Channel 4 has announced the 12 writers who have won places on this year’s Channel 4 Drama Screenwriting course, 4Screenwriting.

Now in its thirteenth year, the course pairs a writer with an experienced script editor and works with them to develop a pilot episode script over a five-month period and introducing them to key contacts within the TV drama industry. The course also features two weekends of talks, readings and feedback at Channel 4.

4Screenwriting success stories include alumni writing on Channel 4 drama shows including Hollyoaks, Ackley Bridge, On The Edge, Screw, Truelove and Queenie; several of the recent course projects have gone into active development with Channel 4 Drama and writers with their own, authored shows, on established series going into production or in writers rooms with ITV, BBC, Channel 5, Sky, Netflix, Amazon, Apple TV, Paramount+, Disney+, etc. The list of alumni includes Sian Ejiwunmi-Le Berre who has adapted Agatha Christie’s Murder is Easy for the BBC, Karen Cogan who is writing on the second series of Bad Sisters for Apple TV and Cat Moulton who has written original series Code of Silence for ITV starring Rose Ayling Ellis.

This year, from over 2000 scripts entered, the 12 writers that were selected and completed the 2023 course are: Jon Champion, Rachel Causer, Nathan Ellis, Alix Eve, Julia Grogan, Adam James, Daniel Katanchian, Shyam Popat, Sid Sagar, Deli Segal, Jilly Sumsion and Jenny Takahashi Stark.

The writers received motivational, creative and practical advice to kick-start their careers with talks from high-profile writers, producers, directors and members of the Channel 4 commissioning team.

This year’s guest speakers have included Kate Leys (Churchill, Benjamin), Petra Fried (Somewhere Boy, Truelove), Hilary Norrish (Top Boy, Little Birds), Edward Cripps (2022 course graduate), Thara Popoola (Sex Education, Queenie), Mark Brennan (Literary Agent), Anna Symon (Mrs Wilson, The Essex Serpent), Ray McBride (The Beaker Girls, Holby City), Lola Oliyide (Britannia, Informer), Matthew Wilson (Brexit: The Uncivil War, Pure), Izzy De Rosario (Around The World in 80 Days) and Ben Wadey (EastEnders, Holby City) from the Channel 4 drama commissioning team.

Head of Channel 4 Drama, Caroline Hollick, said: “Every year, the 4Screenwriting course continues to show what amazing new talent we have here in the UK and 2023 is no exception. As always, Channel 4 Drama continues to champion and develop new talent through this scheme, and I am so grateful to Philip Shelley for his ongoing support and passion for this project. I am looking forward to seeing this year’s graduates flourish further and I am delighted that 4Screenwriting is open again for 2024 entries”.

The 4Screenwriting course is open to applicants without a screenwriting credit and provides the opportunity to work with a dedicated script editor to write an original script. The course is run for Channel 4 by Philip Shelley who runs his own Script Consultancy Service. Philip works with individual writers, producers and production companies.

Channel 4 is also now accepting entries for the 2024 4Screenwriting course from Monday 18th September to Monday 2nd October. Details of how to enter can be found here:

Pippa Considine

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