LBO Script Development Award 2017
In November 2017 Lesbian Box Office, in association with the DIVA Literary Festival, launched the inaugural LBO Script Development Award. Writers were invited to enter by submitting a script proposal for either a television/web series or a feature film, which has a lesbian/bisexual narrative or puts the lesbian/bisexual experience at the heart of its content.
Shortlisted writers were then invited to pitch in front of an audience and a panel of judges, made up of lesbian creatives including writer of stage and screen and DIVA magazine film critic, Rena Brannan, and the director of Desert Hearts and The Women of Brewster Place, Donna Deitch.
The award was was won by Carolyn Robertson (@carolyncursive), well known for her children’s books about gay parenting. Carolyn's pitch project, MILF, is a sitcom about a newly single lesbian mum who is forced to navigate straight suburbia with hilarious consequences.
The £500 prize allowed Carolyn to buy some research and writing time, along with the chance to be supported by LBO's Jacquie Lawrence and Fizz Milton, who between them have commissioned, written and produced drama for Channel Four, ITV and the BBC as well as of course LBO! Jacquie and Fizz are currently managing the script development process with Carolyn with a view to production for LBO and potentially pitching to mainstream broadcasters.
Fizz Milton, Winner Carolyn Robertson, and Jacquie Lawrence
Carolyn says "winning the LBO script development award has been a phenomenal experience. I've been expertly guided by Fizz and Jacquie who've helped me hone my script, MILF, into an industry ready comedy series."
Carolyn is a freelance writer, author of short stories, plays and four published children’s books. Carolyn became an adoptive Mum ten years ago and gave up full time teaching (B.A in theatre and literature) and took up writing. Her published books are ‘Two Mums and a Menagerie,’ ‘Two Dads’ , ‘Little Storks New
Home’ and ‘Two Mums’. Carolyn regularly write articles for associated adoption press and LGBT parenting
magazines such as ‘Adoption Now,’ ‘We are Family’ and ‘New Family Social’ I was guest contributor to the recent ‘Scummy Mummies’ book.
Most recently Carolyn has been concentrating her efforts on adult fiction. Having an ear for comedy and
having performed comedy shorts at Polari Literary events, she's been long listed for anthologies and short
listed for script competitions including the BBC writer’s room.
Carolyn's next project is “Studs” a comedy drama based on the trials and tribulations of a lesbian football
team attempting to join the F.A. Women’s league with limited resources and talent!
A second development prize was awarded to writer, Katie Hall, and writer/actor/musician MIRI, whose pitch Patti & Me is a comedy drama loosely based on MIRI's experiences. Rena Brannan is working with Katie and MIRI on their development process of what has become Lemon Curd.
Rena says "the writer mentor - mentee relationship is a Pasodoble between the more experienced writer and the emerging one. Essentially, the Pasodoble as a dance involves role-playing and as the mentor to MIRI and Katie my job was to lift them up so that they could be in a position that would move their writing on and also give them grace and insight. They were so eager and enjoyable to mentor. In our meetings I had them explore their professional development, writing technique and overall storytelling - and over that period of time together their creative writing came on in leaps and bounds. As a mentor what you are essentially looking for is closers - those that finish what they start. And Katie and MIRI took a solid gold idea and worked it into a script that showcases their abilities."
Carolyn Robertson and Rena Brannan
Plans for the second LBO Script Development Award will be announced in advance of the 2019 DIVA Literary Festival.