The Screenwriters' Talent Campus 2016

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The Screenwriters

NOW CLOSED FOR SUBMISSIONS

Do you want to participate in a 10-day intensive screenwriting course with two months’ mentoring?

The Screenwriters’ Talent Campus 2016 is focused on your creative talent with professional development, career advancement and the practical business of screenwriting.

This programme is supported by Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund, which is funded by the BFI with National Lottery funds, through the Skills Investment Fund.

Our Goals For You

We want you to get your work produced. To that end we have four clear objectives at the Talent Campus.

  1. To improve your professional and industry skills to help platform you as talent to watch.
  2. To refine your story and writing skills in the context of a commercial marketplace.
  3. To realign your project with commercial trends to increase the probability of getting optioned and produced.
  4. Exclusive Opportunity: To pitch your project to industry directly.

Structured in three parts, with two gaps for writing (supported by weekly mentoring sessions online), the Talent Campus will take writers who want to work on commercial screenplays and provide an immersive, challenging and powerful experience.

How much? Passes are £1,712.54* (which includes a pass to the festival and festival week).

  • Cost for UK citizens/residents (with Creative Skillset support): £642.54 (inc VAT)
  • Cost for non-UK citizen/resident: £1,712.54

*Successful applicants (places are limited) who are also UK citizens/residents who have a commitment to working within the British film industry can apply for a Creative Skillset grant that will cover two thirds the cost of attendance (we will handle the Creative Skillset application on your behalf).

If you have already bought a London Screenwriters’ Festival pass or festival week tickets, these passes are deductible from the Talent Campus fee.

When?

  • Project Ignition: 23 July – 25 July (3 days)
  • Writing Period 1: 26 July – 29 August (5 weeks)
  • Immersion Week: 30 August – 4 September (6 days)
  • Writing Period 2: 5 September – TBC (approx. 6 weeks)
  • Project Completion: TBC 

Deadline for application (apply here):

  • 11:59pm on Tuesday 12 July

As the application requires answers to several questions (as well as an uploading of supporting documents), we advise you to look through the application well before the deadline.

You will need ready for upload…

  • First 10 pages of a feature film or TV script (this does not have to be from a finished script) (doc, docx, pdf only)
  • One page synopsis from the same feature film or TV script (doc, docx, pdf only)
  • One page of dialogue from your screenplay with ABSOLUTELY NO scene descriptions. Just dialogue. No slug lines, no character description, nothing. Just dialogue. With just TWO characters. No more. This should be from your project but can be written from scratch and may not appear in your final script.

This course is teaching me skills and mindsets that no other screenwriting course ever has, even though they are as critical to success as writing talent

KT Parker

KT Parker


audio_logoThe Talent Campus encourages applications from screenwriters of all backgrounds. In particular, we will have audio induction loops for those who are deaf and hard of hearing.


NOW CLOSED FOR SUBMISSIONS

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Your Outcomes

  • Improved screenwriting skills.
  • Improved appreciation of the business of screenwriting.
  • Developed ideas and projects (building on your new business acumen), increasing the likelihood of getting produced.
  • Improved confidence, relationship and pitching skills for screenwriters.
  • Developed ideas ready to be pitched to execs in the real world.
  • New and outstanding peer groups that will continue beyond the Talent Campus.

Day One (Sat 23 July) // Career Ignition!

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Objective: To start the campus from a position of power.

Chris Jones, founder and Creative Director of The London Screenwriters’ Festival, kicks off the Talent Campus with this seminar. It will examine and pinpoint your present career placement and provide you with the tools and techniques needed to raise your standards and break through personal barriers. Through practical exercises and tasks, you will be challenged to take your career to the next level.

In our experience what is usually standing in people’s way are their own limiting beliefs. This seminar is designed to shatter your limitations, replacing them with empowering beliefs essential to achieve success as a screenwriter in today’s competitive market.

Also speaking will be a past Talent Campus delegate, to help focus your expectations, and Karol Griffiths, to explain the mentor experience and how best to leverage it for your own career.

