Huge News! I’m off interrailing!!!

Hello Everyone!!! First of all, let me say I am so so sorry for making you guys wait for another post for so bloody long! I haven’t been the greatest blogger of late and for that I truly apologise! I think I might have already touched upon my reasons for not blogging in my last post but if it turns out I haven’t and I’m lying like a right porker then I’ll explain again now before I go into the exciting (and titular) news! 

First of all, as you guys know I’ve been studying for a Masters degree in TV and Radio Scriptwriting and my life kinda got taken over by finishing my last assignment of the year. I wasn’t feeling particularly amazing about my writing after getting negative comments off my supervisor for the assignment throughout the entire second semester. That plus the fact I started working as a teacher full time made me so stressed that I probably had a zillion breakdowns a week. I swear I would come home from work and just burst into tears at the prospect of another evening doing work I’d probably fail anyway. Nevertheless, I churned it out night after night (meaning any other form of writing, such as this blog was abandoned) and managed to pass with an amazing grade and some pretty fantastic comments off the very same supervisor who made me feel like shit (I swear one of his comments were “wow, I’m very impressed” and I nearly exploded with happiness!) and then on top of that I had my stand up comedy gigs. Now since my last stand up comedy course in April and the brilliant 7 min set I did, I have done another 2 gigs. One, which went amazingly well and the other, which just makes me want to crawl in a ball. 

The one that I’d rather not talk about was for a national Stand Up Comedy Competition and I had to travel all the way to Leicester for it. Needless to say, my lack of experience in the stand up circuit didn’t do me any favours on that night and I was just a bit like a little fish with loads of sharks. All experience though! 

After that gig, my confidence was a bit gone which is why it took me about two months to even attempt another. I did the Sunday 5 minute slot at Hot Water Comedy Club in Liverpool and the audiences responded really well to my material. Since the competition I had written an entirely new set and had worked on honing my stage presence. All in all, it was a gig that really helped reenergise my love for stand up and got me back on track for performing so it just shows you that you can’t let a bad thing knock you down you just have to keep trying and carrying on! An attitude I will carry on with from now on! 

Anyways! So that’s basically why I’ve been incognito for the past couple of months! I know it’s a long ramble but I just thought I’d explain to you guys in case you were wondering. And now for the exciting news….I’M OFF TRAVELLING!!! Yay!!! 

I’m so excited for this summer adventure me and my boyfriend have planned (completely last minute might I add). 

After years and years of saying we’d go interrailing together we’re finally fucking doing it! We just thought after the hectic and hard year we’ve had (house decorating, career stuff, family issues, moving) that we deserved a treat and what better way to treat ourselves than with an amazing three weeks in Europe. We’re gonna be staying with Jakes (the boyfriends) family in a villa in Faro, Portugal for the first few days then the plan is to head to Lisbon then travel through Spain, France, Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Czech Republic and end in Germany! We would’ve loved to have done longer but we have two weddings we need to be back for! 

Also just so you guys know, I plan on blogging it all! 😉 

Love to you all, 

Chelsea xxx

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Scriptwriting Opportunities for New Writers

As you guys know I’ve been a screenwriter now for about seven months and don’t get me wrong they’ve been pretty hard going! But once I had my first script under my belt I felt ready to go out into world of TV writing and kick arse!

In these last seven months, I think I’ve been on the majority of scriptwriting courses that are on offer to new emerging writers in the UK. Some of them, were amazing and I met some brilliant writers and learnt so much. Others….nawtt so much! If anything I just felt like I was literally throwing my precious money away.

Anyway I thought I’d present this little guide to going after opportunities as a scriptwriter to you guys so hopefully you can go after similiar opportunities and get value for your pennies!

Scriptwriting Opportunities that I found valuable:-

Scriptwriting North

Scriptwriting North is a fantastic hub for all writers in the North of England. It’s run by a really lovely woman called Beth who told me about the masters course that I am now on. For me, this place was absolutely fantastic as they taught me everything I needed to know before setting down a writing my first script. I have attended two ‘courses’ with them, one was a intensive day course for beginners which was a bloody brilliant day as it just gave me all the information I needed and in just one day! The second course was more like an intensive day of writing in various locations across Manchester but it was packed full of writing exercises, feedback sessions and food! If you live in the North and want to write, get in touch with Scriptwriting North.

