BBC to open up its Writers’ Academy to non-professionals

A couple of days ago we posted about how The Society of Authors in the UK is setting up a fund to help writers get through the financial problems that are part of the current worldwide Covid crisis.

Today we bring news of another way our British cousins are supporting our favorite art form – TV writing. Wow. Just wow.

The BBC is to throw open the doors of its Writers’ Academy to anyone who wants to have a shot at writing for television, in a move dubbed “X Factor for writers”.

In the past, only professional screenwriters have been allowed to apply to the academy, but in a bid to bring in voices from different backgrounds any budding writer will be able to try to follow in the footsteps of previous winners such as Killing Eve and The Victim writer Rob Williams.

The eight successful applicants will write for BBC Studios’ biggest shows such as EastEnders and Casualty, have lectures from writers such as Line of Duty’s Jed Mercurio and Years and Years writer Russell T Davies and get three months of paid training.

The move may be welcomed by those in self-isolation due to the coronavirus outbreak who are looking for something to focus on. Recently, stories have been shared about the creativity that has emerged from historical quarantines. William Shakespeare is thought to have penned King Lear during a plague outbreak and Sir Isaac Newton reportedly discovered gravity while in quarantine.

The head of the BBC Studios Writers’ Academy, John Yorke, said writing could help people cope with anxiety….

Read it all at theguardian.com

by Tara Conlan