Midday, acting coach Mel Churcher will join us for a session on subtext and what actors bring to your screenplay. This is an essential class to help everyone write with greater confidence, brevity and to help craft dialogue that speaks with greater depth.

During the Talent Campus our resident lawyer, Emma Heath will do short presentations on relevant legal aspects.

The day will end in a film business exercise designed to further professionalise your script and career.

Location: Ealing Studios, West London

Day One Speakers

Chris Jones

Chris Jones – Filmmaker and author

Credits include: Oscars shortlisted Gone Fishing, the Guerilla Handbooks and a bunch of feature films

Chris has spent his life making movies, writing books  and helping others make their movies.
Chris Jones

Karol Griffiths

Karol Griffiths – Script Editor & Supervisor

Credits include: How I Met Your Mother, Friends

Karol has been Lynda La Plante's script and copy editor for the past 3 years and has Edited and Supervised many prime-time TV shows and films.
Karol Griffiths

Mel Churcher

Mel Churcher – Acting Coach

Credits include: Sherlock Holmes, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

Mel has coached actors (and some directors) on over 50 major films & TV series.
Mel Churcher

Emma Heath

Emma Heath – Solicitor & Screenwriter

Emma is a qualified solicitor, who trained and worked as an Associate at Hogan Lovells International LLP, before joining the London Screenwriters’ Festival this year.
Emma Heath

Talent Campus has been not much short of a life changing experience. Openly sharing my biggest fears and biggest hopes has made a massive difference to me personally as well as my career as a scriptwriter

Kristina Day

Kristina Day

Day Two (Sun 24 July) // Story Pitch and Refining Ideas with John Yorke 

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Objective: To prepare writers and their projects to find success in the commercial marketplace.

The day kicks off with Bob Schultz from the Great American Pitchfest who will present a short but rapid-fire session on pitching and presenting your projects to executives and producers, setting you up for the biggest part of the day with John Yorke.

John Yorke will run this workshop focused on how to identify the value of your work in monetary terms, how to increase its commercial viability and to advise project selection and/or abandonment based on current market trends.

You will take your own pre-existing project, idea or concept and, if needed, re-imagine them in a commercial context.

You must complete this module with your viable project, which will then be taken through the entire process.

Location: Ealing Studios, West London

Day Two Speakers

John Yorke

John Yorke – MD Angel Station

Credits include: Wolf Hall, Shameless, Life On Mars

John Yorke is Managing Director of Angel Station where he works as a drama producer, consultant and lecturer on all forms of storytelling.
John Yorke

Day Two Afternoon (Sun 24 July) // Meet the Mentors


mentoringObjective: To form support groups with mentors and take the project from page to pitch.

The second half of Day Two starts with the Talent Campus being divided into groups, with each group assigned a mentor who will provide support for the duration of the programme.

Creating these smaller groups is key to the success of the Talent Campus.

Within your group, you will present a re-imagined version of your project in the form of a one page synopsis. Group members will read and feedback on each others’ projects with a strong emphasis being placed on collaboration and application of skills taken from John Yorke.

Just had a phone conversation with my Talent Campus mentor, and he's given me such brilliant insight into my project!

Liz Holliday, Screenwriter

Liz Holliday, Screenwriter

After a short work break, you will then pitch your refined projects for a final round of feedback from the group and mentor.

Moving forward into the next five-week period, the groups must commit to a weekly meet up (either physical or online) for further discussion, support and collaboration.

Location: Ealing Studios, West London

Talent Campus Mentors

Karol Griffiths

Karol Griffiths – Script Editor & Supervisor

Credits include: How I Met Your Mother, Friends

Karol has been Lynda La Plante's script and copy editor for the past 3 years and has Edited and Supervised many prime-time TV shows and films.
Karol Griffiths

Lucy V Hay

Lucy V Hay – Script editor | Bang2write

Bionic blogger, script editor and the voice of new writers!

