EastEnders writer returns to GCU

16 October 2014

EastEnders writer returns to GCU

Graduate Mark Stevenson meets aspiring writers

“Hearing Phil Mitchell or Sharon (EastEnders) saying my lines in The Vic for the first time blew me away. That, and having my own storyline on Casualty have to be the highlights,” says Mark Stevenson, a graduate of the Glasgow Caledonian University’s MA TV Fiction Writing programme.

Mark Stevenson, a former Daily Express journalist, was speaking to the 2014 cohort of aspiring writers on the University’s flagship programme. He returned to GCU to lead a workshop and share his experience of the industry.

He spoke with students about storylines, characters, cliffhangers and what it is like to write for Britain’s best loved dramas. Mark has worked on TV shows including Casualty, EastEnders, Holby City and Waterloo Road since graduating from GCU in 2011.

He said: “As a journalist I thought I could write before I started the course, but I hadn’t learned the skills of television scripting.  Writing for soaps or dramas is about structure and that’s what you learn on the course.”

GCU Professor Ann Marie Di Mambro hopes Mark’s success will inspire this year’s postgraduates.

MA TV Fiction writing lecturer Professor Ann Marie Di Mambro said: “I would like to say a huge thanks to Mark who spent a day and a half and worked really hard with us. As a teacher it is wonderful to see a student succeed in their career and to have this successful writer come back and work with our new students is enormously gratifying.”

The flagship MA Television Fiction Writing course is the only dedicated postgraduate course of its type in the UK. It is an intensive one-year programme which gives aspiring TV drama writers, from all backgrounds, the tools and industry contacts needed to embark upon a career in television fiction writing.

Mark added: “My advice would be to go for every scheme and have five or six scripts which are ready to go if you’re asked. You need to network and enter every single competition, do everything you can to get that first couple of credits. The course will give you a platform and contacts, but it’s up to you after that.”