Looking for great new screenwriters from all over the world

Judges 2014


Each of the Celebrity Judges will read and vote on each of the five finalist scripts. Their votes will be combined to decide the winner.

This year’s panel comprises:

Paul Ashton

Senior Film Executive, Creative England
Paul Ashton

Paul leads the new Talent Centre in Sheffield which forms a key part of the BFI Net.Work support for new and emerging filmmakers across England. The Talent Centres fund short film production and feature film development to propel the best writers, directors and producers towards realising their first feature.

Paul was previously the Development Producer at BBC Writersroom, where he worked with drama and comedy scriptwriters across BBC film, TV and radio, and brought an emerging generation of writers to the BBC – such as Jack Thorne and Mike Bartlett – while working on Oscar and BAFTA nominated films. Paul has had his own stage plays and shorts produced, assessed scripts for various film, TV and theatre companies, taught and lectured on scriptwriting at numerous universities and festivals, directed new plays in the theatre, and his book “The Calling Card Script” was published by Methuen Drama in 2011.

Adrian Banyard

Development Producer, STV
Adrian Banyard

Adrian Banyard started his career at Central Films, producers of “Morse”, “Sharpe” and “Soldier Soldier”. He got his first script editing job on the Carlton series “Thief Takers” and now has 15 years experience as a script editor and development producer, having worked on over 150 hours of produced television drama for BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and international broadcasters.

He’s previously worked for indies such as Ecosse Films, Company Pictures and Zeppotron and is currently a development producer at STV, working on a range of projects for all the terrestrial broadcasters. His credits include the recent ITV 2-parter “The Poison Tree”, Charlie Brooker’s “Black Mirror”, and series of “Wild At Heart”, “Mistresses”, “Cape Wrath”, “Monarch of the Glen”, “In Deep” and “Peak Practice”.

Matthew Bates

Literary Agent, Sayle Screen, London
Matthew Bates

Matthew Bates trained as a solicitor and has worked as a literary agent at Sayle Screen since 1995.

His clients are writers of film and television drama, but he also represents drama directors and writer/directors, and handles film rights in books on behalf of various literary agents.

Matthew says “I aim to work closely with my clients, helping to nurture new talent through the early days of their career, and to support and guide more established writers and directors. My strong relationships with producers, managers and agents in America mean that I’m able to help clients maximise opportunities outside the UK.”

Stuart Blackburn

Series Producer, Coronation St, ITV
Stuart Blackburn

Stuart spent 10 years writing and directing for theatre, and then began in TV as Script/Story Editor for Emmerdale in the 1990s. He continued script editing for shows including The Bill, Dream Team Crossroads and Ballykissangel. He wrote for The Bill, Doctors, Crossroads and, amongst others, Ballykissangel before returning to Emmerdale and Corrie as Series Story Editor.

Stuart then produced Emmerdale, including their hour long live episode, before taking up his current post as Series Producer of Coronation Street.

Tom Collins

Producer/Director DeFacto Films
Tom Collins

Beginning his career as a photographer, his initial foray into film production was producer of Hush-a-bye Baby (1990). The film won numerous awards including Ireland’s entry in the European Film Awards. It featured Sinead O’ Connor as actress and composer.

Since then he has produced five feature films and over a dozen documentaries. The most well known being the multi award winning Kings: Ireland’s Entry to the 2008 Oscars – Best Foreign Film Category. He has recently been Showrunner on his first TV series, The Gift/ An Bronntanas.

Jonathan Fisher

Development Manager, Island Pictures
Jonathan Fisher

Jonathan joined Island Pictures in August 2011, having completed a four-year degree in Russian at Oxford University. He was a committee member of the Oxford University Dramatics Society (OUDS), for whom he produced the university’s New Writing Festival.

Jonathan manages the development slate at Island, working on a range of drama and comedy projects for film and television, with some of the best creative talent in the UK. Last year he optioned Matthew Coombes’ ‘Once In Royal Bradford City’, the inaugural winner of the Screenwriting Goldmine Contest.

Surian Fletcher-Jones

Head of Development, Channel 4
Surian Fletcher-Jones

Surian originally trained as a theatre director at the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn, before moving into script editing at the BBC. She worked at the BBC for 7 years on shows including Blackpool and Little Dorrit.

She then joined Scott Free as Head of Development for TV where she built up a slate from scratch before joining C4 as Head of Development a year ago.

