Group aims to nurture screenwriting talent

Abigail Henry is forming a new screenwriters' group
Abigail Henry is forming a new screenwriters' group

A budding Wigan screenwriter has set up a new group encouraging artistic residents to develop their talents for penning scripts for film and TV.

Abigail Henry is launching the Leigh Screenwriters’ Group which will meet for the first time later this month.

She promises that it won’t be a daunting experience as some people may fear!

And Abigail hopes to ride the crest of a new cultural wave sweeping through the borough.

The monthly sessions aim to bring together Wiganers and Leythers who are already trying to get their scripts filmed as well as those struggling to get their ideas down on paper.

University of York graduate Abigail came up with the idea of bringing a screenwriting group to the borough after attending an intensive course run by the National Film and Television School (NFTS) in London.

She has been helped to get the idea off the ground by the Leigh Film Society, an umbrella organisation covering cinema-related events such as screenings, a film festival and a discussion group.

The Marsh Green 24-year-old said: "I approached Elizabeth Costello from Leigh Film Society asking if there were any screenwriting groups and she said if I wanted to set one up she would support me.

"I thought it sounded like a great idea and it snowballed from there.

"I really want that environment where you can meet other screenwriters but I didn’t want it to be like other groups I’ve seen where you pay for them to critique your work.

"I want a group where you can take a script, several pages or just an idea and talk to other writers about it.

"For me it’s about mimicking the experience I had at the NFTS course.

"It was really intensive and it was basically run as a writers’ room for pitching and developing ideas."

Abigail came to the decision that script writing was for her when, as an undergraduate studying TV and film production, her idea for a short film was one of a select few chosen by tutors.

She is currently working on ideas and is preparing to go to the London Screenwriting Festival.

Abigail stresses that the Leigh group will be open to writers of all abilities and also to encourage those who love television and film but have never penned a script before to have a go.

She also hopes that the group can find a place in an increasingly busy calendar for the borough’s arts and culture enthusiasts.

She said: "I’m hoping it will attract a mix of people and all levels are welcome.

"It won’t be scary!

"I want it to be a nurturing environment where people can gain confidence and experience about how to tell their story and get it across to an audience.

"Things are popping up in Wigan and Leigh now with The Old Courts and Leigh Film Society.

"The creativity is here in the borough and it would be great to start building the film and screenwriting side up."

The first Leigh Screenwriters’ Group meeting in the community space at Leigh’s Tesco store will be held on Tuesday September 26 from 7pm until 9pm.

To find out more about the group, email Abigail at abigailannehenry@gmail.com or search for Leigh Screenwriters’ Group on Facebook or Meetup.