salford screenwriters

Screenwriters at the University of Salford have set up an online writing community to help each other improve their screenwriting.

Writer and producer Matthew Baillie, 21, who is a third-year Film Production student, co-founded The Writer’s Room earlier this year.

He has wanted to set up an informal writing society since his first year of university.

Matthew said: “In early January, our lecturer put out a call for students to run their own channels as part of a Film Production hub.

“At the moment, The Writer’s Room is a lot of people posting their scripts on our Microsoft Teams hub. Then, whoever reads it, digitally writes over the script, giving as constructive feedback as possible.

“The main goal is to get people writing frequently, to expand their portfolios.”


Matthew Baillie, co-founder of The Writer’s Room. Photo permission from Matthew Baillie.


Every month, The Writer’s Room will set a writing prompt, challenging writers to explore different genres and themes.

When submitting scripts to The Writer’s Room, writers are encouraged to give notes on each other’s work.

The idea is to create an open and collaborative environment for budding screenwriters.

This month’s prompt is to write five to ten pages of a horror script.

The best script will be published in the university’s Film Production magazine, The Cliché.


The Writer’s Room February writing prompt. Screenshot taken from The Writer’s Room on Instagram (@uos_writersroom).


For Matthew, the “unique craft” of screenwriting is the most appealing aspect of the job.

He added: “When you see your scripts get made and you see them on the screen being performed by actors, it’s a great feeling. It’s exciting to go through that process.

“Writing is a very lonely profession. A lot of the time, it’s just you and your keyboard in your bedroom.

“So, having a platform where there’s so many different voices and points of view, it allows you to get an idea of what you’re writing and ways to improve, especially during COVID-19.”

Scripts written by Millie Sheen, a member of The Writer’s Room. Photo permission from Millie Sheen.


The Writer’s Room hopes to put on their first virtual table read later this month.


Photo by Millie Sheen, a member of The Writer’s Room. Photo permission from Millie Sheen.


Second-year Film Production student Millie Sheen, 19, said: “It’s quite nice to have people in The Writer’s Room who have completely different perspectives and opinions on your work.

“In class, we do table reads. But it’s quite intimidating if you’re new to writing, especially if you’ve got a marked piece of work.

“When we do table reads in The Writer’s Room, we want to make it a comfortable, safe space, instead of a confrontational thing that a lot of people feel at their first table read.”


Millie Sheen, a member of The Writer’s Room. Photo permission from Millie Sheen.


The Writer’s Room also plans to collaborate with filmmakers at the University of Salford to get their scripts produced and filmed.

Follow The Writer’s Room on Instagram (@uos_writersroom) to keep up to date with their activities.

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