BBC Northern Ireland has begun a search for new television writers with the launch of the 5th Tony Doyle Bursary. The bursary is open to writers who have a different story to tell and who are passionate about starting a writing career in television.
Patrick Spence, BBC Northern Ireland's Head of Drama, said: "The television landscape is changing by the second. We need to find the next generation of writers who are bold, pioneering, and determined to help us make better drama.
"We are so very eager to hear from writers with a voice, with passion, and with a clear understanding that screenwriting is a craft that demands hard work, and conviction."
The aim of the Tony Doyle Bursary For New Writing is to encourage television drama about Ireland by writers new to the medium. This may include writers experienced in other forms of fiction as well as new writers.
Four chosen finalists will take part in a residential seminar where they will undergo intensive, structured, script sessions with members of BBC Northern Ireland Drama's development team and with top script writers and producers.
Previous tutors of this course have included Barbara Machin (Waking The Dead, Casualty, The Bill), Peter Norris (Between The Lines, Ultimate Force, Uncle Silas), Robert Cooper – former Head of Drama, BBC Northern Ireland (Messiah, Sinners, Amongst Women, Truly Madly Deeply, As The Beast Sleeps, Ballykissangel) and Ashley Pharoah (Life On Mars, Wild At Heart) amongst others.
The judging panel for entries will be made up of former associates of the Irish actor Tony Doyle (Ballykissangel, Amongst Women, Between The Lines) and include Tony's widow Sally Doyle, Robert Cooper, Alan Maloney, Peter Norris, Lorcan Cranitch and Tina Kellegher. The overall winner will receive a £2,000 cash prize.
Previous winners of this prestigious award are Bill Murphy, Brian Dungan, Dominque Maloney and Danny Stack.
All submissions should be received by 31 January 2007.
The Tony Doyle Bursary for New Writing 2007
BBC NI Drama Department
Tel: 028 9033 8845
1. We are inviting submissions from writers with an Irish background.
2. The submission should be either a 60 or 90-minute script for an original television drama. This can be a single drama or the first episode of a two-parter, serial or series. For series etc, you must attach a synopsis (maximum 2 pages) outlining the remainder of the story.
3. Please submit two typed copies of the script.
4. Only one entry will be accepted per person.
5. Entries must be in the English language.
6. Entries must be the original work of the writer (ie entries must not be based on the work of any other writer).
7. The writer must not have had either a drama in the English language previously produced for television or a feature film produced (this does not include short films subsequently broadcast on television).
8. If the submitted script has been through a development process with a production company, agent, training scheme etc then this must be declared on the submission.
9. If the rights for any part of the work submitted have been licensed, assigned or disposed of to any third party then this must be declared on the submission.
10. No previous finalists will be considered.
11. All submissions should be received by 31 January 2007. Submissions received after this deadline will not be considered.