Creative writing and publishing

Introduction to scriptwriting with Sara Clifford

Ref: SWE09068


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About this course

Discover how to construct a script, find the best way of telling your story, and satisfying the audience. Develop your ideas for a play, write an extract for a long play or a short script.

Course Description

The tutor will take you through the journey to write a ten minute complete play, or an extract from a longer play. Through a combination of exercises, workshop collaboration, individual writing time, peer learning and professional guidance from the tutor, you will learn how to:

- Generate ideas for plays or to develop your existing idea.

- Create strong believable characters that have a life within the play.

- Create challenging 'journeys' for your characters.

- Make your idea theatrical and dramatic, how best to tell your story.

- Develop an understanding of the scenography of a play, ie how it is put 'on its feet' and the collaborative nature of rehearsals.

- Develop your understanding of the interaction between play and audience.

The tutor will create a supportive and creative environment, and ensure you receive the maximum benefit whether you are an experienced writer or new to script writing.

Through practical workshops and guided scripting sessions, along with important 'time to write', the tutor will nurture your understanding of the playwright's craft in order to produce your own new work.

By the end of the course, you will have a strong short script or extract ready to be shared in a script in hand reading. You will have gained confidence in developing ideas for a play, and an understanding of character, journey, dramaturgy and scenography.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • See a play, piece of theatre or a film shortly before coming on the course, that you can discuss.
  • What did you like about it and why?
  • What didn't you like and why?
  • What was the premise?
  • What happened in the end?
  • Write a premise for your idea - this is one or two sentences that drive the plot of a script, often ending with a question. For example:
  • A lonely boy is befriended by an alien,
  • A small boy sees dead people,
  • Will Romeo find happiness ever after with the forbidden Juliet?
  • Will Macbeth succeed in becoming King? And what will he have to do to achieve this?
  • A laptop if you have one. PCs are available to use in the Media Suite.

Available to buy

  • Notebook, pens, pencils


Sara Clifford

Sara originally studied English, and has an MA in Screenwriting. She has been a script reader/dramaturg for over twenty years, and teaches writing for performance at various universities. Sara has written over thirty plays, was finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award; and Writer in Residence at Brighton University.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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