British Comedy Guide

BCG Pro's Yellow Door Script Call

BCG Pro and Yellow Door Productions logos.

A new comedy writing competition sponsored by Yellow Door Productions. Three winners will be offered a script option deal

Whether you're a new writer with a story you're itching to tell, or you're an experienced writer making the most of this time in lockdown, we want to inspire you to get going on that sitcom idea.

This two-round competition begins with an invitation to write a 10-page, three-scene story. In the second round, selected writers will be invited to enter a full 30-minute script. Three will be selected by Yellow Door Productions with a view to being pitched to channels. The three finalists will work with Lucy Lumsden and Chris Head to polish their script and prepare a pitch.

The competition

We are craving new and classic comedy more than ever: whether it be single camera comedies like of Fleabag, After Life, This Country, Derry Girls, Friday Night Dinner, Catastrophe, Better Things, Motherland and Back To Life; or studio audience sitcoms like Not Going Out, The IT Crowd, The Big Bang Theory and Dad's Army. What unites all styles of narrative comedy is the combination of rich characters and recognisable, truthful relationships. These are the qualities we'll particularly be looking for.

How it works

The competition is open to BCG Pro members (on any subscription plan), and will operate in two rounds.

ROUND ONE - The 3 Scene Challenge(Now Closed)

Send us a complete story in three scenes. Maximum ten pages. The story can be as simple as you like or as ambitious as you like, but either way it needs to have a beginning, a middle and an end across the three scenes. And make us laugh.

We'll be looking for:

  • How you introduce us to your central characters, their voices, their desires and their relationships
  • How you bring us into the world of your show
  • Your ability to grab us from the first page, make us laugh and surprise us with where this micro-story goes

You can enter as a solo writer or a writing team.

What we don't want

  • Three scenes extracted from a longer existing script you've already written
  • Stories that are set in lockdown

DEADLINE: 15th June 2020

Shortlisted writers announced: late July 2020

ROUND TWO - The full script(Finalists are on this stage now)

Ten entrants will be selected from Round 1 to go through to this next phase.

Each will then be invited to submit a full script featuring the characters from the original three scenes.

Notes:

  • The full script can incorporate some or all of the 3 scenes, or elements of them
  • You can introduce us to more characters and settings

THE FINALISTS

Three finalists will be invited to have their scripts optioned by Yellow Door Productions with a view to being pitched to channels.

Lucy Lumsden and Chris Head will guide you with polishing your script and preparing your pitch.

Want to polish your writing skills? Chris is also offering an online Writing Narrative Comedy course with British Comedy Guide and Lucy Lumsden.

About the judges

Lucy Lumsden

Lucy Lumsden, MD for Yellow Door Productions and former Controller of Comedy Commissioning for the BBC and Head of Comedy at Sky, commissioned many of the classic shows of recent times. Her credits include Outnumbered, Miranda, Gavin & Stacey, The Thick Of It, The Trip, Nighty Night, The Catherine Tate Show, Rev, Lead Balloon, Stella, Spy, Yonderland, Charlie Brooker's A Touch Of Cloth, Alan Partridge's Mid Morning Matters, Camping, Psychobitches and Hunderby. Her shows have won numerous awards including an International Emmy for Chris O'Dowd's sitcom Moone Boy. Her latest Yellow Door production is The Cockfields, written by Joe Wilkinson and David Earl, starring Diane Morgan, Bobby Ball and Sue Johnston.

yellowdoorprods.com

Chris Head

Chris Head is a comedy director, teacher and author who teaches stand-up, sketch and sitcom online for British Comedy Guide, at the British Library in London (with Lucy Lumsden), and at Bristol Improv Theatre, Bath Spa University - where he helped write and teaches on the BA Comedy Degree - and independently. He is the author of A Director's Guide to the Art of Stand-up and his new book Creating Comedy Narratives for Stage and Screen is coming in late 2020. As a director his shows, which range from stand-up to comedy plays, have been seen at Soho Theatre and Bloomsbury Theatre London; Pleasance, Underbelly and Assembly at the Edinburgh Fringe; and at international festivals including L.A. Comedy Shorts and Melbourne Comedy Festival. As a script-editor recent work includes a broadcast BBC Radio 4 sitcom, a commissioned Channel 4 sitcom script, the comedy drama You Only Live Forever at Assembly Edinburgh and Soho Theatre, and the internationally successful comedy short Swiped (2019).

chrishead.com

Rules & terms

The deadline to enter the first round is 23:59 on 15th June 2020. No entries will be accepted after this time.

Writers may enter as individuals or as parternships of 2 or more persons.

The ten writers who are selected to into Round 2 will have two months to work on a 30 minute script, starting on the date of being informed.

Up to three finalists will be offered a year-long script option by Yellow Door Productions at the end of Round 2.

British Comedy Guide reserves the right to alter the terms of this contest and/or the duration of any entry window at its discretion.

All entries must be the original work of the entrant, and must not infringe the rights of any other party.

Yellow Door Productions, British Comedy Guide and/or their partner(s) 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. Unsuccessful scripts will not be retained beyond July 2020.

All entries are covered by British Comedy Guide's privacy policies.