Legendary for her enthusiasm and knowledge which she shares with her community at Bang2Write. Core member of the LSF team.
Lucy V Hay

David Mansell

David Mansell – Producer & Script Editor

Credits include: Doctor Who, Torchwood, Casualty

David is an accomplished Script Editor and Producer who has worked on many of the UK's most popular continuing drama series.
David Mansell

Ludo Smolski

Ludo Smolski – Development Consultant

Credits include: Filth, Leave To Remain

Ludo is a development consultant and script editor, and is a co-Tutor of the National Film & Television School's Postgraduate Diploma in Script Development.
Ludo Smolski

Day Three (Mon 25 July) // Story Pitch and Refining Ideas with Samantha Horley

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Objective: To get a handle on the real world of film sales and distribution and stress test your individual projects.

Samantha Horley joins us for a workshop that will force your project through the prism of marketing, sales and distribution. Sam is an outstanding practitioner with years of experience at the selling end of the business, which also means she is just as active at the inception and development end too.

We will take your project and, through a series of exercises, move it into the real world where we will find out whether it’s got life as a commercial project, and what tweaks and rewrites could make all the difference.

Location: Ealing Studios, West London

Day Three Speakers

Samantha Horley

Samantha Horley – Producer

Credits include: Grabbers, Miss You Already

Samantha is a prolific Producer, freelance script and development consultant and a lecturer who creates and runs training courses for emerging filmmakers.
Samantha Horley

The day will wind up with Chris Jones recapping on the objectives for the coming weeks, and logistics around working with the mentors.

Where before I was hoping it would all happen, I now have a clear path forward and I’m actively pursuing projects for film TV, radio and Internet

David Hitchcox

David Hitchcox

Writing Period One: 26 July – 29 Aug // Development, Writing and Planning Period

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Objective: Take the project to a detailed treatment or rough first draft.

Across the next five weeks you will develop your projects and plan for the London Screenwriters’ Festival (LSF) phase of the Talent Campus. Groups and mentors will meet weekly online and writers will be encouraged to engage daily.

I'm writing a thriller and my mentor who I'm having regular sessions with wrote a book on how to write thrillers. Doesn't get much better than that

Mark MacNicol

Mark MacNicol

Ahead of the festival, you will be expected to have a refined one page synopsis and to have written a detailed treatment of your project. Additionally you will be required to have written a 4-page scene from your project for an LSF Actors Table Read session. Deadline for delivery of this four-page scene will be: Mon 11th Aug.

You will be expected to hone your project pitch ahead of your LSF Pitchfest session.

You will also be encouraged to revisit other existing projects as well as develop and work on new ideas and fresh material, although primary emphasis should be placed on your Talent Campus project.


Day Four (Tues 30 Aug) // Networking Tuesday

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Objective: Get writers fearlessly in charge of their opportunities. Why? Because we hire people we know and like.

Using real life examples, practical exercises and role play, this one day workshop will set you up for an outstanding festival experience and equip you with all the tools you’ll need to network any room, at any time, with anyone.

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

Sarah Cassidy

Sarah Cassidy

We will provide real industry networking practice for you so you can take charge of professional opportunities, both formal and social.

For a more detailed breakdown of the workshop and outcomes, go HERE.

Day Four Addition: Pre-Pitching Tuesday

Designed to eliminate nerves and hesitation from the pitching process, this session allows participants to improve their pitches via intensive repetition and providing and receiving peer critique.

Location: Regent’s University, Regent’s Park


Day Five (Wed 31 Aug) // Advanced Structure with John Yorke

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Objective: A full day on structure that will ensure your foundations are solid and thought through.

This session with John Yorke focuses on the need for stories to be underpinned by a strong structure and commercial awareness. He will explore the reasons certain script ideas are snatched up by commissioners, and how to make sure your script is a given the green light.

John Yorke's session was hugely helpful, giving me an insight into serial structures, and what commissioners are looking for - plus as I was asking him for some advice on my TV drama he requested the script

Rachel Paterson

Rachel Paterson

For a more detailed breakdown of the workshop and outcomes, go HERE.

