Sessions are now being added daily
Over the three days of the London Screenwriters’ Festival we will run over one hundred seminars, workshops and networking events for professional screenwriters. We film most sessions, so if you miss one, or two clash, you’ll be able to catch up later online. For updates about the festival, sign up below.
The Script Surgery provided excellent advice and improved my screenplay story structure.
Gordon Slack, Screenwriter
“We want the finest wines available to humanity, we want them here and we want them now!” Bruce Robinson and ‘Withnail and I’ script to screen.
Come down to Tuke Hall… “We’ll get together, have a few laughs”… and watch the 1988 smash hit, whilst screenwriter Jeb Stuart talks us through the development and production of this Bruce Willis classic.
This is your big moment… Pitch your killer project to professional producers and top agents. Past sessions have resulted in options AND representation!
It’s about time someone put the originators and architects of great storytelling front and centre. And so we did! Now in our fourth year, join a roster of the BIGGEST writing names rubbing shoulders with the hottest newcomers in the UK.
Hearing your words like they might be on screen one day is incredible; combined with instant feedback on how the actors liked the layout and used the script direction.
Jeremy Caine, Screenwriter
Script To Screen
Christopher Nolan’s breakthrough hit ‘Memento’ employs fractured narrative, flashback and multi protagonist storylines. Join Linda Aronson as she deconstructs the movie in real time (well with a few pauses!).
Come down to Tuke Hall… “We’ll get together, have a few laughs”… and watch the 1998 smash hit, whilst screenwriter Jeb Stuart talks us through the development and production of this Bruce Willis classic.
Join pioneering producer Martin Alltimes, along with his visionary director, writers and key cast for an in-depth dissection and study of a key scene from the much anticipated Planet of the Apes: The Last Frontier game.
Pitched as “Apocalypto in Belfast”, ’71 is an edgy, intense, character driven and remarkably authentic story. Join Writer Gregory Burke and Producer Angus Lamont as they provide a live chat track through the making of this extraordinary film.
LSF is now as crucial to the future of the British film industry as the BFI, and due to its global appeal, LSF is making waves around the world
Tom Kerevan, Writer & Producer
Screenwriting Practical help
You plowed through act one, wrote some entertaining fun and games and then … you got stuck. Don’t worry. “Act 2B” is conquerable! You’ll leave this class with your story strengthened and some of your most pressing writing problems solved.
How do actors and a director approach your screenplay? What happens when your words are reinterpreted through other artists? Join us for a sensational live onstage performance and deconstruction of one LSF delegate’s script.
Stopped in your tracks by where to go next with a plot point, a character, or a scene? Or maybe you feel it’s just not happening today? Pilar will show you a number of tools that will immediately and powerfully unstick your creativity so the words continue to flow.
Scott Myers digs deep into the Coen brothers movies revealing narrative dynamics you can use to craft the unique nature of your own stories. Learn from the masters in this unmissable session.
Kira-Anne Pelican returns to the LSF with this essential session guaranteed to bring fresh insights into your character creation, shaping, complexities and nuances.
Pilar Alessandra, Hollywood Script Consultant, is here to help you spice up your scripts with memorable, engaging and dynamic dialogue.
Final Draft tips and tricks + special guest Christopher Vogler
Discover the myriad paths writers are using today to get their work noticed and break in. And learn the practical steps you can take right now to help you get from hobbyist to professional screenwriter.
Script Readers, Assistants, and Interns have their own career objectives: to become the big players of tomorrow. Learning to connect to them is an integral part of a long-term career strategy. And you can kick it off with this eye-opening session.
Over the last few years, LondonSWF has been running a writing initiative around short horror stories. We reveal what we learned and how all writers can position themselves better for success.
Your script is polished and brilliant. Your emails are getting returned. You have, as they say, buzz. But what you don’t have yet is the lay of the land. Get the rough guide to Hollywood and make that first trip to LA fully prepared.
