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EN393 Advanced Screenwriting

Convenor: Lucy Brydon

Please note that the module code is changing in 2019-20 to EN3H4.

2019/20 seminars: Thursday 3:00-4:30 T1 A0.26 T2 H207
Office Hours: TBC

The module is aimed at final year students who must have already completed the Screenwriting module or have equivalent level of experience. The course will develop students’ existing screenwriting practice in new ways that equip them with industry-facing skills in script writing for TV and web series.

By the end of this course, students will have a strong understanding of the complex differences in writing for television and web. They will build a knowledge of the process of film, TV and content production – and the varying role of the writer in these industries. Their critical understanding of screenwriting in relation to TV and web will have been enhanced. They will also be provided with an extended network of contacts in the TV, film and web series industries via field trips and guest lectures.

Autumn Term:

Week 1: Introduction// The Concept aka Catching the Big Fish
Week 2: TV Series - Drama (UK)/Episode Structure - A Close Look at Happy Valley
Week 3: TV Series – Drama (US)/Episode Structure - A Close Look at Six Feet Under
Week 4: TV Series – Drama (UK/US)/Episode Structure - A Close Look at Black Mirror
Week 5: Guest lecture by TV Professional/Field trip to a working studio
Week 6: Reading Week
Week 7: TV Series – Drama (US) - Series Structure – A Close Look at Breaking Bad and Six Feet Under
Week 8: TV Series - Drama (UK + US) - Character and Conflict, from UK to US - A Close Look at House of Cards, both UK and US versions
Week 9: TV Series –Drama (UK) – Writing Reality/Limited Series – A Very English Scandal
Week 10: TV Series – Developing your Story and Treatment

Spring Term:

Week 1: Packaging your Script with Optional Teaser
Week 2: TV Series – Comedy Drama (UK)/ No Offence (TBC)
Week 3: TV Series - Comedy Drama (US)/A Close Look at Transparent
Week 4: TV Series – Comedy and Satire (UK)/ The Thick of It
Week 5: TV Series – Sitcom (UK)/ A Close Look at Green Wing
Week 6: Reading week
Week 7: Web - Introduction and the evolution of the Web Series – A Close Look at F To the 7th and The Mis-Adventures of an Awkward Black Girl
Week 8: Development Workshop and/or shooting your teaser
Week 9: Guest lecture by TV/Web Professional/Field trip to a working studio
Week 10: Student presentations of their TV or web series idea for critique with optional teaser


100% assessed - 7000 word script/script excerpt for a continuing TV drama or web series plus 2000 word treatment and 1000 word critical document


Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity, by David Lynch

TV Writer's Workbook, Ellen Sandler Publisher: Delta

Writing the TV Drama Series 3rd Edition: How to Succeed as a Professional Writer in TV, Pamela Douglas, Publisher: Michael Wiese Productions

Crafty TV Writing: Thinking Inside the Box Alex Epstein Publisher: Owl Books

The Calling Card Script: A Writer's Toolbox for Screen, Stage and Radio Paul Ashton Publisher: A & C Black Publishers Ltd

Writing Great Screenplays for Film and TV Dona Cooper Publisher: Macmillan Publishing Co, U.S.

Into the Woods, John Yorke London: Penguin Books

Story, Robert McKee London: Methuen

Alternative scriptwriting, Dancyger & Oxford: Focal Press Rush