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Write On – free online events for writers

WGGB launched its free series of online events for writers during the Covid-19 lockdown and it has gone from strength to strength since then. You can find details of upcoming and previous sessions below, including videos (where we recorded sessions). Closed captions are available for all our Zoom events.

Who would brave the writers room? 

Whether you are a new writer, a regular participant or even a showrunner, what should you expect of the writers room? How will it operate, how will the story structure unfold, and how will work be assigned to different people on the team? Screenwriters Sumerah Srivastav, Testament, Daniel Rusteau and Lisa Holdsworth (chair) discuss the multiple forms that writers rooms can take, from streamers to public service broadcasters, from continuing drama to high-end drama series, and where and how they have led to prize-winning television, follow-up commissions and life-time writing partnerships. The event took place on Thursday 11 July 2024.

Protect your copyright!

Copyright is a writer’s most precious possession, a vital part of every creative’s career and income. Don’t be cheated out of yours! WGGB Treasurer Gail Renard talks to screenwriter and media lawyer Robert Taylor about how to protect your rights, as explained in his new book Copyright Made Easy: How to Know, Exploit and Protect Your Rights. The event takes place on Thursday 18 July, 5-6pm on Zoom. Register your free place here.

Heading to Cannes this year?

Our Film Committee held an informal online meeting for our screenwriter members on 9 May 2024 where they shared their experiences, tips and strategies for attending the film festival.

Defining narrative design

The role of narrative designer is perhaps videogames’ most confusing job title and in this event on 9 May 2024 we helped to demystify this, led by an expert panel of Mata Haggis-Burridge, Samantha Webb, Ben Sabin and WGGB Videogames Chair Andrew S Walsh.

Pre-WASD games’ writers networking event – free

This took place on Wednesday 24 April in central London and was a chance for games writers to meet up on the eve of the WASD games event.

Twenty years of the Tinniswood Award

We celebrated 20 years of the Tinniswood Award, and the very best of audio drama, with writer Shôn Dale-Jones, whose comedy Cracking scooped the prize recently at the BBC Audio Drama Awards. The event took place on 11 April 2024.

From page to screen: the process and legalities of adaptation

Everything you need to know to adapt a novel for the screen, including acquiring the rights, protecting copyright and how freely you can interpret the original author’s work. Special guests for this event were David Nicholls (author of One Day), Nicole Taylor (lead writer on the Netflix adaptation), Emma Reeves (WGGB Chair) and media lawyer Robert Taylor. The event took place on  Wednesday 6 March.

LGBT+ History Month events

LGBT+ History Month ran from 1-29 February 2024. To mark this, we ran two special events during the month. Our free online event ‘The telling of LGBT+ history in fiction’ took place on 8 February. And our LGBT+ Member Network met on 21 February.

The storyteller as political campaigner

Gwyneth Hughes’ recent drama for ITV, Mr Bates vs the Post Office, and the storm it cooked up in Westminster following a national petition, reveals the power of storytelling to bring about change by galvanising grassroots opinion. In this online discussion on 24 January 2023, WGGB Chair Emma Reeves and Hughes explored the role of storyteller in directing public discourse and political campaigning.

Skills, roles, definitions and opportunities in gamewriting

We were delighted to host our annual panel event at London South Bank University on Wednesday 13 December at 7pm. Speakers included writers and narrative designers Frances Wakefield Harrey and Mary Goodden. It was chaired by Leon Killin and was followed by an informal networking event.

New Opportunities at Birmingham Hippodrome 

This exclusive free online event from our West Midlands Branch took place on 18 December 2023. Head of New Musical Theatre Deidre O’Halloran and Head of New Work Sophia Griffin spoke about exciting new opportunities for writers, following the news that the theatre has recently opened the UK’s first in-house department developing new musicals.

How far have we come? A celebration of deaf, disabled and neurodiverse playwrights

This panel to celebrate Disability History Month tackled how to sustain a career as a playwright and discussed how we can get more disabled and diverse voices on to our stages. It took place on 22 November 2023.

Pre-AdventureX videogames networking event

Videogames writers who were attending the AdventureX convention on 4-5 November 2023 were invited to a meet-up in central London on the evening of Friday 3 November for a networking event. Watch this space for future videogames events!

