SAMUEL PALMER

Samuel Palmer has always had a love for literature, the silver screen and whatever metonym describes television. He’s inspired by these works, the places he’s lived and the people around him, especially his three children, who, despite being the bane of his existence, can be okay sometimes.

It was in California, living out his twenties after a purposefully botched work visa, that Samuel first pursued his dream career as a writer. Naturally drawn to dark comedy with plans to explore a wide variety of styles and genres, he took a more serious approach to his craft when he was forced to leave California and move to Manchester by the powers that be. Samuel isn’t completely blaming his wife for the move but it was her that took the job.

Samuel Palmer’s writing has been described, amongst other things, as “really, really, really good” by his mother. It is from her he inherited his love for writing, but thankfully not his vocabulary, which he describes as “really, really, really good”.

Samuel’s CV can be found here

LISA AKHURST

Lisa’s background is in film and television production. While working at The Jim Henson Company, she ignited a passion for children’s programming and animation, and decided to begin scriptwriting for children on a full-time basis.

Passionate, original and quick-witted, Lisa has a flair for writing character-driven stories with comedy and heart, for both older and younger audiences. She currently has shows airing on major networks worldwide, including CBeebies, Nickelodeon, Nick Jnr, Milkshake, Sprout, ABC, France 5, Treehouse and The Disney Channel.

Lisa’s CV can be found here

JOE ALEXANDER

A writer and director based in London, Joe’s first feature screenplay, written with long-time collaborator Andy Amfo, appeared on the Brit List. He currently has two shows in  development – one with Lionsgate and Further South, the other with Ringside Productions.

Outside of the film industry, Joe is currently working on his debut novel and has had short stories published in magazines and anthologies.

 

SAM BARLOW

Sam spent the first decade of his career at HIT Entertainment as their in-house script executive where he script edited an unholy number of episodes of some of the world’s best-loved preschool shows.

The last few years have seen Sam take the leap into the twin worlds of full-time writing and parenthood. He is still trying to decide which is the more loopy. Sam’s big-hearted and funny scripts, together with his sharp sense for story structure, have seen him asked to head write a number of successful series – among them the multi award-winning and BAFTA-nominated Lily’s Driftwood Bay.

Sam’s CV can be found here

GUY BURT

Guy Burt is a BAFTA award-winning screenwriter and novelist. He wrote his first novel (AFTER THE HOLE, filmed as THE HOLE) when he was 18 years old. His television work spans contemporary crime drama (WIRE IN THE BLOOD, THE VISITOR, MURDER IN THE MIND), historical dramas (THE BLETCHLEY CIRCLE, THE BORGIAS, MEDICI, TUTANKHAMUN) and lighter comedy-drama (such as KINGDOM, with Stephen Fry, and DIAMOND GEEZER, with David Jason). He has also written acclaimed drama for younger audiences: HARRIET’S ARMY, about the role of children in the First World War, won a Best Writer BAFTA, while his adaptation of the contemporary children’s novel JOE ALL ALONE won a BAFTA for Best Drama. Recently, he has been showrunner and exec producer of all three seasons of ALEX RIDER, which is aimed at a four-quadrant audience.

Guy’s CV can be found here

JOANNE CARMICHAEL

Joanne is a mixed-media artist and the creator of the original idea for and characters from Lily’s Driftwood Bay.

It all began in 2007 on the Isle of Arran, with a cottage not much bigger than a beach hut and a compulsion to fill it with flotsam and jetsam, pottery, sea-glass and driftwood. She soon spied the potential to create a whole new world from all the things she was finding: a big red boat, sea-glass sea, a dancing stag, a skateboarding Granny dog, a chicken created from the bottom of a washed-up teacup all began emerging from the beaches of Arran… and that was just the beginning.

With no background in animation, she imagined a storyline of an island girl called Lily setting off on adventures with treasures washed ashore for her by the waves. Amazingly, a TV company seemed to like it – and developed it with her.

After working on series one as creative consultant, she is now studying graphic design and illustration while working on new ideas for TV shows and picture books. She is a founder member of Children’s Media Network Scotland and still likes to do her bit to keep the beaches clean, which the local seabirds are very happy about.

DENISE CASSAR

After a 12 year career as an award winning comedy actress Denise gave birth to some small people (just two) and decided to start writing stuff that would make them laugh. Subsequently she has spent the last 14 years turning random ideas about animals, trains, aliens, toddlers and superheroes into episodes of some of preschool’s best loved shows such as Bing, Raa Raa the Noisy Lion, Noddy, Thomas the Tank Engine, Waybuloo, Topsy and Tim and more recently The Clangers. Now those small people are a bit older she’s attempting to stay relevant to them by trying not to embarrass them on social media and writing telly for a slightly older audience; shows like Bottersnikes and Gumbles, Dennis The Menace, The Rubbish World of Dave Spud and Mr Bean. She won a Writers Guild Award for Best Children’s Script in 2015 which was one of the last opportunities she had to leave her writing shed at the bottom of the garden.

Denise’s CV can be found here

KEITH CHAPMAN

There’s a lot to be said for advertising. It unearths talent like Keith Chapman, who once worked as an art director selling shaving foam and Wotsits before joining Jim Henson and his Muppets.

Keith went on to create BOB THE BUILDER and, since Bob’s first appearance in 1999, the show has sold to every country in the world, generating $5bn in sales to date. A new-look series of Bob the Builder was launched in 2015.

Keith co-founded Chapman Entertainment, creating FIFI & THE FLOWERTOTS and developing ROARY THE RACING CAR. Chapman also produced LITTLE CHARLEY BEAR and RAA RAA THE NOISY LION.  He created Nick Junior’s global smash-hit preschool show, PAW PATROL, which is fast becoming another billion-dollar brand. Keith is currently developing more children’s shows.

MIGHTY EXPRESS – this series, currently on Netflix, is the second collaboration with Spin Master.

MICHELLE GAYLE

Michelle wrote her first script on spec for a producer who wanted to turn her first novel, Pride and Premiership, into a drama. And while the drama didn’t get made, the script did open many doors for her.

Michelle likes to hold a mirror up to society through her writing, telling stories that resonate with her audience. Much of her original work gives a voice to those who traditionally have been ignored or undervalued, such as women, children, ethnic minorities and the working classes and she has continued to emphasise human moments even when writing for historical fantasy drama – A Discovery of Witches. 

Contemporary, sometimes challenging but, as in life, ‘never without humour’ is her motto. Not one to venture far from the kettle, she has been known to write in the kitchen, but at the first glimpse of sunshine she is drawn straight outside to write in the garden!

GILLIAN CORDEROY

Growing up on a farm in rural Oxfordshire helped develop Gillian’s
left-of-field imagination. Her keen comic eye and gift for creating the unexpected make her a popular choice for writing teams and development work. She writes for film and TV and has many years’ experience working on live-action and animated scripts in the UK, the US and Europe.

Gillian lived in Italy for many years where she taught English, wrote novels and trained the Italian Fire Brigade. She has an MA in Screenwriting from the London College of Communication.

Gillian’s CV can be found here