Authors North Broadcasting Day

Location: Leeds
Address: The Millennium room, Carriageworks Theatre, The Electric Press, 3 Millennium Square, LS2 3AD.    
Event time: 10am-5pm
A day of broadcasting talks for writers, full to the brim with practical advice, industry discussion and professional networking.

Please contact Poppy Rosenberg on 020 7373 6642 with any booking enquiries.

Event details

Never been to an Authors North event? Here's what members say:

'Great networking opportunities and invaluable discussion.'

'Informative and practical discussions about the business of surviving as an author.'

'Great value for money and I left the day with lots to think about!'
'Superb speakers and as I've just moved 'up north' it's a great chance to meet local authors.'

'Friendly, inclusive and extremely interesting topics. I've learned a lot and connected with interesting people.'

10am Registration

Pick up your lanyard and network with fellow writers over a coffee.

10.30-11.30am Britain's Got Talent

Our panel discuss opportunities for emerging talent and talent development in the UK. Panellists include the TV script writer Furquan Ahktar (Wolfblood) and the Programme Director of New Writing North, Anna Disley. The session will be chaired by executive producer and media consultant Ruth Pitt.

Furquan Ahktar developed his editorial skills on Coronation Street and Hollyoaks before pursuing his own writing. He won the BBC’s prestigious Alfred Bradley Bursary Award (2013-14) and is part of Channel 4’s Commissioning Network (2016-17). He's written an episode for series 5 of CBBC’s The Dumping Ground and two episodes for CBBC’s hit teen drama WolfbloodFurquan is currently developing a comedy drama with Hat Trick Productions and a sitcom for Retort. With a  passion for radio drama he's also written two well-received afternoon plays: Shamed and most recently Brotherhood. Photo credit: Ben Stokes.


Anna Disley is the Executive Director at New Writing North (NWN) and takes the lead on all its theatre and script development work, including as producer of the NWN touring show for children under seven. Anna leads on partnerships with the BBC and Channel 4 on talent development, and with Northumbria University on the NWN Crime Story festival.


11.30am-12.45pm The Ethics and Protocols of Using Non-Fiction Material in Factual Programmes and Original Drama


Gwyneth Hughes (Dark Angel, The Girl) in conversation with Vanessa Rosenthal (Writing the Century, BBC Radio 4). This session will be chaired by executive producer and media consultant Ruth Pitt.

Gwyneth Hughes is a screenwriter whose most recent factually-based dramas include Dark Angel about the Victorian serial killer Mary Ann Cotton and The Girl about Tippi Hedren and Alfred Hitchcock, for which she received a WGGB award as well as BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations. Others include Cherished, about Angela Cannings who was wrongly convicted of killing her baby, for which she won a Grierson Award; U Be Dead and Mysterious Creatures. Other original drama includes: Five Days (BAFTA, Golden Globe and RTS nominations); Miss Austen Regrets (WGGB Award); Remember Me. She has adapted Dickens’ unfinished novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood and is currently writing Vanity Fair as a series for ITV. Also in development are factually-based dramas about a so-called honour killing, modern day slavery, and Clementine Churchill during WWII.

Vanessa Rosenthal is an actress, playwright and writer. She is the originator and deviser of BBC Radio 4's Writing The Century - which is based on unpublished diaries, letters and memoirs, taking her and the BBC into the area of protocols and ethics. As Writer in Residence at Kings College, London she was commissioned by the Wellcome Trust to research The Colonial Nurses' Archive held at the Bodleian Library, Oxford and to produce a drama based on her findings. For BBC Radio 4 Vanessa has dramatised Jane Austen's Letters; The Medieval Paston Letters and the 1980s letters between a mother and her daughter and adapted the biographical memoir of an American academic. For the stage she has written plays on Edward Thomas and the poet Karen Gershon; in both cases dealing directly with the present Literary Executors of their respective estates. Photo credit: Michael Pollard.

12.45-1.45pm Lunch
Chat with friends new and old over a lunch of sandwiches, fruit and cakes.

