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Sunday 21 July 2019




3rd November 2000, 1st International Comedy Conference

BSCW Celebrates Successful Inaugural Conference.

The first annual British Society of Comedy Writers' conference, held from 3rd - 5th November, was considered by organisers and members to be an unqualified success.

A group of top comedy writers, both BSCW members, and many other guests attended this years BSCW conference in Coventry. The conference aimed to bring comedy writers together to share their knowledge, learn more about the industry and have fun as a group. Writers attended from all over the country, and from Germany, Denmark and Lithuania!

Producers Graham Frost (BBC Radio), Lotte Larzen (Wave Pictures, Denmark) and Justin Scroggie (freelance) addressed the conference, covering issues as diverse as writing for radio, selling to European markets and humour in unusual or unexpected places. Speakers also covered writing for the US market, and creating a paper format. The talks were accompanied by workshops, including encouraging writers to think about how their work is performed, and a discussion of inventing a game show or sitcom format.

The event included a champagne reception, sponsored by Distraction Formats and The Golden Rose of Montreux festival. John Gough, Conference Director for The Golden Rose of Montreux festival exclusively revealed a special three day package to encourage writers to attend next April.

During the reception, the management committee announced the first honorary member of the society, John Temple. John has worked in television for more than thirty years, specialising in soaps and sitcom, as a writer, editor, producer and consultant. He has also been a keen supporter of the BSCW.

The atmosphere at the conference was one of excitement at the opportunities presented by the comedy and light entertainment industry. Participants showed a great willingness to work together to maintain the reputation of British comedy, and to help the BSCW to build on this. To this end, the BSCW is delighted to be able to announce a series of workshops to be held throughout 2001, covering various aspects of the industry, and open to all, with discounts for BSCW members.

In order to be able to offer the benefits of the BSCW to a wider range of writers, the BSCW has decided to offer subscriptions to writers without a current professional record, but interested in working in comedy. Subscribers will be able to attend workshops and the conference at discounted rates, in order to teach and encourage those keen to move into the comedy market.

Comments from members included:

"It was a really fantastic and inspiring weekend…I look forward to the next meeting." (Karen Neville, BSCW member)

"The event was one of the best seminars I have attended. It was a good mix of talks, workshops and socialising." (Crispin Fisher, BSCW member)

"Just to let you know how much I enjoyed the Conference... I was particularly pleased to meet Lotte Larzen, and have sent some material to her today, so thank you for that contact." (Loraine Fergusson, BSCW member)

"Enjoyable from the moment I set foot in the hotel The weekend turned into a great time of informative sessions and informal sessions after hours... All in all, a cracking seminar.... and I am sure things will get even better." (Johnny Jarman, BSCW member)

"I got so much out of coming to your conference and it would be an honour to be a member of your organisation… I have met so many contacts from the conference and I couldn't believe how willing people were to help and advise me. I'd like to thank you once again… the best value for money I've had in a long time." (Jason Lumsden - Prospective BSCW member)
John Temple (producer) receives his honorary membership from BSCW President, Ken Rock.
Ken Rock (BSCW President) receiving a gift from John Gough (Distraction Formats/Rose D'or festival).
Lotte Larson (Wave Pictures - Denmark) and Ken Rock enjoy a drink.
Peter Eckhard (D+D Productions - Germany) and Ken Rock.
John Temple (Producer) and Jason Browne (BSCW Coordinator) deep in conversation.
Guest speakers (left to right): Justin Scroggie (freelance writer/producer), David Bodycombe (games consultant), Mark Overett (Managing Director, Fundamental Television).
Writers Tony Clarke and Carol Matthews socialising.
John Gough (Distraction Formats/Rose D'or Festival Organiser) highlights to BSCW members the benefits of them attending the Montreux Festival.
Carole Matthews and John Gough celebrate Carole's new book More To Life Than This.
Maria Alexander (freelance writer) opens her workshop on creating characters.
David Bodycombe plays "format consequences" during a workshop on "Challenging your ideas".
John M. Lewis (creator, Fifteen-to-One) and Anna Ferguson (BSCW member) involved in a role-play session.

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