A celebration of contemporary Black writing talent

On Black History Month we celebrated the wealth of Black writing talent today across screen, theatre, audio, comedy, videogames and books. The event took place on Friday 27 October.

Soap and glory – the unsung heroes of popular drama series

WGGB Chair Lisa Holdsworth celebrated the nation’s favourite and enduring dramas with a panel of writers from Coronation Street, The Archers, Doctors, Casualty and Holby on 5 October 2023.

Accessibility in videogame writing

This event with accessibility experts focused specifically on writers in narrative design and enabled them to learn what they could do as a writer to make games accessible for more players. It took place on Thursday 5 October 2023.

WGGB at London Film Festival 2023

To tie in with a WGGB-sponsored event for emerging writers at London Film Festival this year, we also hosted a member meet-up in central London.

AI and the writer

How can writers take the best from AI while protecting their rights? Dr Gavin Mueller, Assistant Professor of New Media and Digital Culture at the University of Amsterdam discussed this with WGGB Organiser John Sailing at our exclusive member event on 29 August 2023. You can now access the full video in the members’ area of our website.

Mindfulness for writers

This workshop, organised by our West Midlands Branch, took place on 16 September 2023 at Birmingham Hippodrome with poet and mindfulness coach Charlie Jordan.

A guide to Arts Council England funding

WGGB Theatre committee co-chairs Poppy Corbett and Richard Pinner spoke to three guests from ACE – Neil Darlison, Pam Vision and Patrick Cash – to answer questions about applying for grants. This WGGB member-only event took place online on Thursday 13 July 2023 and members can view their presentations and application guidance in our members’ area.

Summer videogames events

Sadly, due to staff shortages, we have had to cancel our free online event on July 6, ‘How to start and build a career in game narrative’, sponsored by Articy Draft. Watch this space for further announcements. Our free in-person game narrative networking event took place on Friday 7 July 2023. Watch this space for future events!

Equality Writes, five years on…

Five years after we launched our Equality Writes campaign we asked where our campaign was a success, and what more we can do to achieve better representation for women writers? The panel was made up of some of the members and activists – Lisa Holdsworth, Olivia Hetreed, Sumerah Srivastav and Emma Reeves – who made this campaign possible. The event took place on Monday 22 May 2023.

Burnout and beyond – anxiety and the freelance writer

To mark #MentalHealthAwarnessWeek we ran a special online event with writer, psychotherapist and former WGGB Books Chair Corinne Sweet on Thursday 18 May 2023.

In conversation with Ben Power

Writer Ben Power shares the script-to-screen journey of Munich: the Edge of War, his adaptation of the Robert Harris German-British period spy thriller, which won him Best Screenplay at the Writers’ Guild Awards 2023. The event was due to take  place on 11 May 2023 but was postponed – watch this space for further updates.

BFI Fimmaking Fund free online advice event

This member-only event took place on 26 April 2023, allowing writers to find out more about new BFI funding opportunities, how to navigate the guidelines, and what they mean for writers. We welcomed Mia Bays, Director of the BFI Filmmaking Fund, along with senior production and development executives Ama Ampadu and Louise Ortega to discuss these issues with our Film Committee. WGGB members can view the video in the exclusive videos section of our members’ area.

Playwrights and policy: panel discussion and book launch

How can playwrights work together to influence policy-making? This free online event, organised by the West Midlands Writers’ Guild, took place on 27 April to mark the launch of Jane Woddis’ new book Acting on Cultural Policy: Arts Practitioners, Policy-Making and Civil Society, with fellow panellists David Edgar and Aisha Khan.

In conversation with the finalists of the 2023 Tinniswood Award

This event, chaired by award-winning writer and former Tinniswood Award juror Ming Ho, took place on Thursday 23 March 2023.

In conversation with Aamina Ahmad and Eli Lee

Getting a debut novel published is an achievement in itself, never mind bagging a prestigious award too. Writers’ Guild Award-winning Best First Novelists Aamina Ahmad and Eli Lee spoke to author and WGGB Books Chair Simon Guerrier at this event on 23 February 2023.

In conversation with Tom Morton-Smith

Playwright and screenwriter Tom Morton-Smith spoke to WGGB Theatre Committee Co-Chair Poppy Corbett about creating a box-office hit for the RSC from the classic Studio Ghibli animation My Neighbour Totoro at this free event on 11 January 2023.

