Red Planet Pictures & ITV Search for New Drama Writers


Red Planet Pictures has aligned with ITV Drama for The Red Planet Prize as part of a new search for emerging writing talent for drama content.

The Red Planet Prize 2018 is looking for writers who “can create characters that make audiences sit up and unmissable stories that demand to be watched.” Up to ten shortlisted writers will be invited to a pitching master class with Red Planet Pictures CEO Tony Jordan (Life on Mars, Hustle, Dickensian), ITV’s head of drama, Polly Hill, and Victoria Fea, ITV’s senior drama commissioner. Jordan, Hill and Fea, along with actor Adrian Lester (Riviera, Hustle, Trauma), make up the judging panel.

Participants will then be asked to write the first ten pages of their original idea, and hone their pitch and series outline. The strongest ideas will have development input and up to four writers will be invited to a final interview, from which the winner will be chosen. The winning writer will get a script commission and development opportunities with ITV. This year’s prize winner will be produced by Kate Rowland, who will also be one of the judges.

Screenwriters must be based in the U.K., and the original TV idea should not be in development with another broadcaster or production company.

Jordan said: “We are incredibly proud that The Red Planet Prize is celebrating a decade of discovering new writing talent and generating new series ideas. There is a wealth of brilliantly creative and exciting new writers in the U.K., but it’s an incredibly difficult and competitive industry to break into. Every year it is a joy to uncover, develop and workshop with new talent, and we are delighted to partner with ITV Drama for 2018 to provide a much-needed platform for the next generation of writers for television to get their first break, and in turn to bring fresh ideas and voices into the industry.”

Fea added: “We are very excited to be collaborating with Red Planet Pictures on their new writers prize. It’s a wonderful opportunity to encourage new and diverse talent just at a time when the industry most needs it.”

Lester said; “I’m honored to be part of the judging panel for The Red Planet Prize 2018. It is a really skilled craft to write original and engaging stories, and as an actor it is thrilling to pick up a script which fills you with excitement to bring energy and life to those characters. And while there are unlimited stories to be told there are not unlimited opportunities for new writers to tell their stories, which is why The Red Planet Prize is so extraordinary. I am very much looking forward to being part of the process to discover hidden writing talent during this competition!”