One screenwriter asked on Facebook about the London Screenwriters’ Festival… Here is what happened…

A few weeks ago, screenwriter Helen Black asked ‘Has anyone been to the London Screenwriters Festival?’ on the Band2write group (run by Lucy V Hay) on Facebook.

She added… ‘What happens? Is it any good? I’m wondering if I should go or if it’s just displacement activity on my part.’

The response was overwhelming… I include a full screengrab and selected text below. It was quite wonderful to see the community respond in this way… Read on…

Paul Harker I’ve been twice, a great experience both times. There’s two types of delegate: those there for the seminars to learn their craft and those there to pitch, hustle and network. I’ve been twice as an observer and am booked in for this year to do more of the latter.

Barbara Machin EVERYONE IS THERE HB…….look at last year’s line ups and judge( website) …each year it gets more momentus XX Come and find me ?x

Jeremy Caine Every year I go I learn something awesome. There are tons of craft development sessions and insights on how the industry works. Plus there are fun geek-out screening sessions and talks.
Totally Worth the Investment of time and money.

Philip Lawrence I’ve been loads of times and can honestly say I wouldn’t have started my screenwriting career without it. It filled me with basic knowledge about the industry, gave me pointers on craft but above all gave me a network of peers, friends and mentors.
If you’re considering it, don’t even think twice. Do it.

Ian Martin This year is my 6th. It’s a great event

Anthony Povah My third this year. Go; it’s brilliant.

Paul Draper I’ve been to the the last four, it’s generally terrific.

Sophia Elisabeth Tamaro I vote “definitely go”

Daniel Kemp I had a chat with Jeb Stuart at LSF… Writer of Die Hard, my fav film of all time. Well worth the ticket price!

Mark Renshaw I went for the first time last year and loved it, booked to go this year as well.

Jamie William Hughes This year will be my third in a row

Mandi Allen Absolutely! Went for the first time last year, apart from meeting lots of lovely people, learning loads about the craft of screenwriting, it was just all-round fab!

Cera Rose Pickering Do it! This will be my 7th year

James Jay Go!!!

Brendan O’Neill Highly recommended! I’m still reaping the benefits of the first one I went to. 2011 I think. NB On-site accommodation is good value and saves travel hassles.

Eileen Wilson F-A-B!

Phil Peel Been going for 6 years. Have made so many really good friends… and got a screenplay optioned via one of them.

Saz Pav I went for the first time last year and it was bloody marvellous. I met and continue to be in contact with loads of excellent people. I did the casualty Writersroom too which remains one of my life highlights. I would definitely recommend it! X

Siân Rowland I was quite worried that I’d be overwhelmed by it all but it was pretty easy to negotiate. I picked out what I did and didn’t fancy and got loads out of it.

Jaye Nolan I went for the first time last year and within one month of it ending, I’d written my first whole feature draft. Brilliant festival, specially the script surgery and actors table read. And the Die Hard script to screen. Go!

Fiona Leitch Nah it’s rubbish Joking! It’s fab. Apply for EVERYTHING – I did the Scott Myers lab last year, and had a Euroscript consultation with an ex-Home and Away star!!! (she’s a successful writer/producer too). Plus the Actors Table Read was massively useful and connected me with some lovely people I’ll collaborate with in the future. AND Pitchfest is great too – I got a few script requests (which unfortunately didn’t lead anywhere) but it’s really good practice.

Rachael Howard Definitely go. For soooo many reasons. That feeling when you are surrounded by kindred spirits, meeting up with writing mates in real life, going off to the pub with them all in the evening. Of course there are also brilliant talks to move you on in your writing, info on opportunities, chances to meet your heroes and hear how they got where they are, chances to pitch your work to fellow writers for input and to actual people who make things, watching a film with the person who wrote or produced it, help when you are starting out or when you have a developing career. I can’t go this year. Will be strange after so many years attending but I will be there next year. Accommodation wise I have always shared hotel rooms with friends. Do a shout out to see if anyone wants to share. There are some OK hotels within walking distance but you get more for your money if you are slightly further out, the underground station is nearby and the taxis are cheap.

Annabel Vine Went, pitched and now I have a screenplay in development. It’s like coming home. You will meet your new family and they are the most diverse, inclusive folk I have ever had the honour of meeting. 100% go. Make sure you do some speed pitching too. Such a good experience.

Andrew Griffin My first time this year and can’t wait! Heard too many good things to stand by again.

Rachel James This will be my 5th year, nothing much to add but thumbs up to all the positive comments and experiences above!

Joe Cawley Fourth year for me. No question you should go! Damn, I’LL give you your money back Helen if you’re not entirely blown away, it’s that good (though I think Chris already covers that)!

Halida Jones Must go to lsf!

Pat Nash I’ve been to five of the LSFs since it began plus the Producers Masterclass and Guerrilla Filmmakers Masterclass that were run by Chris et alia at the same venue. I’d a great time, loads to learn, lot of great people to meet and plenty of networking opportunities. Well worth the visit. Highly recommend it.

Jacqui Canham This coming year will be my third. Got a screenplay optioned one year and made lots of great contacts.

Nick Jackson Definitely go, Helen. Last year was my first time, and I came away having learned more in one weekend than a whole 12 months of studying. You can partake as much or as little as you like, though the more you do the more you’ll get out of it. It’s very relaxed and friendly, and you will not regret it.

And here’s a screengrab of the entire conversation…

We hope to see you at the festival this year!

Chris Jones

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