Channel 4 launches new scheme to identify and support upcoming writers in Bristol

As Channel 4 settles into life in Bristol, this exciting new scheme announcement shows what can be achieved with the broadcaster being here
Channel 4 are bringing an exciting new scheme to Bristol Channel 4 are bringing an exciting new scheme to Bristol
Channel 4 are bringing an exciting new scheme to Bristol

With Bristol having become a UNESCO City of Film a few years ago, it’s no surprise that the city is starting to be a hub for creative talent - even more so than usual.

As a result of this, Channel 4 has launched an exciting and brand new scheme designed to identify, develop and support new TV drama writers in the west and south west of England.

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The scheme, titled the C4 TV Drama New Writers Scheme (west and south west) has been devised by Channel 4’s Bristol hub in collaboration with Bristol UNESCO City of Film and its partners BFI NETWORK (which is delivered regionally in the south west by Watershed), UWE Bristol and The Bottle Yard Studios.

It opened for applications at the beginning of this week and is encouraging new and emerging writers to apply, with a particular focus on diverse perspectives across the region. The scheme is open to unrepresented writers looking for their first writing credit and writers who are working on developing their own original series.

Bristol is a UNESCO City of FilmBristol is a UNESCO City of Film
Bristol is a UNESCO City of Film

So, what exactly do successful candidates get from the scheme? 12 successful applicants will receive six months’ specialist support that will include in-person writing workshops and training in Bristol, industry mentoring and an introduction to scripted drama production companies.

What’s more, after completing the scheme, participants will be able to submit a first draft script for consideration and feedback from Channel 4’s Drama Commissioning Editor, Gwawr Lloyd.

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Supporting new talent regionally is something that Ms Lloyd is particularly passionate about. She says: “Ensuring that the Nations and the Regions are represented in its dramas is a real priority for Channel 4. As a broadcaster, we have a history of discovering and nurturing new talent - it’s something that we are passionate about.

“Launching this TV Drama New Writers scheme is a fantastic opportunity for the channel to identify talent from the region and to work with them to help us get authentic, original stories on screen - reflecting audiences back on themselves.

“It’s the perfect opportunity for the Channel 4 Bristol Hub to collaborate with our local partners to give stories that matter the platform they deserve.”

The Bristol launch of the Channel 4 Creative Hub with Alex Mahon and Mayor Marvin ReesThe Bristol launch of the Channel 4 Creative Hub with Alex Mahon and Mayor Marvin Rees
The Bristol launch of the Channel 4 Creative Hub with Alex Mahon and Mayor Marvin Rees

Having recently stood out to criticise privatisation plans for Channel 4, Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees feels that this opportunity showcases the brilliance that can be achieved from Channel 4 coming to Bristol. Furthermore, it’s a prime example of the types of schemes that should be celebrated and prioritised rather than focusing on the legal battle of privatisation when it’s not needed or wanted.

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“This exciting opportunity shows what can be achieved having brought Channel 4 to Bristol, working closely with our UNESCO City of Film partners,” he says.

“It’s a fantastic scheme that demonstrates the value of the partnerships being forged in the creative sector and will strengthen the region’s writing talent-base, hopefully leading to new stories that represent the diversity of our city and the wider region reaching our screens as TV drama.

“Thank you to Channel 4, Bristol UNESCO City of Film and all the partners involved for joining forces to make this happen.”

The deadline for applications is midnight, Sunday 12 June. For full details and how to apply, visit here.  

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