True stories that will inspire and terrify but most of all, offer insight, into how writers got their agent.
Farah Abushwesha founder of BAFTA Rocliffe presents this essential session with tips and strategies for finding the right producer for you and your project.
In this dynamic workshop, Christopher Vogler will show you how and why you should build your modern, dynamic and fresh characters from the DNA of the ancient mythological and archetypes from the Heros Journey.
From designing a classical misunderstanding to shaping the structure of scenes, sequences and even the whole screenplay, this session should help raise your comedy writing skills to the next level.
Scott Myers debunks the mythical screenwriting ‘rules’ surrounding scene descriptions and demonstrates the ways in which successful professional writers convey their voice through screenplay style.
Meet the LondonSWF screenwriters who have taken action and acted as producers, actors or directors on their own scripts. Learn how to follow in their footsteps.
Following their packed to capacity sessions in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 Chris Jones and Jonathan Newman are back to run this highly successful and super controversial manifesting success workshop.
Find out what’s going to get you hired and what’s going to get you fired by the Producers you need to impress. In this session, our panel of seasoned Producers will share their stories from the trenches of writer relationships gone very very right… and very very wrong.
What can we learn from the most recently successful writers among us? Those of us who were, maybe just a year or two ago, fighting like the rest of us for the big break, to make ends meet and to start to make money from what we love.
Great American Pitchfest Guru Bob Schultz will start every day with a short 30 minute PitchFest bootcamp to get you ready for your pitch!
Can social media really help you or your production succeed? Or is it just a place for bitter comments and distraction? Don’t feel like a twit when it comes to Twitter, come to Jo’s talk and discover the bitter-sweet partner you can have in social media.
More details coming soon…
What does an actual writers’ career look like, and what sort of money might you earn at what stage of your career?
Live and dynamic script redraft, edit, slash and burn… Only for the bravest of writers!
Are you up for the challenge? Are you ready to take control of your own career? In this hands-on practical session we will take one lucky delegate from the blank page to completed short before the conclusion of the LSF17.
In this necessary and insightful panel, writers who have made an impact writing authentic LGBT stories and characters will discuss how to write authentically to a largely mis (and under) represented audience.
In this presentation with Scott Myers, you will learn key principles to help you craft a Nemesis who goes beyond the stereotypical Bad Guy to a living, breathing, and powerful antagonist figure.
Make the reader love you on the first page… So they cannot wait for the next! Learn writing techniques that help your script hit the ground running with top LA Script Consultant Pilar Alessandra.
The feedback has transformed my writing. I’d absolutely recommend the scritpt clinic to anyone who knows their script could be better.
Libby McGugan, Screenwriter
Great British PitchFest
Pitch – face to face over Skype – with Hollywood producers and execs. Sessions are 90 minutes and you should get around 7 or 8 pitches in during that time.
Are you good enough to exit the elevator with the million dollar business card before the doors slide shut?
Have you got the Pitch Factor? Live from the London Screenwriters Festival, the Pitch Factor returns with CASH prizes and our very own motley crew of judges!
The Script Chats were open and informative and leisurely.
Rebecca Handley, Screenwriter
Screenwriting for Film and Television
Lean from an instant classic drama. Stepping through the film live, Christopher will illustrate the characters, archetypes and journey steps as they clearly manifest in the film and screenplay.
Adapting a successful novel or other work seems like a logical evolution, but the process can be problematic. How do you navigate the minefield?
The Heros Journey meets The 21st Century Screenplay in this exclusive pairing of two of the greatest educators in the screenwriting world. Prepare to go deeper than you have even done before.
Join show Creator Chris Lang, star Sanjeev Bhaskar, and Editor Mark Davis as they reveal the secrets of crafting a long-form mystery and give you a peek behind the curtain of one of the UK’s most popular new dramas.
Stephen Volk, creator of the groundbreaking Ghostwatch will be sharing his thoughts on a 30-year career writing screen stories unfettered from normal, everyday experience, and illuminated by the dark and strange.
