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Scriptwriting with Emmerdale

Creating story lines with professional writers

On Monday the 5th of March, the whole of Year 10 and 30 Year 7 and Year 9 students had the opportunity to work closely with two writers from Emmerdale at Leeds West Academy.

The writing experience was made possible due to Taylor in Year 10 winning an ITV competition with the prize being a scriptwriting session with the Emmerdale team for his school.

The day began with an assembly for Year 10 where the story writer for Emmerdale, Eva Lake, talked them through all of the logistics and background to creating an episode of the ITV soap. Following this, Year 10 students and Key Stage 3 students took part in carefully designed workshops across the day.

The students were given an opportunity to develop their own story line for the show using a range of resources including a map of the Emmerdale village and character cards of the most prolific residents. They then presented their ideas, which included betrayal, lies and even a trip to Ibiza, to the writers who then critiqued their creative work.

Angel in Year 10 said: “I enjoyed the fact that we were given no limitations regarding our ideas for the plot. We were permitted to use our creativity to the fullest without being held back – anything was possible!”

Students also learnt about how their ideas could be molded to shape the necessary requirements that made ‘good’ television dramas and how they could encourage the viewers at home to keep watching and be hooked on their storylines. They also designed their own characters for the show.

Brooke in Year 10 created a character called Isabel Finch who is related to Harriet Finch in the show. Isabel comes into the village to tell Harriet that she is her long lost sister and that they have to find, through any means, the money to help their sick mother.

Kieron in the same year group said: “For someone who watches the show religiously, it was an absolute honour to meet the people who make the magic happen. I loved the chance to be able to experience firsthand what it is like to be a script writer and plot planner. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to create a new plot and hearing about how they take a simple idea and turn it into a 30-minute nail biting drama (unless it’s Thursday when it’s an hour)!”

The two representatives from Emmerdale were extremely impressed with the effort, attitude and behaviour of all the students involved and have volunteered to come back to LWA in the future – so watch this space!

Miss Kilburn said: “The students were absolute treasures and showcased the Academy (and themselves) perfectly. They were enthusiastic and passionate and I have no doubts that we have some budding writers in our midst.”