The Academy is the only course in the world that guarantees writers the opportunity to work on prime time television.
Established by BBC Controller of Drama Production John Yorke, its aim is to create a pool of writing talent to work on some of BBC One’s major shows – EastEnders, Casualty, Holby City and Doctors.
Students that secure a place will enjoy masterclasses from the best in the business including genre writers of interest to regular downthetubes readers such as Tony Jordan (Life On Mars), Dominic Minghella (Robin Hood), Jed Mercurio (Frankenstein), Ashley Pharoah (Life On Mars, Ashes To Ashes), as well as leading directors such as Bharat Nalluri (Spooks, Life On Mars).
Alongside training on all aspects of drama production from editing to scheduling, students will receive direct writing experience on continuing dramas, with the aim of transmitting their finished scripts on BBC One.
Since its inauguration three years ago, 22 out of 24 graduates have gone on to gain full-time work in writing for TV, with nine of the graduates now established as core writers on continuing drama shows. In addition, many writers have graduated onto other shows.
Creativity, talent and a passion for telling stories are essential criteria for those applying.
Applicants must have had at least one professional commission in either television, theatre, radio or film.
John Yorke, BBC Controller of Drama Production and Course Tutor, says: “Whilst you can’t teach writing, you can create a framework for new and emerging talent to find its voice.
“Over the last three years, with the help of some of the best people in the industry, we’ve been able to give new writers the space, time and tools to allow them to develop strong, individual work.
“It’s fantastic that in the current climate the BBC is still able to make such a major investment in new talent.
• Applications are open from Monday 14 April until Monday 12 May 2008. Details on how to apply can be found at bbc.co.uk/jobs
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.