Breaking down barriers with Writers Incubator
The Writers Incubator from Triforce Creative Network is two thirds of the way through its twelve-month High-End TV Levy funded programme, developing the writing and industry skills of its six selected writers. The programme is aiming to change the usual routes of access and mitigate the concept of ‘risk’ that often has to be overcome when engaging with new talent.
After an extensive selection process, which received over 1,000 entries, the six selected writers were announced in April 2017 and placed with their mentors:
- Tsonko Bumbalov is mentored by Kwadjo Dajan (Head of Drama, Sugar Films)
- Mariama Ives-Moiba is mentored by Matthew Mulot (freelance producer)
- Sam Benjamin is mentored by Justine Potter (Head of Development, LA Productions)
- Sharma Walfall is mentored by Henry Swindell (script editor and writer)
- Shimon Greenidge Forsythe is mentored by Jay Davidson (BBC commissioner)
- Janice Hallett is mentored by Cameron Roach (Sky drama development)
The six participants have attended four of the six intended workshops:
- May 2017 - Henry Swindell delivered on story and narrative mechanics
- June 2017 - Jane Edyvean (BBC Writersroon) and Jay Davidson focused on the commissioning process
- October 2017 - Script editors Simon Curtis and Michael Jacob worked with the writers on a one-to-one basis on first draft notes
- December 2017 - a group feedback session was followed by individual one-to-one sessions with TCN directors Fraser and Minnie Ayres resulting in agreed script outcomes and deadlines.
Alongside these workshops the writers are applying for continuing drama shadow schemes from BBC and ITV and are being considered for the next intake of BBC Drama Room. They have had an opportunity to submit to be considered as writers on Doctors. The two northern-based writers were put forward for Moving On and have had scripts read by Justine Potter, Head of Development at LA Productions
A further two workshops will be completed by May 2018 and by then the writers will have completed their spec scripts ready for pitching sessions with relevant commissioners at Channel 4, ITV, BBC and Sky and one-to-one meetings with Hartswood Films.
In other developments arising from the scheme, Janice and Mariama co-wrote an episode for an online drama which is being considered for commission by BBC3. Sam has been asked to submit a radio drama idea for LA Productions. Mariama was accepted for the BBC Comedy Room and is developing her children's comedy idea for CBBC. Shimon has completed a public speaking course funded by the programme to improve his presentation and pitching skills.