Lucy Gannon

Lucy Gannon

Lucy Gannon started as a writer in theatre but has gone on to become one of this country’s best and most respected TV dramatists, with an M.B.E. for her services to drama. Most recently she wrote and executive-produced the excellent BBC1 series ‘Frankie’.

Other acclaimed work includes: ‘The Best of Men’ (BBC, winner of an RTS “Best Writer” Award), ‘The Children’ (BBC), the hugely successful ITV series ‘Bramwell’, ‘Soldier Soldier’, and ‘Peak Practice’.

Matthew Graham


Matthew contributed almost 40 episodes to Eastenders, before workingon both series of seminal BBC 2 drama series This Life, which was nominated for a BAFTA. Original dramas after that include The Last Train, POW, Reach For The Moon, and Walk Away And I Stumble.

Matthew co-created, co-wrote and co-produced both series of Life On Mars in 2005. The show picked up numerous awards, including two International Emmys. In September 2006 he went on with Ashley Pharoah to make the hit sequel, Ashes To Ashes.

Matthew has recently been working on a top secret show in the States with one of Hollywood’s legendary director/producers – but he’s not at liberty to say who just yet. The adventure continues…

Roxanne Harvey

Story Producer, Casualty, BBC
Roxanne Harvey

Roxanne graduated from Bournemouth University with a first in Scriptwriting in Film and Television. She was a reader at Momentum Pictures, Southwark Playhouse and The Arcola Theatre before going on to work as a Script Editor on Rock Rivals and The Bill.

She has written several episodes of Footballers Wives’ and Bad Girls, and she is currently the Story Producer on Casualty.

Alexis Hood

Development Executive, Fifty Fathoms/Tiger Aspect
Alexis Hood

Alexis Hood joined Fifty Fathoms in 2012 as Development Executive, bringing expertise from the worlds of both drama and cutting edge documentaries.

Alexis began her television career in drama at Channel 4 and FilmFour, before working at Headline Pictures. She then changed lanes, qualifying as a journalist and becoming a documentary producer on a wide variety of programmes, from BBC Arts series to Dispatches. She has extensive experience in drama and factual development for companies including Slim Film and Television, Atlantic Productions, Hillbilly, Blakeway and the BBC.

Johann Knobel

Creative Director, Headstrong/Shed


Johann has recently set up Headstrong Pictures with John Griffin under the auspices of Shed Media, taking the role of Creative Director.

Previously, he was with Company Pictures for seven years where he served as producer and executive producer on various shows, including Shameless, Inspector George Gently, The Shadow Line, Secret State and New Worlds.

He was also lucky enough to spend some time in Los Angeles in the writers’ rooms of Shawn Ryan (The Shield, The Unit), Greg Berlanti (Everwood, Brothers & Sisters, Dirty Sexy Money, Arrow, The Tomorrow People), Kevin Falls (Sports Night, The West Wing, The Lyon’s Den), Deborah Joy Levine (Lois & Clark, Dawson’s Creek, The Division) and Remi Aubochon (24, Chicago Hope, The Lyon’s Den).

Zander Levy

Head of Development, Raw
Zander Levy

Zander Levy heads up film and television development at Raw. The company produced the BAFTA winning The Imposter in 2012 and are currently developing material for all the lead broadcasters and financiers. This year they will go into production on Bart Layton’s second feature, American Animals.

Levy started his career at Raw as a researcher before working as a freelance script reader for various indies. In 2008 he joined David Thompson’s, Origin Pictures, where he worked as a Development Executive bringing in new talent, originating ideas and script editing. He worked across both television and film on a broad range of projects such as The Awakening, Freefall, The Crimson Petal and the White and Hidden.

Clova McCallum

Senior Drama Development Executive, Warp Films.

Clova has been a script executive for around ten years. She’s worked in BBC commissioning, at Pathe, Kudos, Carnival, ITV Studios and is currently at Warp Films helping to develop their TV slate.

Credits include Hustle, The Rotters Club, Enid, Shetland, Sea of Souls, The Whistleblowers and The Psychopath Next Door.

Kirstie MacDonald

Head of Development, World Productions
Kirstie MacDonald

Kirstie began her career as a script editor in 1999 when she was a trainee on the BAFTA-winning second series of The Cops. Since then she has script edited and produced various shows including The Bill, New Tricks, Family Affairs, Outlaws and The Innocence Project.

