UK Film Council giving away money

A few years ago, the UK Film Council used to run a scheme called 25 Words Or Less. The deal was, if you had an agent or were a member of the WGGB you could pitch a film to them, and if they liked it you got 10 grand to develop a first draft.


Unfortunately by the time I joined the WGGB the scheme was in abeyance. They only ran it one more time, and the deadline was at the same time as I was writing my test pieces for the BBC Drama Writers’ Academy. So I didn’t get in on that one either.

And now they’ve said there’s going to be no more 25 Words Or Less schemes.

No, stop, no need to cry. Here’s a tissue.

Because they’ve got a new scheme. And it’s a doozy.

It’s called the First Feature Film Development Programme, and it’s open to anyone who hasn’t had a film released in cinemas or broadcast on TV.

You need to send them the following:

  • A summary of the story
  • Why you want to write it
  • A treatment
  • Your CV
  • A writing sample

And if they like what they see, they’ll give you up to £25,000 for you to support yourself while you write the damn thing. You don’t need an agent, a producer, or a director to apply for this money. Just your own talent.

So why are you still hanging around here reading my blog?


Another good reason to join the Writers’ Guild

The UK Film Council have just re-launched 25 Words Or Less, their initiative to encourage the creation of high-concept commercially-viable British films.

To get in, you need the following:

  • A pitch line of 25 words or less outlining the story idea
  • A one page outline of the story idea and narrative structure
  • 10 pages of sample scenes from the proposed story

The prize? Ten grand to write a first draft. And a script editor thrown in. Not too shabby at all.

There’s one other restriction. You need to have an agent.

Or, and this is quite important, be a full member of The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain.

To become a member of the WGGB, you need to have been paid for your writing. Then you get to pay the WGGB a hundred and fifty quid a year for the privilege of belonging.

More if you’re actually, you know, earning a living.

But as I’ve mentioned before, if you’re looking for a career in the industry, that’s a worthwhile price to pay.

So if you’ve ever sold writing professionally, join up here.

Because now joining the Guild isn’t just good for writers in general. It’s good specifically for you.