Newsjack 2020 Page 13

Newsjack. Copyright: BBC.

Newsjack

Topical satirical sketch show on Radio 4 Extra. The programme has an 'open door' policy allowing anyone to submit material

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BTF

  • Thursday 5th March 2020, 7:50pm [Edited]
  • United Kingdom
  • 558 posts
Quote: DeathbyMonkey @ 5th March 2020, 5:53 PM

And a nearly email for me too. That continues my streak of getting something in the script every series since 18 (I think).

I'm hoping it was for a sketch I was particularly proud of and I'll post it in the rejects thread

Very well done!

Have you thought of emailing to ask for the criteria for being invited into the writers' room? I know you have got at least one sketch on the show if I remember rightly and the above is a great hit rate.

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DeathbyMonkey

  • Thursday 5th March 2020, 10:04pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 716 posts
Quote: BTF @ 5th March 2020, 7:50 PM

Have you thought of emailing to ask for the criteria for being invited into the writers' room? I know you have got at least one sketch on the show if I remember rightly and the above is a great hit rate.

Thanks BTF - actually I've already been in the writers' room (season 12 episode 4). Since then I haven't been invited back (I didn't do badly, I wrote 3 sketches, all 3 made it into the script, 2 were recorded, 1 was broadcast). When I had a decent couple of series after that (after enough time had past since I had been in the room) I contacted a producer I seemed to get on well with who advised me to drop in an email to Newsjack a few weeks before the next series to ask to come back in. Sadly he was leaving Newsjack & the BBC at that time so it wasn't him I would be requesting an invite from. Anyway I did what he advised and the new people sent me a very polite but firm no - that they had too many writers who hadn't had a shot at the WR yet and there was no criteria other than to get sketches into the show (I've had 6 sketch credits 8 including RBC if memory serves me right).

So basically I don't know how the BBC game works, all you can do is keep rolling the dice and hope you impress the right person well enough to get a little bit further up the ladder.

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Kenny Bania

  • Thursday 5th March 2020, 10:35pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 263 posts

Belated well done to all those forum regulars who got the good and the nearly email

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Thosisd

  • Thursday 5th March 2020, 10:42pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 287 posts
Quote: DeathbyMonkey @ 5th March 2020, 10:04 PM

(I've had 6 sketch credits 8 including RBC if memory serves me right.

That's a great run. Which series did you start at?

I keep meaning to check - think I was 17 or 18, with first credit in 19.

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BTF

  • Thursday 5th March 2020, 10:59pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 558 posts
Quote: DeathbyMonkey @ 5th March 2020, 10:04 PM

Thanks BTF - actually I've already been in the writers' room (season 12 episode 4). Since then I haven't been invited back (I didn't do badly, I wrote 3 sketches, all 3 made it into the script, 2 were recorded, 1 was broadcast). When I had a decent couple of series after that (after enough time had past since I had been in the room) I contacted a producer I seemed to get on well with who advised me to drop in an email to Newsjack a few weeks before the next series to ask to come back in. Sadly he was leaving Newsjack & the BBC at that time so it wasn't him I would be requesting an invite from. Anyway I did what he advised and the new people sent me a very polite but firm no - that they had too many writers who hadn't had a shot at the WR yet and there was no criteria other than to get sketches into the show (I've had 6 sketch credits 8 including RBC if memory serves me right).

So basically I don't know how the BBC game works, all you can do is keep rolling the dice and hope you impress the right person well enough to get a little bit further up the ladder.

Well done with all that. I think that is the thing - they probably want to get as many new writers in as possible, otherwise they would probably invite you back.

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DeathbyMonkey

  • Thursday 5th March 2020, 11:02pm
  • England
  • 716 posts
Quote: Thosisd @ 5th March 2020, 10:42 PM

That's a great run. Which series did you start at?

I keep meaning to check - think I was 17 or 18, with first credit in 19.

It took me a while to get any good, I think I started on like series 3 (with absolutely no idea what the hell I was doing - I think my first submission was a poem(!) - I hadn't listened to the show before I submitted.... But I did one submission on one episode in series 3 and then I don't think I started submitting again, and every episode, until series 4 or 5 (can't remember) when I started actually listening to the show. I didn't get my first credit until series 7 and then I didn't start consistantly start getting stuff on until series 11.

Getting on that quickly is really good btw!

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DeathbyMonkey

  • Thursday 5th March 2020, 11:21pm
  • England
  • 716 posts
Quote: BTF @ 5th March 2020, 10:59 PM

Well done with all that. I think that is the thing - they probably want to get as many new writers in as possible, otherwise they would probably invite you back.

Absolutely, completely agree, but I know of people who have gone on to have writing days with the Newsquiz and HIGNFY, but I don't know what they look for in writers to progress them onto other shows. As I say I'm going to keep rolling the dice, enjoying what I write and trying my best

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Thosisd

  • Friday 6th March 2020, 7:49am
  • United Kingdom
  • 287 posts
Quote: DeathbyMonkey @ 5th March 2020, 11:02 PM

It took me a while to get any good, I think I started on like series 3 (with absolutely no idea what the hell I was doing - I think my first submission was a poem(!) - I hadn't listened to the show before I submitted.... But I did one submission on one episode in series 3 and then I don't think I started submitting again, and every episode, until series 4 or 5 (can't remember) when I started actually listening to the show. I didn't get my first credit until series 7 and then I didn't start consistantly start getting stuff on until series 11.

Getting on that quickly is really good btw!

Thanks. I had a sketch cut from final episode of my first series - which was a real boost to see that I was on the right track.

