How to become a screenwriter
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- a college course
- applying directly
- specialist courses run by private training providers
You could do a degree or postgraduate qualification to improve your job prospects, though this is not essential. Useful subjects include:
- creative writing
- media and communications
- film studies
You should aim to get as much experience of reading other people's and writing your own scripts, alongside your studies.
Your university careers service can give advice on societies, work experience, internship and year placement opportunities that will help you build your creative network and develop your skills.
You'll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
When you're starting out you may find it useful to take a college course to help develop your skills and understand dramatic structure and production.
Courses are available in:
- creative writing
- creative and digital media
Adult education centres, colleges and universities sometimes run short courses in writing for screen.
Entry requirements for these courses vary.
If you want to get directly into this job, you may have an advantage if you have writing and storytelling experience from another field like journalism, advertising copywriting or acting.
You'll normally start by coming up with your own screenplays and ideas, and trying to sell them to agents and producers. Once you've had some work accepted and started to build a professional reputation, producers might then commission you to produce scripts for them.
You could take short courses in screenwriting run by film schools, regional screen agencies and private training providers.
As a new writer, you could get yourself noticed by entering screenwriting competitions. These competitions are run by broadcasters and regional screen agencies to discover new talent.
You can also find advice about submitting your work to the BBC at BBC Writers.
You can get more advice on writing careers in film and TV from ScreenSkills.
You can get more information on working in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.