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New Writer Focus 2021-2022

Northern Ireland Screen is now seeking feature film and TV drama scripts to develop for its New Writer Focus scheme 2021-2022.

Who can apply?

Only Northern Ireland resident writers new to feature film, long-form drama or sit-com are eligible to apply. For the avoidance of doubt “writers new to feature film, long-form drama or sit-com” in this context means a writer without a writing credit on a produced feature film or long-form drama or sit-com.

This is a script development call; a Producer and Director are not essential at this stage.

What are we looking for?

  1. Compelling stories with a unique or fresh perspective
  2. Ambitious authored voices
  3. Stories with strong character journeys
  4. A range of art-house and commercial stories
  5. Feature film, long-form drama projects or sit-coms
  6. Projects need not be limited by budget or genre
  7. Feature film scripts should be approx 85pages- 115 pages. Long for drama scripts should be approx 50 pages – 60 pages. Sit-com- should be approx. 25- 30 pages.

What will the scheme involve?

New Writer Focus will have 2 major components to the 8-month development scheme:

  • Writers room
  • Individual project and writer development

How many projects will be selected?

Up to 4 scripts will be chosen for development between August 2021 and April 2022. The selected writers will be eligible to apply for an individual writer award.

Will the scheme involve production?


However, Northern Ireland Screen intends to fund one first feature each year. Projects from the New Writer Focus Scheme will be eligible for this production funding. Accordingly, if you wish for your project to be considered for this production it must be achievable within the constraints of a budget of circa £350,000.

How to apply

You can apply with a first draft of the script you wish to develop under the scheme.

You can see formatting on:

The script needs to be industry standard format.

How to apply:

You must include:

  1. The first draft of the script you wish to develop (screenplays must be in a standard industry script format, Courier 12pt. font).
  2. A document containing:
  • A logline
  • 1 paragraph synopsis of the story
  • A 1 page story outline in Courier 12pt. font

In all applications, the script title page must have the project title, the writer’s full name, address and contact details to include an email address and contact telephone number.

*Please save and attach all relevant application files with 1. the project name and 2. your full name.

Applicants can submit up to three projects maximum for consideration. Only one project per applicant can be developed under the scheme.

You can access our online application system here. Should you require an application form in an alternate format, please contact Ursula Devine, Development Executive at [email protected]. Please note, if this is your first time using this system, you will be prompted to create a profile. Once registered, the system will retain your information for any future applications.

All Applications must be submitted by 6pm on Monday 21st June 2021.

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