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BBC Writersroom Champions Under-Represented Voices - Announces 10 Winners For Year-Long Development Program

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by Tambay A. Obenson
April 28, 2014 12:18 PM
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BBC Writersroom

BBC Writersroom has announced the 10 writers selected for its Writersroom 10 program, which champions new writing talent in film, television, radio, and theatre, helping new writers develop their craft through professional training, via sessions around the country with the UK's best writing talent, in celebration of diversity and champion under-represented voices.

In addition a total of £10,000 (about $17,000) is awarded to these talented new writers from across the UK.

The 10 writers will be part of a year-long development scheme and will each receive a BBC mentor to broaden their scriptwriting horizons and bring a fresh perspective to their work, the opportunity to develop new work for The Space and a program of partnership events.

Kate Rowland, BBC Creative Director, New Writing, says: “Writersroom 10 was created to celebrate the unique relationship between the theatre and the BBC. The final 10 leapt out through their originality and boldness and are as diverse in writing style as they are in the locations of the theatres that nominated them.

The 10 winning writers (all in the above photo) and their partner theatres are:

  • Alice Birch - West Yorkshire Playhouse
  • Carol Vine - Brockley Jack
  • Ellie Stewart - Traverse Theatre
  • Frank McCabe – Greyscale
  • Matilda Ibini - Soho Theatre
  • Ian Townsend - Bolton Octagon
  • Joe White - Birmingham Rep
  • Lisa Jen Brown - National Theatre Wales
  • Mufaro Makubika - Nottingham Playhouse
  • Samuel E Taylor - Bristol Old Vic

Previous Writersroom 10 winners include Rachel De Lahay who went on to win the Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright,  Kenny Emson, who as a result of winning got commissioned to write on the TV series EastEnders and his own Radio 4 Afternoon Drama, and Dawn King whose play Ciphers was produced by Out of Joint. Others writers went on to have their work produced on The Verb, on BBC Radio 3.

Writersroom 10 judges were acclaimed writers Tim Price (The Radicalisation Of Bradley Manning), Lucy Kirkwood (ChimericaThe Smoke), and Kate Rowland (BBC Creative Director, New Writing).

Tim Price says: "It was a real privilege to read the shortlisted plays for Writersroom 10. New writing is under attack via cuts handed down from local government forcing theatres to adopt an increasingly risk averse approach to programming. Writersroom 10 offers an innovative solution to this, and the winning plays are some of the finest new plays I have read. The winning writers display a talent for writing plays that ask questions of Government, society, family and the individual and remind us how liberating it is."

Lucy Kirkwood says: "It has been a great pleasure and an inspiring experience to read the shortlisted scripts, and to be introduced to writers thinking in such bold, fine, surprising ways. I am excited to think of the stories they will tell in the future."

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