Though relatively new to scriptwriting, I’m not new to the industry. Armed with a helpful BA in Theology and Philosophy, I initially embarked on a career as an actor, often devising scripts as well as performing. While filming four episodes of Doctor Who I chatted with Bonny Langford and drove Sylvester McCoy home, so that’s something. I've been a bluecoat and a belly dancer. Yes, really!
Neither am I a rookie writer: years ago I did a stint of playwriting at the Tricycle Theatre, tutored by award-winning playwright Bonnie Greer, and trained as a journalist at London's City Lit. I've been copywriting ads and feature-writing for mags for two decades, write complex rhyming verse and published a salacious novel under a pseudonym I can't tell you. Obviously. There's more (though not on my pen name!) at Zanna C.
A part-time Scriptwriting Master’s is giving me a profound understanding of story, structure, character and the importance of collaborating; hence starting this group.
Things are happening – slowly. In 2019, my full-length tragicomedy Caged Bird (a middle-aged woman finds herself online dating after her much-loved husband develops MS and becomes abusive and impotent) was described as ‘a wonderful piece of writing’... by my tutor! The first draft reached the full reading stage of the BBC Writersroom and Papatango playwriting competitions and bagged me an agent (and the fifth draft is much stronger). This year, I intend adapting my 615-line cautionary poem – dark, funny, strictly metered verse à la Dr Zeuss/Tim Burton – into a radio play.
My screenplay's doing better. 'Voyeuse’ (when a vulnerable teenage girl falls for a beautiful but narcissistic film director, she becomes the unwitting star of an intimate film that incriminates her... for murder) won the Best Pilot Screenwriting category at the Olympus Film Festival in LA in 2019, Best TV Series Pilot Screenplay at the New Renaissance Film Festival in 2020, and was a finalist in two other international competitions. Currently I'm working on two more film scripts, but still have loads to learn.
I shoot from the hip but get on with most people (would draw the line at Jacob Rees-Mogg). I’m interested in real-life protagonists in thorny relationships. Also, of course, the 'what ifs'. Unrealistically ambitious, I aim to hone my craft and get things produced. I write drama and love travel, music, monologues, chocolate, family, friends and wine. Not necessarily together or in that order.
We all need encouragement and trustworthy critical appraisal. People who'll tell us what’s good about our work but also point out what's crappy (and trust me, there’s plenty in mine). That's why the Scriptwriters Bath & Co community is important.
Let’s join forces and support one another’s journeys!