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The Writer Spotlight  


BBC Studios is investing in the next generation of series creators.


The Writer Spotlight highlights the UK’s most exciting emerging voices, and offers mid-level writers the opportunity to develop an original idea for TV in partnership with production teams across the BBC Studios family.

Each year, up to 12 writers are nominated for the programme by producers across BBC Studios and its production partners. Over the course of a year, they will be mentored by leading industry producers, and will receive dedicated training within their chosen genre – from story structure, to writing a treatment, to pitching.

Each writer will be paid to develop an original pilot script, with the opportunity to pitch their idea to commissioners across the BBC.


Please note, places on the programme are by invitation only. If you are an emerging screenwriter and would like to submit a script, please see opportunities with BBC Writers.

Meet the 2023 writers

Ben Tagoe

Ben has written on TV shows including IN THE LONG RUN and STAN LEE'S LUCKY MAN. He was selected for the BBC Writers' Academy in 2011, gaining credits on EASTENDERS, CASUALTY and DOCTORS, before writing 32 episodes of CORONATION STREET. In 2016, Ben’s episode of CBBC’s JAMIE JOHNSON was shortlisted for the Children’s BAFTA awards, International Emmys and Royal Television Society awards. Ben also writes for the stage.

Ciara Conway

After 13 years in editorial, where she grew from a junior script editor to lead writer on BBC Scotland’s RIVER CITY, Ciara took the leap into writing full time in 2017. Her credits include multiple episodes of continuing dramas such as HOLBY CITY and CASUALTY, alongside prime time dramas SCREW (C4) and FOR HER SINS (C5). She is currently working on Helen Black’s first original series, THE WIVES (C5) and WHITSTABLE PEARL for Acorn.

Jamie Davis

Jamie Davis is the writer and creator of the new ITV series YOU & ME (Executive Produced by Russell T Davies). Jamie began his career as an actor appearing in a wide range of television programmes and on stage for the Royal Shakespeare Company. As a writer, Jamie was part of the 2021 BBC Writers' Academy and has since worked on EASTENDERS and CASUALTY. He was also recently selected as one of Broadcast magazine's ‘Hot Shots’ for 2023.

Jess Bray

Jess is a comedy-drama writer whose recent credits include episodes of upcoming BBC show WE MIGHT REGRET THIS and THE OUTLAWS, co-written with Stephen Merchant. She has features in development with Working Title and Mews Films, and recently ran the writers room for an upcoming Sky rom-com. Jess has been in writers rooms for Apple TV, Netflix, BBC, ITV and Disney+. Her original comedy-drama BREAK CLAUSE is in development with Channel 4.

Laura Smyth

Laura Smyth is a comedian, writer, and actor. Laura won the 2019 Funny Women Awards, having only been doing comedy for 5 months. She has since supported Jack Whitehall and Michelle de Swarte on tour, and played the Comedy Arena at Latitude, Reading and Leeds Festivals. TV appearances include LIVE AT THE APOLLO  and FRANKIE BOYLE'S NEW WORLD ORDER. Laura has written on the BAD EDUCATION reboot (BBC Three) and DEEP FAKES (ITV2). She also co-hosts BBC Sounds hit podcast ‘Bang On It’.

Lizzie Nunnery

Lizzie is a scriptwriter and songwriter. Her short film 'Another World' was selected by BBC Writers from nearly 7000 scripts. She was part of the writers room for WILDERNESS (Firebird Pictures/ Amazon). Theatre work includes 'Intemperance' (Liverpool Everyman), which was shortlisted for the Meyer-Whitworth Award; and 'Narvik' (Box of Tricks Theatre), which won Best New Play at the UK Theatre Awards 2017, and will be produced in Norway for European Capital of Culture 2024.  

Meg Salter

Meg is a writer and actor whose credits include THE CLEANER with Greg Davies for BBC1; GANGS OF LONDON S2 (Sky/AMC) and THE RIG S1 and S2 (Amazon). Meg is also part of the multi-award winning international sketch trio, MURIEL, whose self-made and self-produced sketches have amassed over 100 million views online.

Morgan Lloyd Malcolm

Morgan is a playwright and screenwriter. She was commissioned by The Globe to write 'Emilia', which transferred to the West End in 2019, winning three Olivier awards including Best Comedy or Entertainment. Other plays include 'The Wasp', 'Belongings', 'When The Long Trick’s Over', 'Mum' and 'Typical Girls'. TV includes, OBSESSION (Netflix), SCHOOL OF COMEDY (C4) and HOTEL TRUBBLE (BBC). Films include The Wasp, starring Naomie Harris and Natalie Dormer and directed by Guillem Morales.

Rachel Harper

Rachel is a Welsh writer and actor. She cut her teeth in continuing drama and has finished her tenth episode of CASUALTY. She has written original broadcast comedy for BBC Wales and has a range of projects in development for companies including Merman, Hartswood, Brain Trust, Boom TV and BBC Studios. She is currently developing an original sitcom for BBC. Rachel is also an online comedy creator and vocal impressionist, and has performed on the Ellen DeGeneres show. 

Toby Walton

Toby is a core writer for CASUALTY, and his episode 'Same Old, Same Old’ was nominated for a BAFTA in 2022. He has written over 65 episodes for DOCTORS including a number of standalone episodes, namely the 20th Anniversary hour-long special ‘A Day At The Mill’ and the COVID special ‘Can You Hear Me?’, shot on iPhones. In 2023 he won the WGGGB Best Long Running TV Series award for his episode 'Hello?'.  He has written a number of spec scripts. Toby is also an actor.

Waleed Akhtar

Waleed is an award-winning writer and actor. He won an Olivier for his play 'The P Word', in which he also starred and is now adapting for screen. His debut play 'Kabul Goes Pop' earned him Most Promising Playwright at The Offies, and he has received a MGC Futures award and a Peggy Ramsey Foundation / Film 4 Playwrights' bursary. As an actor, notable screen credits include The Great, Cruella, and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. He's also writing on THE ROAD TRIP for Paramount+.

Yemi Oyefuwa

Yemi was in the writers room for EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT LOVE (BBC) and DREAMING WHILST BLACK (BBC), writing two episodes of the latter. Yemi wrote an episode of TELL ME EVERYTHING (ITV2) and BOARDERS (BBC Three), and co-wrote for Monica Heisey’s SMOTHERED (Roughcut). She is writing an episode of FOOL ME ONCE, the new Harlan Coben series for Netflix, and will co-adapt Jessica George’s debut novel MAAME for Universal International Studios (UIS).

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