Fantasy Adventure Attracts Top Book Agent

Sophie Hicks Agency JpegI’m still a little stunned. Here’s the story:

About a year ago, I wrote a kids’ fantasy adventure screenplay with a really sky high concept. It was one of those ideas that really got my juices going, and I forged ahead and wrote up the first draft of a script. I wrote it with more blind passion than I can remember writing anything I’ve ever worked on. I honed and polished the screenplay, finally typed FADE OUT…

…and then promptly got cold feet. The script has been gathering dust in the bottom drawer ever since.

Why? Because in the cold light of day, I began to see that the story’s premise might prove to be a little controversial. That film producers would run a mile from it. I’m wary even now of divulging story details.

Then, late last year, I thought I might try my hand at turning the thing into a novel, working on the theory that film producers might be more accepting of the story if it had already established itself in another medium. I wrote up three chapters and a synopsis, sent them off to a handful of agencies…

…and promptly attracted the interest of one of the UK’s most respected and successful book agents – Sophie Hicks (she’s Eoin Colfer’s agent).

Sophie was hugely enthusiastic about the story, and pitched it verbally to publishers at both the recent Bologna Children’s Book Fair and the London Book Fair. The response was overwhelmingly positive.

The written materials are going out to those publishers this very week.

So, yes, a little stunned…



THE WOODCUTTER Top Finalist in Screenplay Festival

Screenplay Festival PicHurrah! The Screenplay Festival Screenwriting Competition just announced its winners, and I’m mightily chuffed to learn that my horror screenplay THE WOODCUTTER has hacked and chopped its way to an “Honourable Mention” runner up place in the Horror/Thriller category.

That’s me, right down at the bottom of the page! Did I mention I’m mightily chuffed?

Horror Script Reaches Quarter Finals

My fairy-tale themed horror script THE WOODCUTTER has just reached the quarter-finals of this year’s Screamcraft Horror Screenplay Competition –

It’s the first screenplay competition I’ve ever entered, so I’m rather pleased.  The script was developed with the fantastic help of Kenneth Branagh (my mentor on the Guiding Lights scheme) and Jamie Wolpert of the BFI.  Thanks again for all your support, guys!


Pitching Contest – Double Prize Winner

Crumbs!  I pitched a new movie idea of mine at the EIFF Talent Lab’s pitching event on Sunday.  A superhero comedy.  It won two out of the three prizes on offer – Best Story and The Audience Choice Award.  It also picked up immediate interest from the Executive Vice President of Acquisitions, Sales and Marketing of a major European distributor.  I’m going to be talking to him at the end of the week about the project.  So… maybe better sit down and start writing the damn thing then.

EIFF Talent Lab – What an experience!

Just back from four days of sessions and meetings on the Edinburgh Film Festival’s Talent Lab scheme.  What a fantastic experience!  A terrific series of both panel sessions and one-on-one sessions with some amazing people.  Particularly cool was Paul Fraser (Shane Meadows’s regular collaborator) with whom I was able to kick around a movie idea of mine (DESPERATE DAN MUST DIE – a WWII comedy about a Nazi plot to assassinate the staff of The Beano) and genuinely get inspired about it all over again because of Paul’s own enthusiasm for it and his many insightful responses.  The Talent Lab participants were a brilliant bunch, as were the organisers, and I’m taking away much more from the experience than I ever expected.  Food was great, too.

Shaun the Sheep

Double Hurrah today!  Just been asked to do another SHAUN THE SHEEP script.  The Shaun feature film is now in production so the BBC have asked for some more TV eps to support it.  Had a blast writing by last SHAUN ep, so I’m really looking forward to this.

EIFF Talent Lab

Just found out that I’ve won a place on the Edinburgh International Film Festival’s 2013 Talent Lab.  Very excited.  Here’s the blurb:

EIFF Talent Lab gives up-and-coming filmmakers a fantastic opportunity to learn from the world’s key film industry players. Emerging Scottish, UK and international directors, producers and screenwriters are offered the unmissable chance to discuss the industry, their projects and their ideas with a selection of invited industry professionals including sales agents, executive producers, literary agents, story editors and distributors.

And a free festival pass!  Hurrah!