Our panel of Directors from both film and TV, including Jonathan Newman (Mariah Mundi and the Midas Box) and John Strickland (Line of Duty) will discuss the dynamics Writer/Director relationship both on and off set.
Using examples from worldwide sensation Game of Thrones, this enlightening class will show how grounded themes are able to soar with the help of otherworldly elements.
What was that written moment, what was that character action or specific turn of phrase that made our panel of renowned actors pick up the phone and tell their agent, ‘I’m In!’
Master the techniques used to create seemingly complex and interwoven stories with many protagonsists. Linda will reveal the secrets used by the masters.
Anne Edyvean, Head of BBC Writersroom, provides us with invaluable tips and answers those burning questions we have about breaking in and writing for the BBC.
Join Mash Report lead writer Tim Telling and executive producer Christopher Stott as they discuss the challenges of running a news-reactive television comedy show, making the transition from internet to TV and the inevitable Daily Show comparisons.
Industry experts predict that by the year 2020, China will surpass the USA as the biggest market for cinema and television entertainment. With a panel who are currently writing series and features for China, this session will provide the most up-to-the-second insights into this exciting opportunity.
Discover the seven narrative dynamics evident in Pixar movies. Scott will illustrate how Pixar filmmakers use these narrative ‘secrets’ and you can learn how you can adopt them when crafting your own stories.
Don’t fall into the career ending trap of battling with the money and getting booted over “Creative Differences”, come to this session and learn some essential tips and strategies to help you get the most out of the Producer/Writer ‘Push me/Pull you’ relationship.
Kim Zubick, producer of The Zookeeper’s Wife, talks about the process of getting a film from script to screen from the producer’s point of view.
Want to know how a gothic, period continuing thriller drama became a hit show? And what can we learn from the makers so that we too can re-create the success of Ripper Street?
Writers of true crime must serve two masters: the audience and the “characters” who exist in the real world. Neil McKay will help you thread that needle and guide you to storytelling success.
Having written for comedy and entertainment shows ranging from Miranda and Not Going Out to Top Gear and TFI Friday, writer and comedian Paul Kerensa lifts the lid on the comedymobile, tinkers around and steps back to see if any sparks fly.
Whether you write for cinema or television, this session will help you drive your career into the future, even as you find your inspiration in the past.
How do you go about adapting a JK Rowling novel into a hit TV series? Meet the team behind the transformation from book to screen.
Drawing inspiration from the great story tellers of the world, Producer and Director of the world famous NFTS, Nik Powell examines storytelling from the point of view of the producer not as is usual from the point of view of the writer or director.
Four of TV’s heaviest hitters gather to discuss the past, present and future of British TV. What can we learn from their success and how can we partner with them in the future?
Three of the UK’s most prolific and trail blazing producers will come together in this unique session to share their big visions, their rich perspectives and looking forward to answer the question, “What’s next?”.
After tackling the subject head on in last years thought provoking and mind-opening session, The Female Gaze returns. With some of the UK’s most ground breaking and trail-blazing wonder women, we continue the conversation that affects ALL of us.
From book, to script to screen, join us to experience the journey this extraordinary modern horror story undertook to become one of the most loving yet ferocious takes on the zombie genre.
Take a peek behind the continuing drama curtain in this mega-session with the top Producers, Writers and Consultants from Casualty, Doctors, Eastenders and Holby.
Feeling bored, confused or constrained by the old paradigms? Yet you’d like to write a tightly structured thriller that sells? It’s time to reclaim your creative freedom and master story structure!
Action films cross cultural barriers and vault a screenplay’s potential for success into the worldwide market. In this explosive session, Jeb Stuart (Die Hard, The Fugitive) will share his 30+ years of wisdom in this unstoppable powerhouse of a genre.
More details coming soon….
