Scratch Nights + Writing Workshops + Table Reads + Script Consultancy

For fabulous scripts in the making

Sometimes we all feel we've lost it. (Yeah, the plot, above!) Odds are we just need some help or affirmation. Scriptwriters & Co (aka S&Co) can help in myriad ways.

S&CO EVENTS - our Scratch Nights (currently online) let you hear some fantastic scripts read aloud, network and meet others who share your creative insecurities... and passions! Meanwhile, our Workshops and Writing Retreats give you the time and space you need to work in peace, and meet other writers in a beautiful environment.

S&CO WORKSHOPS - we're now taking bookings for our 'Creating Credible Characters' half-day workshop on 14 October 2020- and there's a great opening offer below!

S&CO SCRIPT CONSULTANCY - we offer written critiques to playwrights and screenwriters or - if budget is an issue - we can talk you through your script, in person or online.

S&CO TABLE READS - hearing your work read aloud by professional actors can be a game-changer. We can't recommend these highly enough!

More details on all these below...

SCRATCH NIGHTS

THE NEXT S&CO ONLINE SCRATCH NIGHT WILL BE AT 7PM (UK TIME) ON TUESDAY 13 OCTOBER 2020.

THIS MONTH'S THEME IS 'TWISTED'.

Subscribers always get early notice, and you must SUBSCRIBE to enter or attend.

Listening to your work is the best way of finding out what sings in tune and what's gone flat, as our actors demonstrate their superb sight-reading skills. Whether online or live, S&Co's Scratch Nights allow you to hear your script or screenplay read aloud by auditioned S&Co Actors, then workshopped by supportive audience members.

Sometimes we look for shorts; the next month we might concentrate on an outstanding full-length play or feature film. Either way, if yours gets the green light we'll let you know in advance, and invite you to introduce it at the event. After the reading you can look forward to rapturous applause (of course!) followed by constructive, moderated debate in a safe environment. We're all on your side.

Each of us benefits from exposure to great new writing, and by formulating and listening to comments, critiques and suggestions. It helps us improve our own work. Writers and actors alike should treat it like a pitch or audition, because you never know who might be listening. You could get commissioned or cast.

Award-winning scriptwriters Suzanna Cardash and Alex Hollister - repped by Zero Gravity Management in LA - assess every submission very carefully, assisted by our intern Zizz Miranda. Please don't be disheartened if yours isn't chosen, or leap to the conclusion that it isn't engaging or well-written. Decisions won't just be based on talent, but to offer the audience variety. Even if you don't enter, if you subscribe to our newletters you'll find out about themes and event dates in advance, so please sign up!

THEMES, RULES & ELIGIBILITY

The theme may be interpreted however you like and it's free to submit from anywhere in the world. Stage plays, screenplays and radio scripts are all welcome, and this month we're looking for scripts with up to twelve (normally formatted) pages on the theme. The prize? Hearing your script read aloud, by professional actors, in front of a large audience, within three weeks of submitting!

Submit by emailing your script by noon (UK time) on Wednesday 7 October. Your script must be: 

  • in English
  • relevant to the theme
  • appropriate for the stated page count, with no more than 6 characters
  • spell-checked, with adequate spaces between lines
  • in PDF or Word format

Also make sure you have:

  • subscribed to our mailing list
  • proofread your work
  • stated, on the cover, whether your piece is for stage, TV, film, radio or other medium, and whether it's an excerpt or complete piece (our readers do not see emails, only scripts)
  • formatted your screenplay to industry standards, or your play/radio script so it's an easy read for us and our actors
  • saved your file using the script's title and your name, eg: 'Fabulous by Jane Doe'
  • not included a synopsis or notes - our readers are only sent the script.

Also PLEASE read the terms below, whether you're a competitor or audience member!

Terms: You must subscribe to our newletter to be eligible to enter and/or attend, since this is where we provide key information and the Zoom link. Maximum of one entry per person. Writers must be over 18. Copyright of all work submitted remains the writer's. Entries received after 12 noon on 7 October 2020 will not be read. Failure to follow the rules may result in disqualification. By submitting your work you agree to be present at the appropriate scratch night (on Zoom where appropriate) if your script is chosen. By entering or attending S&Co events you acknowledge that we reserve the right to publish images of attendees in or on our website, emails or publicity. Successful scriptwriters will be informed no later than 12 noon on the prescribed date each month and must confirm that they will attend within 24 hours, or their slot may be offered to someone else. We do not send rejection emails (who likes getting them?), so if you don't hear from us by that date, unfortunately your submission was not successful on this occasion. Good luck!

If you subscribe to our newletters you'll find out about themes and event dates in advance, so do sign up.

Winners will be emailed by Friday 9 October 2020 and announced on Facebook and on this page. If your script or screenplay is selected, it’ll be read aloud by auditioned S&Co Actors at the online event on Zoom (or live, when possible), starting at 7pm (UK time) at the Scratch Night on Tuesday 13 October, and workshopped by supportive audience members.

Scratch Nights normally take place at The Huntsman in Bath, near Bristol, in the south west of the UK. However, the success of our online events means Scriptwriters & Co will continue to host Zoom readings every quarter, even after lockdown restrictions are lifted, making location no bar to joining us!

We also have a thriving Facebook group for playwrights, screenwriters, script readers, actors, filmmakers and/or theatrical producers at any stage of their career and wherever they live. 

