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Intro to Writing for TV

AFTRS-Australian Film Television and Radio School (AH Account)

About the Course

This course will introduce emerging writers and potential script editors to the experience of working in the fast-paced and challenging environment of series television.

Run by a highly experienced TV writer Holly Lyons (Home and Away, Emmerdale) and using lectures, screenings and practical exercises, the course will look at:
• participant's ideas and how they fit into the TV market;
• genres and the new cross-genres that are giving a new spin to old ideas;
• the structure of a TV series with and without commercial breaks using examples of current TV shows;
• how to run A, B and C storylines using theme and structure and how to pull the three storylines together;
• how to 'turn' a scene from negative into positive and vice-versa with a hook;
• how to structure a 5 act episode;
• how to create a written pitch;
• writing as part of a team;
• writing established characters that will impact on other writers working with you;
• the role of a Story Producer;
• how the plotting room works.


Writing and working in television differs substantially from film on many levels: deadlines are tight and networks are demanding! Over two days participants will be taken through the many facets and demands of writing in a medium that requires team work and an understanding of the many production aspects needed to make an on-going series while working under strict deadlines.


Participants do not need to be experienced writers to benefit from this course– you just need some great ideas and lots of enthusiasm for working in TV Drama or Comedy.


Holly Lyons is a writer and Script Producer with extensive experience in Australia and the UK. She has worked for Home and Away (Network Seven) in various roles, including Script Producer, Script Editor and writer. In the UK, Holly co-created the action comedy, Help! I’m a Teenage Outlaw. (ITV) Holly was the sole script editor on Emmerdale, and later became staff writer. She aslo worked on Crossroads as Series Script Executive. She wrote the pilot script for the animated series, Hana’s Helpline and wrote the pilot for Horrid Henry, based on the books by Francesca Simon. Holly participated on an EBU course, where her original series was awarded the prize of 15,000 euros and a development deal with the BBC. Holly also worked as a Development Executive for Granada Kids in London where she was attached to several shows, including Jacqueline Wilson's ‘Girls in Love’, ‘My Parents Are Aliens’ and ‘24Seven’.


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