I did submit once to series 4 as part of a duo. We also had no idea what we were submitting to. I read them back the other day...oh man. Wish I'd stuck with it at the time instead of taking a 13 year break.

Good luck with the rest of the series. Do you submit to Unplugged?

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DeathbyMonkey

  • Friday 6th March 2020, 10:21am
  • England
  • 716 posts
Quote: Thosisd @ 6th March 2020, 7:49 AM

Do you submit to Unplugged?

Yeahm but in the past I've normally been too burned out to put enough effort in to my submissions, especially as Breaking the News normally times itself to just after NJ. I'll try and give it a proper go this series

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Dantrobus

  • Friday 6th March 2020, 10:57am
  • Sheffield, England
  • 127 posts

Hard lines to all who didn't get anything this episode, the opposite (soft curves, I guess) to all who did.

Quote: DeathbyMonkey @ 6th March 2020, 10:21 AM

Yeahm but in the past I've normally been too burned out to put enough effort in to my submissions, especially as Breaking the News normally times itself to just after NJ. I'll try and give it a proper go this series

Breaking the News and Unplugged are both invite-only, right? What was the process for getting invited to submit, please?

I've had a handful of NJ credits now (10) but never got to the fabled next levels of being invited in to the writers room or to submit to anything else.

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DeathbyMonkey

  • Friday 6th March 2020, 11:09am [Edited]
  • England
  • 716 posts
Quote: Dantrobus @ 6th March 2020, 10:57 AM

Hard lines to all who didn't get anything this episode, the opposite (soft curves, I guess) to all who did.

Breaking the News and Unplugged are both invite-only, right? What was the process for getting invited to submit, please?

I've had a handful of NJ credits now (10) but never got to the fabled next levels of being invited in to the writers room or to submit to anything else.

With Unplugged it's an invite at the end of the series, if you've done well i.e. a couple of credits or RBC they should add you to the list. That said there's never any harm dropping the producers an email asking if you qualify for the submitting to the other shows. This writing game sometimes requires a little tenacity.

To those who haven't got a credit yet here's my advice:
Relax! Remove the pressure off yourself that inevatibly builds over the course of a series and just keep writing things *you* find funny not what you think the producers will like. In the past producers have stated the majority of submissions they receive are unbroadcastable. Keep writing things you think are good, it's still a real matter of luck, but by writing stuff you know is good and fits in with the structure of the show, you increase those odds of getting in. I.e. if they get 600 sketches and 300 are unbroadcastable, and your sketch is good, you're no longer look at odds of 1 in 600, it's 1 in 300, or maybe even 1 in 100 (depending on how good your sketch is). That's how I look at it, and keeps me calm and relaxed and never too disappointed when the Thursday emails are sent out, I know there's a lot of competition but I gave myself the best chance of getting a credit and that's all I can do.

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Dantrobus

  • Friday 6th March 2020, 11:13am
  • Sheffield, England
  • 127 posts

Thank you! Sound advice!

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TheKingLobotomy

  • Monday 9th March 2020, 12:35am [Edited]
  • England
  • 188 posts
Quote: DeathbyMonkey @ 6th March 2020, 11:09 AM

With Unplugged it's an invite at the end of the series, if you've done well i.e. a couple of credits or RBC they should add you to the list. That said there's never any harm dropping the producers an email asking if you qualify for the submitting to the other shows. This writing game sometimes requires a little tenacity.

To those who haven't got a credit yet here's my advice:
Relax! Remove the pressure off yourself that inevatibly builds over the course of a series and just keep writing things *you* find funny not what you think the producers will like. In the past producers have stated the majority of submissions they receive are unbroadcastable. Keep writing things you think are good, it's still a real matter of luck, but by writing stuff you know is good and fits in with the structure of the show, you increase those odds of getting in. I.e. if they get 600 sketches and 300 are unbroadcastable, and your sketch is good, you're no longer look at odds of 1 in 600, it's 1 in 300, or maybe even 1 in 100 (depending on how good your sketch is). That's how I look at it, and keeps me calm and relaxed and never too disappointed when the Thursday emails are sent out, I know there's a lot of competition but I gave myself the best chance of getting a credit and that's all I can do.

That is some great advice. I have been writing for the show off and on for years. I have had a fair few gags on. I have had few sketches recorded, then cut. I wrote the sketch that opened the first episode of series two. But I have never been invited to the writers room. My enthusiasm ebbs and flows for the show. I haven't had anything on for a long while. Since Kiri took over as host. Ihave often thought about just concentrating on my own work, But i am going to keep plugging away. It's good practice if nothing else. One day i might even make it to the writers room.

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Wishus

  • Monday 9th March 2020, 8:46am
  • Northampton, England
  • 143 posts
Quote: TheKingLobotomy @ 9th March 2020, 12:35 AM

That is some great advice. I have been writing for the show off and on for years. I have had a fair few gags on. I have had few sketches recorded, then cut. I wrote the sketch that opened the first episode of series two. But I have never been invited to the writers room. My enthusiasm ebbs and flows for the show. I haven't had anything on for a long while. Since Kiri took over as host. Ihave often thought about just concentrating on my own work, But i am going to keep plugging away. It's good practice if nothing else. One day i might even make it to the writers room.

I must admit, I've had such a poor run of creativity this series... but this weekend I've been concentrating on my own stuff and I feel much better for it. So, not going to submit a sketch this week, maybe a few one-liners. I still feel this is a marvellous opportunity, and you get such a buzz from any success.

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Dantrobus

  • Monday 9th March 2020, 8:53am
  • Sheffield, England
  • 127 posts

Two short and ever so slightly rushed sketches submitted. Good luck, people!