Most recently she script edited two critically acclaimed shows for World Productions, Line of Duty by Jed Mercurio and The Fear by Rick Cottan.

Steve Matthews

Producer and Development, Octagon Films

Steve joined Octagon in May 2010. He was Consulting Producer on all three series of Neil Jordan’s series “The Borgias” for Showtime Networks. He has also produced three series of RTE’s hugely successful award winning Dublin gangster series “Love/Hate”. He was formerly Head of Development at Ray Winstone’s Size 9 Productions and previously worked as a script editor at the BBC on “Silent Witness”.

Steve has been a guest lecturer in screenwriting at the Tisch School of Arts, NYU, and was an external examiner for the screenwriting degree at Bournemouth University.

Julie Press

Literary Agent at Macfarlane Chard Associates

Julie Press represents writers in film, television and theatre.

She started her career as a script editor working on a diverse range of series and serials including “The Forsyte Saga”, “Byker Grove” and “Hope and Glory”. She has also worked on drama-documentary films. These include “D-Day” which was BAFTA-nominated and the Emmy Award winning “Hiroshima”.

She has worked for the BBC and ITV and many independent production companies. Before becoming a literary agent she was a producer on “Eastenders” and “Missing” for BBC 1.

Fraser Robinson

VP, Scripted ITV Studios Global Entertainment

Fraser Robinson works in scripted development, specialising in sourcing, acquiring, packaging and commissioning dramatic projects that are suitable for international co-production. Previous clients include Lookout Point/BBC Worldwide and he is currently consulting for ITV Studios Global Entertainment.

His most recent full time role was at NBCUniversal, where he spearheaded the company’s global co-production strategy, supervising all creative on several projects in production and running a robust development slate. Prior to that he was the Director of Content at SPACE in Canada.

Fraser has worked for close on twenty years in production and creative development for various indie producers and channels, including MTV, CTV and The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Ben Stoll

Head of Development, Tandem Communications

Ben is Head of Development for Tandem Productions where he is responsible for managing the slate as well maintaining an overview of shows in production.

His last job was development at Channel 4 Drama, and he began his career as an in-house reader at BBC Films and Singles before becoming a script editor on “The Bill” (ITV) and “Attachments” (World Productions and the BBC).

He has worked as a Development Producer for Maverick TV and TwoFour Television and has a wide range of experience as a freelance script editor and development executive.

Tanya Tillett

Literary Agent, Knight Hall Agency
Tanya Tillet

Tanya Tillett joined the Knight Hall Agency in 2006 having worked in script development and production on various film and TV projects. She studied English Literature at Oxford University and took 2 year post graduate diploma in script development with the National Film and Television School.

Tanya represents writers and writer/directors both new and established across theatre, film and TV and also looks after book rights for adaptation on behalf of various publishing agents. Tanya specialises in finding and developing writers with unique voices who want to build a career focussed on their own original work.

Roberto Troni

Commissioning Editor, Channel 4 Drama
Robert Troni

Roberto has been at Channel4 for four years and worked across a number of shows including Hollyoaks, Shameless, Fresh Meat, Misfits, This is England 86 & 88, The Fear, Complicit & Secret State. Projects in pre and post production include New Worlds (sequel to The Devil’s Whore), Babylon & Paul Abbott’s No Offence.

Before that he has worked as a writer, script editor, producer and development producer across ITV, the BBC and various independent production companies, on shows including Holby City, Prime Suspect & United.

Julia Tyrrell

Literary Agent, Julia Tyrrell Management
Julia Tyrrell

JT Management is a boutique agency, which offers an individually tailored personal management service in which clients can always speak directly to their agent and producers can be guaranteed to be offered a carefully considered selection of the right people for the right job.

Over the years, Julia has gained a reputation for representing and developing the careers of writers with an independent vision and original voice. Her list is an eclectic mix of playwrights, feature film writers and writer/directors, and television writers, many of whom work across several media.

Nikki Wilson

Producer, Doctor Who, BBC
Nikki Wilson

Nikki started her career as script editor to the legendary Lynda La Plante where she gained a gruesome knowledge of crime, forensics and pathology which stood her in good stead for a stint as storyliner on The Bill. She moved to Manchester to script edit and assistant produce 2 series of New Street Law with Red Productions. Next she found a home in Cardiff where, after a year as Head of Development, she went on to produce The Sarah Jane Adventures, Doctor Who and Upstairs Downstairs, working with the wonderful Russell T Davies and Heidi Thomas as well as brand new writers on Sarah Jane.

