In 2020, any woman wanting to become a paid, commissioned comedy writer faces an almost insurmountable challenge. According to the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, female writers are particularly rare in comedy and light-entertainment (11% in comedy, 9% in light entertainment - Equality Writes, 2018).
ERA 50:50 , supported by ScreenSkills using National Lottery funds awarded by the BFI as part of the Future Film Skills programme, and in partnership with Comedy 50:50 initiative, is launching ‘TellHerVision’ - an all women writers’ room led by a professional comedy mentor.
This project attempts to directly address the current gender inequality in TV comedy writing and the lack of access to comedy writers' rooms for women as part of ERA5050’s strategy to create lasting change in the industry.
Six writers’ in an all female writers’ room will be given the task of creating and writing an episode in the style of the British studio sitcom with women in the lead roles. Our professional comedy mentoring team including Joanna Scanlan (actor, writer, producer), Juliet Morrish (writer and producer), Michaela Hennessy-Vass (executive producer and former commissioning editor) and Polly Kemp (actress and co-founder ERA 50:50) will be on hand to guide the writers over the course of several weeks. As well as offering a safe creative space, we want this programme to be flexible and to respond to the writers’ needs - it aims to be a creative experience for all participants.
At the end of the project we aim to have a single hilarious 25 minute episode of a comedy that will be the result of the collaboration of all participants with all rights protected within a legal framework overseen by Comedy 50:50. The aim is to create a one off performance in line with current Government guidelines around social distancing.
To apply, please submit a script sample (anything from 3 to 10 pages) with a short paragraph to give the extract context. Please write a personal statement to help us understand your background, and how you think you’d benefit from this programme. Please send your script sample, accompanying paragraph and personal statement saved as one PDF with your name and contact details.
Please send both this statement and script sample using the apply function above. You will be prompted to login/register for a ScreenSkills profile in order to apply.
The deadline for submissions is midnight on the 28th June and we will contact successful candidates by COP 11th July. The programme will begin on the 13th July and will run for 4 weeks.
If you have any questions about elegibility, or on the application process, please contact email@example.com
We are looking for women who feel they have hit a wall in their career - who have proved themselves on the live circuit, but are no longer considered ‘hot new talent’ and who are no longer eligible for new writers schemes.
Each writing place will be paid £1000 to take part in the programme over the course of several weeks.
“Money dignifies what is frivolous if unpaid for” Virginia Woolf
In light of the current COVID crisis and to accommodate existing work and life commitments, this will be an entirely virtual project and we will endeavour to be as flexible as possible with the schedule.
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