This course is an all-encompassing introduction to scriptwriting and is designed for writers who are just starting to explore scripts. You will learn the mechanisms of working across a variety of script forms: TV, film, theatre and radio. You’ll discover ways to generate ideas and turn them into stories, how to write dialogue and how visual narrative storytelling works. The course will also provide insight into the script industries and how to pitch your projects.
What the course covers
Module 1 – Ideas and Outline
This module will introduce you to the world of scriptwriting. You’ll read some scripts to get familiar with the look and pace of a script on a page, and you’ll be introduced to the different forms of scriptwriting you’ll cover in the course. You’ll also look at the fundamentals of all scripts – ideas generation and creating compelling characters. For your first module, you’ll come up with a one-page synopsis.
Module 2 – Film
In this module you’ll look at one of the main forms of screenwriting: writing for film. You’ll use the fundamentals of character that you learned in module 1 to explore how you can create a visual narrative with your storytelling. You’ll also look at how to structure a film narrative and you’ll try your hand at creating a beat sheet. For your assignment, you’ll submit the opening 5 pages of a film script.
Module 3 – Theatre
This module tackles writing for stage. You’ll read a few examples of stage scripts and plays and you’ll explore the different techniques needed to make a story come to life on the stage. You’ll also cover some of the basics of scriptwriting, including speech and dialogue, monologues, and structure for stage plays. Your assignment is a five-page play.
Module 4 – Radio
You’ll begin this module by familiarising yourself with a radio script and you’ll look at the different ways you can engage dialogue and sound to create an audio-only environment. You’ll also look at the ways you can captivate a listener by placing your radio drama in an unfamiliar or unusual setting. Your assignment will put everything you’ve learned in this module to the test in a five-page radio script.
Module 5 – Writing for TV
In this module, you’ll revisit the visual world by looking at TV scripts. You’ll notice the power of the audio versus the visual and you’ll have a go at writing your own exposition. You’ll also look at the importance of point of view in scriptwriting, and you’ll explore the world of screen directions. For the assignment this module, you’ll have a go at a live verbal pitch for a TV show or series.
Module 6 – Next Stages
For the final module, you’ll look at editing and re-writing. You also learn about the importance of getting and agent and the ways in which you can get your script and screenwriting out into the world.
This course will teach you how to
Work across various script forms
Create a portfolio of ideas and exercises from which you can draw in the future
Develop a pitch/story outline according to industry standards
Gain a greater understanding of story structure and plot mechanisms
Designed in partnership with the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing at UEA
Format: How the course works
Our Creative Writing Online courses take place entirely over the internet. All you need is a computer and an internet connection.
The majority of the course is delivered in text form, making it easy to progress through the course chapter-by-chapter.
Your knowledge will be developed through writing exercises and the analysis of samples of writing.
The course is divided into fortnightly modules, each of which introduces an aspect of the craft of writing.
Every two weeks you will submit an assignment to your tutor, who will then respond with constructive feedback and advice. Outside of those assignment deadlines you can progress through the lessons and exercises at your own pace.
You will have 1-2-1 feedback from your tutor and fellow students.
Forum-based student discussions are included throughout the course, providing an opportunity for students to interact with each other and the course tutor. To get the most out of the course, we recommend taking part in as many discussions as possible.
If you have any questions, you can get in touch by emailing Vicki at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This course runs for 12 weeks and is split into several modules, which each last two weeks. Modules consist of multiple chapters and your progress is tracked throughout, making it easy to pick up where you left off.
Although a module is open for two weeks, you are not expected to dedicate that entire time to the course! Our online courses are designed to fit around a busy lifestyle and each chapter is conveniently bite-sized so that you can always be making progress. On average we expect most students to spend between 3-5 hours per week on a course (this time will be a mixture of reading, community discussions, exercises and assignments). This will vary from student-to-student and some modules may be more intensive than others.
Each module includes smaller exercises and a main assignment. How much time you spend on these is flexible and will depend on your own writing style and process.
