ITV Studios launches program for writers with disabilities

ITV Studios is launching its Disabled Writers in Development programme, “aiming to elevate the talent pool of writers with disabilities to prepare them for commission by ITV and the industry at large”.

The Disabled Writers in Development program will be funded by the £500,000 Diversity Development Fund, also created to develop new ideas and talent.

The new program, backed by Patrick Spence’s scripted studio and Tall Story Pictures, will take place over a 12-month period. Four writers will develop an ITV-focused idea and write a pilot script. They will then have the opportunity to pitch in a meeting with Polly Hill, ITV’s Head of Drama, and the Drama Commissioning Team.

A development manager from each label will work with two writers, supporting and developing their individual projects.

In addition to this, a trainee script editor will be placed at Patrick Spence’s script studio and one within Tall Story Pictures as part of ITV Studios’ production training programme. These internships have been reserved for d/Deaf, disabled and neurodiverse people who will work alongside each label’s development manager to assist writers in development.

To apply, authors must submit a sample script. Applications are open to people with disabilities only, and writers must have at least one professional writing credit (for television, theatre, short film or radio for which they were paid).

Applications are open now and will close on Friday, September 9. For more information and to apply, go here.

Catherine Oldfield, Creative Director at Tall Story Pictures, said, “We are thrilled to be part of the Disabled Writers in Development program and to continue the work that Tall Story Pictures is doing to support talent from underrepresented groups and help make our industry more diverse and inclusive. The industry needs long-term, sustainable change and we are proud to be part of it. »

Callum Dziedzic, head of development at Patrick Spence’s studio who will be involved in the program, said: “I’m so proud to be a part of this. It’s a wonderfully tangible way to boost the careers and talents of writers with disabilities.

“The Disabled Writers in Development program will not only amplify the diversity of stories we tell here at Patrick Spence’s studio, but will also hopefully bring about meaningful change for the industry as a whole.

“Patrick and our team have an excellent track record of providing fatherhood opportunities for new talent and this program will shine a light on some incredible creators with disabilities of the future.”

Sam Tatlow, Creative Diversity Partner at ITV, said: “At ITV, we continue to ensure that we are representative of our audience throughout the year. A program like this will create unique opportunities for editorial talent with disabilities and encourage those who hadn’t considered a career in production to pursue it. In addition to creating a platform to bring their ideas to life.

Jon Cremier

Share this story