contemporary international thriller’. The team will then work collaboratively to develop a pitch, bible and episode breakdown for their proposed show.
At the end of each room the writers will pitch the finished series ideas to execs executives from participating companies, who will have the option to pick up the concepts for further development.
During the course of the Programme four full series ideas will be developed and pitched.
Writers selected to participate in the programme will be hired by the NFTS and paid £1,000 per week gross and less applicable deductions required by law for ten weeks and will sign an agreement requiring a non-exclusive but full-time commitment during the term of the Programme.
Should a writer’s material or the material co-developed during the Programme be identified as having development potential, an option to acquire the writer’s material during and at the end of the Programme may be activated by Left Bank Pictures. If any of the ideas developed as part of the writer’s rooms are picked up then a template option agreement (which all the writers will have signed up to at the outset of the Programme) will be used to acquire the writer’s material.
The scheme is for underrepresented writers who are on the cusp of taking the next step in their career. Our expectation is that the experience of working with executives from NFTS and Left Bank Pictures will give participants unparalleled exposure to professional briefs, enabling them to refine their skills and expertise in a real-world context.
In order to qualify for the NFTS Diverse Writers Development Programme, applicants must meet the criteria below. For further information please visit the FAQs. You must:
- Be from an underrepresented background.
- Have the right to work in the UK. (If you are shortlisted you will need to provide proof of your right to work in the UK).
- This is not an entry level opportunity, we are looking to work with writers with some experience who are ready to take the next step.
- Be available to participate in the Programme from March 2024.
You are NOT eligible to apply if you have done any of the following:
- Written a theatrically-distributed, scripted, non-documentary feature film.
- Written one or more scripted, non-documentary episodes of a television, or premium streaming series.
- End of October 2023 – Application deadline
- December 2023 – In person interviews and participants selected
- End of January 2023 – Announce participants and meet with Left Bank executives
- Mid March 2023 – Programme begins
- End of May – Programme ends
To apply, please send the following four elements (in one email) to email@example.com.
- A one page CV detailing your professional work, education and filmography. Please include a covering letter that outlines why you would like to join the Programme and why it’s the right juncture in your career to do so.
- A writing sample of up to twenty pages, that showcases your unique tone and voice. This can be a short script or an extract from a longer script. (If it is an extract, it should be accompanied by a brief - one page maximum - outline of the whole script). This sample can be from any genre. The sample must be a scripted, live action, narrative work with dialogue. All scripts must be submitted via PDF in a format consistent with industry standard.
- A completed Equality Monitoring Form.
If you are called to interview you will be sent a copy of the contract you will sign to be employed by the NFTS for 10 weeks and a copy of the option agreement.
The closing date for applications is Tuesday 31 October 2023 at midnight.
After applications close the selection process will take place as follows:
A panel from the National Film and Television School will read all eligible applications submitted material by the end of October 2023.
We will be looking for applications who are at the appropriate stage in their filmmaking careers to benefit from this opportunity, whose work shows passion, real promise and excites the panel.
The NFTS panel will short list 12-15 people for interview.
12-15 applicants will be shortlisted to attend an interview to discuss their application with both the NFTS and Left Bank. You will be notified by Thursday 23rd November 2023 if you have progressed to this stage.
Bursaries are available to help those in need of financial support to meet the out of pocket expenses of attending the interview.
Writers selected to participate in the Writers’ Development Programme will be hired by the NFTS and paid £1,000 per week for ten weeks, less applicable deductions required by law, under an agreement requiring a non-exclusive but full-time commitment during the term of the programme.
- Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Where will the programme be based?
A: At our Beaconsfield campus
Q: When is the closing date for applications?
A: Tuesday 31st October (at midnight).
Q: The website says you welcome applications from under-represented groups. What does that mean?
A: The under-represented groups we look at primarily relate to the protected characteristics as defined in the UK Equality Act 2010.
You should use the following list as a guide for what areas of under-representation we are seeking to address:
- Gender reassignment
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
In addition to the protected characteristics recognised by the Act, the NFTS also seeks to address under-representation in the following areas:
- Regional participation
- Socio-economic inclusion
- Caring responsibilities
Q: What happens if I apply after the deadline has closed?
A: Your application will not be considered.
Q: Can I continue with my existing employment and participate in the Writers Room?
A: No. The 10 weeks of the programme requires full time attendance and engagement. Writers will be paid £1,000 a week throughout the programme, less applicable deductions required by law.
Q: Can I apply if I am outside the UK?
A: No, you must be physically present in the United Kingdom to apply.
Q: Will the NFTS/Left Bank pay my travel, housing and transportation costs during the programme?
A: No. The NFTS/Left Bank will not provide travel, housing and transportation arrangements during the programme. The £1,000 stipend per week should be put towards any direct costs incurred.
Q: Who owns the written material produced as part of the room?
A: Left Bank Pictures shall have the option to develop anything you write as part of the Programme and you shall be attached as a writer. If a work is not picked up for further development, the rights to the work shall be re-assigned to the relevant writer(s).