Feedback from the London Screenwriters’ Festival 2021 Hybrid Event


This was our tenth festival and both online and onstage… Here’s what writers had to share about it…

‘I have met other like minded creatives and pitched my projects to established industry professionals in this LondonSWF.I felt encouraged to get out there and make my own film.’
David Marantz // Writer, Director
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‘It was amazing to come to an in-person event and network in person (and kudos for COVID precautions!) and also to have access to so many top quality speakers online from round the world. The Pitchfest was amazing and I have a lot of emailing to do! LSF gives the community that keeps us pushing each other forward and never giving up.’
Alexis Howell-Jones // Writer
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The organizers worked incredibly hard to run a real and virtual festival to accommodate everyone at a very difficult time.  It was much appreciated by screenwriters and certainly well worth Arts Council funding in 2022.
Linda M James // Author, Screenwriter
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‘I loved the online cocktail party sessions and I got to reconnect with old friends and make new ones, at a time when it’s difficult to travel. I was grateful for the chance of the Pitchfest. It’s hard for writers to get their work in front of execs, and LSF attracts top world companies because of its reputation, and last but not least, LSFConnect and the wonderful people and resources on it.’
Fiona Faith Ross // Screenwriter
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Meeting writers face to face was a real boost to the soul, and Pitchfest was an amazing opportunity to meet execs that wouldn’t have happened without LSF. Thank you all!’
Alison Hogge // Filmmaker
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‘I had a lovely time catching up with Talent Campus alumni at Regents University.’
Merlin Goldman // Filmmaker
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‘Best piece of advice I got during the festival was ‘don’t give up’, I so often I think “what on earth am I doing!?”, but knowing so many of us feel like that was really valuable and has made me continue to do what I love. I feel like I am not alone in the wilderness anymore.’
Georgina Fagelson // Writer
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‘The Hybrid LSF format is awesome. Great to meet people in the flesh but also able to catch up on really good stuff with evening session via ZOOM and other formats.’
Barry Lewis // Scriptwriter
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‘Getting to hear talks from writers, directors and producers about their journeys, and learning from their insight and wisdom was such a valuable experience. I was also able to connect with other writers and step out of my limiting fear zones.’
Cate Wood Hunter // Screenwriter, Content creator, Teacher
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‘I absolutely loved the in person festival, meeting and listening to experts speak about their journey.  I also made some great connections at the pitch fest online last week. Thanks so much, you guys are amazing!’
Louise Osbourne // Filmmaker
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‘The London Screenwriters’ Festival was extremely good value for money. After a protracted period of global inertia brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, LondonSWF served as an important conduit to galvanize hope, inspiration and camaraderie among creatives.’
Cilla Lowen // Screenwriter
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‘This is the single best networking and teaching event for screenwriters anywhere in the UK. It’s the best industry event I have EVER attended. My dream is to be successful enough to be able to return one day as a speaker. I shall never forget that weekend. Thank you.’
Steve Walker // Writer
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‘The Pitchfest turns out to be my favourite part of the festival, closely followed by being brave enough to hold hands and stand in a circle at the end of the in-person element at Regent’s University.’
Mike Quinn // Screenwriter
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‘LondonSWF is a golden opportunity to interact with professionals in the industry, gain invaluable knowledge. An inspiration journey you’ll never forget!’
Kathryn Riley // Writer
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‘The live sessions in person at Regent’s University were fantastic. Pitchfest, and all the pre-pitching advice, were also great.
Julian Chomet // Journalist, Author, Writer, Director
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Learning from other successful screenwriters, finding out how to break into the industry and the supportive community that LondonSWF has created. Brilliant festival as ever, even though I didn’t manage to make all live sessions, I can watch the recordings and continue my writing journey.’
Jane Rayner // Writer
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The sheer energy and having access to so many industry names, and talented delegates is amazing. It puts screenwriters, often overlooked, girly in the spotlight. We are an amazing, talented country when it comes to the arts and film making in particular. This festival showcases our talented screenwriters as well as nurturing new vibrant voices.’
Amanda Harper // Writer, Filmmaker
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‘LondonSWF is brilliant as always!’
James Allen // Screenwriter, Filmmaker
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‘There has been so many elements that I love about this festival that it is hard to choose what was my favourite. One thing that stood above everything else was the community and the opportunity to meet so many people (even if online). The Pitchfest was an AMAZING experience and was certainly, for me, the highlight of the festival. Besides that the HOURS of deep dive into the craft of writing, which will be available for us to keep on returning to it is priceless. THANK YOU!!!’
Vered Neta // Author, Scriptwriter, Script Reader
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‘There are so many favourite bits of LondonSWF! Inspiring speakers, enthusiastic team, supportive community, and fabulous pitching opportunities!’
Alison Clapham // Writer
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‘The hardest thing for me about writing, is the motivation and the isolation. The LondonSWF fills your tank up again, and sets you on an inspirational path. It also provides relationships that will last a very long time.’
Bobby Stevenson // Writer
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‘LondonSWF has such a wide variety of speakers and guests who were engaging and informative to listen to.’
Michael Barmish // Screenwriter
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‘LondonSWF is as ever fantastic value, endless learning, great presenters and presentation and run with professionalism and wit and with a desire to do the best for others.’
Leslie Grice // Writer
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I loved The Pitch Factor – I was a watcher not a participant but I learned so much about the process.
Emily Southhall // Screenwriter, Marine Ecologist
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‘Being a writer can be a lonely business. LondonSWF is a reminder that we are all in the same boat, whether we are new writers or have been in the industry for thirty years. We all just want to create stories.’
