Doctor Who and Call The Midwife hand opportunity to emerging writers with new initiative

ScreenSkills initiative has launched the New Writer’s Award for Production Companies, which gives writers the opportunity to write a speculative script

Doctor Who Series 12

A new initiative is giving emerging writers the chance to write for some of the BBC’s best loved shows – including Doctor Who and Call the Midwife.

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According to Broadcast, the ScreenSkills initiative has launched the New Writer’s Award for Production Companies, which will give writers the opportunity to write a speculative script for an episode of either of the shows, with the only stipulation being that they have not written for a high-end drama show in the past.

The scheme, which is being funded by the High End TV (HETV) Skills Fund, will hand a £15,000 bursary to successful applicants.

Zoe Cooper, a playwright who has worked with the National Theatre has already been named as the first winner for Call the Midwife, while the first Doctor Who winner will work on series 13 of the sci-fi juggernaut.

As reported by Broadcast, ScreenSkills HETV director Kaye Elliott said: “Making primetime drama is an expensive and risky business, which makes it understandable when companies turn to tried and tested writers.

“This award will help de-risk the process of an indie working with a writer that it has never worked with before. Even if the episode is not used, the writer gets invaluable experience.”

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Other high-end dramas are expected to join the initiative in the future, and the award is open to further applications.