Meet Alex Von Tunzelmann who wrote the screenplay for Churchill. Starring Brian Cox in the role of perhaps the most revered British characters of all time, no-one can have possibly approached the subject and story without apprehension.
It was my first LSF and it was worth every penny. So much so, that when I got home last night I booked my ticket for next year!
Janet Awe, Screenwriter
We’ve been after him for years and finally the scheduling stars have aligned and we are absolutely delighted to welcome Paul Abbott to the LSF17. Join us as we finally get inside the brilliant writing mind of this brilliant writing man.
Join the King of Crime Writing Jed Mercurio, for a session with one of the industry’s most successful writers talking about one of the industry’s most beloved crime dramas.
Few producers have dominated the UK industry in such a vibrant, dynamic and courageous way as Stephen Woolley. Get the inside track on how he consistently found traction for filmmakers and screenwriters for decades.
Without Upstairs Downstairs there would be no Downton. With a career spanning decades and a credit list that reads like a movie and TV collection, Dame Eileen has much to offer new creatives looking to create a name for themselves
The Festival has been the most inspiring and rejuvenating experience of my writing life
Ilesh Topiwala, Screenwriter
Have you considered?
A one hour session exploring what it takes to produce documentary features independently and then get them sold and distributed.
In this session, Julia McKenzie, Head of Radio Comedy at the BBC and Jeremy Howe, Head of Radio Drama join writers Neil McKay and Jack Bernhardt to discuss the benefits, challenges and myriad of opportunities available writing for radio
Are you creating a story that is timely and yet timeless? About childhood and effective for both children and adults? Meet our panel of experts who have done it.
From the welcome at the door, to meeting my peers, talking with the experts and networking it was a brilliant three days. Can't wait for next year.
Barry Lewis, Screenwriter
Screenwriters Talent Fast-track
We all have concerns about our screenplays and career, but often can’t afford a specialist lawyer. At the festival you can get that face time you need, with a media lawyer.
A panel of leading film industry professionals provide confidential one-on-one advice to move your project onto the next stage.
Highlight for me was the Actors Table Read, the actors and director really brought my script to life
Geoff Stillwell, Screenwriter
Beyond the workshop
Have scenes from your script read, performed and workshopped by professional actors and directors. SUBMISSIONS CLOSED FOR 2017.
Get intimate face-to-face time in our hugely popular Script Chat roundtable sessions. Ask our speakers the questions you want answered.
Read the script, watch the film or TV show, then meet the writers, filmmakers and producers at the festival.
Meet 30 new writers, producers and directors in our 90 minute speed networking event. Fast, FUN and designed to create powerful new relationships.
Join five other writers and a seasoned showrunner for a whole day on Thursday (the 1st September) to write a show for a long running TV series. Welcome to the pressure cooker that is the ‘Writers Room’ at LondonSWF.
Do you need an expert to offer concise, practical and immediately useful feedback on your screenplay or treatment? Get one-on-one feedback on your script with Euroscript.
I’ve really learnt what I can do to move my career on from this point forward
Tom Couldrey, Screenwriter
Join Showrunner Barbara Machin in this day long CRIME focused Writers Room experience brought to you exclusively by the LondonSWF.
Join Showrunner Loretta Preece in this day long DOCTORS focused Writers Room experience brought to you exclusively by the LondonSWF.
Join Story Producer Roxanne Harvey in this day long MEDICAL focused Writers Room experience brought to you exclusively by the LondonSWF.
Jack Bernhardt heads up this day long writers lock-in where six successful applicants will workshop topical gags and sketches informed by the news of the day.
I’m deeply grateful to LSF for the opportunity to have a legal expert examine my query in such a thoughtful and thorough manner.
Janet Van Eden, Screenwriter
Do you love action? Do you dream of explosions, gun fights, and car chases with huge stars trying to kill each other? Do you have a completed action feature script you need to take to the next level? Then this lab is for you!
Do you love television? Do you have the next returning hit TV drama series in your portfolio? Then we want to hear from you.