In conversation with Antony Johnston

New York Times bestselling writer Antony Johnston joined us to talk about the art, craft and industry of videogames narrative on 24 November 2022.

Ralph & Katie: a new model for an inclusive writers room

Following the success of comedy series Ralph & Katie (a spin-off from the groundbreaking three-series hit The A Word), writer and creator Peter Bowker explains how he conceived the drama and how he realised it with a team of some of the UK’s best emerging d/Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent writers. An interpreter and live captions were available for this event, which was timed to coincide with Disability History Month.

How to promote yourself as a writer online

Everybody says you need a social media presence, but they never tell you how to set one up. This free online WGGB member workshop took place on 8 and 28 November 2022 and saw writer and WGGB Deputy Co-Chair William Gallagher explain how writers can promote themselves online. 

All you need to know about… TV and film option agreements

Option agreements are one of the first types of contract a writer will come across, establishing your rights, terms and pay from the outset of a project. But all too often, they are riddled with ambiguous and confusing wording. Following the launch of our TV Option Template and Model Film Option Agreement, we hosted this free online event on 12 October 2022.

All you need to know about… self-publishing

To mark the launch of our new guide to self-publishing, we hosted this free event on Friday 7 October 2022, as part of our popular Guided Tour series.

Finance for freelancers in uncertain times

This free online, member-only workshop took place on Tuesday 27 September.

The art of writing short films

This event, which took place on 13 July 2022, featured an online discussion panel on the art of writing film shorts. View the video here.

Writing the script in West Midlands theatre

This event on 13 July 2022 saw the Artistic/Creative Directors of The Belgrade, Royal Shakespeare Company and The Rep come together to discuss commissioning in the West Midlands region. Run by the WGGB West Midlands Branch and chaired by former WGGB President and acclaimed playwright David Edgar, it was a chance for WGGB members to hear from these influential ‘gatekeepers’ and to discuss the needs of and opportunities for writers in the West Midlands.

Engaging with theatres: commissions, contracts and copyright

As part of our New Play Commissioning Scheme, WGGB Deputy General Secretary Lesley Gannon ran two-hour interactive workshops on 16 and 17 June 2022, covering all aspects of the playwriting process, from initial idea to final production.

The future of Channel 4: discussion event 
This took place on 8 June 2022 and saw leading writers James Graham, Jack Thorne and Karissa Hamilton Bannis discuss the future of Channel 4 with Steven Barnett, Professor of Communications at the University of Westminster. View the video on our YouTube channel.

A guide to the New Play Commission Scheme

This event, organised by the WGGB West Midlands Branch, took place on 26 May 2022 and featured former WGGB President and architect of the scheme David Edgar and WGGB Deputy General Secretary Lesley Gannon who provided further information on how and why the scheme came about and how to apply. View the video on our YouTube channel.

Is it a steal? How to navigate the world of contributory publishing

This event, which took place on 25 May 2022, focused on our recent report with Society of Authors and featured an expert panel to guide writers through the hazards and opportunities of contributory publishing.

In conversation with Kevin Dyer 

Writers’ Guild Awards Best Play winner Kevin Dyer was interviewed about his winning play The Syrian Baker, his work in community theatre and more on Thursday 12 May 2022.

In conversation with Hannah George, Taylor Glenn and Catie Wilkins

WGGB Comedy Chair Nathaniel Tapley interviewed the female trio who scooped the Writers’ Guild Best Online Comedy Award this year with Do You Remember the Period Talk at School #Menopause. The event took place on Thursday 31 March.

In conversation with Avin Shah

Writers’ Guild Best Radio Drama Award winner Avin Shah spoke to WGGB Audio Chair Nicholas McInerny on 17 March 2022 about his winning play The Half Widow, and more.

WGGB roundtable for writers working higher education

This event saw the launch event of our network for writers working in higher education and took place on 10 March 2022. If you’re interested in joining the network or you have any issues you’d like to discuss in a future session please contact kate@writersguild.org.uk

WGGB roundtable for early-career film writers

This event took place on 1 March 2022.

Stress-busing for writers

This event, which took place on 25 February 2022, was hosted by WGGB Books Co-Chair Corinne Sweet, who is a psychotherapist, life coach and agony aunt.

In conversation with Sarah Hanly

WGGB Organiser Nadine Edwards interviewed playwright and actor Sarah Hanly who has just completed a one-woman sell out show at the Royal Court Theatre. The event took place on 23 February 2022.

