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Red Planet writing prize returns

Tony Jordan’s Red Planet Pictures has launched its fourth annual search for new writing talent in partnership with Kudos Film and Television.

The Red Planet Prize will award the winner a £5,000 cash prize and entry to a mentoring scheme, which currently hosts more than 40 new writers found through the initiative.

Over a dozen previous winners and finalists are now developing projects with Red Planet and Kudos.

First launched in 2007, the competition previously “discovered” Robert Thorogood, who wrote new BBC1 drama Death in Paradise for Red Planet Pictures.

Two further finalists, Chris Lindsay and Malcolm McGonigle, have also found writing success, following a stint on the initiative’s mentoring scheme, by joining the writing team of Kudos children’s drama MI High.

Tony Jordan, managing director of Red Planet Pictures, will lead the judging panel with Kudos chief executive Jane Featherstone. They will be joined by BBC Wales head of drama Faith Penhale.

Red Planet’s head of development, Simon Winstone, executive producer Belinda Campbell and Kudos executive producers Alison Jackson and Karen Wilson will oversee the selection process and mentoring.

Winstone says: “The Red Planet Prize is not only about discovering new voices, but also finding ways for fresh talent to make a mark in a demanding industry.

“Robert and the others who have found work through the competition show potential entrants that this can be done.”

Jackson added: “We are thrilled to be involved in the prize for a second year running after such a successful scheme last year. 

“At Kudos we are committed to nurturing new talent and it’s been fantastic for us to see last year’s group grow in strength and confidence and even work on some of our shows.  We very much look forward to welcoming and working with the new mentoring intake this year.”

The competition is open to anyone in the UK.  Entrants must upload the first ten pages of an original 60-minute script for TV along with a short synopsis; this can be a single play or a pilot for a series.  Should entrants then proceed through to the second phase, they will be asked to submit their full script.

Entries are to be submitted on the competition’s website www.redplanetpictures.co.uk/red-planet-prize. The deadline is 16 January 2012.

Rules for the Red Planet Prize in Partnership with Kudos Film and TV

  • All scripts must be in English and in screenwriting format

  • Scripts must be original and the sole property of the applicants

  • For the first round entrants must submit only the first ten pages of the script and a one page outline about the series (Please note, sending complete screenplays for the first round will result in disqualification)

  • To apply, entrants must log on to www.redplanetpictures.co.uk/red-planet-prize and upload their work before the deadline of 16 January 2012

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