Location: Regent’s University, Regent’s Park

Day Five Speakers

John Yorke

John Yorke – MD Angel Station

Credits include: Wolf Hall, Shameless, Life On Mars

John Yorke is Managing Director of Angel Station where he works as a drama producer, consultant and lecturer on all forms of storytelling.
John Yorke

Day Five Evening (Wed 31 Aug) // Project and Career Assessment and Festival Prep

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Objective: Ensure project materials are the highest standard before presentation to industry influencers.

Groups and mentors will gather for a midpoint assessment and ‘last look’ at projects. You will be required to share and read each others’ project material within your groups ahead of this gathering so you are fully prepped to benefit from collaborative thinking.

Within your groups you will further refine your materials and pitches to ensure you are fully focused, equipped and prepared for the opportunities that await at the festival.

Location: Regent’s University, Regent’s Park

Talent Campus Mentors

Karol Griffiths

Karol Griffiths – Script Editor & Supervisor

Credits include: How I Met Your Mother, Friends

Karol has been Lynda La Plante's script and copy editor for the past 3 years and has Edited and Supervised many prime-time TV shows and films.
Karol Griffiths

Lucy V Hay

Lucy V Hay – Script editor | Bang2write

Bionic blogger, script editor and the voice of new writers!

Legendary for her enthusiasm and knowledge which she shares with her community at Bang2Write. Core member of the LSF team.
Lucy V Hay

David Mansell

David Mansell – Producer & Script Editor

Credits include: Doctor Who, Torchwood, Casualty

David is an accomplished Script Editor and Producer who has worked on many of the UK's most popular continuing drama series.
David Mansell

Ludo Smolski

Ludo Smolski – Development Consultant

Credits include: Filth, Leave To Remain

Ludo is a development consultant and script editor, and is a co-Tutor of the National Film & Television School's Postgraduate Diploma in Script Development.
Ludo Smolski

Day Six (Thurs 1 Sept) // Writing the TV Pilot that Sells with Jen Grisanti

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Objective: Broaden your professional opportunities by embracing the expanding universe of cinematic television.

In this session, studio exec and writing instructor, Jen Grisanti will share her structured story system, helping participants develop their serial storytelling skills and to heighten tension, create multiple story layers, and write memorable characters, and providing them with practical information about bibles and pitch documents.

You will come away from the session with a deeper understanding of the art and science behind TV series scripts.

For a more detailed breakdown of the workshop and outcomes, go HERE.

Location: Regent’s University, Regent’s Park

Jen Grisanti

Jen Grisanti – Story / Career Consultant

Credits include: TV Writing Tool Kit: How To Write a Script That Sells

Drawing on her experience as a studio exec, Jen guides writers to shape their material, hone their pitches and focus their careers.
Jen Grisanti

The intensive festival week which also included networking and pitching training was like a military bootcamp for screenwriters

Halida Abbaro

Halida Abbaro

Day Six Evening (Thurs 1 Sept) // Pitching Masterclass

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Objective: To prepare participants for real world pitching. 

Run by studio screenplay reader and script consultant Pilar Alessandra. This practical workshop will improve pitching skills exponentially. By the end of the class, you will be ready to pitch professionally, passionately and powerfully to any producer, agent or executive you meet at the festival and, of course, beyond.

For a more detailed breakdown of the workshop and outcomes, go HERE.

Location: Regent’s University, Regent’s Park

Pilar Alessandra

Pilar Alessandra – Script Consultant and Educator

Credits include: The Coffee Break Screenwriter

Pilar's students and clients have written for Lost, Prison Break, Nip Tuck, House of Lies, CSI and Family Guy.
Pilar Alessandra

Day Seven Morning (Fri 2 Sept) // Professional Pitching

Friday_00_Pitchfest (TC)_040Objective: Real world pitching to industry players.

You will participate in this exclusive pitching session hosted by the LSF specifically for the Talent Campus.

You will get the opportunity to spend 90 minutes pitching your project to as many executives as the time slot will allow (each pitch lasts 5 minutes).

