Thursday, 3 March 2011

'The Killing Ground' and BBCwritersroom

Some people knock the BBCwritersroom. A few go so far as to suggest that they simply trawl through submissions in the hope to 'appropriate' ideas. But it's a free service (to the submitter) and not in their charter remit to have to offer the service, so with 10,000+ submissions a year across multiple TV and radio formats I don't think that anyone can really fault them.

Sure, the machine is slow - with a four month turnaround per piece, and you can only submit one piece at a time - but it's free. Basically, in the initial 'filter' they read the first ten pages (at most) and decided if the work warrants a full read by an out-sourced reader - someone who is experienced and who knows what they're talking about.

I sent them the first episode of my terrorist drama 'The Killing Ground' last October and had a four-month date of mid February. Seeing as though it was a couple of weeks or so over the due date notification I decided to follow the instructions on the confirmation card they sent to ask what the situation was.

I had a reply within minutes (which surprised me) to say that it (the script) had been taken for a full read and was expected back in the office later this month. They said they'd let me have the feedback then also apologised for the delay.

Not that I'm a proliferate submitter to the writersroom, but I've sent two pieces in and had two full reads, so I'm happy. Their notes are constructive, impartial and very helpful.

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