After 2 years as Series Producer on Casualty where she oversaw the show’s move from Bristol to brand new studios in Cardiff Bay, Nikki returned to world of sci-fi. She is currently producing the next series of Doctor Who, alongside Exec Producing the 3rd series of Wizards Vs Aliens.

Stephen Woolley

Director/Producer, Number 9 Films
Stephen Woolley

After owning his own cinema, The Scala, Stephen Woolley launched Palace Video in 1982 in partnership with Nik Powell, releasing titles such as Eraserhead and Mephisto. Establishing a theatrical arm a year later, Palace acquired, marketed and distributed some 250 independent and European movies from The Evil Dead, Diva, and Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence to When Harry Met Sally.

During this period Woolley’s production credits included Absolute Beginners, Shag, Scandal, The Company of Wolves, The Miracle, The Butcher Boy, The Good Thief, the Oscar-nominated The End of The Affair, Michael Collins, Interview With The Vampire, and Oscar-winning The Crying Game, for which in 1992 Woolley was awarded Producer of The Year by the Producer’s Guild of America.

Woolley also produced Jordan’s Oscar nominated Mona Lisa which won numerous international awards. Stephen also has over twenty executive producer credits. He has been Chairman on the BAFTA film committee on which he served for ten years, and is also a member of the American Academy.

His recent projects as producer with Elizabeth Karlsen have included And When Did You Last See Your Father? directed by Anand Tucker, How To Lose Friends and Alienate People starring Simon Pegg, Kirsten Dunst, Megan Fox and Jeff Bridges, Sounds Like Teen Spirit directed by newcomer Jamie J Johnson and Made in Dagenham directed by Nigel Cole and starring Sally Hawkins, Bob Hoskins, Rosamund Pike, Andrea Riseborough and Jaime Winstone.

Forthcoming projects include The End of Sleep, Strangers, and Great Expectations.

Qualifying Rounds

Phil Gladwin

Writer, Editor, Founder of Screenwriting Goldmine

Currently Series Script Editor for the BAFTA-winning CBBC drama The Dumping Ground, Phil Gladwin started off as a script reader for BBC Single Drama in 1995, where he very quickly demonstrated a sharp eye for a story by discovering and championing the Richard Hawkins script that became the Kenneth Branagh/Helena Bonham Carter movie The Theory of Flight.

He then worked as a script editor for the BBC and ITV for the next five years, doing full terms on several big popular mass market UK TV shows such as Casualty and The Bill. He also did long periods of development script editing for the BBC and World Productions, a multiple BAFTA-winning indie production house.

In 2000 he moved into writing full time. www.imdb.com has details of his produced work, and behind the scenes he’s been commissioned to write scripts and treatments for many different shows and most genres of television drama over the years.

He’s probably best known for his broadcast credits on Trial & Retribution for Lynda la Plante, and two episodes of the new Doctor Who spin-off show The Sarah Jane Adventures, plus many episodes of The Bill. Since 2007 he has been working more and more on building Screenwriting Goldmine, which now gets over 220,000 unique visitors a year from all over the world, and is a truly international community. His most recent play Mad Girl (2012) was nominated for a national journalists’ award.

Philip will read and assess the first 500 entrants – the schedule of the competition gives plenty of time for that.

If we have more than 500 entries then he will continue to be heavily involved, but we will also begin to bring in a selection of readers hired because of their strong industry experience in reading screenplays. As they are appointed we will add their details to this page.

Find out more…

Screenwriting Guide

Have you seen the "Screenwriting Goldmine Guide to Writing a Great Screenplay"? It's a simple step by step guide that takes you from blank page to first draft in just six weeks. Download your own copy now!

Free Tips And Techniques

The Screenwriting Goldmine main site has stacks of free articles, tips and techniques, interviews with industry figures, and much, much more.

Weekly Newsletter

We send out regular free screenwriting newsletters and tip sheets, including, every Friday, details of a production company currently requesting scripts. Click here to sign up!

Screenwriting Forum

We also run a terrific screenwriting forum, with a community of thousands of users and masses of free information. Click here to find out more!