Welcome to the 21st Century and the first ever email edition of our newsletter. This is the same as the trusty snail-mail version but you won’t lose it under the sofa! A snail-mail copy will still be flopping onto your doormat while we get the hang of this newfangled hi-tech stuff.

Here are some dates for your organiser to get Y2K off to a great start. Two of the following meetings take place in the Macready Room, the rest in the Cooper’s Loft, both at the Bristol Old Vic. Ask at the bar on the first floor for directions. Everyone attending pays £1.

Tuesday, 25 January at 7.30pm in the Macready Room: Open Workshop

Tuesday, 1 February at 7.30pm in the Macready Room: Meet Brian Thompson
Brian Thompson is a Bristol writer whose credits include Byker Grove, The Bill and most recently, Grafters. He’s currently working on a new TV series for the BBC. Brian will talk to us about the current market for television drama, what writing for it involves, and how to get onto TV. He’ll also answer your questions about techniques specific to TV.

Tuesday, 8 February at 7.30pm in the Cooper’s Loft: Open Workshop

Tuesday, 15 February at 7.30pm in the Cooper’s Loft: Meet Lucy Catherine
A chance to get to know our new Honorary President, Lucy Catherine, and to ask her questions on everything from the new writing policy at the Bristol Old Vic to her experience of the commissioning policy at the BBC. Lucy has recently received commissions from the BBC for two radio plays and one TV play. Her stage play A Tender Prayer will be performed in the New Vic next June.

Tuesday, 22 February at 7.30pm in the Macready Room: Open Workshop

Tuesday, 29 February at 7.30pm in the Cooper’s Loft: ?Play Reading?
A reading of one of the plays that didn’t make it to the final stage of our current competition. Since the competition is still being judged, we don’t yet know which play this play will be, but will announce it soon after the results are known.


Andy’s progress report on competition judging

Andy Graham reports that all plays entered into our competition have now been read once and the second stage of readings is well advanced. He hopes to be able to announce the results at the beginning of February.


Elspeth’s script starts shooting in Bangladesh

Congratulations to Elspeth Waldie whose film about the problems facing a crippled woman in Bangladesh has just started shooting in that country with one of the region’s top directors. Elspeth is a voluntary worker in Bangladesh who had never written a script before being asked to develop this one. She brought it along to a meeting of Southwest Scriptwriters last year to give it its first airing and to get some feedback.


Andy gets Scriptwriters set for 21st Century

Thanks to computer maestro Andy Burras we’ve taken the 21st Century in our stride by opening up our own website. You can find us at www.southwest-scriptwriters.co.uk where our diary and other information is published.


Melanie starts 2000 for Station Road

Congratulations to Melanie Lawman whose second week of episodes for the increasingly popular BBC Radio Wales soap Station Road went out during the first week of the year.


Made in Wales in the New Vic Studio

The leading new writing company in Wales, Made in Wales, is bringing two new plays to the New Vic Studio from 15 to 19 February. Please come and see these plays, both of which are about the artist’s eternal dilemma…


Your chance to invest in Ealing Studios!

Ealing Studios have been in continuous production for nearly 100 years, but are currently in danger of being lost to property development. A new group Forever Ealing is forming a charitable trust to save them, to refurbish the existing studios, and to build a production village to provide digital post-production, a visitor centre and cinematheque. The project will be funded by a public share issue in which both companies and individuals can participate.