Brighton man’s search for untapped screenwriting talent

Last year's winner Geoff Gedroyc
Last year's winner Geoff Gedroyc

A Brighton man is searching for Britain’s best scriptwriters as part of the fifth annual Screenwriting Goldmine Awards.

Former BBC script editor, Phil Gladwin, of Withdean, began the awards in 2012 in an effort to bridge the gap between writers and agents.

“There is a massive amount of talent that is going untapped”, he said, adding it was a way to use his own contacts to help others.

Phil’s own entrance into the world of scriptwriting came after ten years of unsuccessfully writing short stories throughout his 20s.

Turning one of these stories into a script and securing a meeting with the BBC drama department marked the beginning of a new direction.

“Once I realised I probably shouldn’t be working on short stories, I should be working on drama, it all started coming together”, Phil said.

There are expected to be around 500 entries to the Screenwriting Goldmine Awards this year and Phil reads every one.

Commenting on the high standards produced last year he said: “They’re fantastically varied.

“One of them was The Certain Light by Geoff Gedroyc, it was about lighthouse keepers in the early 1980s, it was a really tight thriller.”

Geoff went on to win the award.

After Phil has narrowed down the entries, the scripts of five semi-finalists are sent to a panel of 35 judges from Sky, the BBC, Channel 4, HBO Europe and ITV, as well as development executives and producers.

David Hancock, script executive at Left Bank Pictures, said: “It’s a huge pleasure and privilege to read the finalists’ scripts.

“I enjoyed very productive meetings with last year’s finalists and look forward to doing so again.”

“This is the real magic of the contest. It sweeps away years of knocking on doors by directly connecting writers to the power brokers,” said Phil.

Winner of the 2013 contest, Jane Eden, went on to get a writing job on CBBC’s The Dumping Ground and work on Sky Atlantic’s Fortitude.

The deadline for entries to the fifth annual awards is January 31, 2017.

To find out more and to enter visit www.awards.screenwritinggoldmine.com