There will be 14 top industry producers, agents and commissioners present and the ratio of pitches to executives will be 2.5 to 1 so with good planning and preparation, everyone has the potential to reach up to eight execs within the 90-minute session.

A production company I pitched to were interested in my idea for an adapted screenplay. I negotiated an option for the film rights with the publisher, and am about to submit my draft

Louise Vale

Louise Vale

This session will provide real life opportunities for the delegates to engage powerful players within the industry and create meaningful relationships that can extend beyond the festival and have the potential to significantly further their careers.

Location: Regent’s University, Regent’s Park


Day Seven Afternoon (Fri 2  Sept) // Actors Table Read, Day One of LSF

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Objective: Real world experience of what actors and directors do to their screenplay.

You will receive a 60-minute Actors Table Read session where a four-page scene from your project is performed by a team of professional actors under the guidance of a professional credited director.

Alongside the Pitchfest, the Actors Table Read provides delegates with invaluable experience of real life industry practice with established, working professionals.

For a more detailed breakdown of the workshop and outcomes, go HERE:

Outside of their Actors Table Read session, participants are free to enjoy the rest of the festival, including the networking party held on Friday evening.

Location: Regent’s University, Regent’s Park


Day Eight (Sat 3 Sept) // Talent Campus Training, Day Two of LSF

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Objective: To further increase knowledge and skills in the art of screenwriting.

Talent Campus participants are free to choose the Festival sessions which are most relevant and useful to them.

The Saturday sessions are followed by the second annual British Screenwriters’ Awards and networking party in the evening.

Location: Regent’s University, Regent’s Park


Day Nine (Sun 4 Sept) // Talent Campus Training, Day Three of LSF

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Objective: To further increase knowledge and skills in the art of screenwriting.

Talent Campus participants are again free to choose the Festival sessions which are most relevant and useful to them.

Your festival experience will culminate with a one hour ‘check-in’ and round-up within your group. You will be encouraged by your mentors to take your festival learnings and fully explore any new relationships they have made as well as create new ones beyond the festival.

At this stage you will also be required to fill in a brief handwritten exit feedback form detailing learnings, outcomes and breakthroughs you have received from your Talent Campus experience thus far.

Location: Regent’s University, Regent’s Park


A Special Audience With…

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Objective: To provide an intimate forum for conversation with the most successful screenwriters.

Throughout the LondonSWF festival experience, we will create a true fastrack experience for Talent Campers. Last year we hosted a special audience with both Carl Gottlieb (Jaws) and Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects; MI:5) giving unparalleled access to the biggest names in the business.

Talent Campus has opened doors I wasn't even close to knocking on.

Anthony Cox

Anthony Cox

Writing Period Two: 5 Sept – TBC // Career and Project Development Period

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Objective: Complete a first draft (treatment or script) and prep for industry assessment and pitching.

Across the next six or so weeks you will continue to meet weekly within your group for constant monitoring of projects, personal development and career advancement.

You will be encouraged to engage with the industry and to create new relationships and opportunities through your advanced networking and pitching skills. This ‘new engagement’ is a specific metric we will measure, both in terms of new relationships as well as relationships that convert to opportunities.


Day Ten (TBC) // Advanced Marketing and Conclusion

KT
Objective: To enhance marketing, self promotion and prepare for industry assessment and pitching.

Chris Jones will run this half day seminar designed to enhance your marketing and self-promotion skills.

Chris will emphasise the value of sharing experiences with the community and developing your relationship with new and traditional marketing. The seminar will also focus on the importance of personal brand and how to develop one.

Conclusion: Evaluation & Assessment

For the second part of the day, you will be invited to address the group and share your experiences and outcomes created by your participation in the Talent Campus. With specific emphasis on who you were and where you were before the Talent Campus, and action taken and results gained as a result of your participation.

Location: Ealing Studios, West London

We are now part of a supportive community of people who are all passionate about telling stories and getting them on-screen.