All you need to know about our TV agreements and resources

Continuing our series of ‘guided tour’ events, this took place on 27 January 2022, featuring WGGB TV Chair Emma Reeves and WGGB Caseworker John Sailing.

In conversation with Olivia Hetreed

Former WGGB President and screenwriter Olivia Hetreed spoke to The Art of Screen Adaptation author Alistair Owen on 8 December 2021 at this event in partnership with Creative Essentials.

Meet the agent

The second in our series of Meet the agent events took place on 2 December 2021 and saw Sean Gascoine of United Agents talk to screenwriter Tom Williams (Chair of the WGGB Film Committee). This was a member-only event and the video is now available in the Members’ area of our website.

Where are all the women comedy writers?

This event on Thursday 11 November 2021 saw Bafta award-winning writer Gail Renard explore the opportunities and realities for women comedy with a stellar panel.

In conversation with… Jamie Carragher

The event which took place on 4 November 2021 saw screenwriter and playwright Jamie Carragher talk to Emma Reeves (Chair of the Writers’ Guild TV Committee) about how he progressed from writer’s assistant to staff writer on HBO’s American satirical black comedy series Succession, what it was like working alongside its creator Jesse Armstrong, and about a few other projects he has up his sleeve.

Deborah  Moggach in conversation with Alistair Owen

This event in partnership with Creative Essentials saw screenwriter and bestselling novelist Deborah Moggach talking to The Art of Screen Adaptation author Alistair Owen on Wednesday 20 October 2021.

Meet the agent

This member-only event, the first in a new series, saw The Haworth Agency‘s Georgina Ruffhead in conversation with WGGB Chair Lisa Holdsworth. It took place on 14 October 2021 and a video will be available shortly in the ‘exclusive member video’ section of the members’ area of our website.

How to get the TV credits you deserve

We launched our new guidelines to the ‘created by’ credit at this event on Thursday 23 September 2021, which also saw a discussion with WGGB TV Chair Emma Reeves and Blood creator and screenwriter Sophie Petzal, plus other special guests.

Sarah Phelps in conversation with Alistair Owen

This event, which took place on 11 August 2021 in partnership with Creative Essentials, saw screenwriter Sarah Phelps talk to Alistair Owen, author of The Art of Screen Adaptation, about the challenges and pleasures of adapting Agatha Christie, Charles Dickens, Tana French – and true events – into compelling TV drama.

Arts Council grants and how to get them

This member-only event took place on Thursday 29 July 2021. A video is available in the members’ area of our website here.

Change of scene: how the pandemic has reshaped theatre

This event (22 July 2021) saw Suba Das (Artistic Director of HighTide Theatre) explore how the pandemic has forced theatre practitioners to innovate, leading to a flowering of new works and ventures. He was joined by playwright and screenwriter Vinay Patel (True BritsMurdered by My Father) and by playwright, screenwriter and Artistic Director of tiata fahodzi Chinonyerem Odimba (Unknown Rivers, Princess & The Hustler).

Competitions v cut-price commissions?

This event, which took place on 24 June 2021, explored how writers can tell the difference between genuine writing opportunities and those that should be offering standard industry pay and conditions. It also saw the launch of our new guidelines on this subject.

Christopher Hampton in conversation with Alistair Owen
This event, in partnership with Creative Essentials, took place on 16 June 2021 and saw acclaimed screenwriter and playwright Christopher Hampton in conversation with The Art of Screen Adaptation author Alistair Owen – who also interviewed him in Hampton on Hampton. View the video on our YouTube channel.

Contracts for collaborations

This member-only advice session on writing partnerships took place on 20 May 2021. The video of this event is available in our Members’ area.

Writers v podcasters – how can writers survive in a podcasting universe?

This event took place on 13 May 2021 and was hosted by WGGB Audio Chair Nicholas McInerny.

Second online festival of videogames writing

This took place on the week beginning 26 April 2021 and saw 13 speakers across five days. You can catch up with videos on the festival website page.

All you need to know about… musical theatre

This event, which took place on 22 April 2021, was the first in a new series of online guided tours to help writers and those who work with them find their way around our industry agreements and guidelines.

In conversation with… Lucinda Coxon

Continuing our series of events with Creative Essentials, The Art of Screen Adaptation author Alistair Owen was in conversation with screenwriter Lucinda Coxon on 21 April 2021.

