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Professional Development – The Business of Screen Adaptations

30 November @ 11:00 - 12:30 GMT

Virtual Event Virtual Event

Film and TV producers are always hungry for new material. As a writer, how can you take advantage of that hunger? How do you protect your rights?

Literary adaptations for screen are known for their lucrative box office returns. If you are a scriptwriter adapting your own material the producer will need to acquire the so-called ‘underlying rights’ in that existing work – the rights to adapt that source material for TV/film. What do those agreements look like? And how do they compare to contracts for original scriptwriting? Are you in a stronger negotiating position as a scriptwriter or the rightsholder of a published work? Join Senior Contracts Advisor and co-coordinator of the Scriptwriters Group, Theo Jones, as he explains this and more in this timely professional development session.

This event is part of SWG @ Home, organised by the SoA’s Scriptwriters Group (SWG). It is a week-long celebration of scriptwriters and will include the SWG AGM, afternoon teas and industry insider panel discussion. All events will take place online via Zoom.



  • Welcome, introductions and housekeeping – Catherine Fuller (2 mins)
  • Presentation – Theo Jones (40 mins)
  • Q&A with audience (20 mins)
  • Summary and closing comments (2 mins)


What will this workshop cover?

  • Literary adaptation contracts
  • Original scriptwriting contracts
  • Option contracts
  • Shopping agreements



Who is this workshop for?

Scriptwriters adapting their own work for TV/film and writers interested in the business of literary adaptation contracts.



SoA @ Home Fundraising Bookshop

Browse our virtual Bookshop.org and Blackwell’s stores featuring books by authors and speakers taking part in the SoA @ Home Festival. When you make a purchase using our affiliate links. A percentage will go to the Authors’ Contingency Fund, providing hardship grants to authors in financial difficulty.



The Line-Up


Theo Jones – Senior Contract Advisor, SoA

Theo advises members on publishing contracts and issues. As a coordinator of the Scriptwriters Group he has a particular interest in advising on contracts for film and TV.


About the Scriptwriters Group

The Scriptwriters Group (SWG) is a community of scriptwriters and broadcasters. It represents writers and makers across digital, broadcast, AV and theatre. We support members and associates by providing professional, individual advice, negotiating collective minimum terms agreements with organisations such the BBC, and lobby on policy and legislation to promote the interests and protect the rights of scriptwriters.



Need to know

Before the event

  • Once registered, you will be sent a confirmation email with the Zoom link
  • If the confirmation email doesn’t arrive in your inbox, please check your junk /spam email folder.
  • Please add events@societyofauthors.org to your Safe Senders list so you receive our confirmation, and reminder emails

During the event

  • This online event will take place on Zoom Webinar; you will not be visible on screen but will be able ask questions via the Q&A function or interact via the chat box
  • This event will be recorded but you won’t be on screen
  • Attendees have the option to turn on the live transcript option
  • This event is 90 minutes.

After the event

  • Hashtag for this event: #SoAatHome
  • You’ll be able to catch the recording on our Vimeo channel



Book your place using the registration form below.

All SoA @ Home Professional Development events are free for members but, if you can afford it, we recommend a minimum £5 donation to the Authors’ Contingency Fund to help us support authors facing financial hardship during the health crisis. DONATE HERE

Accordion Content

Financial support for authors in need through the health crisis and beyond

Since March 2020, the Authors’ Contingency Fund has distributed over £1 million in small grants to authors facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

With at least 57% of authors facing financial losses during the pandemic, we have helped people struggling financially due to contractual, employment and event cancellations, others who have lost income due to illness, and others prevented from working because of caring responsibilities.

As the health crisis continues, applications for grants continue to come in, and our emergency funds are running low.

So, if you are in a position to help, please donate via the link below. If you are an author facing financial hardship, please click here to see if we can help.


Accordion Content

20% off your first year with discount code SOAFESTIVAL20

The Society of Authors is the UK’s biggest trade union for authors – representing more than 11,300 writers, illustrators, translators and other creative practitioners.

Our standard subscription rate is just £26.25 per quarter (£18.50 for students).

As an SoA member, you’ll get:

  • Access to all our SoA @ Home Festival events for free
  • Unlimited one-to-one professional advice
  • Membership of our online and real-world professional networks
  • A range of member-only discounts, including books, insurance and travel
  • And much more.



We'll send you a Zoom link closer to the event time.

71 Going
Last day to RSVP


30 November
11:00 - 12:30 GMT
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Sophia A Jackson