Not so long ago, a new writer I know dismissed a particular writing festival as being full of wannabes. This writer had a single project commissioned and seemed to feel superior to the majority of people who attend these type of events.
This weekend I was a script doctor at the London Screenwriters Festival in beautiful Regent’s Park. Euroscript, an organisation set up to support new writers, held a surgery for writers to talk about their projects in one-to-one meetings.
I saw four writers and I was really impressed by them. It wasn’t just the freshness of their ideas, it was their understanding of craft issues and their professionalism. Also their credits. awards, short films made, options, commissions and screenwriting education.
I thought that three of the four ideas had solid commercial potential and all the writers had a clearly defined sense of what they were trying to achieve with their work. I cannot believe that the writers I saw were the only hot talent at the London Screenwriters Festival. It’s more likely that anyone who makes the commitment to attend what is an expensive event has done their homework.
Sadly, due to other commitments, I didn’t attend any of the many available sessions in the programme but I got the buzz that people were getting a lot out of it.
On the way home, driving through the autumn dusk, I thought that it can only be good for society that people are become more skilled at communicating their ideas.
I also thought, ‘we’re all wannabes’. Whether it’s wanting to solve a knotty writing problem to wanting the time to write. And that’s a good thing. After all, isn’t defining the character’s ‘want’ one of the basic tenets of drama?
What are other people’s experiences of writer festivals?