*The Red Planet Prize 2018 is now closed for submissions.*
Red Planet Pictures, in partnership with ITV Drama, have launched The Red Planet Prize 2018. We are searching for writing talent who can create fresh and inspiring popular drama content. The winner of The Red Planet Prize, initially launched in 2007, will get a script commission and development opportunities with ITV.
The Red Planet Prize 2018 is looking for writers who can create characters that make audiences sit up and unmissable stories that demand to be watched. Writers will be asked to think big, think bold, think how they can make their idea stand out in a competitive marketplace.
Writers will be required to submit:
• an existing original spec script, full length and could be for any medium; TV, film, radio, theatre
• a one/two-page pitch for an original TV serial/series idea for ITV
• a short CV highlighting any previous writing credits (these are not essential to enter)
If writers wish to submit the same idea for their spec script and pitch then this cannot be in development with anyone else.
This year’s judging panel includes Red Planet CEO Tony Jordan (Life On Mars, Hustle, Dickensian), ITV's Head of Drama, Polly Hill, actor Adrian Lester OBE (Riviera, Hustle, and new ITV three-part drama, Trauma) and Kate Rowland.
Up to ten shortlisted writers will then be invited to a pitching master-class with Red Planet Pictures and ITV and will then be asked to write the first ten pages of their original idea, and hone their pitch and series outline. The strongest ideas will have development input and up to four writers will be invited to final interview, from which the ultimate winner will be chosen. The successful writer will get a script commission and development opportunities with ITV.
This year's Prize winner will be produced by Kate Rowland, who set up the BBC Writersroom and across her career she has been responsible for developing the early career of some of the UK's most successful screenwriters including Lee Hall and Stephen Butchard.
Screenwriters must be based in the UK and the original TV idea should not be in development with another broadcaster or production company.
Submissions will be welcomed from 5pm on Thursday 1st February 2018 until the morning of Monday 9am 12th February. Please see the link below. The winner will be announced summer 2018.
The Red Planet Prize launched in 2007 and has enjoyed considerable success in uncovering some true hidden talent. Designed to find and establish Britain's next generation of showrunners, the creative initiative has uncovered and developed a number of aspiring writers. Previous finalist Robert Thorogood created the BBC One smash hit series Death in Paradise, now starring Ardal O'Hanlon and produced by Red Planet Pictures, which returned to BBC One for a seventh series in January 2018.
What do I need to submit?
An existing original script for any medium, a one/two-page pitch for an original TV series/serial idea and a brief CV.
Can my script and pitch be for the same idea?
Yes but only if the idea is not in development with any other broadcaster or independent production company.
Can my spec script have been produced?
Yes, as long as it is an example of your original writing (e.g. stage play, radio play, feature film etc.)
Can my spec script be for an existing TV series?
No, we do not accept scripts written for an existing drama series. All ideas must be original.
Can my spec script be for a short film?
No, we need to see examples of your ability to extend and develop a narrative.
Can I submit with a writing partner?
Yes, as long as the spec script is an example of your writing partnership.
Can I enter if I am a resident of the Republic of Ireland?
Yes. Applicants must be residents of the UK or Republic of Ireland.
Can anyone enter?
Applicants must be aged 18 years or over.
When is the deadline?
9am on Monday 12th February 2018. No submissions will be accepted after this time. Please ensure you submit with plenty of time.
How do I submit?
Writers will be asked to submit via the Red Planet website. A link will go live on Thursday 1st February 2018 where entrants will need to upload digital copies of their work.
When will I know whether I am through to the next stage?
Before 30th April 2018.
Will I receive feedback on my submission if I am unsuccessful?
No, feedback will not be given for unsuccessful submissions.