The BBC and Create Central are collaborating with several leading creative organisations in the West Midlands to launch a writing initiative that will support emerging writing talent from Birmingham and the Black Country.

The newly introduced Write Across Birmingham and the Black Country programme, through a series of engaging workshops, expert-led sessions, and networking opportunities, will offer crucial insights into TV writing for up to 12 aspiring writers. The eight-week scheme is scheduled to run from June to September in 2024, covering the fundamentals of storytelling for the screen while demystifying the television writing process.

The scheme is a partnership between BBC Writers, dedicated to supporting scriptwriting talent, Create Central, focused on boosting the creative content sector in the region, and cultural organizations such as Birmingham Rep, Script Sirens, Dudley Creates, Creative Black Country, and Black Country Touring.

Jessica Loveland, Head of New Writing for BBC Writers and BBC Drama Commissioning, says: “We are delighted to be bringing ‘Write Across’, our regionally focussed writer development programme, to Birmingham and the Black Country in 2024.

“We’ve been working closely with six inspiring local cultural organisations to help shape this iteration of the programme for early career writers based in the region. We are looking forward to officially launching the programme and opening applications in the new year and working with the next wave of fresh and exciting voices from Birmingham and the Black Country.”

Sir Lenny Henry, says “As a Create Central Champion, I’m really excited we’re getting this new opportunity for budding writers in Birmingham and the Black Country up and running. It’s backed by incredible local organisations that are all set to support fresh talent in turning dreams into reality. It’s like the opening act of a blockbuster movie for the next wave of storytelling legends in the West Midlands!”

Kit de Waal, author of My Name is Leon and Create Central member, says “I’m absolutely thrilled that our collaboration with the BBC, as part of our wider partnership with them in the West Midlands, is paving the way for incredible opportunities for local talent. I’m eager to dive into those scripts, and to champion these talented writers as they embark on their career journeys.”

This marks the second year of the ‘Write Across’ scheme, successfully piloted in Liverpool last year. The programme aligns with the BBC’s commitment to creating more opportunities outside London as part of the ‘Across the UK’ strategy and agreement with Create Central and West Midlands Combined Authority. By 2027/28, the BBC aims to spend at least an extra £700 million cumulatively across the UK, generating an additional economic benefit of over £850 million. This commitment will not only significantly increase job and training opportunities but also enhance representation on and off the screen.

For those interested in applying for the scheme, further information can be found on the BBC Writers website.