September 2022 term schedule
Module 1: Monday 19th September – Sunday 2nd October
Zoom session: Monday 19th September, 19:00-20:00
Module 2: Monday 3rd October – Sunday 16th October
Module 3: Monday 17th October – Sunday 30th October
Module 4: Monday 31st October – Sunday 13th November
Module 5: Monday 14th November – Sunday 27th November
Zoom session: Monday 21st November, 19:00-20:00
Module 6: Monday 28th November – Sunday 11th December.
Final Zoom session TBC.
Equipment and software: What you need
You will need access to a computer and you will need access to the internet.
You can view the study materials on a mobile device but we recommend using a desktop or laptop computer for working on assignments and taking part in community discussions.
Important: Your web browser must be up-to-date to access the courses. We recommend using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
We use two platforms to deliver our tutored online courses:
This online course platform hosts our study materials and community interactions. You will be provided with a login for a Teachable account at the beginning of your course.
We use zoom to host any live tutored elements of the course. Please see the course-specific pages for full details
What people think of our courses
“I’ve taken away a much greater confidence in my creative work, an ability to be much more flexible but also decisive with my writing ideas and have learned many new writing techniques and ways of working.”
“I have learned a huge amount on this course. I feel I have leaped ahead in my knowledge of writing and what I am capable of writing at the moment.”
“My output has improved a thousand-fold in both content and quality.”
“The course had a therapeutic effect. I gained a sense of freedom from getting lost in the characterisations and dramas of my stories.”
“The course exceeded my expectations in every aspect with how well-structured it was, the exercises and the feedback. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
Motivation and focus
Motivation and focus
“Having someone read and feedback on my writing gave me focus and motivation.”
Who is this course for?
This course is ideal for people who have done no formal training or courses who want to:
Core areas of expertise: Molly is a scriptwriter, poet, performer and graphic novelist.
Notable works:Her stage work includes LIGHTS! PLANETS! PEOPLE! (winner of the Norfolk Arts Award for Theatre), Whenever I Get Blown Up I Think Of You (adapted for BBC Radio 4) and My Robot Heart. Her new show Stop Trying to be Fantastic has been commissioned by Norwich Arts Centre and Inn Crowd and will tour as soon as that’s allowed. Screen work includes After Hours (Sky One) – available to stream on Now TV. She is currently working on her first feature film, I’ll See Myself Out (Jeva Films). Published works include Stop Trying to be Fantastic (Burning Eye Books, 2020) and Badminton (2016). Her graphic novel adaptation of LIGHTS! PLANETS! PEOPLE! will be published by Avery Hill in September 2021.
Molly has appeared on a range of radio shows including Four Thought, Midweek, Bespoken Word (BBC Radio 4) and the Wondermentalist cabaret (BBC Radio 3). She has performed at festivals and events all over the world, including Latitude Festival, Edinburgh Book Festival, the Brighton Fringe, Salisbury Festival, Palabra Y Musica and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
What’s great about the course? Start Scriptwriting is accessible, fun and suitable for all abilities. We look at writing for theatre, radio, TV and film. It’s ideal for people who have no experience in scriptwriting, or a little experience in some areas, or even lots of experience in one area but who also have a desire to branch out. I foster a lively, informal atmosphere and I like to encourage experimentation, mistake-making and play.
I love teaching this course as I’m always so impressed by the journey the students go on, particularly those who begin the course without much confidence in their work or abilities. Students tend to generate lots and lots of ideas, and are always hugely supportive of each other which is a joy to see.
My students seem to really enjoy the personalized feedback they receive, and my attention to detail. I try to let my personality come across in our interactions so the course feels as friendly and warm as possible. Most students come out of the course with a lot of material at different stages of development, some of which they go on to develop further into plays, radio plays, monologues, TV pitches or feature films. They also sometimes take the ideas they developed and adapt them into other forms, like novels or poems. Some find it a very useful way to develop their craft in preparation for further learning like an MA, others find it an enriching and rewarding creative break.