Short Com TV Sitcom Writing Competition 2023 opens 9th March

Monday 27th February 2023, 2:54pm

  • The 2023 Short Com TV Sitcom Writing Competition is open for entries from 9th March. The deadline is 7th July
  • Entrants should submit a sitcom script of between 23 and 30 pages
  • Short Com founder Chris Aitken has also launched a Scottish-based production company to develop talent
Short Com

Comedy platform Short Com have announced the return of their popular TV Sitcom Writing Competition. Now in its fourth year, the competition aims to find the best new and emerging comedy writing talent.

The 2023 competition opens on the 9th March, with the final deadline being 7th July.

Entrants should submit a sitcom script of between 23 and 30 pages.

Early bird entry costs £15, however BCG Pro members will be entitled to a £5 discount. Feedback options are available to purchase at the same time as entry.

Founder Chris Aitken states: "Over the course of the past three editions, we've been super impressed by the number of quality writers out there. It's an incredibly tough industry to break into. Thus we hope that our competition can help shine a light on some of the best writing talent that can do with a boost in their quest in either getting representation or a development deal. We know that our competition is tough. Possibly the toughest sitcom writing competition out there. Our industry panels over the years have often complimented the quality of writing of the scripts that make it to the final shortlist.

"We've got another ace industry panel for 2023 and delighted to have Lisa Mitchell scripted development producer at Expectation Entertainment, Janet Awe development consultant at Merman and Lucie Wolfman; agent assistant to Rob Kraitt at Casarotto Ramsay and Associates presiding over the final shortlist of scripts."

Further details about the competition can be found at shortcom.org

Restless Native Productions

Restless Native Productions

Short Com founder Chris Aitken has also recently launched a new Scottish-based independent production company. Restless Native Productions will "develop exciting new comedy and genre led content."

He explains: "I had secretly always wanted to have my own production company but was anxious that I'd be in over my head as a producer. But speaking to several producers, they convinced me to take the plunge. Maybe they just want me to feel their suffering but I'm looking forward to the road ahead."

Restless Native Productions has received support from the BBC Small Indie Fund.

Aitken says: "Being awarded the BBC Small Indie Fund is a massive boost of confidence for myself and the company. And I'm really looking forward to the support and experience of Gavin Smith and Gregor Sharp as part of the initiative. I think having probably the world's most famous broadcaster giving you a thumbs up is no bad thing at all.

"Running Short Com over the years has allowed me to discover exciting emerging comedy filmmaking; performing and writing talent. But just as important, is seeing what audiences respond to. As a brand, we're looking to make comedy that is punchy; brave and impactful. I've got a lot of influences but the ultimate goal is to produce something as critically acclaimed as Barry; Atlanta, Master Of None, Detectorists, Dave, Lady Dynamite, Derry Girls or Silicon Valley. These are some of the shows that have made a real impression on me over the past few years. That is the long-term goal.

"The company's motto is Look Local, Think Global. We want to find and work with Scottish and Scottish based talent. Particularly those either from a diverse or working class background, who probably grew up not thinking that they could have a career in the arts. But we're not daft in thinking we're going to snare a commission of that scale anytime soon. We're going to start small and produce some quick sketches to give a flavour of the company and help develop talent we think are worth attention along with developing script projects we'll eventually pitch to broadcasters. We're already working with some exciting talent and have a small slate of shorts, TV and feature films scripts to develop.

"One thing we do want to make clear is that the Short Com TV Sitcom Writing Competition is very much for new writers to be identified and put to the industry. We look and analyse entries for Short Com TV Sitcom Writing objectively. What might be considered as the best scripts for the shortlist put to the judges do not have to align with our tastes at RNP. Although technically Short Com is under the banner of RNP, the objectives are different. I think that's important to point out. I would feel icky about the idea that a production company was running a script competition behind a paywall. But given that the competition has been so well received over the past few years, we thought we'd keep it going."

BCG Pro logo

This article is provided for free as part of BCG Pro.

Subscribe now for exclusive features, insight, learning materials, opportunities and other tools for the British comedy industry.

Lee Mack

Big Comedy Conference 2024

Insight, updates and wisdom from leading industry figures including writers, commissioners, agents and producers.

London, Saturday 16th March.

Book your ticket now