Above: Imogen Church (left), Robin Mukherjee (centre), Trish Cooke (right)
The Scriptwriters Group represents writers and makers across digital, broadcast, AV and theatre. It supports members and associates by providing professional, individual advice (as part of the SoA), negotiating collective minimum terms agreements with organisations such the BBC, and lobbying on policy and legislation to promote the interests and protect the rights of scriptwriters.
On joining the committee, Robin Mukherjee, said:
I’m delighted to join the Scriptwriters Group committee, and look forward to representing the interests of scriptwriters across the industry. It is said that ‘it all begins with the script’ but too often the writers find their contribution to the creative process undervalued. This includes both experienced and emerging writers but is perhaps most evident in the latter.
My aim is to redress the balance to the benefit of writers and writing, particularly those embarking on their creative careers who would benefit from the support of those of us who were there once.
What does the Scriptwriters Group do?
The SWG is made up of an elected committee. The chair is David Morley and fellow committee members include Ian Billings, Ben Carpenter, Jamila Gavin, Sean Grundy David Morley, Barney Norris and Rhiannon Tise.
The group sits on the BBC Radio Forum where it negotiates amends to the minimum term agreement underpinning the commission audio drama scripts by the BBC, including most recently for new-make podcasts, and has agreed a series of guidelines with PACT for the involvement of expert contributors and their research in factual programming.
The group also administers the Imison Award for debut audio drama writing and the Tinniswood Award – alongside the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and sponsored by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) – for original audio drama writing. Both awards will open for submissions this spring.
Trish Cooke, who also presented the Imison and Tinniswood Awards at this year’s BBC Audio Drama Awards on 25 March 2022, said on joining the committee:
I am so pleased to be joining the SoA Scriptwriters Group committee. It has been an honour to be part of the judging panel for the Imison Award and I look forward to offering any knowledge and experience I have acquired, over the last 38 years, as a professional scriptwriter.
Imogen Church, who recently ran a How to Narrate your own Book #SoAatHome Professional Development workshop, also commented:
I’m excited to join the Scriptwriters Group Committee, because I lead a very isolated professional existence and having access to a community might offer a chance to remind myself that other people also spend large swathes of time talking out loud to themselves in various different voices, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Nothing.
I think my work as an actor can make me useful, in terms of bringing that perspective to discussions, and I also feel very passionately about defending the honour of wonderfully anarchic genres such a horror comedy, which fly the flag for truly, deeply unclassy writing, of which I am a great fan. Thanks for having me!
Meet the new Scriptwriters Group committee members
Imogen Church is an award-winning actor and scriptwriter, ex-burlesque dancer and lover of satire. Her debut novel Death and the Burlesque Maiden was published by Audible Originals in 2021 and she wins lots of awards for narrating audiobooks like an absolute boss. She scriptwrites satire and horror comedy features and audio plays.
Trish Cooke writes for theatre, TV, film, radio and is also the author of many children’s books, including the multi-award winning So Much (Walker Books). She has written several stage plays including the Christmas show Cinderella (2007/8), the first panto to be nominated for an Olivier award. TV writing includes being a story liner for Emmerdale (Yorkshire Television, 2013); writing scripts for Doctors (BBC, 2004/5); The Real McCoy (BBC, 1994/5); EastEnders (BBC, 1991). Scripts for BBC Radio include: the comedy drama Single Plus One (BBC Radio 4, 2000) and the mini-series Unspoken (BBC Radio 4, 2002). She was Writer in Residence at BBC North in 2002/2003. Between 1988 and 1996, Trish was a presenter on PlayDays (CBBC).
Robin Mukherjee has contributed extensively to television drama, both returning series (EastEnders, Casualty, The Bill, etc) and serials (including Grushko with Brian Cox and Andy Serkis, and Plastic Man with John Thaw and Frances Barber). He has also written for radio and theatre. His first feature film, Dance of the Wind, won the Audience Prize at the London Film Festival. His most recent film, Lore, was critically acclaimed worldwide, winning Best Adapted Screenplay at the Australian Writers Guild Awards, the Public Prize at Locarno, and many others. It was Australia’s official entry to the Oscars. His original three-part serial, Combat Kids, for CBBC/BBC1 was nominated for a BAFTA.
Recent work includes Hetty Feather for CBBC, and a feature film adaptation of Satish Kumar’s memoir No Destination. His current projects include an adaptation of Paul Scott’s (Booker Prize winning) novel Staying On supported by the BFI, and a feature film, Petrichor, also supported by the BFI, co-written with BAFTA winning director Esther May Campbell. His book, The Art of Screenplays – A Writer’s Guide, is published by Kamera Press, and his novel, Hillstation, by Oldcastle Books. He is Course Director of MA Scriptwriting at Bath Spa University.
All SoA members who work in scriptwriting are welcome to join the group. Find out more about the Scriptwriters Group.