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Big Stories on the Small Screen

Tutors: Ronan Bennett Malcolm Campbell Ciaran Donnelly Neasa Hardiman Lisa McGee Katie Holly Yvonne O’Donoghue Declan Croghan Robert Quinn John Hayes Lisa Mulcahy Gerard Barrett Reed Morano Marcus Fleming Dathaí Keane

Date: Saturday, December 2nd, 2017

Duration: Big Stories comprises two distinct modules and spans a twelve month period. December 2017 - December 2018

Venue: Radisson Blu, Golden Lane, Dublin 2

Cost: €20

Course Profile:

Big Stories on the Small Screen is set to run a second major initiative to develop skills in quality long-form screen drama. The initiative brings together some of the most eminent screen storytellers from across the world to work with Irish screen professionals.

Big Stories comprises a series of workshops and events over twelve months, beginning with a one-day conference on December 2nd in Dublin.

Briefing Day – Saturday 2nd December 2017
A major one-day conference at the Radisson Blu, Golden Lane, Dublin 2. The conference features a range of top international industry professionals, discussing their experience before an audience of one hundred writers, directors and producers, who may apply for tickets via Screen Training Ireland.

Speakers at the event include:

Ronan Bennett – BAFTA-nominated screenwriter of the currently screening GUNPOWDER (BBC), as well as TV dramas TOP BOY (Channel 4), HIDDEN (BBC), 10 DAYS TO WAR (BBC), THE HAMBURG CELL (Channel 4), feature films including PUBLIC ENEMIES (Johnny Depp, Christian Bale), and an acclaimed novelist whose works include Zugzwang, Havoc, In Its Third Year and The Catastrophist.

Malcolm Campbell – Showrunner of ACKLEY BRIDGE (BBC), screenwriter with THE WHITE QUEEN (BBC), SHAMELESS (Channel 4) as well as feature film WHAT RICHARD DID directed by Lenny Abrahamson.

Ciaran Donnelly – Award-winning producer-director of the upcoming KRYPTON (SyFi) as well as HARLEY AND THE DAVIDSONS (Discovery), VIKINGS (History Channel), TITANIC: BLOOD AND STEEL (Lionsgate) and THE TUDORS (Showtime).

Neasa Hardiman – BAFTA-winning director of HAPPY VALLEY (BBC / Netflix), JESSICA JONES (Marvel / Netflix) and Z: THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING (Amazon).

Lisa McGee – Creator of DERRY GIRL and LONDON IRISH (both Channel 4), screenwriter with INDIAN SUMMERS, THE WHITE QUEEN, BEING HUMAN (BBC) and RAW (RTÉ).

Katie Holly and Yvonne O’Donoghue – Producers of STRIKING OUT (RTÉ).

Declan Croghan – Screenwriter with SILIENT WITNESS (BBC), LIFE OF CRIME (ITV) and RIPPER STREET (BBC / Amazon).

Robert Quinn – Director with ENDEAVOUR (ITV), ACKLEY BRIDGE (BBC) and NO OFFENCE (ITV).

John Hayes – Director with BANCROFT (ITV), VERA (ITV) and HOME FIRES (BBC)

Lisa Mulcahy –  Director of THE MOONSTONE and UNDERCLIFFE (both BBC) and RED ROCK (TV3).

Gerard Barrett – Writer/director of SMALLTOWN (TV3) as well feature films BRAIN ON FIRE, GLASSLAND and PILGRIM HILL.

WEEK-LONG WORKSHOP – 21st May to 25th May 2018
Ten selected projects are hothoused in a writers’ room format, led by professional screenwriters David Isaacs (Mad Men, Frazier, The Simpsons) and Tom Abrams (Oscar-nominee, Professor of Screenwriting at USC). Subsequent to the workshop, participants continue to develop their projects in consultation with their tutors and collaborators via a secure online portal. In October, participants pitch their packaged long-form drama to invited production companies.

Applications to attend Module Two will be accepted from 3rd December 2017 via the Screen Training Ireland website.


Participant Profile:

Irish-resident screenwriters, creative producers and directors are invited to apply to Big Stories on the Small Screen. Teams or individuals may apply. Screenwriters must have experience in scripted drama, with a writing credit on at least one produced script, which has been staged theatrically or screened on television or in cinema. Novelists with one or more published works are also eligible.

Directors must have experience in scripted drama, with a directing credit on at least one production of minimum 30 minutes’ duration, which has been screened on television or theatrically. Creative Producers must have a minimum of three years producing experience with a credit on at least one scripted production for film or television.

Application Procedure:

Attendance at the event is limited. Interested applicants should apply for a place with a current CV via by Monday 20th November.

Attendees at this event can consider applying to take part in the second module, a week-long, writers’ room workshop. For further information please contact

Please note applications to attend module two will be accepted from the 3rd of December following the 1 Day seminar.


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