BBC Writers Room

The BBC Writers Room is a great place with loads of resources for writers. The most amazing thing about the Writers Room is the extensive opportunities it provides for new writers on the scene. From it’s twice a year submission windows for drama and comedy writers to the external opportunities and competitions it posts on it’s ‘opportunities’ page. I also recently attended a free event in the BBC building in Salford with the Writers Room which had a Q&A with TV writer Sally Abbott. It was a lovely event and provided so much insight into the industry.

London Screenwriters Festival

This is like the holy grail for scriptwriters! Seriously! This event happens every year in London. Its a fantastic festival completely dedicated to all things scriptwriting that happens over the course of a weekend. Meet fellow writers, network, Q&A’s, pitch workshops, meet producers and so much more! The only downside for writers not based in London (such as myself) is the travel to London, the price of accommodation and then of course, the actual price of the festival itself. I couldn’t attend last year but I will definitely be attending this year, so will be blogging the entire weekend!

Scriptwriting Opportunities I regret paying for:-

Two Day comedy Writing Masterclass with Rob Grant

Okay, absolutely nothing against this course but I just don’t think it was worth the ridiculous price I had to pay! (£250, if your interested). It was run by Rob Grant, who was a writer and creator of a sitcom for a TV Series called Red Dwarf. Learning about how his career started and the in’s and out’s of what he knew was brilliant. However, the second day of the course, when he had to write a topical sketch show script for actors to perform that evening was totally pointless to me. I wasn’t interested in writing sketch comedy and if anything that’s the last thing producers want writers to send in to them.  If you’re in London though and interested in Sketch comedy then it’s right up your street!

And that’s it for now. I’ll do another writing blog post soon which will focus on writing competitions I recommend!

Good luck to you all and thank you for reading!

 

Scriptwriting Books I Use

Ok, so I decided to do a different sort of blog post today. 

As you guys know I’m currently studying for a masters in Scriptwriting and as I’ve been a budding scriptwriter for a couple of years now I’ve decided to share with you guys some of the secrets and tips I’ve learnt over the years, starting with the books. 


Believe it or not but scriptwriting is not as easy as you think it is and good books written by people in the industry can make all the difference with your writing. However, saying that these books are still just guidelines for writers and are not the be all, end all. If I were you, I’d try and find at least one book on screenwriting that you find useful and use that as a reference point. 

I’m going to talk in detail about three I highly recommend and then briefly touch on two that I also believe to be quite useful. 

I Highly Recommend 


Save The Cat by Blake Snyder 

This book is a bestseller and it’s no wonder why, Snyder reveals the industry standard secrets that have helped him sell screenplays. It’s funny, candid and full on so be prepared to be overwhelmed with information. Snyder believes every script follows 15 crucial steps which break the story down. However, I would be careful as I don’t fully believe you can apply his method to every script. If you want to write a movie then this book may be for you. 


The Coffee Break Screenwriter by Pilar Alessandra

Alessandra is a leading Hollywood Screenwriter who has written the perfect book for anyone whose ever wanted to write a screenplay or TV pilot but struggles to find the time. It’s full of quick writing exercises to motivate readers into potential screenwriters. The book is easy to follow so you won’t get overwhelmed with information. If you’re gonna get this book I recommend getting the second edition as it has updated writing tools for TV pilots and pitches and structural shortcuts. 



The Screenwriters Workbook
by Syd Field

Now, this book is quite different to the others. It’s more like a step by step manual to writing a screenplay with different exercises for you to do. This book also includes script analyses from different films so it’s almost like your getting bottle-fed Field’s guide to the perfect script. It’s clear and expert advice. 

And Other Recommendations…
If you’re as passionate about scriptwriting as me then there are two other books is recommend to all you budding writers out there. The U.K. Scriptwriters Survival Handbook by Tim Clague and Danny Stack is fantastic for anyone whose trying to crack how to get into the industry and offers insiders insights on how to get…inside. Another book is recommend for anyone writing a sitcom, like myself is The Little Book of Sitcom by John Vorhaus. This little book is brilliant at helping all sitcom writers with every aspect of their script. He even breaks sitcom structure down into fifteen basic steps which are easy enough for a child to follow. This guy knows comedy and he also knows how to sell it. For me, this book is a personal must have.