In 2018, The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain found that only 11% of comedy episodes on TV were written by women. The findings came just months after 76 female writers signed an open letter accusing drama bosses of not giving them primetime opportunities.

To its credit, the industry has been quick to respond with a raft of comedy and drama commissions driven by women. Pure, the brilliant Back to Life, the even more brilliant I May Destroy You, are just a few of the female-led shows to hit our screens. …


With the number of people reporting moderate to severe symptoms of depression doubling since the start of the pandemic (ONS), I wanted to put together a list of things that helped me manage my depressive period. I am aware there are some very real reasons out there that would trigger depression and anxiety, and one hopes these symptoms weaken when life gets back to its new normal. But this does not change how people are feeling right now — and I suppose I am writing this for the many people who are struggling seriously with their mental health for the…


I think one of the most frustrating things about the industry is that the script is only ever part of the story. Although getting your script in the best shape possible is a pretty groovy plan, many other factors come into play: who you know, your track record, the talent attached, what the industry is hot for.

While socialising in the right circles can put you in a better position regarding the above over time, there’s one thing a writer can instantly do to make their idea more sellable — and that’s improve their opening pitch. …


Numerous funny ladies have graced our screens over the years, but due to the domination of men in comedy, it is often male faces that come straight to mind when we think about the most iconic comedic roles.

Improvements are being made with the breakthrough of writer/performers such as Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Michaela Coel, Aisling Bea and Roisin Conaty, however, there’s still some way to go until we achieve parity.

That’s why I wanted to put together a selection of my all-time favourite female sitcom characters, and celebrate the writers who have opened the door for more dynamic and interesting female…


There is nothing about Coronavirus that has been kind. It has taken lives in an awfully cruel and painful way, it has stolen jobs, careers, dreams and increased poverty across the world. The economy has been beaten up, our freedoms have been curtailed and Zoom screens have replaced a kiss and a cuddle from loved ones. And entering 2021, a virus that many people mocked at the start (myself included), shows no sign of waning.

One way or the other, we have all taken a hit in 2020. But before leaving this tumultuous year behind us, I wanted to reflect…


Women are born with pain built in. It’s our physical destiny. Period pain, sore boobs, childbirth, we carry it within ourselves throughout our lives.” Dame Kristin Scott Thomas

As soon as I heard the word ‘pain’ follow the word ‘women’ I was mesmerised by the scene that unfurled between Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag) and Kristin Scott Thomas (Belinda).

Undoubtedly part of the scenes poignancy was due to its timing, sneaking up on us amidst an otherwise light-hearted episode that saw Fleabag trying (and mostly failing) to help her sister Claire with a business event. Suddenly, we were now watching a successful…


Here are some straightforward ways to ensure your script gets off to a positive start when it comes to representing women in the right way.

  1. RATIO

Easy place to start. It will depend on the project, but try to make sure there is an even spread of male and female characters in lead and subsidiary parts. Even in a male prison or boarding school, there are plenty of opportunities to introduce female characters.

2. PERSONALITY AND PHYSICALITY

Provide equal character detail for both your male and female characters. And please don’t let the female descriptions be solely about physical attributes…


Whether its Anya Taylor-Joy’s stunning performance as Beth Harmon, the beautiful period drama sets or its tight-ass script — there are many things to admire about Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit. Upping the sex appeal of chess by about 5,000%, its success should be a welcome boost for any creatives currently finding themselves working on a niche or less overtly glamorous premise.

Scott Frank and Allan Scott’s adaptation of Walter Tevis’ book also smashes it out the ballpark when it comes to the representation of female characters. Here are six reasons why I found the portrayal of women in The Queen’s…

Joanna Tilley

I am a journalist/writer who has launched a script service for writers who want to develop and build their female characters and storylines. @JoannaTilley

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