Can stories save the planet?

The event took place on 15 April 2021 hosted by WGGB Chair Lisa Holdsworth.

Where next for women in theatre?

The event took place on Thursday 25 March 2021 in partnership with Sphinx Theatre.

In conversation with… David Nicholls

BAFTA-winning screenwriter, best-selling novelist and WGGB member David Nicholls spoke to The Art of Screen Adaptation author Alistair Owen at this session in partnership with Creative Essentials on March 10 2021.

Can you make a living writing podcast drama?

WGGB Audio Chair Nicholas McInerny spoke to writer/director Ken Bentley and actor/producer Nathan Blade in this event on Thursday 25 February 2021 at 5pm. 

In conversation with… Emma Reeves

My Mum Tracy Beaker screenwriter and WGGB TV Chair Emma Reeves was in conversation with fellow children’s TV writer and WGGB Treasurer Gail Renard on 24 February 2020.

Annual videogames panel event

Our popular annual event with London South Bank University and IGDA London took place on Thursday 11 February 2021. It featured award-winning games writer, narrative designer and producer Jon Ingold talking about how to creative meaningful choices in interactive experiences.

In Conversation with… Moira Buffini

Harlots and The Dig writer Moira Buffini was in conversation with The Art of Screen Adaptation author Alistair Owen in this Zoom session in partnership with Creative Essentials. It took place on Wednesday 5 February 2021.

In Conversation with… Russell T Davies

This took place on Thursday 28 January 2021 and saw the WGGB member, award-winning screenwriter and producer interviewed by WGGB Radio Chair Nicholas McInerny. Davies spoke about Doctor Who, bringing gay comedy into the mainstream and his new Channel 4 series It’s A Sin.

Pandemic power – finding your audiences online

Led by WGGB Yorkshire rep David Allison the event featured special guests from the region and took place on Thursday 21 January 2021.

In conversation with… Amanda Coe

The event took place on 17 December 2020 and saw former WGGB President Olivia Hetreed talk to screenwriter Amanda Coe about adapting Rumer Godden’s 1939 novel Black Narcissus for a new BBC mini series.

Can you make a living writing children’s TV?

This event took place on 10 December 2020 and featured WGGB TV Chair Emma Reeves, WGGB Treasurer Gail Renard and guests.

In conversation with… Daniel Ward

This event, which took place on 4 December 2020, saw WGGB President Sandi Toksvig OBE in conversation with George Devine Prize and Writers’ Guild Award-winning playwright Daniel Ward.

Blow the Bloody Doors Off! Breaking down the barriers for disabled writers

Hosted by WGGB member Jack Thorne the event took place on Friday 27 November to mark UK Disability History Month. 

Showrunning in the UK

The event took place on Thursday 12 November 2020. It saw the launch of our new best-practice guidance for showrunners and those who work with them and featured Simon Beaufoy, Emilia di Girolamo and Sophie Petzal.

The Art of Screen Adaptation

The event took place on Thursday 29 October 2020 and saw author Alistair Owen in conversation with former WGGB President Olivia Hetreed.

Can you make a living writing comedy?

The event took place on Thursday 15 October 2020 and featured speakers Dave Cohen, Bennett Arron, Emily Allen and Hannah George

Black talent discuss getting your show on

To mark Black History Month, and as part of our Equality Writes campaign, we held this event on Wednesday 7 October 2020. It was chaired by writer and founder of Fresh Voices UK Carol Russell. Panellists were Nadine Marsh-Edwards, Anna Ssemuyaba and Avril E. Russell.

Protecting your work: from pitching to production

The event on 23 July 2020 featured a discussion between WGGB Chair Lisa Holdsworth, media lawyer and writer Robert Taylor and WGGB caseworker John Sailing on how writers can protect themselves and their work, what to look out for in contracts and how copyright works.

Videogames writing festival

A week-long festival of online videogames writing events, featuring a stellar list of speakers from the games world and covering subjects including getting started in games writing, narrative design, and the art and craft of creating narrative settings, societies and scenarios for games.

Why Writers Need Unions

The series kicked off in June 2020 with this event hosted by WGGB President Sandi Toksvig OBE and WGGB Chair Lisa Holdsworth.

Photo: Shutterstock.com/JulioRicco