1.45-2.45pm: Writing Compelling Storylines That Sell

TV scriptwriters Sarah Bagshaw (Emmerdale) and Lisa Holdsworth (Midsomer Murders) share their top tips on developing compelling storylines for long-running TV series. This session will be chaired by Jo McCrum, Secretary of our Broadcasting Group.

Sarah Bagshaw's screen credits include: Emmerdale,  The Royal, The Royal Today, Heartbeat, Heartbeat the Musical and two short plays for Manchester-based Real Life Theatre Company’s JB Shorts. Photo credit: Sarah Bagshaw.


Lisa Holdsworth was born and bred in Leeds. Her first TV writing commission was for the ITV hit show Fat Friends. She was shortlisted for a Best New Writer BAFTA for her episode. Lisa went on to join the Emmerdale writing team and she spent three years writing over 40 episodes of the soap. She left Emmerdale to write for the BBC’s detective show New Tricks for which she wrote eleven episodes. She also won Writer of the Year 2011 at the RTS Yorkshire Programme Awards for the episode ‘Left Field’. Since then, she's written extensively for the school dramaWaterloo Road and episodes for the final series of the BBC’s Robin Hood. Most recently Lisa has been writing for ITV’s perennial Midsomer Murders and has several TV projects in development.

2.45-3pm Water break

3-3.40pm From Page to Stage

Author and playwright Daniel Ingram-Brown discusses his experience of running a small-scale theatre company, the process of adapting his book, Rise of the Shadow Stealers, for stage, and the opportunities available to authors who'd like to explore collaborative projects with theatre practitioners in a hands-on, do-it-yourself way.

Born in East London, Daniel now lives in Yorkshire, in a house built from the stones of a ruined castle. He is the author of The Firebird Chronicles series (for children aged 9-12) published by Our Street Books, and he is the recipient of the Taner Baybars award (2016) for original fiction in the field of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Magical Realism, awarded by the SoA Authors' Foundation. He is currently Author In Residence at Beckfoot Upper Heaton School in Bradford, as part of First Story. 

Daniel is also a theatre director and playwright with over 20 plays to his name. He is currently Artistic Director of Suitcase and Spectacles Children’s Theatre and their current production, an adaptation of Daniel's first book, is supported by Leeds Carriageworks Theatre, Harrogate Theatre and the Leeds Big Bookend Festival.

Photo credit: Raj Passy.

3.40-4.50pm: From Book to TV and Beyond 

Chair of Authors North Niel Bushnell talks to the award-winning designer, author and illustrator Curtis Jobling (Bob the Builder). Niel and Curtis will discuss the process of selling stories to broadcasters, and the perils and pitfalls of the broader children’s TV market, although anything and everything is up for discussion in what promises to be a lively session to end the day.

Curtis Jobling is an award-winning author and illustrator of numerous books for all ages, and veteran of the British animation industry. He is the designer and creator of various iconic children's shows, including the BAFTA-winning Bob the Builder, Frankenstein's Cat and Raa Raa the Noisy Lion, all commissioned and broadcast by the BBC. His acclaimed debut novel, Wereworld : Rise of the Wolf, was shortlisted for the Waterstones Book Prize, the first in a six novel series published worldwide by Penguin. His latest book, Max Helsing & the Beast of Bone Creek, is the second in a series of middle-grade supernatural thrillers, published in the UK by Orchard. When he isn't writing, he's visiting schools the world over, inspiring creativity and a love of reading in children of all ages. You can find him on Twitter @curtisjobling

Booking Information

Early bird Member and Associate rate (until 14 February)£39 online (£42.90 offline).

Early bird Member and Associate plus partner rate (until 14 February)£79 online (£86.99 offline)

After early bird booking closes on 14 February, the Member and Associate rate will be £49 (£53.90 offline) and £99 (£108.90 offline) for a Member/Associate plus their partner.

Non-Member rate£59 online (£64.90 offline)

Student rate£39 online (£42.90 offline)

All prices are inclusive of VAT, lunch and refreshments throughout the day.

Book now on Eventbrite >>

Booking deadline: Friday 7 April. 

You can also book by calling our office on 020 7373 6642 quoting event code 597.