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Spring boarding talent with Writers' Cramp

A line up including writer Jack Thorne, Channel 4’s Drama Commissioning Executive Manpreet Dosanjh, Tiger Aspect’s Script Executive Bryony Arnold, and the Executive Producer for BBC One’s ‘The A Word’ Sara Johnson, will head up Writers’ Cramp, a new initiative funded by Creative Skillset, aimed at increasing the number of writers and script editors with a disability in the TV drama industry.

Writers’ Cramp is a direct result of statistics from Creative Skillset’s 2012 Employment Census, which highlighted  a huge under-representation of disabled talent in the broadcast and film industry at only 1% of the workforce.  As a result, the High End TV Drama Council made a training and development programme for disabled talent, a key priority for their funding. With the High End TV Drama Council's input, along with Creative Skillset and thinkBIGGER, Writers’ Cramp was developed.

Writers’ Cramp has recruited seven writers and three script editors from a variety of backgrounds, including playwright Matilda Ibini whose career began in theatre. Matilda’s debut play Muscovado about slavery and the sugar trade was produced by BurntOut Theatre and premiered in October 2014. She has also had her short plays performed at the National Theatre, Arcola Theatre and The REP. Aspiring script editor, Amy Evans has built up a reputation as a respected dramaturg in Bristol and script reader for theatre companies in London. What links the group is a passion for writing and a spark of talent that Writers' Cramp will help develop so they become the industry's writers and script editors of the future.

Acclaimed script editor Kate Leys, whose credits include Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain’s Babylon for Channel 4, leads the programme. Kate is an experienced scriptwriting lecturer, regularly speaks at industry events and festivals and runs mentoring programmes for upcoming talent.  

The five-month course will feature four workshops culminating in the opportunity for each script editor to spend two weeks shadowing a script editor at an independent production company. The seven writers will receive individual feedback on the episode outline and sample scene. Writers’ Cramp will give the ten individuals with the skills, experience and contacts to springboard their career in the industry. 

Writers’ Cramp is fully funded by Creative Skillset’s High End TV levy fund.

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About Creative Skillset

Creative Skillset is the industry skills body for the Creative Industries. It works across film, television, radio, fashion and textiles, animation, games, visual effects, publishing, advertising and marketing communications. It works with and for the Creative Industries to develop skills and talent, supporting productivity and employability. www.creativeskillset.org


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