Scriptwriters Group

The Scriptwriters Group (SWG) is a community of scriptwriters and broadcasters. It represents writers and makers across digital, broadcast, AV and theatre.

We support members and associates by providing professional, individual advice, negotiating collective minimum terms agreements with organisations such the BBC, and lobby on policy and legislation to promote the interests and protect the rights of scriptwriters.

In addition, we manage a series of seminars, panel discussions and ‘in conversation’ style events throughout the year, on matters of concern and interest to members working across these industry sectors. We also publish interviews and develop resources for publication on the SoA website and via the Society’s in-house journal, The Author.

SWG is made up of an elected committee and the Group Chair is Elizabeth-Anne Wheal. Whilst the committee directs the work of the group, the day-to-day administration is handled by co-secretaries Sophia Jackson and Theo Jones. Do contact either Sophia or Theo with any scriptwriting-related topics, concerns or suggestions that you might wish to raise with the committee.

Read our latest SWG Chair letter from April 2019 here. 

Catch up on the letter from January 2019 here.

Support and advice

We support scriptwriters on their individual contract negotiations through the SoA’s one-to-one contract advisory service, and sit on the BBC Radio Forum where we negotiate amends to the minimum term agreement that underpins the commission audio drama scripts by the BBC, including most recently for new-make podcasts.

We also negotiate with the BBC for the use of previously published material on their services, and best practice codes with industry partners: we have recently agreed a series of guidelines with PACT (the association of independent TV producers) for the involvement of expert contributors and their research in factual programming, and are a signatory to the BFI/BAFTA’s Bullying and Harassment Principles and Guidelines.

Remember, for any queries that require immediate or specialist advice, contact our advisors on info@societyofauthors.org, or call 020 7373 6642.

Audio Drama Awards

We promote the best in audio drama by administering the Imison Award for debut audio writing, which was won by Lulu Raczka in 2019. We also co-administer the Tinniswood Award with the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, won most recently by Oliver Emanuel.

Social media

We run a private Facebook discussion group for SWG members to share information, advice, and swap tips and ideas related to scriptwriting. We also have a Twitter list for SWG members to network and discuss issues in real time. Contact Sophia or Theo if you wish to join our Twitter list.

Noticeboard

Spotlight on Scriptwriting

Posted: 20 May 2019

Our round-up for May is now available to view over on our Spotlight on Scriptwriting blog. Head over now for a snapshot of recent activities, events and news bites from the world of scripwriting. [update 21st May: The blog was originally published on 20th May and updated with the latest news bite on 21st May.]

BBC TV Rates

Posted: 20 February 2019

Current rates for radio drama writing for the BBC are listed on our Rates and fees page and accomodate a 2% uplift agreed with the BBC by the Society of Authors, Writers' Guild of Great Britain, the PMA sitting as the Radio Forum, effective from 1 November 2018. Read our news piece here.

We would like to remind members that – for linear radio (not podcast) – our rates are minimum terms and you are free to continue to negotiate your own higher rate, at least 1% above these quoted percentages for the contract terms specified here.

If you would like to contribute to discussions, or you have any queries, please contact Theo Jones, co-secretary to the Scriptwriters Group.

Diary dates

Posted: 19 February 2019

We are yet to announce group events for 2019. Contact Sophia Jackson if you would like to offer a talk or suggest speakers. For more events, both SoA and non-SoA, please visit our Events page.

SWG AGM 2018 Report

Posted: 26 November 2018

The Scriptwriters Group AGM 2018 report is now available to view online as a PDF or Word document.

Scriptwriting Blogs and Q&As

Posted: 17 April 2018

The following SoA blogs and Q&As all have a scriptwriting-theme:

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Hexagonal Phase
An interview with co-producer (and SWG committee member) David Morley.

Jumping through hoops
Writer and broadcaster Patrick Humpries on writing for radio.

Abuse and the Poison of Silence
SWG Committee Chair Elizabeth-Anne Wheal on sexual harrasment and bullying.

What's in a Word
SWG Committee member Jamila Gavin on language, diversity, and the power of words.

7 Tips to Avoid Pitfalls in Motion Picture/TV Rights Option Agreements
US Entertainment Lawyer Robert Zipser's tips to help navigate your option agreements.

Women in Jeopardy
A crimewriter’s perspective on sexual violence on our screens, by SWG Committee Chair Elizabeth-Anne Wheal.

Finding New Talent
SWG Committee member Hilary Robinson: 'Often it’s not what’s not said, but what is that marks out the power of a script or the way in which it’s delivered.'

Talent is Everywhere
SWG Committee Chair Elizabeth-Anne Wheal looks at the debate around diversity in the creative industries.

If you would like to contribute a blog on a related issue, please contact Theo Jones.

Further reading

Networking: A necessary evil (BBC)
Philip Shelley (Script Editor, Consultant and Producer) looks at the importance of networking to be a successful TV drama writer.