WORKSHOP: CREATING CREDIBLE CHARACTERS 

A half-day morning scriptwriting workshop from 10.00am-1.00pm on Wednesday 14 October 2020

Suzanna Cardash will lead this online morning workshop, which will help you build three-dimensional characters that are credible - and watchable. It's not just a matter of convincing dialogue. You also need to build empathy, so the audience longs for your protagonist to succeed against all odds, or for his or her nemesis to be vanquished - even if they may have deep and unlikeable character flaws!

Additionally, you have to consider characters' external and internal wants and needs (yes, they're different!). And if all that's not enough, you have to ensure these people are not just convincing, but engaging enough to hold an audience's attention. This means your dialogue must be realistic, with a different voice for each person, and defined backstories that the viewer might never see, but which inform their decisions and actions.

Suzanna will show you simple techniques that will ensure you know your characters so well that you can predict exactly how they'll respond to any situation that's thrown at them by others - and you! You'll also learn how to give them emotional depth, so they can develop and change during their journey.

Book this workshop and she won't just explain the essentials that will make your characters fly off the page, but will take you through carefully designed writing exercises that will help you develop your scriptwriting skills. This workshop will also cover the essential differences between writing for stage or screen.

This half-day course will normally cost £45, but as a special introductory S&Co offer we're offering it at just £30 to the first ten people who book!

SCRIPT CONSULTANCY

Have you submitted work for inclusion in an S&Co Scratch Night but been unsuccessful? Entered other competitions? Or do you lack simply confidence, or can't see the wood for the trees?

You're not alone. Lots of members have asked for feedback to improve their work, and we're delighted to help. After all, we're scriptwriters ourselves, are on your side, and have literally read thousands!

If you'd like some quick and dirty (but hugely useful) personal feedback on a script you've previously submitted to one of our Scratch Nights, book here for a jam-packed paragraph at just £5, or a page of notes at £15. Silly prices? Yes! And we can only offer them because we're already familiar with your script.

Alternatively, pay a little more for a fuller critique or proofreading (note: if proofing, we can only return corrected scripts as Word or FD files). They're separate services, but both cost the same (so if you want notes and proofing, you pay twice). It's £30 (for scripts up to 10 pages), £60 (11-30 pages), £90 (31-61 pages) or £150 (62 to 110 pages).

Either way, we'll read your work with expert eyes and send you 2-15 pages of carefully considered notes, depending on length and complexity; or a revised script, free of spelling and grammatical errors. And it is YOUR script, so we won't be prescriptive (see what we did there?) in our notes, or tell you what to do. Instead, once you've clicked to book we'll explain what we think doesn't quite work yet, and suggest how you might fix it.

Critiques will be broken down into sections that usually cover your:

  • Logline
  • Set Up
  • Structure
  • Plot/Logic
  • Characterisation
  • Dialogue
  • Voice

If you'd like to take your scriptwriting to the next level, this is the way to go about it. We're happy to critique theatre or radio plays as well as TV pilots and screenplays and feature films, and will make sure we assign the right person to your script. Simply click to book and then send us your work. We'll get your report back to you within a fortnight, and of course copyright remains yours.

But if your script is teeny tiny or budget is an issue, email to see if we can come to a different arrangement, like talking you through it.

ZOOM TABLE READS

This is an incredible experience for any writer, and the best way to find out exactly what works and - more importantly - what doesn't.

Subject to cast availabilty, we can organise a Zoom Table Read of your work by S&Co Actors - we now have around 30 - which we can record for you to send to whoever you like. You don't even have to attend (though most people do)!

Please email to discuss your needs, since prices vary depending on the number of actors required and the length of the script. Combine this with Script Consultancy and you'll be on your way to a far better script - guaranteed!

ONE-DAY S&CO WRITING RETREATS - currently on hold

Our Writing Retreats aren't just for playwrights and screenwriters. All writers - novelists, poets, you name it - are welcome to book, because the day isn't about 'learning'. It's a chance for you to get your head down and... well, write.

Put to one side that your kitchen's a health hazard, there's a Netflix series you need to binge-watch, the kids are fighting again or you really need to repoint the brickwork before creating the next scene, chapter or verse. This is a chance to get your head down without distractions. The biggest domestic dilemma you'll face: which pastry to choose on arrival. 

There's no formal tuition, though writer and copy editor Suzanna Cardash will be on hand to read and comment on scenes or passages, assist with blockers and offer advice.

All you need to bring is your notepad and pen or a laptop - and some great ideas. We provide: desk space at a large table - oven-baked breakfast pastries - unlimited tea and coffee - a scrummy platter lunch - a beautiful and conducive environment - and, not least, the chance to form supportive friendships with other writers. Oh, and a few little treats might be thrown in during the inevitable afternoon lull. (Nobody said chocolate, obviously.)

Imagine a day's productive work in the luxury of the splendid, historic Elder Rooms in Bath, and the company of like-minded writers. Bliss! 

Please sign up for our newsletter to be first to find out when further dates are announced. Questions? Special dietary requirements? Advice on where to stay? No problem. Just drop us an email.

Writing Retreat: £50.00 to include a breakfast pastry, unlimited hot drinks, a shared 'sandwiches and chips' lunch - and oodles of creative camaraderie!