Ellen Pruyne

Ellen Pruyne

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More Feedback from Talent Campus 1.0 Delegates

Don’t take our word for it, listen to what delegates said from last year…

The Talent Campus exclusive sessions have also been absolutely incredible – John Yorke, Kate Leys, Lucy Hay, Chris Jones, Julian Friedman, Pilar Alessandra – all giving us their insights and advice on our individual projects. Plus special sessions with Chris McQuarrie and Carl Gottlieb. I’m not aware of a screenwriting course where you can get that kind of intensive input from such an experienced bunch of people, who are currently active and working in the business.
Rachel Paterson

I’ve made massive progress with my story thanks to the highly supportive personnel and framework of TC both collectively and also within our smaller group. When I complete my first draft I reckon it’ll be in the region of 12 weeks quicker than had I been writing it independently of the program. The calibre of industry professionals I’ve had access to is quite simply incredible.
Mark MacNicol

The highlights have been being taken seriously and getting script requests though Pitchfest, and developing a supportive, inspiring peer group.
Poz Watson

Really great course with lots of knowledge learnt and experience gained. The mentoring outside of the Talent campus sessions has been the most rewarding, and its great to have a mentor as well as be in a smaller group of writers to chat to and get feedback from about our specific projects.
Gary Thomas

I have gone from writing alone, to writing with the strong support of a peer group of fellow writers. From using only my own judgment, to now working with professional script editors and producers who are assessing the quality of my work and helping me decide which projects to pursue in terms of their place in the market.
David Hitchcox

I’m learning and developing so much. It’s been especially valuable in helping me develop my networking and pitching skills. I really enjoyed meeting execs and pitching and felt so much more relaxed than I’d ever imagined I would. I feel more confident in networking and pitching situations and I’m looking forward to more.
Nick Fogg

Although I was certain that Talent Campus was going to be brilliant, I wasn’t at all sure it was going to develop me where I most needed help – networking and pitching. To my delight, those have been two core areas of focus of the course so far and I feel that I have made a great leap in both my networking and my pitching in such a short time period. This resulted in a much-needed boost in my confidence.  
KT Parker

I am sure I will continue to feel the positive effects and profit from the relationships and contacts made long after this inspiring program has ended.  
Halida Abbaro

I have learned heaps professionally: all the varied training sessions were in-depth and expertly delivered. Being mentored by a working producer has been invaluable. The support our group has given each other (and not least, were given by the organisers) has made the whole experience a pure joy.  
Kristina Day

The very best thing that I have gotten out of the Talent Campus so far is the opportunity to really get to know several of the other Campers, especially the ones in my mentor group. My mentor, Karol, has been phenomenal! I see us keeping a relationship going for years to come. Our group has grown pretty tight and I hope that we maintain our connection and collaborative energy long after the close.
Amy Amani

It was a wonderfully, enriching experience where I have further developed my knowledge of the craft, but also I have made twenty-odd new friends who I’m confident will remain friends for life now.
Sarah Cassidy

The Talent Campus has pushed me further, faster, than almost any other experience I’ve had in my screenwriting career to date. So as a way to fast track a career, I have to say this is unparalleled.  
Liz Holiday

Talent Campus_Weekend 1_037And finally Dee Chilton…

It has been a shot in the arm of creative energy, giving me more confidence in my abilities and understanding. It has taken me to a higher level and reinvigorated me as both a writer and as a human being. It has challenged me to set the bar higher for myself and be even better. It has released more of the authentic me to come out to play, helped me to let go my feelings of inferiority and improved my self-belief no end.

It has driven home the fact that, as well as striving for excellence in our writing, interaction with the right people is crucial to our own development. It is a unique and invaluable opportunity and I am honoured and to have been selected to take part along with my fellow talented creatives. I know for sure it will pay massive dividends for us all in the future.

My ambition now is to replay the faith shown in me by Creative Skillset and Team LSF, by taking everything I have learned and putting it to best use to make progress in the industry. It would be a massive disappointment to me if Talent Campus was not funded in 2016 and beyond, allowing other talented emerging writers the same opportunity.  
Dee Chilton

This programme is supported by Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund, which is funded by the BFI with National Lottery funds, through the Skills Investment Fund.

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