Dramatic Writing Programme 2019 -2020

Programme length
25 weekly sessions (Wednesday afternoons, 1pm – 3.30pm)

Autumn: 2 October to 11 December 2019
Spring: 8 January to 22 March 2020
Summer: 22 April to 20 May 2020

The Writers’ Place, 9 Jew Street, Brighton BN1 1UT

Entry Requirements
No formal qualifications required

£700 (fees can be paid in full or in instalments over the year)

Programme team
Dr Mark Slater (programme director) Sara Clifford, Lisa Fulthorpe


Creative Writing Programme in collaboration with New Writing South

Course outline

One session per week for 25 weeks

In the autumn and spring term courses of this programme you will learn, through practical writing sessions, how to write for the stage and screen. You will be taught how to format scripts, how to utilise the technical and practical characteristics of these different forms and how to work creatively within them. Starting with the essential skills of stagecraft you will learn how to develop characters and storylines that are resonant, coherent and built around dramatic tension. You will then, in the spring term, apply what you have learned to the screen; to more episodic and filmic narrative. In the summer term you will be encouraged to take one of your first draft pieces from the first two terms and through reading and discussion in script development workshops, develop them into a second draft.

By the end of the programme you will have developed a strong working knowledge of scriptwriting technique; written your own scripts and had them critically reviewed; gained a deeper insight into professional practice and had an opportunity to meet and work with professional writers.

What this programme will do for you

This programme will enable you to identify the forms of dramatic writing that are best suited to your individual talent. It will give you a thorough practical understanding of dramatic technique; it will stretch and challenge you creatively; it will provide you with a critical forum where you can test out your ideas; it will teach you how to manage your creative output, both as an individual and within a group and it will strengthen your confidence to work creatively alongside your ability to reflect critically on your own work.

Programme Structure

Course 1: The Principles of Dramatic Writing
Autumn Term 2019

The main focus of this course will be the form and structure of writing for the stage, including developing strong characters, dramatic stories and an understanding of how a play is ‘put on its feet’.  You will develop an understanding of how a play is constructed, including story and suspense; the unities of time and space; dialogue and subtext; the role of the actor; and the interaction between the performance and the audience. During the course you will write the first draft of a one act play (or the first act of a longer play).

Course 2: Screenwriting
Spring Term 2020

During this course you’ll develop the craft of dramatic writing for the screen – the principles of storytelling crossover from course one – but here the story’s told in pictures and sound: it’s showing not telling. You’ll identify what you’re trying to write, then take that idea and develop it into the first 10-15 pages of a feature/TV script or a short film. Then we’ll look at log lines, story archetype and genre; the protagonist/antagonist, revisit structure for the screen (turning points, inciting incidents, beats, scenes, Acts); examine point of view, opening and closing scenes and the use of montage.

Course Three: Dramatic Writing Workshops
Summer Term 2020

You will choose one of the pieces you have written for Courses One and Two and in this series of script development workshops, write a second more detailed draft. The aim of the workshops is to offer constructive criticism that will develop the potential of each script by nurturing writers during the writing process and offering critical support and guidance. At the end of the summer term there will be a showcase of readings of students’ work.

Wednesday afternoons: 1pm to 3.30pm

Term Dates:
Autumn: 2 October to 11 December 2019
Spring: 8 January to 22 March 2020
Summer: 22 April to 20 May 2020



Enrolment for this course is now open

Location: The Writers’ Place, 9 Jew Street, Brighton BN1 1UT

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2 October 2019 - 20 May 2020

£700 (Deposit: £100)

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