In 2007, I had an idea for a UK screenwriting competition where a new writer would get a prize for their winning script BUT ALSO get mentored afterwards to ensure that their career received the kickstart it deserved.
I took the idea to writer/producer Tony Jordan (Life on Mars, Hustle, EastEnders etc), who immediately jumped on it, and came up with a fantastic prize: £5k cash, a commission on one of Tony’s shows (or he would option the winning script) and an agent (if you didn’t already have one).
The Red Planet Prize (named after Tony’s production company Red Planet Pictures) was launched at the Screenwriters Festival in the summer of 2007.
The entire scheme has proved to be a great success (BBC’s Death In Paradise coming from the Prize, as well as many writers advancing their careers). I am very proud to be a part of it, especially as I know all-too-well what it’s like to be a new writer trying to break into the industry.
For more details, check out Red Planet’s website.
Red Planet Prize Winner List:
RPP 2008: The Ropes by Mark Wilkinson
RPP 2010/11: In The Flesh by Simon Glass
RPP 2011/12: Darby & Joan by Jonathan Neil (Darby & Joan)
RPP 2013/14 Joint Winners: The Family Next Door by Paul McIntyre and Iron Roads by Tracy Ann Baines