16 June 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
Writers Guild of Ireland to Host Mindshift: Breaking into Television at Irish Writers Centre
03 Oct 2018 :
The Irish Writers Centre & the Writers Guild of Ireland are hosting a special day of talks, workshops and panels for an insight into best practice in breaking into the TV industry.

The event takes place on Saturday, October 6th and runs from 10:30am-4pm.

As the most demanding form of drama work, writing for TV can be the best way to perfect the craft of scriptwriting. There are regular openings at Fair City, Rós na Rún and Red Rock, and growing opportunities to write TV dramas and comedies for Irish and international audiences.


10.15–10.30 | Registration


No. Laughing Matters: Writing Comedy with James Phelan

James Phelan will offer his personal take on comedy writing ranging from the fundamentals of humour to techniques that will help generate levity and lightness in even the heaviest script. He will also demonstrate the importance of the rewrite in improving the comedic clout of any screenplay. 

11.50am-1.00pm | Writing Drama with Deirdre Cartmill

In this session find out what all drama commissioners are looking for and how to write a script that stands out. We’ll also look at the importance of story and what a script is NOT. Deirdre will share her experiences of writing for both the BBC and RTE. She’ll also share her insights from the script editor’s point of view. She’ll detail what’s required in a submission, and how to build a relationship with an editor. There’ll also be some short writing exercises to get you thinking more deeply about your writing. 

1-2pm | Lunch

2.00pm - 4.00pm | Panel session with Heather Browningand James Phelan chaired by David Kavanagh.

Getting your unsolicited script made, or even read by a production company, is about the toughest way to break into the industry. Those in the know discuss how to make the most of your one chance to impress, what matters to a production company and what Heads of Development are looking for. 

About the Experts:

Heather Browning is a Development Executive with Deadpan Pictures and has worked as a script editor and script reader for a variety of production companies across Ireland and the UK over the last number of years. Prior to joining Deadpan Pictures, Heather was Development Manager at ROADS Entertainment where she was responsible for overseeing the company’s slate of feature films and documentaries. She holds a BA in ‘English Literature and Film Studies’ and an M.Litt in ‘Film Studies’ from Trinity College Dublin.

Deirdre Cartmill is a poet, writer and writing mentor based in Belfast. She is also an award winning screenwriter and has written for theatre, film, television and radio. Her short film Two Little Boys was selected for The Belfast Film Festival in 2013. She has written for RTE’s Fair City and award winning Irish teen drama Seacht. She was a top ten finalist in the inaugural Red Planet Prize, won the Claddagh Films Script Award and was a winner in the BBC Writersroom Undercover competition for staff. She was one of 12 writers from across the UK selected for Channel 4’s Screenwriting Course in 2011.

David Kavanagh has worked as Film Officer of the Irish Arts Council, Chief Executive of the Irish Film Institute, and General Secretary of the European Script Fund. As well as working as Chief Executive of the Writers Guild of Ireland's board of directors, he is also a board member of the Light House Cinema Exhibition and Distribution Company, and the Federation of Scriptwriters in Europe. He’s a member of the Policy Review Group of the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds. David is a member of the Irish Film and Television Academy and the European Film Academy.

James Phelan is the IFTA wining and critically acclaimed screenwriter of comedy dramas including Wrecking the Risingand The Galway Races. He also created the hit legal drama Striking Out for RTÉ and Blinder Films which broadcast recently to huge popular and critical acclaim in both Ireland and America. His short film credits as writer/director include the Filmbase/RTÉ short Poetic License and the RTE/Galway Film Centre short The Ottoman Empire which recently screened at Foyle Film festival. His short film Play Dead formed part of the portmanteau digital feature Hotel Darklight

Taking place on Saturday, October 6th – The event costs €60(Non-Members)/€50(Members).

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