Successful applicants will join Scott at the Festival for this intensive lab and through workshopping take their writing to the next level.
Seasoned TV Drama Producer and LSF Patron Gub Neal (The Fall, Cracker, Prime Suspect) rolls up his sleeves and delves deep into your TV projects in this intensive 3 hr lock-in with one of the most prolific and accomplished Producer’s in the business.
I got so much from the networking day, I can't even tell you. I feel confident talking to other people now, and I've got the skills in getting into a conversation and out of it
Open and Close
Get fully prepped to get the most from the festival in this kick ass opening that will frame your three day roller coaster. NOT TO BE MISSED!
NOTE THIS SESSION BEGINS AT 6.15pm SHARP AND IS JUST 15 MINS LONG. Join the team for the FABULOUS close of the festival and our promise for the next year ahead.
An extraordinary event that put the writer – as an individual and as a group – at the centre, and met the needs of all, from the most hesitant emerging talent to the most hard bitten...
Tanya Lees, Screenwriter
Join Christopher Vogler at the Bookstore where he will be signing copies of his book The Writer’s Journey.
Join John Yorke at the Bookstore in the Refectory where he will be signing copies of his book Into The Woods.
Join Linda Aronson at the Bookstore in the Refectory where she will be signing copies of her book 21st Century Screenplay.
Join Pilar at the bookstore where she will be signing copies of the new and updated 2nd Edition of her book The Coffee Break Screenwriter.
‘My Script Lab with John Yorke changed the way I look at story and pitching forever.’
Kristina Day, Screenwriter
Don’t be shy – grab a beer and break out those business cards!
Unofficial Post Festival Drinks At The Globe Pub on Baker Street
LSF gave me the confidence to believe that I can be me
Les Grice, Screenwriter
A ten-day professional development programme supported by Final Draft that will immerse you in the tactics and strategies as well as mindset needed as a professional screenwriter.
Amazing seminars, world-class speakers, uber-friendly delegates, and everywhere energy, energy and generosity
Matthew Curlewis, Writer
Festival Week: Additional One Day Masterclasses
Don’t fall at the first hurdle. Prepare for an extraordinary PitchFest at the LSF by joining Hollywood pitch guru Pilar Alessandra who will transform your pitch so you can present professionally and with confidence.
Veteran Hollywood story consultant and studio executive Christopher Vogler brings his game changing seminar to the London Screenwriters’ Festival. Prepare to embark upon your own unforgettable adventure…
Talent is great but relationships get you hired. The ability to create powerful new relationships in any given situation is one of the primary factors in the success of your career and that of any screenplay that you write. A one day masterclass.
In one day, shift your project from a great idea that is well executed into one that meets the needs of the emerging long story form machine that is Netflix and other online platforms.
Thank you and your team for the most amazing 4 days at the Screenwriters’ Festival, I have come away buzzing and have already bought my ticket for next year!
Liz Mente-Bishop, Screenwriter
Additional Courses, Workshops and Masterclasses
In this two day practical masterclass with Pilar Alessandra, we will show you how to deconstruct your ideas and then rebuild them into marketable projects that commissioners will be clamouring to read.
An intensive two-day workshop that breaks down the art and craft of reading scripts to help improve your own writing, to also improve your feedback for other writers and most importantly, to earn you money as a professional reader.
The Screenwriters’ Craft Crash is a must for any writer who needs to get laser focus on their actual pages and elevate it from ‘good’ to ‘recommend’. Bring your laptops, pens, highlighters, print-outs and game-faces! Expect to write and rewrite.
How to get your film sold and distributed in the new, dynamic and evolving marketplace. Join 400 filmmakers and 30 industry experts for a game-changing weekend.
I then sat at a small table with Stephen fricking Frears and chatted with him. I chatted with Stephen Frears!
Lisa McMullin, Screenwriter
To be revealed before LSF'18
Taught me more about writing and making films than my degree!