All the best sitcoms and comedy dramas are underpinned by brilliantly defined characters and great plotlines.
We've teamed up with the multi-award-winning Baby Cow Productions to help locate the best unproduced ideas and give at least one of them the chance to receive further development support.
Baby Cow is the acclaimed production company behind TV hits such as This Time With Alan Partridge, Gavin & Stacey, Zapped, Red Dwarf, Hunderby and Uncle.
Most writing competitions focus on the first ten pages, but for this contest we don't want you to script a single line: we want to learn about your ideas and test your characters before they get to the writing stage.
We're looking for someone with a brilliant imagination and funny bones, who would benefit from mentoring and support to help further shape and develop their idea into a viable TV comedy series, radio show, online comedy or podcast.
The winner of this competition will spend time with the development team at Baby Cow who will offer advice on what to do next with the project. Baby Cow may suggest teaming you up with an experienced writer to further develop your idea so you must be open to the idea of cooperating and learning from some of the very best people in the business.
If access to hands-on development experience and assistance isn't exciting enough, Baby Cow could option your resultant pilot script and begin the process of pitching it to real TV channels for commission, or be prepared to help turn it into a podcast or audio show.
We're looking for an up-and-coming writer (or writing team) with a new, distinctive, laugh-out-loud funny idea for a new scripted sitcom or comedy drama that would work on TV, radio, online or as a podcast.
You'll be submitting a treatment explaining your creation. It should outline its concept, style, and themes, so you'll need a good idea of who the characters are, and of their place in your world.
You can submit a treatment for a project you have already written a script for, but don't submit the script itself. We're looking at the idea and characters at this stage, rather than the script itself.
Please upload a PDF version of your treatment document, running to no more than two A4 pages, using the form below.
It is up-to-you how you want to present your idea in those two pages, but to help you, here is a possible treatment format to follow:
What is the title of your programme?
Briefly summarise your idea
Identify where you think this would sit in the current comedy landscape. Feel free to offer comparisons to other shows currently out there.
Offer a summary of the what the first series will look like, why you want to write this and why you think this story needs to be told.
Give us a sense of who your characters are, what their relationship is like to other characters in the show and what journey they might go on throughout the series.
Give us a detailed look at what the series will be. You can outline episode ideas, or you could provide details of the narrative arc of the series. If you have ideas for where this could go in a second series, or beyond, please write a line or two about that.
4th December: Competition opens
28th February 2021: Entry form closes
Judging of the entries will then commence. Baby Cow will announce a shortlist of their favourite six pitches when the process has finished.
At least one of the shortlisted writers will be invited to meet with Baby Cow to discuss the project further. Note that this could take place either in person or by video-conference link.
You must be a BCG Pro subscriber to submit your treatment. If you are already a subscriber, please sign in now to access the form. If you're not yet a member, why not sign up now? BCG Pro offers tools, insights and more to help you create comedy.
This competition is open until 23:59 on Sunday 28th February 2021.
One or more entries will be selected by Baby Cow Productions, with the creator(s) of that entry invited to discuss the project further with the production company's development team, via a meeting. It should be noted Baby Cow has no obligation to commission any work.
You need to be a member of BCG Pro to enter this competition. Can you can submit an idea on behalf of a writing partnership or collective - ensure the names of those involved are on the submission document.
The entry must be your own ideas/work and must not infringe on the rights of anyone else.
British Comedy Guide reserves the right to alter the terms of this contest and/or the duration of any entry window at its discretion.
This competition is being run by British Comedy Guide. Baby Cow Productions may already be involved in any number of projects bearing similarity to ideas that may be reflected in entries to this contest. We cannot undertake to compensate entrants if material similar to that submitted, received coincidentally from another source, is subsequently commissioned or produced. All initial submissions to the competition will be read by British Comedy Guide and not Baby Cow Productions. Ten projects will go forward to Baby Cow Productions, after which these entrants will have to sign a waiver in order to progress within the competition.
All entries are covered by British Comedy Guide's privacy policies. By entering this contest you are granting permission for British Comedy Guide to share your contact details and submission with Baby Cow Productions.