Boosting Our Economy - Celebrating Our Culture - Enhancing Our Children's Education

Boosting Our Economy - Celebrating Our Culture - Enhancing Our Children's Education


New Writer Focus 2022-2023

Northern Ireland Screen is seeking feature film scripts to develop for its New Writer Focus scheme 2022-2023.

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?

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

What will scheme involve?

New Writer Focus will have 3 major components to the 8 month development scheme:

  • Writers Room, with monthly meetings.
  • Individual project and writer development.
  • Development seminars and networking opportunities.

How many projects will be selected?

Up to 4 scripts will be chosen for development between September 2022 and May 2023.

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.

Your application 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
    – A4 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 the project name and your full name.

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

Deadline for applications

The closing date for receipt of applications is midnight on Sunday 17th July 2022.

Click HERE to apply.

Assessment will be completed by end of August 2023.

Northern Ireland Screen is hosting a screenwriting seminar on preparing your one pager and script aimed at supporting screenwriters and filmmakers who hope to apply for the New Writer Focus scheme. The seminar will be led by script and story editor Steve Brooks and will take place via Zoom from 11.30am – 1pm on Friday 8th July. Click here to find out more.

© 2022 Northern Ireland Screen. All Rights Reserved