Lighthouse is enormously proud of Evie Wright, who has been a regular at our Young Writers groups since their launch in 2018, and has now won a BBC commission for her audio piece Anchor.
The 17-year-old student will work with producers in development and mentoring and hopes to have a working script ready within weeks.
“It combines spoken word and monologue to capture the protagonist, Lyn, coming to terms with her demons on a cliff edge,” explains Evie. “It highlights what can drive someone to breaking point, and how we all have an anchor to keep us from sinking, even in our darkest hours.”
Evie was one of five Lighthouse Young Writers who were shortlisted for BBC New Creatives and enjoyed two training days in BBC Bristol where they learned about audio production and how to market themselves as creatives.
This was followed by script development training with Calling the Shots, the company that runs New Creatives for the South West region, and writer development agency Artfulscribe, before the pieces were resubmitted to the BBC.
“This is such an amazing achievement and we are all delighted for Evie,” says Tabby Hayward, co-leader Young Writers course. “She has been a regular attender of the Young Writers groups from the beginning and it's been wonderful to see her writing and her confidence develop – and I'm sure this is just the beginning! I can't wait to hear her brilliant writing on the BBC soon. It’s so exciting!”
Jointly funded by BBC Arts Introducing… and Arts Council England, BBC New Creatives offers an exciting opportunity for emerging talent aged 16-30 to get work made for broadcast. Shortly before Christmas the Young Writers met with Jeremy Routledge, Executive Producer New Creatives for Calling the Shots, the company that runs New Creatives for the South West region.
“We were so delighted with the quality of applications from the group and delighted to commission Evie’s modern gothic tale of the trials and tribulations of a young woman living in coastal town,” he says. “We can't wait to see how it all turns out!”
Production of Anchor is likely to be delayed until the Autumn, with broadcast probably later still, perhaps in Spring 2021.
Greatly encouraged by the experience Evie says she plans to write a novel.
She adds: “I have an unfinished deal with my year 11 English teacher that I would write and publish a novel to make up for the fact that I’m studying Science instead of English. Publishing some poetry wouldn’t be bad, either. On the rare chance that teacher reads this— I promise I’m working on my talent.”
Evie Wright interview
What is the title of your script? What is it about?
Anchor. It combines spoken word and monologue to capture the protagonist, Lyn, coming to terms with her demons on a cliff edge. It highlights what can drive someone to breaking point, and how we all have an anchor to keep us from sinking, even in our darkest hours where seeing a light feels impossible.
Where did the idea come from?
I was desperately scrabbling for an idea, and then out of nowhere, an image popped into my head, and it really did just blossom from there. I liked the idea of mixing monologue and poetry, so I messed around with that. Music is a massive inspiration for me so that helped develop it, as well as personal experience.
How did your script evolve over time, especially during the training sessions?
Lots of sitting and talking to receive (important!) information really gives you a chance to brainstorm. Receiving one on one feedback and support with drafting the project outline to commission potential was helpful in forming a fuller concept as well.
How is the Young Writers course making a difference to you and your writing?
I have gone from a very anxious introvert guarding their writing with their life, to a slightly less anxious introvert sharing their work occasionally. With my neurodivergence in mind, I consider that a great success! I am thankful for the boost in confidence it has given me, alongside the chance to meet fellow writers.
What do you hope to achieve with your writing in the future?
Well, you see, I have an unfinished deal with my year 11 English teacher that I would write and publish a novel to make up for the fact that I’m studying science instead of English. So, I would like to do that. Publishing some poetry wouldn’t be bad, either. On the rare chance that teacher reads this— I promise I’m working on my talent.
What’s the best thing about writing?
The power that words can have still baffles me; the way you can arrange words, craft language for people to hide in, heal in, empower in. Give words to the people without them. The catharsis it brings for me has always been a strong element of why I write and the relief it gives is immeasurable. Seeing finished work is something that always makes me proud, too.
Finally, I always ask writers what their favourite word is…
Streptococcus. Shamefully, this just proves I read more science than books, doesn’t it? At least the Latin/Greek hybrid is kind of…artsy sounding? Does it make it any better if I tell you that certain kinds of this bacteria responsible for strep throat smell like caramel? Or perhaps I’m just putting everyone off Twix bars now…