BBC Writersroom is back hosting the TV Drama Writers’ Festival, at Leeds College of Music, on 26 and 27 June. This year the festival will be chaired by TV writers Emma Frost (The White Queen, Shameless), and Jack Thorne (The Fades, This Is England).
The keynote will come from one of the UK’s most esteemed TV writers, Steven Moffat (Doctor Who, Sherlock), who will be in conversation with Toby Whithouse.
Now in its fourth year, the BBC’s TV Drama Writers’ Festival has now established itself as an unmissable event for writers in the broadcast calendar – it’s one of a kind as it is led by writers and brings together over 200 working TV writers for two days of masterclasses, networking, and a chance to debate and be inspired by writers at the top of their game. There will also be commissioners and producers present from all major UK TV broadcasters.
This year’s session include, a keynote debate around on-screen sex and violence with a panel which includes BBC Controller of Drama, Ben Stephenson, and director Phillipa Lowthorpe; the problems of turning fact into fiction with Pete Bowker; The White Queen with Emma Frost; Chris Chibnall on Broadchurch; Dennis Kelly and director Marc Munden on creating the vision for Utopia; the estimable Sally Wainwright on Last Tango – making relationship dramas work; Breaking the Mould with Bryan Elsley on Skins to Dates; Tom Bidwell on My Mad Fat Diary; Wolfblood – writing for children, and many more.
Kate Rowland, the BBC’s Creative Director of New Writing and Head of Writersroom, says: “As curators of the 2013 TV Writers’ Festival, Emma Frost and Jack Thorne, two of our most dynamic writers have chosen the theme of conflict at the heart of drama and the art of being a writer.
“With a keynote debate on sex and violence, the role of the Commissioner with Ben Stephenson and Anne Mensah, Chris Chibnall on Broadchurch and a Face to Face with the brilliant Steven Moffat, this year’s Festival is bound to provoke, entertain and challenge in equal measure.”
This year’s theme is ‘Conflict’ and the festival will explore the conflict at the heart of being a writer. Is there a conflict between what we want to write – our art, our politics, our self-expression – and what the industry, or even the audience, wants to make or watch? If television drama is the perfect storm between art and industry, is that, in the end, a bad thing, or could that very collision be what produces the greatest television drama? Are we, paradoxically, living in a golden age of television?
These are just some of the questions that will be explored over the two days.