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This past weekend I took a trip to London for the annual London Screenwriters Festival.  Being an aspiring screenwriter in my spare time, this is the second year I have been to #LondonSWF, much like the last time I went it was a brilliant weekend.

The festival takes place over 3 days at the Regents Park University in London.  The uni is just off the world famous Baker Street, home of Sherlock Holmes and around the corner from Madame Tussauds (why people queue for a long time to see wax figures is for another discussion).  I had the most wonderful, inspiring time, I learn a lot and it was fun too!

London Screenwriters Festival 2016

The Festival

The line-up for the festival was pretty incredible and I was fortunate to see many of the headliners.  I watched Peter Iliff (writer of Point Break) interview William Nicholson the writer of Gladiator who was nominated for an Academy Award.  I then saw Peter interviewed by Chris from the Empire Podcast, of which I am a regular listener.  I was also privileged to see Peter do a Script to Screen of Point Break which is a film I love.  In it, he shared some behind the scenes stories from his script as well as some great Hollywood tales!  I watched 2 panels one about adaptation including Peter Iliff, Jim Uhls (writer of Fight Club) and Ol Parker (who wrote The Best Marigold Hotel).  The second panel included actor Charles Dance who has also written a film himself.

Those were the main ‘Hollywood’ people I saw.  For the other seminars, I listened to people with deep knowledge about scriptwriting including Jen Grisanti and Karl Iglesias.  Their sessions were powerful and the ones I took the most notes in.  I love taking notes as I feel it helps me to listen more intently and I can also look back and remember what I learnt at a later date.

I was fortunate to talk to some great delegates.  It’s easy to network at this event because everyone has something in common, screenwriting!  It’s fantastic to hear what people are writing about and everyone’s different experiences.

There is so much more to do at the festival such as pitching your idea to those in the industry, which I did last time.  On this occasion, I decided to focus on the seminar aspects of the festival as I really felt I wanted to learn as much as I could this time around.

London Screenwriters Festival is a great investment in yourself if you are interested in screenwriting.  I believe in continually learning and investing as I shared in this Instagram post.

I learnt so much, like most good conferences at times there was overwhelm, my mind was blown more than once and I got some genuine pieces of information to help me improve my craft.