Date(s) - Wed 6th Mar - Fri 19th Apr, 2024
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Writing audio drama for radio and beyond …
Join award-winning audio drama producer and director Jessica Dromgoole online for seven (and a half!) weeks in this audio drama course aimed at writers of all levels.
Audio drama is a direct appeal to the imagination of each listener, a contract to create a journey together. The writer contributes the story, the world, the ideas, the particular language and rhythm and music of the play, and the listener engages with their own visuals, associations, perspective and emotional response.
In this course, we’ll look at telling a good story, keeping it thematically consistent, keeping it moving, and using sound to enrich the experience.
This course also includes guest writer sessions with award-winning audio drama writers, Sebastian Baczkiewicz and Katie Hims, where you will have the chance to discuss the process behind their works that you’ll have listened to in advance.
Moniack in Seven and a Half Weeks: Writing Audio Drama includes:
- a short introductory welcome session
- five stimulating online workshops
- a guest writer session with Sebastian Baczkiewicz to discuss his work Pilgrim (Series 1)
- a guest writer session with Katie Hims to discuss her work Lost Property
- a 30-minute tutorial with Jessica Dromgoole to receive feedback on up to 1,500 words of your script-writing
- a final ceilidh session including a live performance of your group-created drama
- Contact and support from your community of writers via Google Classroom (optional)
- Drop-ins before each workshop to help you get to know your group (optional)
- Support from your Moniack Mhor host
Introduction and Workshop 1 – Audio storytelling and story shapes
Good storytelling is the first requirement to engage and hold the listener’s attention. How to refine your talents and find the right shape for the story you want to tell.
Homework: listen to Pilgrim (Series 1) by Sebastian Baczkiewicz.
Guest writer session – Sebastian Baczkiewicz
An interactive session with writer Sebastian Baczkiewicz, who will join you to discuss Pilgrim (Series 1) and take your questions.
Workshop 2 – Finding the central narrative question, and reviewing your work
One story should have one central question. How to define it, and play with it to give your drama the elastic that makes it so satisfying.
Homework: listen to Lost Property by Katie Hims.
Guest writer session – Katie Hims
An interactive session with writer Katie Hims, who will join you to discuss Lost Property and take your questions.
Workshop 3 – Active dialogue, and active non-dialogue
Audio drama is like flying. If it doesn’t move, it drops out of the sky. We’ll look at keeping your story on the move.
Homework: applying story shape, central narrative question, and dynamic dialogue techniques to your own script for your tutorial.
Workshop 4 – Sound
Looking at the ways that sound nourishes and invigorates your work. Real sound, unreal sound, music, vocal treatment, and silence. We’ll also create characters for the final exercise, and agree the parameters for the scenes you write.
Homework: ceilidh exercise – first draft.
Workshop 5 – Practicalities
Industry Q&A with Jessica. Being professional. Formatting your script. BBC Radio and other markets. Recording, editing and publishing your own work. We’ll also review the scenes you’ve written, and give notes for redrafting.
Homework: ceilidh exercise – second draft.
An opportunity to enjoy ourselves and share our learnings. We’ll also have a live performance of your group-created play.
Week 1 Wednesday 6 Mar 19:00-21:30 Welcome Session and Workshop 1
Week 2 Wednesday 13 Mar 19:00-20:30 Guest: Sebastian Baczkiewicz
Week 3 Wednesday 20 Mar 19:00-21:00 Workshop 2
Week 4 Wednesday 27 Mar 19:00-20:30 Guest: Katie Hims
Week 5 Wednesday 3 Apr 19:00-21:00 Workshop 3
Week 6 Wednesday 10 Apr 19:00-21:00 Workshop 4
Week 7 Wednesday 17 Apr 19:00-21:00 Workshop 5
Week 7 Friday 19 Apr 19:00-21:00 Ceilidh finale
Your one-to-one tutorial with Jessica will be scheduled when the course starts.
Jessica Dromgoole was a theatre director and literary manager at Paines Plough, before joining BBC Writers Room. She moved over into BBC Radio Drama, working on the World Service soap, Westway. While there, she show-ran two long-running dramas – Piyar ka Passport in Pakistan for BBC Urdu, and then Home Front, on BBC Radio 4, as well as producing several shorter series with writers including Katie Hims, Sebastian Baczkiewicz and Roy Williams. She left the BBC in 2021 and recent work in audio includes New Voices with Audible and National Theatre, a 34-episode series for the NHS, and an 8-part sci fi with Sebastian Baczkiewicz, Lonely No More. She has also returned to theatre directing, and expects to tour Supernova by Rhiannon Neads, in 2024.
Sebastian Baczkiewicz was the BBC’s first writer in residence. He’s written for theatre, television and radio. His many plays for radio include The Language of Angels, Wunderkind and We Apologise for the Inconvenience. He created and wrote seven series of Pilgrim as well as three one–off specials. He was also one of the four lead writers on BBC Radio 4′s landmark series Home Front and then wrote and created Elsinore and, more recently, The 5000. His adaptations for radio include The Count of Monte Cristo, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Firewall and In Patagonia. www.sebastianbaczkiewicz.com
Katie Hims is a writer for stage, screen and radio. Her recent stage work includes Variations (National Theatre Connections), Three Minutes After Midnight (The Globe Theatre), The Stranger on the Bridge (Tobacco Factory, Bristol) and Billy the Girl (Clean Break at Soho Theatre.) Katie was lead writer on the BBC Radio 4 series Home Front for five seasons. She also writes for BBC Radio 4’s The Archers. Other award-winning radio includes Black Eyed Girls (BBC Audio Drama Award for Best Original Drama), Lost Property (BBC Audio Drama Award for Best Original Drama) and Waterloo Station (Writer’s Guild Award for Best Original Radio Drama). Radio adaptations include Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Middlemarch and The Martin Beck Killings. Katie is currently working on a TV treatment for Hooley Productions, a new drama for BBC Radio 3, and is on attachment to the National Theatre Studio. Her stage play The Trial of Josie K ran at The Unicorn Theatre in London in early 2023.
The full fee for this online course is £410. A deposit of £100 is required to secure your place, which is non-refundable after a 14-day cooling-off period. The balance payment of £310 is due six weeks before the course begins.
All activity takes place on Zoom, and workshops include a short break. Moniack Mhor staff will be on hand to support you during your course.
For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org.