The Red Planet Prize is back for 2013/2014. It’s a terrific writing scheme that finds and nurtures new TV writing talent. I’m thrilled to be a part of the competition, ever since its inception in 2007. Check out Red Planet’s website for submission details (going live on Mon 11th Nov), and below is a list of handy FAQs for reference. Any other queries, feel free to get in touch.
1. What is a single play?
A single play is a one-off story. For the purposes of the competition, this would be a one-off 60-minute TV script (typically 50 pages min – 80 pages max). In general, pilot scripts are more popular and common for submissions to the competition but feel free to submit a single TV play if you don’t have an idea for a pilot script.
2. What is a pilot script?
A pilot script is the first episode of a potential new TV series.
3. Will you accept 30-minute scripts or feature length (90-minute+) scripts?
No. 60-minute original TV scripts, please.
4. Is there any particular genre you’re interested in?
We’re interested in great writing, and don’t mind what genre it comes in.
5. Can I submit an adaptation I’ve written of a book/game/other source?
No. Original scripts only please, even if you’ve adapted from your own book/game/other source.
6. What’s a logline?
A logline is a brief description of your story idea. For example, ‘A British cop gets sent to the Caribbean to solve murders.’ A logline shouldn’t be mistaken for a tagline e.g ‘In space, no-one can hear you scream’ (from Alien).
7. Should the synopsis summarise the script, or the series as a whole?
Whatever you think best represents the idea, story or script.
8. For the first round of submission, why just the first ten pages of a script?
It’s a truth universally acknowledged in the industry that the first ten pages of a script indicate a great deal about a writer’s talent as well as how the script is shaping up.
9. If my first ten pages end in the middle of a scene, should I submit additional pages?
Please submit the first ten pages only, regardless of where the scene ends. Similarly, please do not send the full script at the first round stage. These will be immediately disqualified.
10. Can I enter more than once?
Writers can enter once as themselves, and once as part of a co-writing team. Multiple entries from an individual will result in disqualification.
11. Can I get feedback on my first ten pages, or on my script?
Unfortunately, due to the large number of submissions received, feedback cannot be given for scripts that are unsuccessful.
12. Should my script end on a cliffhanger?
That’s up to you, and the story!
13. I’ve rewritten my script that got rejected last year. Would it be a bad idea to resubmit it for this year’s competition?
Not necessarily. If the script represents your best writing, then feel free to resubmit.
14. When is the deadline?
6th January 2014.
15. Should I wait to write the rest of the script?
We strongly advise that you write the entire script, as there will be little turnaround once we request the full script to read.
16. Can I submit a script that has been optioned by another producer or production company?
We want original scripts that have not yet been optioned or produced. If your script gets optioned (or an offer) whilst in consideration for the competition, please get in touch to let us know.
17. What happens if my first ten pages get through to the second round?
We will request the full script. Once all of the full scripts have been read and assessed, we will make a longlist of the scripts/writers we wish to put forward for the competition’s final stages.
18. What are the competition’s final stages?
A shortlist will be compiled. Tony Jordan and the other judges will choose a winner. We expect this to be around mid-2014.