I’m thrilled that you want to write for Doctor Who. It definitely needs some women writing for it.
If you’re serious — and I assume you are: the BBC can be stubborn, yes, but possibly not as stubborn as you imagine. They really want writers. They may be more stubborn about Doctor Who, mostly because it’s their flagship show. If they are hiring a writer, they want to know that they are hiring someone who can do it, who, having pitched a great idea will, at least, turn in a script that they can shoot.
So my advice to anyone who really wants to write specifically for Doctor Who would be, write stuff that’s going to get you noticed, write stuff as a calling card. Write plays. Make fantastic, well-written, small cheap films with friends, write short stories and books and comics, do things so that when you ask to write Doctor Who they get excited. It’s the BBC’s flagship show, and if you are going to write an episode, make them want you.
I remember, when I was about 20, walking past the BBC in Portland Place. Back then they had a doorman outside, and I went over to him and said, “How would I write for the BBC?”
"You can’t, mate," he told me. " You ‘ave to know someone who’s already in ‘ere."
These days I know how not-true that is, and how not-true it was then. The BBC want scripts and writers, and even, now, have websites which tell you how to submit/format etc your work, including unsolicited scripts.
My reply about “nobody to hug” was mostly wistful, by the way, and not, as I’ve seen it interpreted, an attack on the Doctor Who team or anyone on the team.
In the six years I’ve been working with the Doctor Who team, the producers and script editors I’ve directly worked with (four out of six of whom have been women) have had a lot of attention on getting women writers onto the team. They’ve reached out to a lot of women writers — I know that Steven Moffat has personally been in touch with a lot of female writers and been defeated over and over by scheduling problems, and people saying no, and been as frustrated as anybody (probably much more frustrated as he’s the one reaching out). It’s a priority for them too.
To get started, head over to http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/.
The BBC Writersroom informs new writers about how to submit unsolicited Drama and Comedy scripts to the BBC. They are on the lookout for writers of any age and experience who show real potential.
BBC Writersroom will read all unsolicited scripts for BBC Films, TV Drama, Children’s Drama, TV Comedy, Radio Entertainment and Radio Drama. They accept unsolicited scripts written for film, television, radio or stage.
BBC Writersroom is always on the lookout for fresh, new, talented Writers for a changing Britain. If you have talent, an original voice, and stories to tell, then BBC Writersroom wants to know about you.
Reblogging because it’s an awesome response from an awesome writer, and because it’s always with highlighting the very good avenues and advice the BBC offers new writers. Even if they’ve never really been successful for me. 😉