Northern Voices

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BBC writersroom has teamed up with Screen Yorkshire, Northern Film & Media and Northwest Vision + Media to find exceptional writers from the North who have got what it takes to write drama for television. The selected writers will receive bespoke training to develop an original TV drama calling card script with the support of a writer mentor.

Please note, the deadline for this scheme has now passed and the successful applicants from the Yorkshire region have been selected. They are:

1. Morgan Sproxton
2. Nick Ahad.
3. Shazia Ashraf
4. Michael Crowley


Northern Voices will provide fantastic training and development for up to four writers from each region to learn about writing for television drama from some of the most experienced producers and writers in the country. It will also provide the opportunity to develop an original TV drama calling card script with the support of a writer mentor.

Northern Voices will include a day long workshop led by John Yorke, BBC Controller, Drama Production. This workshop will give a detailed and invaluable insight into writing continuing drama for the BBC. The scheme will also include access to a nationally renowned writer mentor in each region.

Lisa Holdsworth (Yorkshire)'s first commission was an episode of ‘Fat Friends' which was shortlisted for a Best New Writer BAFTA. She spent three years on the ‘Emmerdale' writing team and has written extensively for New Tricks, Waterloo Road and Robin Hood. Michael Chaplin (North East) is a writer for the screen, theatre and radio whose creations include 'Grafters' for ITV and 'Monarch of the Glen' for the BBC. John Fay (North West) was one of ‘Coronation Street' core writers between 2001 and 2007. He created the conspiracy thriller ‘Mobile' for Granada TV and has also written episodes of ‘Torchwood', ‘Robin Hood' and ‘Clocking Off' for the BBC.

At the end of the development process each script will be read by BBC writersroom and the best will be passed onto John Yorke's team and BBC Drama North. The aim of this project is for new regional talent to develop a calling card TV Drama script with which they can begin a successful career in writing Drama for television.

Hugo Heppell, Head of Production at Screen Yorkshire says: 
''We've had some outstanding film and television drama come out of the region this year, from the critically acclaimed ‘Red Riding' and ‘The Damned United' - both based on the novels of local writer David Peace, to hit television drama ‘Unforgiven' written by local screenwriter Sally Wainwright, which pulled in a phenomenal 7.2 million viewers when it screened on ITV in the Spring. There's clearly an appetite out there for Yorkshire stories told by Yorkshire writers - Northern Voices is a fantastic opportunity for us to build on this success by supporting the next generation of talent.''

How to apply to Northern Voices
The scheme is open to writers living within Yorkshire and Humber, the North East, or North West region who have already had a script commissioned or had a professional reading of their work (for any platform, film, radio, stage or TV). Applicants must be over 18 and not in full-time or undergraduate education.

If you wish to discuss your eligibility, please contact your local Screen Agency:

Yorkshire - Screen Yorkshire 0113 2944410

North East - Northern Film & Media, Victoria Johnson, 0191 269 9219
North West - Northwest Vision + Media, Lynsey Taylor 0161 244 3750

The deadline for completed applications to arrive is noon on Friday 28 August 2009.

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Case Study: Adele FirthHair and Make up Artist, Married Single Other

Married Single Other Bingley-born Adele Firth has seen her career go from strength to strength since landing her first job as a fast track Costume Trainee on TV drama FAITH back in 2004. The post, funded by Skillset and Screen Yorkshire, allowed Adele to develop her talent from hairdresser to hair and make up artist to the stars, and prepared her for her next placements on TV dramas BODIES and SPOOKS: CODE 9.

Since then, Adele has gone on to cut Dame Judi Dench's hair on period drama Cranford and was most recently responsible for Ralf Little and Miranda Raisons' hair on forthcoming ITV drama MARRIED SINGLE OTHER, which shot in Leeds in 2009 (ITV1 9pm from 22 February). Adele also faced the tough challenge of creating 1950's and 1980's hair styles on Kay Mellor's forthcoming BBC drama A PASSIONATE WOMAN, which stars Billie Piper and Sue Johnston.

Both Married Single Other and A Passionate Woman were supported by the Screen Yorkshire Production Fund.