Jacqueline Davies // Writer, Podcaster
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‘Loved the up close banter from folks speaking from the heart, offering their best support and advice. Also the positivity and fun throughout keeps these sessions so enjoyable. The recordings have been easily accessible, giving us flexible options for watching them.’
Shari Ayers // Screenwriter, Educator
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‘Learning from such legendary big-brain professionals like J. Michael Stracynski and Dave Reynolds. Another great festival, and the online aspect means I was able to make it anytime.’
Sam Kurd // Screenwriter
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‘There are so many things I love about LondonSWF, especially the fabulous speakers and the most of all the community spirit! I did PitchFest for first time ever and loved it. I have come out of this LondonSWF a more able and more confident writer. Thank you to everyone involved. Embrace all the opportunities. You’ll be glad you did!’
Litty Williams // Screenwriter
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‘The variety of talks covered so much advice about writing, making your own short films through to finding your way into the business. I was enthralled throughout. The Festival Close brought it all together and helped my determination to keep going to find the magic.’
Sally Womersley // Actor, Writer
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‘The quality and quantity of information given in the festival continues to excel. I hope that LondonSWF will continue.’
Gordon Slack // Screenwriter
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‘I loved everything about LondonSWF and can’t wait for the next one!!’
Antonia Balogh //  Writer
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‘LondonSWF has the mix of learning, encouragement and opportunity in one place.’
Rachael Howard // Writer
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‘LondonSWF gives me an opportunity listening to the people who have made it in screenwriting, taking in advice, feeling inspired and motivated.’
Karen Gillingham // Writer
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‘The insight and stories shared by the speakers are always an absolute treat. I learn something new every time, but this year I decided to drop a fiver in the hat and face the fear – the pitch factor. It was as expected, a blast and totally recommend it.’
Tas Malle // Writer, Filmmaker
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‘My favourite thing about the LondonSWF is the massive boost I get from the community spirit and amazing support I receive from all kinds of directions, whether it’s the sessions themselves or just the networking with like-minded people. It should be an essential part of any screenwriter’s annual calendar. Although I still love the in person version we live in trying times and the team pulled off an awesome feat with the first online festival this year. Long may it live!’
Alan Cross // Writer, Director, Editor
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‘The real life stories of emerging writers making things happen was both exciting and inspiring.’
Chris Gorley // Writer, Filmmaker
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‘The genuine camaraderie with like minded artists and speakers uplifted my spirits in way no other place has.  Against all odds in Covid era, LondonSWF faced the challenge to reinvent itself to grow stronger and in radical ways. Furthermore the trail is blazing brighter than ever. It’s been emotional. It’s been an epoch game changer. It’s in the ether. Thanks to all who made the dream possible. You have it!’
Debbie Croysdale // Writer, Indie Director
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‘My favourite part of the festival will be watching videos of all the sessions I missed live this time. So far my favourite part is hearing that we live in a time of great opportunity (yes, optimism!) and that making films has never been easier – all you need is a mobile phone. Boy, what a difference to what I heard in film school back in the eighties!’
Carina Krause // Writer, Translator
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‘I’m here, in Sydney Australia, getting up at ridiculous o’clock to join the live sessions via Zoom of the Festival and I don’t mind! That’s right, I didn’t groan when the alarm went. I didn’t think, “Oh no, not again, I can’t.” And roll over and go back to sleep. I joined in, turned my camera on (make-up first), texted via What’s app and learned more about my craft in the last couple of months than I have in years. Outstanding!’
Sue Broberg // Actor, Writer
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‘This was my first LSF and the sessions were amazing, pitchfest was smooth and effective, and the technical and live support staff were all lovely. It was evident that LondonSWF’s value multiplies the more effort delegates put into it, and I’ve come away with a full notebook and clear path ahead.’
Becky Collins // Screenwriter, Producer, Boater
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‘This was my first time at the festival and loved the atmosphere, meeting other hopeful writers and listening to those who had made it in the industry.’
Jonathan Knight // Screenwriter
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 ‘Always be ready to pitch your story. You never know who might be listening.
Jason Upton // Screenwriter
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‘The depth and variety of online talks from so many talented and passionate people was staggering. It was really exciting to watch them live during the online festival, but also to have access to those talks, and many more from past festivals, for a whole year is immense. There is such variety for whatever genre or format you are working on. I have already had a lightbulb moment to why my script wasn’t working, applying a technique I learnt from one of the talks.’
Catherine Veitch // Children’s writer
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‘Loved every part of the festival. My favourite was Dave Reynolds session. Great to hear his wise words!’
Matt Crofts // Writer, Filmmaker
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There was a terrific line-up in this and it was brilliantly organised. The pitchfest was outstanding. I loved the fact we got to pitch to everyone (once I got the tech sorted!) and I had several requests for scripts and outlines which was a first. Brilliantly organised. Well done.
Jacqueline Cloake // Writer
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‘The sessions at LondonSWF teach you all of the writing techniques needed, how to break into the business and most importantly they help you to tackle what may be holding you back personally. They set you up for success, long-term!’
Sarah Frankland // Writer, Scriptreader
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‘I loved it again and only attended my first live event back in September. I hope it does return in the future, I will be there if it is, but if not, I feel grateful to have experienced it!’
Ashley Walton // Screenwriter
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The live 2021 LondonSWF was smaller that usual and a better size. It was easier to mingle and get to know people better in a calmer more manageable environment. It is a great event both live and online!’
Anita Parry // Writer, Director
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