Many thanks to Steve May, Course Director on the MA Screenwriting and Producing for Film and TV at Westminster University who reminded me to re-post some particularly important articles from the old blog! Long term Bang2write Readers will remember my post on short scriptwriting courses and its follow-up on Scriptwriting degrees: there were some very interesting, albeit mixed responses. With another academic year on its way out then and September sneaking up on us like the crafty so-and-so it is, I thought now was the time to revisit my posts, update them, add to them and see if we could get any new insights into whether the people who charge us all this moolah are really giving us our money's worth.
I realise a lot of you Bloggers have gone on a lot of courses this past year and kindly disseminated your views about them, but I'm trying to appeal to everyone, so even if you have written about a course you've taken already, by all means send your thoughts/links to me so I might compile a list of recommendations and/or warnings in one place for those peeps surfing the net.
So: have you gone on any short courses in scriptwriting (or any kind of writing, for that matter; I haven't seen many on novel writing and whatnot, but presumably they're out there): same goes for anyone who might have gone on a specific script reading or storylining course. Maybe you're a member of a particularly good Writers' Circle and want to promote it, or you've been to half a dozen Writers' Groups and would sooner pluck your eyes out than go to another? Have you been to any Writer's workshops where your work has been read (Lianne did the Open Page, but Rocliffe Forum anyone?) or you went for taught techniques to help you time manage, gain more self-confidence (I'm looking at you Jurgen Wolfites here). Or did you go to a course specifically wanting to know how to get an option, an agent or handle meetings (yes, fellow Meadsters). Perhaps you thought they were a complete waste of time or the best money you've ever spent? I want it all, warts and all please.
The same goes for those Scriptwriting degrees. I'm told that Bournemouth is not the only BA (Hons) in Scriptwriting now and that others do an undergraduate course now too, even just in part, so let's hear who those places are. There feel like a million MAs out there and those more in-depth training courses that do not fall under the "short course" remit as they demand commitment for ten weeks or more, London Metropolitan University's Metlab a case in point and some of those courses at The Lighthouse, Brighton for example. What are resources like? Are sessions well organised, or scrappy? Is pastoral care any good? Are you taught by working writers/readers etc with good understanding of the industry, or are you feeling as if you've been sidelined? Students are asked to pay tuition fees and sometimes give up careers for these courses: I'm sure I'm right in saying that everyone wants to hear if these courses as worth the considerable sacrifices that have to be made to embark on them and complete them.
So, you know the drill... If you have something to say, leave a comment or email me. Anonymity is assured for all those who want it - but do remember to tell me you do not want your name mentioned in the email! Also, please justify your reasons if you want to say that you feel a course is no good: we want to give others information, not a big moan! ; )
By the way, with half term almost over, you English Teachers out there might want to check out eBay for my very cheap, comprehensive resources on the poet Carol Ann Duffy or if you struggle with grammar take a look at my resources that could show you how to get to grips with this otherwise dull subject in a fun, informative way. And yes - they come WITH answers. Cheers!