The bad news is we don’t have a grant for our annual showcase of prizewinning scripts at the Tobacco Factory. But the good news is we’re hoping to present them at the Alma Tavern instead — see below. All the following meetings take place in the Macready Room at the Bristol Old Vic — ask at the bar on the first floor for directions. The entrance fee is still just £1.

Tuesday, 20 April at 7.30pm: An evening of ‘shorts’
We’re hoping to read at least four complete short scripts (no more than 15 minutes each).

Tuesday, 27 April at 7.30pm: New Dawn Fades by Joel Harper
Joel’s screenplay about an alcoholic who returns to the West coast to heal. He finds his hometown a shadow of its former self. Amongst the ruins he builds himself a new life, only to find the bony fingers of his past grasp for him once more.

Tuesday, 4 May at 7.30pm: Open Workshop

Tuesday, 11 May at 7.30pm: The Immortals by Marion Reed
The story of Peg Woffington, 18th Century actress, and Billie Holiday, 20th Century jazz singer, who each overcome adverse circumstances to achieve social success and critical acclaim. A theme of the play is that their struggle continues.

Tuesday, 18 May at 7.30pm: BBC Breakers proposals
The deadline for submissions of synopses for 60-minute TV dramas to the BBC Breakers initiative is 2 June, so this week we plan to read and discuss those being submitted by members.

Tuesday, 25 May at 7.30pm: Meet Jonathan Meth of writernet
writernet is the UK’s leading organisation to promote new writing — and is also handling the judging of our competition this year. Jonathan Meth, writernet’s director, will talk about the overall work of the organisation and answer your questions about what they can do to help you promote your work.


Tim takes TAPS Award
Very special congratulations to Tim Massey who has been voted the TAPS Drama Writer of the Year 2003. Last year, Tim was one of the six finalists from over 400 entrants to be selected for the TAPS (Television Arts Performance Showcase) writing programme. On that programme, the six finalists were given mentoring to develop their scripts, and the results were then judged by a separate, independent panel. It was this panel that voted Tim the best of the six. His prize includes a trophy, one year’s subscription to the Writers’ Guild and BAFTA, and a cheque for £1000. A great achievement.

Continuing the group’s success in this event, Ann-Marie McCormack is one of the six selected for the 2004 TAPS writing programme, so our congratulations and very best wishes to her too.


Heather’s Umbrella features in Congleton Drama Festival
Heather Lister, a finalist in the Southwest Scriptwriters’ New Writing event for the past two years, has had her one-act play The Umbrella chosen as one of five to be performed in the Daneside Theatre at the Congleton (Cheshire) Drama Festival on 10 July this year. The overall winner will be selected by the audience on the night, so if you can possibly make it, please do. In the past several of the plays selected for the finals have been taken up and performed professionally elsewhere.


Over Exposure a hit at the Alma
Ann Gawthorpe and Lesley Bown’s production of their play Over Exposure at the Alma Tavern Theatre was very successful, with all six nights being completely sold out. As a result there was a healthy profit to share amongst the cast and crew. The play will now have a rewrite incorporating many new ideas and may then return for a second run — watch this space…


No funding for New Writing Festival
We’re sorry to report that the Arts Council has turned down our application for a Grant for the Arts for our New Writing Festival this year. Clearly, as a result, we won’t be able to put on an event at the Tobacco Factory as in previous years. We’re hoping nevertheless to be able to put on script-in-hand performances of the winning scripts at the Alma Tavern Theatre in late June or July. We’ll let you have further details as soon as we can.


BBC3 seeks comedy-drama
BBC3 is actively looking for new half-hour contemporary comedy-dramas ‘featuring unusual worlds and voices’. Shortlisted entrants will be invited to a masterclass with top comedy writers and producers. Three finalists will each receive £1000 and have their work showcased at a London theatre. The best script will be filmed for potential screening on BBC3.