Writer to Watch: “The Little Drummer Girl’s” Claire Wilson

If we had to sum up the following article we probably could boil it down to: “Keepwriting! Keepwriting! Keepwriting! Keepwriting! Keepwriting! Keepwriting! Keepwriting! Keepwriting! Keepwriting! Keepwriting! Keepwriting! Keepwriting…!”

Fortunately, we don’t have to boil it down. Even more fortunately, the point is made much more artfully by Rachel Montpeller right here:

by Rachel Montpeller

Persistence and playing the long game have been the secrets to UK screenwriter Claire Wilson’s success. The co-writer of new AMC/BBC One miniseries “The Little Drummer Girl” was in her early 20s before she realized she wanted to pursue screenwriting. She made some shorts while holding down three jobs, and decided to go to film school in Vancouver because she couldn’t find an affordable program in the UK. When she finished her education, her career path wasn’t exactly smooth. “I came back from [school] with the confidence to try and make it as a writer and starting sending off scripts — getting the inevitable 30 rejections,” Wilson told BBC’s Writers Room blog.

She ended up submitting a script to the BAFTA Rocliffe competition, where it made it through the first round. The project was torn apart during a reading, but it also landed Wilson an agent. Another of her scripts, off-beat coming-of-age tale “Where There’s Darkness,” made the Brit List, the UK’s counterpart to the Black List. Wilson also participated in the BBC Three New Generation Writers residential workshop, where she developed a television idea with Gabriel Bisset-Smith, Kate Rowland, and Paul Ashton.

Wilson has praised the BBC’s writing initiatives for “nurturing new talent” and advises other aspiring writers to seek out similar opportunities. “There are some great schemes available: the BBC have the Writers Room on their website, Rocliffe Writing Forum is an excellent platform, and there are plenty of regional projects and initiatives. This is just to get yourself noticed,” she told her alma mater, Vancouver Film School. “Once you have something to put on your CV you’ll get the attention of an agent, and then, hopefully, things start to move on.”

After 10 years of making connections, honing her craft, and “knocking on doors,” one of Wilson’s projects finally made it to production: “Partners in Crime,” a 2015 Agatha Christie miniseries from Endor Productions and the BBC. Wilson wrote three episodes of the series, and Zinnie Harris penned the remaining three.

“I was working at Endor on a different project and had built up good relationships there, so they mentioned they had a BBC commission … and they thought I would be good for the project and recommended me,” Wilson recalled. “It was a sped up process — eight months writing to shooting, very stressful but very satisfying.”

Wilson penned two episodes of “The Little Drummer Girl,” based on John le Carré’s spy novel of the same name….

Read it all at Women and Hollywood