WriterSlam Gets UKTV Boost

UKTV are partnering with TriForce Creative Network to turbo charge their groundbreaking WriterSlam programme.  

The successful programme has been running for over ten years, with the very first winner, Sophie Petzal, now an award winning writer and many other first time writers getting their first development commission and an agent through the programme. Over the years the TCN has partnered with (amongst others) Amazon, Hat Trick, Audible and Sky on these events 

UKTV will be taking WriterSlam to the next level, promising not just a development commission, but a greenlit season of originals on Dave in 2021/22.  

As usual the WriterSlam competition is open to any UK resident, regardless of their previous experience or age. Whether your script is about telling a story we’ve never seen on TV before, or whether it’s simply a universal story told by a different voice, we want to hear from you. We want writers who represent the society that we live in, and who will offer different perspectives, experiences and opinions.  

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have an agent, or have never written professionally before – if you live in the UK, and you’ve got an ideaor a story to tell, we want to hear it.   

Competition Details 

UKTV will select six writers who will receive a paid development commission to work up their original TV ideas into 30’ scripts suitable for broadcast and for potential expansion into full length series. These writers will benefit from several writing workshops in addition to working with a script editor and experienced executive producer over a three month period. Individual mentoring and support from TriForce Creative Network will also be available over this timeframe, culminating in a table read of all six scripts performed by a troupe of handpicked professional actors which will help inform the final selection process 

Four of these scripts will then be green lit to be produced for Dave, with TriForce Productions taking on some of the shows but with others being produced by emerging Indies to make under their umbrella with support from TriForce Productions. All the productions will be supported by D and I – TriForce’s diversity and inclusion support service, to help them crew up in an inclusive way. Its anticipated that the season will air on Dave either in late 2021 or early 2022. 

Pete Thornton, Head of Scripted, UKTV, said, “We’re excited to be working with TriForce Creative Network and DandI.org.uk on this unique UKTV WriterSlam and to be throwing this opportunity open to all underrepresented voices from any background. This is a truly inclusive initiative, and we want to hear from people from ethnic minorities, those from underserved socio-economic groups, the LGBTQ community, those who identify as having a disability and basically anybody who feels that their voice isn’t currently heard clearly on our screens. We’re offering dedicated support and mentoring over a three-month writing period and then the opportunity to see your show prepped, cast, shot, edited, marketed and broadcast on Dave next year.”  

“This is what a ‘360° approach’ actually looks like“ said Fraser Ayres, Executive Producer and CEO TriForce Creative NetworkIf we’re going to find more Michaela Cole’s and Tim Renkow’s we need to develop pathways that provide access and then perhaps those much needed voices won’t have to traverse so many obstacles to be heard. This move is unprecedented and kudos to UKTV for taking this tangible and giant step to truly move the dial with us. 

“By utilising our dandI.org.uk talent pool, we’re in a unique position to ensure inclusion and open access at all levels” added Minnie Ayres, Executive Producer and dandI.org.uk CEO. “From creatives to crew this will be fully inclusive, allowing us to also address the gaps we have identified by levelling up talent that is ready, but yet to be given their shot. 

Writers will be asked to submit a onepage pitch of their idea, as well as a 10-15 page sample of their writing.  

Submissions are open from midday Thurs 18 Feb – 11:59pm Thurs 25 Mar 2021. For more information on how to submit, go the WriterSlam page. https://thetcn.com/writerslam/ 

A separate call out will be going out for emerging production companies to coproduce oa number of of the projects later in the year.  

About WriterSlam 

Building on the success of our MonologueSlam UK initiative for actors, WriterSlam UK is our programme to help TV production companies and broadcasters access UK based new and established writers from diverse backgrounds.  These TV industry professionals then support the writers in their career development, providing tangible outcomes for participants.