Friday, March 25, 2011

Farewell, She Writes!

Last week I went to London for the final event in the She Writes programme.

As part of the Birds Eye View film festival we were presented as a group at BAFTA, and one of the screenplays was read on stage by a panel of actors.

The evening started with a speech from Elizabeth Karlsen. It was a great introduction, filled with lots of interesting facts and looking to the future. You can read her She Writes speech in full on the Birds Eye View website.

Following her speech, we all got on stage and introduced ourselves and our projects. Everyone in the audience (a full house at the Princess Anne Theatre!) was given a copy of the 'Talent List' which had all our details and project summaries, so our main job was to add a bit of personality to the paper. I was really nervous about this, but my jitters melted away when I got the microphone, and I think I managed to talk reasonably well about my project.

The presentation was followed by a reading of Saint Joan (pictured), and a bit of a networking event in the BAFTA bar. I met lots of lovely people at this, and had to drag myself away.

I attended a Birds Eye View panel event the next evening on 'Bloody Women: Women in Horror' as it seemed a perfect match for the horror screenplay I've been working on for She Writes. (Weirdly and frustratingly, much of the debate seemed to be about boobs on film.) Lots of questions and many opposing answers came out of the evening, and while I didn't have the nerves to pipe up I'm glad I went along.

I'm back in Edinburgh now, and awaiting the very last element of my She Writes gig, a script report from the Script Factory. Once I've received this I'll redraft Light Me a Candle once more, and then crack on with getting it 'out' there.

I'd like to say thanks to everyone who has supported me through the year, and to all those I've worked with: my mentor, the Script Factory and BEV (*). I'd especially like to mention my wonderful fellow She Writers: Rosy Barnes, Kate Bingham & Grace Banks, Tracy Brabin, Avril Evans, Sally El Hosaini, Rosanne Flynn, Oonagh Kearney, and Rachel Tunnard. You can find out more about them all on the Birds Eye View website.

It's been a brilliant year, and I'm already feeling a bit lost without the workshops or residencies in my calendar. I'm going to spend some time this weekend researching writing opportunities, and making my plan.

So long, She Writes, and onwards!

(*Sorry about the gushy thanks. It really has been great though)

For those of you interested, here are a few photos from the event, and also from my tourist trips to the Tower of London and the AMAZING British Museum between BEV events:

Friday, March 04, 2011

Getting a Plan

I was out for lunch a couple of weeks ago with two of my talented writer friends, and they both had some advice for me.

Get a plan.

I am not one for planning, normally. I always meet deadlines, book events in advance and keep a diary well enough to avoid conflicts, but I do not strategically plan as a writer.

This is one of the reasons that getting into the She Writes programme has been so good for me. We have had dates for the diary in the form of deadlines, workshops, residencies and meetings. I had to think about my goals for the year at the start of the scheme, and I've achieved all but one - which the Bafta showcase will hopefully help sort out.

The showcase, however, marks the end of the scheme. By mid March I will be plan free, and I don't want the hard work I've done over the last year to be for nothing.

I think I'm going to enter the BAFTA Rocliffe new writing forum at the end of March, but aside from that my year is a big blank slate. What to do?

How do you normally plan your writing? Or, indeed, do you?